Green Templeton’s Jessica Buck named 2019’s Young Australian Achiever of the Year
Green Templeton College student Jessica Buck has been named Young Australian Achiever of the Year in the UK, in the 2019 Australia Day Awards.
Jessica completed her MSc in Neuroscience at Green Templeton in 2015 and is now working towards a DPhil in Oncology at Green Templeton, conducting research into the different ways in which MRI can be developed to help assess the best therapies for patients with cancer that has spread to their brain.
She accepted her prize at the 2019 Australia Day gala dinner at Australia House in London on Saturday, 26 January.
Jessica, a descendant of the Kamilaroi nation, said in her speech: “Our mob are doing great things in mathematics, in medicine, in the arts, and in the sciences. We are setting a path for the next generation of young Australians to follow, and I hope we can be successful in teaching and inspiring them to reach their potential.”
She added: “I am very honoured to have received this award, and as a young Australian, I hope I can continue to contribute to medical research in both cancer and Indigenous health, and to help inspire the next generation of up and coming researchers and students.”
Jessica was nominated for the prestigious award by her college supervisor, Professor Dame Valerie Beral, a Governing Body Fellow of Green Templeton, who called her “one of the most impressive students” she’s come across in 30 years of working in Oxford.
She added: “Jessica has the dedication and talent to excel in whatever she attempts and, despite having achieved so much already, remains modest and generous. I cannot imagine a more superb role model for all young Australians, both in the UK and back in Australia.”
Jessica gained a Bachelor of Biomedical Science and Diploma in Languages (Japanese) from the University of Newcastle, New South Wales, in 2013, where she also won the Faculty of Health and Medicine Medal for outstanding academic ability.
She then secured a full scholarship to continue her studies in Oxford, supported by the Green Templeton College DPhil Scholarship, the Charlie Perkins Scholarship, in partnership with the Clarendon Scholarship, and the Oxford Australia James Fairfax Scholarship.
Green Templeton is a partnering college for the Charlie Perkins Scholarship, which enables talented Indigenous Australians to study at Oxford for up to three years.
Jessica’s other academic achievements include receiving the Premier’s Award for Outstanding Performance in the Higher School Certificate in 2008, and the Nanga Mai Award for the best performance by an Indigenous student in the Higher School Certificate in the same year.
Jessica is an active member of the Green Templeton community. She’s served as President and Treasurer of the Green Templeton Boat Club, and the Women’s Rowing Captain. She won a Nautilus Award in 2017 for her contributions to college life, and was awarded a Full Blue in rowing by the University last year for serving as coxswain of the Women’s Blue Boat in the Oxford v. Cambridge Boat Race.
Alongside her studies, Jessica devotes time to teaching young students both in Australia and the UK. She gives talks to primary schools pupils in Australia, encouraging Indigenous girls to go to university, with a particular focus on subjects relating to science, maths, technology and engineering. In the UK, she’s an active participant in the University’s UNIQ summer school programme, teaching rowing and cancer imaging to state school students.