BlogTrailblazerCalista Tjoputra – Carlingford High School | Top 50 Year 12 Trailblazer 2022

Calista Tjoputra – Carlingford High School | Top 50 Year 12 Trailblazer 2022

Calista Tjoputra

What are the Trailblazer Awards?

The Trailblazer Awards celebrates Year 12 students beyond their ATAR, recognising those who have overcome personal challenges and used their final year of school to positively impact their community.

Our Trailblazers will have the opportunity to network with industry leaders, build their personal brand and profile as a future leader, get exam ready in our 1-day HSC Trials Accelerator, and so much more!

Find out how Calista navigated Year 12 differently throughout 2022!

Introducing: Calista Tjoputra

Category: Business & Entrepreneurship

School: Carlingford High School

State: NSW

Career Aspiration: Media and Marketing


  • Participant in the 2020 Tennis NSW Future Leaders Program and Finalist of the 15/U Girls at the 2019 World Junior Tennis Tournament
  • Represented Carlingford High School in the 2018 and 2019 Da Vinci Decathlon Competition
  • Organised Junior Tennis Events for Eastwood Thornleigh District Tennis Association

What makes Calista a Trailblazer?

For Calista Tjoputra, tennis has been her North Star throughout high school. When she was on the court and competing, she was representing her school, Carlingford High — she even was a finalist at the 2019 World Junior Tennis Tournament. Off the court, she has been raising awareness about young tennis players at her local club and encouraging more junior players through events and coaching.

Calista’s social project for young tennis players all started when she was invited to take part in the Tennis NSW Future Leaders Program in 2020. Though in the thick of the pandemic, she spoke and attended workshops with the likes of tennis pro, Casey Dellacqua, and award-winning design director, Ram Castillo.

Under the mentoring wing of past Future leaders, she learned more about the tennis world. Two things stood out to Calista over these workshops. Firstly, when it comes to tennis, there’s a large gap for accessibility regarding individuals who experience disabilities (such as those who use a wheelchair or experience vision-impairment).

The other thing was that 1 in 2 Australian girls quit sports by the age of 15. Calista did her own research and found that work, school and competition fees hindered their passion for sport. This is where Calista’s project for young tennis players came in. She began collaborating with her local club, Eastwood Thornleigh District Tennis Association, to organise social plays and coaching sessions with Voyager coaches to boost junior passion for tennis.

This kept Calista busy and she spent 4-5 hours each day taking on the duties of supporting her local club with the project. But, she’s grateful for it and the new skills she’s learned on the way, skills that she thinks will help push her dream career in media marketing.

This project has given me great insight into the importance of communication and the success that follows when executed competently.

For all of that, Calista also was met with the difficult challenge of completing Year 12 with Degenerative Disc Disease.

The first signs of pain around her lower back began late 2019 and travelled down her left leg with excruciating pain. Calista never intended to but had to step down tennis, the sport she spent years of her life dedicated to. Though she’s tried almost everything from various doctors, specialists, Osteopaths, Chiropractors to Physiotherapists, the pain continues to disrupt her from study, a good night’s sleep and wears on her mental health.

Luckily enough, with her perseverance and project-coordinating skills, this hasn’t stopped from pursuing media marketing after she finishes the HSC. If you are amazed at all Calista has managed during her final school years, well, we are too — that’s why she is one of the 2022’s Trailblazers.

The Top 50 Year 12 Trailblazer Awards

The Trailblazer Awards aim to identify and celebrate students who use their final years of school to invest holistically in the skills and experiences that will maximise their own future opportunities and make a contribution to the future of our society.

Our winners for the Year 12 Trailblazer Awards have demonstrated initiative in volunteering for their school or community, have participated in co-curricular activities, and have held leadership positions within their schools.

Learn more about who placed in the Top 50 Year 12 Trailblazers here!

About Art of Smart Education

At Art of Smart Education, we’re an award-winning provider of holistic tutoring and mentoring for students in years K-12. Our mission is to help students answer the difficult question, “What am I going to do with my life when I finish school, and how do I get there?” 

We understand that true success involves mastering study, career and leadership skills while maintaining your wellbeing, not just excelling in academics and as a result, over the last decade, we’ve supported over 10,000 students to achieve their best and maximise their options for life after school.

Each year over one million young Australians, parents, and teachers access our guides, videos and resources to navigate the journey through high school.

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