BlogTrailblazerMelani Gunawardana – Baulkham Hills High School | Top 50 Year 12 Trailblazer 2021

Melani Gunawardana – Baulkham Hills High School | Top 50 Year 12 Trailblazer 2021

Trailblazer Melani Gunawardana

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, learn key career skills in our 3-day Pathfinder Accelerator, and so much more!

Find out how Melani navigated Year 12 differently throughout 2021!

Introducing: Melani Gunawardana

Category: Science and Technology 

School: Baulkham Hills High School

Career Aspiration: Science/Entrepreneurship


  • Co-founder of NoticeNeuro
  • Founded Project Mindful Kids
  • Created mental health resources more accessible to youth

What makes Melani a Trailblazer?

During lockdown last year, Melani met a group of students online who shared her passion for psychology and neuroscience. As a group, they started the youth organisation NoticeNeuro, a platform which aims to help educate students around the world about everything to do with the brain.

Topics range from exploring different parts of the brain, learning about neurological disorders to self-care habits backed by science. NoticeNeuro has been very successful and has experienced considerable growth. It started as a 9 student team and has since expanded to 15 students from 7 different countries.

“After discovering our shared challenge of finding online neuroscience resources which were taught to the level of high school students, we took it upon ourselves to create our own online course specifically catered towards a beginner level.”

One of the biggest challenges Melani faced during the creation of NoticeNeuro was managing a team of people from all over the world. Melanie quickly learnt to be an effective planner and strong communicator, two skills which helped her overcome language barrier difficulties and conflicting timezones. 

Year 12 was a challenging time for Melani. Her grandmother passed away from dementia during an important exam block, taking a large emotional toll on Melani and her family. However, by leaning on her strong support network of friends and family, Melani was able to continue performing well academically and complete year 12 happy with her performance. 

Melani has a strong passion for changing the stigma towards mental health issues and making support more easily available. After being selected for a youth leadership project, she started a podcast to create more accessible mental health resources for young people. She also started her own blog, Project Mindful Kids, where she helped to create an entertaining space for kids to meditate and reflect. 

Melani is keen to pursue a career which combines science and entrepreneurship. She likes solving problems and building meaningful relationships with people. She is particularly fascinated by the intersection between neuroscience and psychology. She hopes to find a career where she can continue engaging with these interests and build on her current mindfulness projects. 

Melani is one of our top 50 Trailblazers for 2021!

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.

45,861 students have a head start...

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