BlogTrailblazerJoseph Clarke – St John Paul College | Top 50 Year 12 Trailblazer 2022

Joseph Clarke – St John Paul College | Top 50 Year 12 Trailblazer 2022

Joseph Clarke

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 Joseph navigated Year 12 differently throughout 2022!

Introducing: Joseph Clarke

Category: Social Impact & Change

School: St John Paul College

State: NSW

Career Aspiration: Double degree in Occupational Therapy and Secondary Teaching


  • 2021 Australian Open under 18s Lawn Bowls champion
  • Appeared on Channel 7 News
  • Established the first ever Lawn Bowls at St John Paul College, Coffs Harbour

What makes Joseph a Trailblazer?

In 2021, Joseph Clarke had championed the Australian Open under 18s Lawn Bowls and was featured on Channel 7 News. His school, St John Paul College Coffs Harbour (SJPC), cheered him throughout his final, spectating from their school hall.

Afterward, Joseph established the Lawn Bowls as a school sport for the first time in SJPC history, persuading 18 students to get involved in the school state championship competition, and 30 students to sign up.

He also demonstrates deep care and devotion for his community, participating in a variety of activities such as the fundraising team, a Street Retreat to help the homeless, and many religious retreats.

Joseph not only pioneered the first Lawn Bowls at his school, but he is also the college Vice Captain. This experience helped him realise how his determination and disciplined effort to achieve his goal could also bring encouragement to others. All of this had taught Joseph the importance of leadership and how his own actions could ripple into the lives of others. Through Joseph, his peers were encouraged to follow in his footsteps!

However, this success doesn’t come easily. We can only get there through resilience. This was definitely a key characteristic in Joseph’s Year 12 experience. Physically, he has to deal with Gastro-oesophageal Reflux Disease (GORD), where his stomach struggles to keep down food.

Emotionally, he has also had the turmoil of losing his Pop and is currently living at his friends house as his family travelled to Dubbo after the loss of their grandpa. Despite all these challenges, Joseph remains perseverant in the face of his adversities. In his struggles, he continues to consider the example he presents for his peers, demonstrating that strength can be shown in our weakest points.

As for Joseph’s future, he plans to complete a double degree in Occupational Therapy and Secondary teaching, enabling him to enter the disability service and become a History teacher. Just as Joseph had impacted his school community, he plans to continue the practice of life service and influence a wider community outside of sport.

“I do not want to become professional at my sport as I believe there is more to me [than] just sport, however, [I want to] use it to try and make a social impact on others.”

Change starts with one person’s action. Through this one person, an indelible mark can be made in another person’s life. Joseph is definitely making an impact in his community which is why he makes it into 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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