Comet Bay College students shine at national geography competition

Tyra PetersSound Telegraph
Comet Bay College students Justine Thomas and Amad Arzavi with teacher Sara Tyrrell.
Camera IconComet Bay College students Justine Thomas and Amad Arzavi with teacher Sara Tyrrell. Credit: Supplied

Two Comet Bay College Year 12 students were recently treated to a trip to Brisbane for Geography’s Big Week Out (GBWO) after delivering impressive results in last year’s Australian Geography Competition.

Amad Arzavi and Justine Thomas represented WA at the event.

They joined 14 other students from across the nation in a week of fieldwork activities that focused on investigating public spaces in central Brisbane and assessing their quality.

Tasks included mapping, surveying users, estimating transient populations, analysis and visualisation of data.

Students sat a two-hour test on the last day to determine which four participants would go on to represent Australia at the 2022 International Geography Olympiad (iGeo).

Justine secured a place on the team and will return to the Gold Coast to reunite with her teammates for the virtual contest.

“It was an amazing experience,” Justine said.

“It was great meeting like-minded peers and we were exposed to a lot of high-tech spatial technology.

“I’m looking forward to the Nationals to learn more about the connectedness of places. Geography is such a relevant subject to study because it connects to so many other subjects and the world around us.”

Comet Bay geography teacher Sara Tyrrell said she was overjoyed to learn Justine and Amad had achieved the top two results for WA.

“I am incredibly proud of the success Justine and Amad achieved in the Australian Geography Competition, and Justine’s continued success to secure a place on the International Geography Olympiad Australian team,” she said.

“Geography, and in particular climate change, is such a topical subject within both Australian politics and on the world stage at the moment, so it is lovely to see it at the forefront of conversations.”

Comet Bay principal Kelly Bennett said the school entered students in the national contest every year but this was the first time its students had qualified.

“We were thrilled to learn both WA representatives at the Geography Big Week Out were from Comet Bay College — it is a testament to the high standards our students can achieve with the support from our dedicated teaching staff,” she said.

“The GBWO allowed Justine and Amad to explore new concepts and broaden their vast geography knowledge while sharing ideas with like-minded peers. Comet Bay College is proud to offer opportunities for our academic students to grow.”

Justine and her teammates will compete against 40 other countries in the 2022 International Geography Olympiad from July 12 to 18.

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