Australia’s newest batch of Olympiad stars will be announced on Monday 19 June at Australian Parliament House – and every one of them is still in high school.

Minister for Industry and Science, the Hon Ed Husic MP, will reveal the names of 31 of the nation’s brightest young scientists and mathematicians who are limbering up to compete in the International Science Olympiads over the next few months.

Representing 24 schools from Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland, Tasmania and the Australian Capital Territory, the high school students will compete in Olympiad events across disciplines including biology, chemistry, earth science, informatics, mathematics and physics. They’ll pit their skills against more than 1,900 students from 104 nations across the globe.

To win a coveted spot representing Australia in the world’s toughest science and maths competitions for students, the young competitors took part in a rigorous qualifying process including extension programs and exams run by not-for-profit organisations Australian Science Innovations (ASI) and the Australian Maths Trust (AMT) over the past year.

This year’s Olympiad stars include Jason Dunn from Sydney Science College who will represent Australia in the International Biology Olympiad in United Arab Emirates. Jason’s sister Manjekah competed for Australia in the same event in the 2014 International Science Olympiads.

Other sibling acts include William Cheah, representing Australia for the second time in the International Mathematical Olympiad, whose brother Matthew won silver in the same event in 2017, and twin sisters Cloris and Iris Xu, Year 11 students from Sydney’s Baulkham Hills High School, who are also in this year’s Australian maths team.

Starters from regional Australia include International Biology Olympiad competitor Alex Park from Victoria’s Werribee High School and International Earth Science Olympiad team member Sydney Richter from Cairns State High School.

Three of the students who have won a place on Australian Olympiad science teams have progressed through the Junior Science Olympiads, a feeder program into the senior competitions launched by Australian Science Innovations in 2020.

“The Junior Science Olympiads provides a new avenue for us to capture the attention of our most talented students at a young age and nurture their skills and enthusiasm. We’re not only creating a pipeline of Olympiad stars but helping secure Australia’s future by identifying, encouraging and supporting those who may go on to become our leading scientists and problem solvers,” Australian Science Innovations Chair Anna Davis said.

“Good science is central to solving every social and economic issue we face today. Among this year’s Olympiad competitors are students who’ve told us they want to cure Alzheimer’s Disease, solve clean energy and climate tech challenges, promote ocean and Antarctic health and explore the intersection of engineering and space. They’re an amazing bunch of individuals and every one of them deserves their place on the Olympiad team. We can’t wait to celebrate their success.”

Australian Maths Trust Director of Performance and Pathways, Ben Kirk, said academic high-performance programs represent opportunities for both students and their countries to develop
and innovate.

“Our pathways support not only the individuals that have earned their place in Australian teams, but also a strong foundation of mathematicians, computer scientists, coders and STEM graduates that will drive research and our technological interests for Australia.

“With Australia hosting the International Mathematical Olympiad in 2025, it’s a tremendous opportunity to showcase our country and attract intelligent, hardworking individuals to study, work and reside here, and to deliver strongly on the engineering and technology-based outcomes that industry requires for nation-building plans for the next 20 years.”

2023 International Science, Informatics and Mathematical Olympiads Australian team members:

International Biology Olympiad team

Competing in United Arab Emirates, 3-11 July 2023

Jason DunnNSWSydney Science College
James JohnsonVICHaileybury College
Angus KiangNSWSmith’s Hill High School
Jonghyeon (Alex) ParkVICWerribee Secondary College

International Chemistry Olympiad team

Competing in Switzerland, 16-25 July

George ChenNSWShore School
Kevin LinNSWKnox Grammar School
Hanlin (James) LiuNSWSydney Grammar School
Bobby WuNSWNormanhurst Boys School

International Earth Science Olympiad team

Competing online, 16-25 July 2023

David BrownTASLaunceston Christian School
Seth CahillNSWChatswood High School
James FerryNSWSt Aloysius’ College
Henry MorganACTBrindabella Christian College
Sydney RichterQLDCairns State High School
James StricklandNSWSt Aloysius’ College
Penny TassickerTASMarist Regional College
Cathy ZhangNSWJames Ruse Agricultural High School

International Informatics Olympiad 

Competing in Hungary, 28 August-4 September 2023

Miles ConwayVICMelbourne Grammar School
Jerry LiNSWJames Ruse Agricultural High School
Evan LinVICMelbourne High School
Arthur SunVICScotch College

International Mathematical Olympiad

Competing in Japan, 2-13 July 2023

William CheahVICScotch College
Sizhe PanNSWJames Ruse Agricultural High School
Zian ShangVICScotch College
Christopher TranVICThe University High School
Cloris XuNSWBaulkham Hills High School
Iris XuNSWBaulkham Hills High School

International Physics Olympiad team

Competing Japan, 10-17 July 2023

Kelvin ChanQLDALD Academy for Science, Mathematics & Technology
Liam ChenVICScotch College
Susan HeNSWJames Ruse Agricultural High School
Douglas JoshiVICBalwyn High School
Alastair MurphyVICTrinity Grammar School Kew

Media contacts

For the International Biology, Chemistry, Earth Science and Physics Olympiads:

Michelle Rowe, PitchPerfect Media, 0400 003 852 / michelle@pitchperfectmedia.com.au

For the International Informatics and Mathematical Olympiads:

Lauren Griffiths, Threesides Marketing, 0417 409 264 / lauren.Griffiths@threesides.com.au

Media background

The International Science Olympiads is an annual competition comprising 14 separate science and maths-related Olympiad events. Around 100 countries send delegations of between four and eight students to represent their country in each of the events.

Australian Science Innovations (ASI) provides the pathways for Australian students to enter the International Earth Science Olympiad, the International Physics Olympiad, the International Chemistry Olympiad, the International Junior Science Olympiad and the International Biology Olympiad. The Australian Maths Trust (AMT) supports students competing in the International Informatics Olympiad and the International Mathematical Olympiad.

Olympiad programs are funded through the Australian Government’s National Innovation and Science Agenda, with additional support from the Australian National University.