BlogTrailblazerThomas Rodenhuis – St Stanislaus College | Top 50 Year 12 Trailblazer 2022

Thomas Rodenhuis – St Stanislaus College | Top 50 Year 12 Trailblazer 2022

Thomas Rodenhuis

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 Thomas navigated Year 12 differently throughout 2022!

Introducing: Thomas Rodenhuis

Category: Social Impact & Change

School: St Stanislaus College

State: NSW

Career Aspiration: Starting in cybersecurity, and later working as a social justice and human rights lawyer 


  • Selected as a local youth councillor on the Bathurst Regional Youth Council, headspace youth reference group member and school prefect
  • Recognised at the 2022 Australia Day Ceremony with an achievement certificate
  • Placed 18th in the March Trace Labs Capture the Flag event

What makes Thomas a Trailblazer?

Thomas is an active leader in his community, taking on many roles in which he can make a difference in the lives of others. Having been selected as a local youth councillor, headspace youth reference group member and school prefect, Tom has a clear affinity and skillset for leadership and is talented at public speaking and collaborating with a group of people.

Tom has used his experience with mental illness to help other young people, acting as a relatable and open role model who is advocating for better understanding of such issues among more conservative rural communities. Furthermore, Tom was one of the youngest contestants of the March Trace Labs Capture the Flag event, placing 18th out of over 180 teams.

Tom’s effort in locating missing persons was not only an incredible act of service to his community, but also offered him a great opportunity for him to engage with a field of work he now aspires to pursue. He also completed work experience with a law firm, solidifying his desire to work in the legal profession later in life.

The number of leadership positions that Tom has held is a credit to his character and skills. He is the definition of an all-rounder, having competed in high levels of hockey, participating in performing arts and public speaking, being capable of technological construction and coding, and being a part of fundraising and volunteering events.

His journey so far has developed invaluable public speaking and teamwork skills, as well as the patience and problem-solving tendencies his career will require of him. Not only have these skills allowed him to be a strong, representative voice for others, but they have also helped him challenge his own anxiety as he becomes more comfortable in speaking in front of a crowd.

Tom should be admired for how much he has achieved while simultaneously fighting a mental battle with chronic anxiety and depression, which reached particularly bad levels in Year 12.

Despite the hardship that this experience has brought on him over many years, Tom persevered and committed to bettering himself, which has left him ready to face new challenges as he leaves school. It has also given him a solid foundation for helping other young people who are struggling, as he understands what they are going through and is able to share how he is healing.

“My ambition [is to] work in a rewarding and just career where I can make a positive impact on the lives of others.”

Tom is driven to pursue two careers in different fields. Firstly, he aspires to work in the cybersecurity industry, particularly in a social engineering role where he can test the cyber defences of companies in order to keep users’ data safe.

Then, he wishes to work as a social justice and human rights lawyer, using many of the skills he has acquired from his pursuits so far to aid him in helping others. Tom’s ambition and drive to help others are inspiring and have landed him this spot on our Top 50 Trailblazers list.

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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