BlogTrailblazerRyan Dagg – Kellyville High School | Top 50 Year 12 Trailblazer 2022

Ryan Dagg – Kellyville High School | Top 50 Year 12 Trailblazer 2022

Ryan Dagg

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 Ryan navigated Year 12 differently throughout 2022!

Introducing: Ryan Dagg

Ryan Dagg

Category: Business & Entrepreneurship

School: Kellyville High School

State: NSW

Career Aspiration: Photography and media


  • Senior member of the Kellyville High School Media Team production crew, which produced the first feature length film by high school students in Australia
  • Developed a business creating short, social media advertising videos for several local businesses
  • Senior School Leader (Prefect)

What makes Ryan a Trailblazer?

Ryan’s outstanding contributions as a Senior member of the Kellyville High School Media Team production crew has seen him work on a variety of movie projects ranging from short films to feature length movies. Not only has Ryan had an important role in training and guiding Year 7 to 9 students for membership into the media team, but his team also put in over 400 hours of work into the production of the award-winning feature-length film “Barrangal Skin”.

Beyond his media experience, Ryan has developed his own business of creating short, social media advertising videos for several local businesses, which has included dance studios, a formal menswear hire shop and two car wrapping businesses. Ryan also has extensive experience in a variety of leadership roles, including as Prefect and as an English host and teacher for Japanese students.

In 2019, Ryan received a Certificate of Appreciation from the NSW Department of Education for his contribution to the Leadership Development Initiative, presenting to over 100 Sydney Primary and High School Principals about how film and media work could be incorporated into their mainstream education.

In his position as a Senior member of the Kellyville High School Media Team production crew, Ryan produced, filmed and directed a 60-minute, feature length film entitled “Barrangal Skin” that debuted in 2020 to an audience of 400 people at Event Cinemas in George Street, Sydney. Following the true story of a local Aboriginal elder who was removed from her family as part of the Stolen Generations, “Barrangal Skin” is the first feature length film produced by high school students in Australia and gained national and worldwide recognition as a finalist at a host of film awards, winning at the Pinewoods Film Festival in London (UK).

“As part of the interview process for “Barrangal Skin”, I spent many hours talking with local indigenous elders from our local area, and learned a great deal about their struggle and early life and the impact that the Stolen Generations had on them, and their families. It was an honour to make these connections, and be able to tell their stories as part of our film project.”

Following on from this monumental two-year production, Ryan and his team produced a short film, “Children of the Dust”, which went on to become a finalist at both the RodeReel 2021 Film Festival and FlickerFest in Bondi in 2021. Within the Media Team, Ryan is also responsible for training incoming members about how to use camera, lighting and sound equipment, as well as spending his weekend and out-of-school hours working on new scripts, interviewing and selecting actors for roles, and seeking film locations within his local area.

As can be expected, balancing the pressure of schoolwork and studying during Year 12 while also working on lengthy media projects presented a considerable challenge for Ryan. To add on to this stress, Ryan has also had to deal with the difficulties of developing a studying routine due to undergoing extended hospitalisation periods during his younger years. Despite these challenges, Ryan has achieved amazing success through developing good time management skills and finding motivation through his value as a member of the media team.

After completing Year 12, Ryan’s dream is to work in the photography and media industry and he is planning to develop his very own wedding photography business in the future!

As a high-achieving leader across his media and leadership positions, Ryan’s incredible success, initiative, and passion at such a young age is a true testament of his talent, landing him a position 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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