Hung Phat Duong – Bachelor of Science

Hung Phat Duong

After moving from Vietnam to Australia with his father when he was 14, Hung Phat Duong first brushed up on his English at Cabramatta High School and then joined the school’s mainstream Year 9 class. Finding his niche in science, he is now preparing to begin a degree at Sydney, after which he plans to specialise in clinical work to help improve people’s health. He credits the E12 scheme with providing the financial and other support that has enabled his working-class family to send its first member to university.

"I’ve always loved science, and I did well in science subjects at school. Throughout high school I’d always hoped to go on to uni, but I hadn’t yet decided which one. When I was offered a place at Sydney through E12, I didn’t have to think twice.

I come from a working-class family, and I’m the first member of my family to go to uni. We would’ve found it hard without the support of the E12 scheme – it has really helped, both financially and in terms of other support.

There are quite a few costs involved in starting uni, so the financial support the scheme offers has really helped a lot. I’ll probably use the first-year scholarship to buy the lab equipment I’ll need for my course.

The special orientation day was also really helpful. We had a chance to talk to some second- and third-year students, and they were very friendly and open, which I found really comforting. The thought of going to uni can be intimidating for high school students, but the support I’ve received through this scheme has really made a difference.

I also think the way the scheme shifts the admission focus off the ATAR alone is a great idea. Some people have difficult situations at home or in their family, so they might not do as well on their school exams as they could’ve done under other circumstances. The E12 scheme takes into account other aspects of their lives beyond just their exam results, and gives them a second chance to show what they’re capable of.

I’m really looking forward to joining some of the different societies once uni starts, as well as the new lifestyle, lectures, all the things that will be quite different from high school. It will be a challenge, but I’m really looking forward to it.

When I graduate I’d like to specialise in health-related clinical work or research that will give me an opportunity to help improve people’s health.

The E12 scheme has been really helpful in getting me used to the whole idea of uni before I actually start – it would’ve been quite challenging without that support. I’d really encourage other high school students to give it a go."