Jake Cutajar – Bachelor of Arts

Jake Cutajar

The proportion of high school students from Western Sydney who go on to university is lower than in some other areas – a fact that worked in Jake Cutajar’s favour. As a high school student in Mt Druitt, he was planning to apply to other unis because he assumed he wouldn’t get in to Sydney, but on finding out he was eligible for the E12 scheme he changed his plans. He’s now looking forward to being able to list a degree from the University of Sydney on his resume.

"I don’t actually see myself as disadvantaged in any way, but because I grew up in the Mt Druitt area, where not as many students go on to uni as in other areas, I was eligible for the support of the E12 scheme.

I’d been planning to apply to uni anyway, but I wasn’t really considering Sydney because I didn’t think I’d get in. When I found out about the E12 scheme, that sort of steered me towards Sydney.

Of course I would rather come to Sydney. It’s a more prestigious uni, and it will give me better credentials on my resume. Even the name Sydney Uni – when people hear it they know it’s a good uni.

I think the fact that the E12 scheme looks beyond just your ATAR at other things that can happen in your life is really good. When I was in Year 11 I didn’t see school as very important to me. I was failing some subjects and just passing others. But then in Year 12 something made me realise that doing well at school was really important to me, so I started studying and I really improved. The E12 people took all that into account.

I was also able to tell them about my achievements in other areas. For example, at school I played on the cricket team, was on the cricket committee, coached younger players and helped the teachers to organise games. When I was 16 I was even chosen to represent my cricket club in New Zealand. They took that into account too.

Once uni starts I’m looking forward to trying out for the cricket team, and meeting lots of new people.

At the moment I’m enrolled in a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in English and Education. I’d like to become a sports teacher but also to be able to teach English, because I think that will give me more job options. A lot of the students at my high school were from non-English-speaking backgrounds, so they found English classes more difficult than I did. I think I could teach English to other students like that in a way that helps them to see that it’s not that hard.

Ultimately I’d like to go on and study sports science, because although I like the idea of teaching, my real passion is fitness coaching – I’m really sporty and I love all that hands-on sports stuff.

My family’s really proud of me getting in to the University of Sydney – even my grandma! And I think it’s good for my two younger sisters to see me going to uni – hopefully it will push them to work even harder so they’ll do well too. They can be a bit competitive that way – they’d hate to think I was better than them!"