Marcus van Maanen , Class of 2023

A dedicated learner, Marcus van Maanen joined the Enrichment Programme when he started at GVGS in Year 8.

“It was a great opportunity to explore a bunch of fields that I was interested in, we visited a factory, the local courthouse and did a robotics course at La Trobe University in Bendigo,” he says. “We all had similar interests and were looking to achieve the same goals, so I really enjoyed it.”

Right from the beginning, Marcus was confident that he would fit in at GVGS.

“Being a part of the school gave me the opportunity to connect with like-minded people,” he says. “I felt like I was always encouraged to be myself and coming to the school did wonders for my self confidence.”

Excelling in his academic studies and exploring a range of extra-curricular activities throughout high school, Marcus scored in the top 1% in the Australian Geography competition in 2020 and was a part of the Chess Champions Team in 2022, having participated in the ICCES Chess Team in 2019, 2022 and 2023.

“Geography is not my area of expertise, so it was a surprise to me when I got that mark,” he says. “I’ve been playing chess since I was in primary school, it’s a bit of fun. I also like debating and cross country, so when these all fall on the one day it’s hard to choose which one to get involved in.”

Marcus attended the Nelson Mandela Youth Leadership Summit 2022, an event in Melbourne focused on fostering leadership skills amongst young people.

“There were a lot of interesting speakers on the day who encouraged us to critically analyse the problems our generation will likely face in the future,” he says. “We had time at the end of the day to chat with other attendees and it was an insightful opportunity to discuss what we all thought and share our perspectives.”

In 2024, Marcus plans to move to Melbourne, study a duel degree of Engineering and Science at Monash University and live at Mannix College.

“I’ve always been Maths and Science focused with my subject choices and both my parents are engineers so it somewhat comes naturally to me,” he says. “I’m really excited for next year, everything I’ve heard about uni and life after high school has been great. I’m looking forward to making new friends, gaining independence and exploring new experiences.”