BlogTrailblazerRadhika Valanju – Baulkham Hills High School | Top 50 Year 12 Trailblazer 2022

Radhika Valanju – Baulkham Hills High School | Top 50 Year 12 Trailblazer 2022

Radhika Valanju

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 Radhika navigated Year 12 differently throughout 2022!

Introducing: Radhika Valanju

Category: Science & Technology

School: Baulkham Hills High School

State: NSW

Career Aspiration: Studying Medicine and specialising in neurosurgery


  • Co-chair on Health Advisory Panel for Youth at University of Sydney (HAPYUS)
  • Co-authored essay for Lancet Child and Adolescent Health medical journal
  • Interviewed on The Sydney Morning Herald and Sunrise on Channel 7

What makes Radhika a Trailblazer?

When you take a look at Radhika Valanju’s achievements, you would think she has had years of experience, overlooking the fact that she is only in Year 12. She is the co-chair on the Health Advisory Panel for Youth at the University of Sydney (HAPYUS), directed by Dr Stephanie Partridge at USyd, which focuses on chronic disease prevention. She has also co-authored a perspective essay for the Lancet Child and Adolescent Health medical journal, discussing youth health and its evolution within context of COVID-19 and the rise of social media and mental health. She also devised a two-tiered program to lead chronic disease prevention efforts for youth. This paper was recognised by a Media Release from USyd, The Sydney Morning Herald and Sunrise on Channel 7 where she was interviewed. Radhika continues to build up her repertoire of medical experience and is currently collaborating on projects that aim to address these issues. Such include Health4Me, a community-based text message program for youth health, and the YES! Youth Engagement Research Study, in association with USyd and the Australian Government Health Department.

Rhadika’s position as co-chair of HAPYUS was attained through a rigorous and competitive application process in October 2021. This role has given her the responsibility of leading a diverse team of 16 individuals, making sure to focus on representing diversity and youth advocacy, which they endeavors to encapsulate in their projects. This is evidenced through the facilitation of inclusive and encouraging group collaborations. With this team, she
co-authored a perspective essay in the Lancet Child and Adolescent Health, which ranked 6th out of 103 in paediatric health.

Rhadika was also given the platform to spread awareness about chronic disease prevention in the international scientific community to an audience of more than 1.22 million people. Being one of the youngest authors to ever be published in the Lancet journal she was nominated as lead spokesperson for a USyd and Sydney Morning Herald article (front page), Sunrise interview on Channel 7 and cited in a Croakey Health Media article. Being part of youth advocacy initiatives like HAYPUS also means she contributes to the de-stigmatisation of conversations surrounding youth mental health and conditions like anxiety that are often overlooked amongst younger audiences.

For Rhadika, balancing her professional life, her personal life and her academics has proven to be a challenge. Not only that, but long periods of lockdown leading to remote schooling and social isolation heightened her anxieties associated with being in the senior years of high school. To deal with these stressors, she engaged in sports and physical activities, taking part in her school’s soccer team. However, with lockdowns and limited peer interaction, she had to adapt a new system of coping, starting with the enforcement of a schedule with frequent breaks for mental and physical wellbeing. Rhadika’s ability to adapt in high stress environments continue to be valuable, even now in Year 12 as she balances her extracurricular and academic commitments without compromising holistic wellbeing.

Not only dipping her feet in medical research, but already being submerged into the medical field, Rhadika’s goal is to study medicine in university, specialising in neurosurgery. Through her role as co-chair of HAPYUS and collaborator with the Matilda Research Centre at USyd, she will niche down on experience in chronic disease prevention, mental health, and substance use. In perspective of the future, she wishes to use her medical expeirnce and knowledge to improve rural access to healthcare and health literacy.

“[T]his role strengthened my compassion for giving back to the greater community through application of scientific research”

There is no question that Radhika Valanju has made a significant contribution to the medical field and for the community through her research. She continues to inpsire and influence her peers as she continues to give back to her community. For this reason, the position as one of our Top 50 Trailblazers has her name written all over it!

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...

Get exclusive study content & advice from our team of experts delivered weekly to your inbox!

AOS Website Asset 2

Looking for Academic Support?

Discover how we can help you!

AOS Website Asset 1