BlogTrailblazerTaliah Scanlan – Catherine McAuley Westmead | Top 50 Year 12 Trailblazer 2022

Taliah Scanlan – Catherine McAuley Westmead | Top 50 Year 12 Trailblazer 2022

Taliah Scanlan

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 Taliah navigated Year 12 differently throughout 2022!

Introducing: Taliah Scanlan

Category: Social Impact & Change 

School: Catherine McAuley Westmead

State: NSW

Career Aspiration: Nursing


  • Being a part of the ‘1000 Notes of Friendship Campaign’
  • Selected as part of the VET Human Services course to receive her Certificate III in AIN
  • Bronze award in the State Language Championship

What makes Taliah a Trailblazer?

A compassionate and caring individual, Taliah has had a positive impact on the lives of so many throughout her journey to complete her Duke of Edinburgh award. To satisfy the requirements of the award, she has committed to early morning walks 5 days a week, challenging herself to wake up at 6am with discipline.

She has also begun cooking one meal a week for her family, teaching her new skills and an appreciation for her parents’ efforts.

For her volunteering component, she has written many letters as a part of the ‘1000 Notes of Friendship Campaign’, reaching out with kindness to isolated members of the community. Not only has writing these notes brought Taliah joy and gratitude, but they have no doubt meant the world to the people receiving them, especially during the even tougher circumstances that the COVID pandemic has brought.

Furthermore, in her final years of schooling Taliah and her family took on the responsibility of caring for two young children, adopting a new routine, and learning how to manage her time between her studies, caring and all her other commitments.

Taliah aspires to work as a nurse and was selected in a highly competitive process to receive her Certificate III as an Assistant in Nursing, giving her real-world experience in the field.

The activities that Taliah has been completing in order to attain her Duke of Edinburgh award have had many positive impacts, on herself and the wider community. Her morning walks have bettered her physical health and have instilled discipline and routine in her.

Taliah’s cooking and volunteer work have taught her gratitude and given her the opportunity to perform acts of service for others by taking time out of her day to do something for another person. The outdoor adventure component of the Duke of Edinburgh award was Taliah’s first camping experience, challenging her to develop and employ new skills in a foreign environment.

Throughout all of this, she has developed a great level of persistence and commitment to her goals. Above all, she has brought a lot of positivity to her community, to the strangers whom she sends notes to and to her niece and nephew who she has taken incredible care of.

The sudden change in her family’s circumstances challenged Taliah to quickly adapt to a new way of life. It was not simply learning how to take care of the two young children, but also learning how to manage her time between them and all the commitments she already had in her life. However, Taliah persevered and established time management skills in order to balance her Duke of Edinburgh tasks, her studies and her responsibilities at home.

“Knowing that I was making a difference in peoples’ lives, putting smiles on their faces as well as mine, was everything and more than I could ever imagine.”

Taliah wishes to continue helping others by pursuing a career in nursing. Her work experience in the Nepean Public Hospital gave her the opportunity to apply the skills and knowledge she has learnt in class to real life patients as she cared for them post-surgery. Eager to continue caring for patients, Taliah will be volunteering at the hospital again in her next school holidays.

Taliah’s compassion towards others and commitment to achieving her goals makes her 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.

45,861 students have a head start...

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