BlogTrailblazerIsla Casey – Damascus College Ballarat | Top 50 Year 12 Trailblazer 2022

Isla Casey – Damascus College Ballarat | Top 50 Year 12 Trailblazer 2022

Isla Casey

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 Isla navigated Year 12 differently throughout 2022!

Introducing: Isla Casey

Category: Social Impact & Change

School: Damascus College Ballarat

State: VIC

Career Aspiration: Paramedicine or Biomedicine (leading into the field of genetic research)


  • Leader in the Edmund Rice Camps’ Holiday GEM Program
  • House Captain
  • Stage managing school production

What makes Isla a Trailblazer?

Isla’s passion for volunteering has seen them complete 76 hours as a leader in the Edmund Rice Camps’ Holiday GEM Program. With their school community, Isla holds the leadership position of House Captain and is sitting on the SRC for the 3rd time. They are involved in a variety of co-curricular activities, including as the stage manager of their school production, a member of the Reconciliation committee and a part of the local Students against Climate Change group. Isla also participates in singing, speech, and drama lessons.

During Isla’s time as a leader at the Edmund Rice Camps’ Holiday GEM Program, they were paired with children from various backgrounds, most of which experienced some form of disadvantage. Within their role, Isla connected with the children and helped them make the most of camp through activities like playing games, face painting, colouring or simply just talking with them. Isla’s commitment to creating a welcoming and safe space for children from difficult backgrounds has strengthened her empathy and humility and helped to positively impact the children they worked with.

“At the end of the day, one of my buddies came up to me. At the beginning of the day, he was quite quiet and reserved, but opened up the more time I spent with him. When he came up to me, he presented me with a picture that he had drawn of us playing together. He said that he had had so much fun with me and wanted to show how much he appreciated it.”

Beyond their involvement in the GEM Program, Isla’s commitment to volunteering extends to their involvement in a drive for Mother’s Day toiletry bags for Eureka Mums. Isla’s compassionate attitude saw them collect and buy toiletries and assemble more than 20 toiletry bag kits for mothers that may not be able to afford these luxuries.

Isla’s juggling of community service, leadership positions and co-curricular activities with the commitments of a Year 12 student certainly isn’t an easy task. For Isla, their greatest challenge during Year 12 was dealing with not only the pandemic, but the exacerbated symptoms of ADHD and mental illness during these difficult times.

The struggles of navigating Year 12 while getting diagnosed with ADHD and trialling medication had Isla working twice as hard to keep on top of their studies, but that didn’t stop them achieving some incredible feats! In the future, Isla plans on going into the field of genetic research by studying either Paramedicine or Biomedicine.

Isla’s perseverance and determination to support their community through educational and volunteering leadership positions has earned them a place as one of our Top 50 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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