State’s toppers Mala Rigby and Jasmine Kumar


By Neena Badhwar

We have these young kids beaming with pride and so are their families. They are much more mature than your normal kids. They know what they want, what they want to achieve and speak terms such as work ethics, discipline, keeping to schedule, destressing and hard work. Not only they use these terms they actually are mature enough and ambitious enough to use them to their advantage. And having incorporated strict discipline and adhering to a time table that was ridden with a lot of sweat, hard yards and sheer will and focus, TIDU talked to two bright young girls   Mala Rigby and Jasmine Kumar on how they went about their HSC and scored dream results. They are still celebrating success of this important milestone of their life.

Mala Rigby

Mala Rigby of Pymble Ladies College, at the ”˜First in State’ award ceremony on the 14th of December held at Australian Technology Park, armed with proud parents Archana Hegde and Michael Rigby, was all smiles. Mala topped the state  in Agriculture.

She says about her dad, “My dad (who works as a tax lawyer) was also a great part of my success. He is an incredibly disciplined and driven man especially in academics and his strong example allowed me to develop my own work ethic.”

And about her grandma, “My grandmother came from an agricultural background in as she lived on a farm which grew rice and coconuts.”

And that she says may have given her the genes and thus her keen interest in Agriculture.

Mala has managed to achieve band six in all her chosen six subjects she undertook. Armed with an ATAR rank of 99.5, Mala’s subjects were varied ranging from Agriculture, Ancient history, Biology, Earth & Environmental Science to English   & English Extension. Her favourite subjects being English and Ancient History in which she scored a high mark of 96 and 97 respectively.

Besides,  Mala had many other activities planned in between study times such as playing Saxaphone, reading, watching movies, being on two bands at school and even sometimes going out for a run to get rid of the stress.

And did she get any help from outside tutoring, “No not at all because my mum is anti tuition, she said, “If I am spending on the school so much then you might as well work hard.”

Mala credits her teachers at the school who were quite dedicated and always gave extra work even when the exams were on. “They used to push us by saying ”˜Come on give me the essay’. They were really inspiring and always encouraged us to work hard.”

“Our school is a very good place,” says Mala, “It has an inclusive family culture, is very supportive and quite multicultural.”

Mala says that she got her real inspiration from mum,   her own hard work and work ethics an example, who just a few years ago had studied ”˜Masters in Health Law’ while her elder sister Anjali  had also  had few tips to give to her.

And the career Mala would like to take? “That I will decide when I actually study at the uni so that I know what I would like to do. It could be Law, could be ancient history. I may take up teaching or become an academic in one of these areas.”

No tutoring, good genes, good ethics and plenty of side activities and good time management while studying hard are all what helped   Mala manage her HSC journey so well. A truly inspiring and promising young girl!

Jasmine with mum and aunty s

Jasmine Kumar of Good Samaritan Catholic college topped in the state in Business Services Examination. She came to the ceremony with her mum Keerti and aunty Preeti Kumar. Not only just mum, says Jasmine, “My aunty helped me a lot. Even my other aunty who is not here today. They used to both read my essays, correct them and greatly helped me academically. They are both quite good in English.”

It was as if whole family rallied around this kid, says Jasmine, “My grandparents live close to my school and they’d always pick and drop and not only the HSC they’ve helped me through whole of my life.”

Jasmine says she always made time table for studying and was excessively making ”˜to do’ lists and ”˜weekly plans’. “I studied and learnt content through organised, structured schedules.”

“And the family was always very supportive, peaceful, no family dramas and that helped me with positive mindset.”

When asked what she’d like to say to future HSC students, Jasmine’s biggest tip is, “whatever you do, try to humanise the content. It is no bigger than you and you can learn it no matter what. Try to learn and not memorise it”¦”

Jasmine with piccoli

Jasmine managed to achieve band six in three of her subjects ”“ Business Studies, Community & Family Studies and Business Services Examination. Though the two Business subjects have helped her get an idea what a Business degree would be like Jasmine has decided to take up Diagnostic Radiography as a study at university. We wish Jasmine all the success in her endeavours.




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