People & Society |
Australian Science Innovations and Australian Mathematics Trust

Australia picks best science and maths students for world Olympiads


Embargoed to 5AM, 19 June 2017


Australia’s best science and maths students ready to make waves in international competitions


Girls break gender stereotypes by making up nearly half of the science teams


Teams announcement at Parliament House, Canberra, 19 June 2017


Twenty-seven of Australia’s best students have made the teams to represent Australia at the UNESCO International Science and Mathematical Olympiads in July and August. The students will test their skills against 2,000 of the world’s best in the International Olympiads taking place in England (Biology), Thailand (Chemistry), France (Earth Science), Iran (Informatics), Brazil (Mathematics) and Indonesia (Physics).


Almost half of the science students (47%) putting their skills to the test for Australia are girls—equalling 2015’s highest representation of girls since Australia first began competing. The girls will compete in biology, chemistry, physics and Earth science.  


The informatics team includes two experienced Olympians, silver medallists from last year, Jerry Mao and Richard Gong.


The young Olympians will receive their Australian team blazers from the Federal Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science, Senator the Hon Arthur Sinodinos AO, at an official team announcement ceremony at Parliament House, Canberra, on Monday 19 June.


The Year 8, 10, 11 and 12 students represent 18 schools from NSW, VIC, QLD, SA, WA and the ACT. They have spent a year in exams and intensive training to make the cut. They succeeded against more than 25,000 other students in extension programs and qualifying exams, making a shortlist of 150 to attend intensive training schools for ultimate selection to the teams.


“The International Science and Mathematical Olympiads are essential in capturing high-achieving students' interest in science and mathematics at a critical stage. It provides a platform which exposes them to advanced learning at an international level, and offers opportunities for them to inspire others on their return,” said Professor Ian Chubb, former Chief Scientist and Patron of Australian Science Innovations. 


“It’s an honour to represent Australia and I look forward to applying the knowledge I’ve learned so far in this program and gaining new skills as I compete against some of the world’s best students in physics,” said Claire Yung from Narrabundah College in Canberra, who will compete at the 2017 International Physics Olympiad. Claire decided to try out for the International Science Olympiads after participating in Curious Minds, a national mentoring program to empower girls’ participation in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).


This year’s youngest Olympian, Haydn Tang, Year 8, said: “I am looking forward to being able to challenge myself at the IMO [International Mathematics Olympiad], and to have the opportunity to explore more areas of mathematics and meet other mathematical peers.”


The Olympiad programs are funded through the Australian Government’s National Innovation and Science Agenda.  Additional support for the Science Olympiads comes from the Australian National University. Optiver is a sponsor of the Mathematical and Informatics Olympiad programs.


Australia’s International Science and Mathematical Olympiads programs are run by the not-for-profit Australian Science Innovations (biology, chemistry, Earth science and physics) and the Australian Mathematics Trust (mathematics and informatics).


The Australian team members for the 2017 International Science and Mathematical Olympiads are:


International Biology Olympiad

20–23 July, Coventry, England

Angus Cramond, Year 12, Balwyn High School, VIC

Katherine Johnson, Year 12, North Sydney Girls High School, NSW

Anne Pham, Year 12, Balwyn High School, VIC

Anna Sing, Year 12, The Mac.Robertson Girls’ High School, VIC


International Chemistry Olympiad           

6–15 July, Nakhon Pathom, Thailand

Ada Fang, Year 12, Sydney Girls High School, NSW

Ivan Hou, Year 12, James Ruse Agricultural High School, NSW

Brandon Lee, Year 12, Sydney Grammar School, NSW

Dylan Siow-Lee, Year 12, Sydney Grammar School, NSW


International Earth Science Olympiad

22–29 August, Côte d’Azur, France

Jemima Jeffree, Year 11, Indooroopilly State High School, QLD

Joshua Lee, Year 12, Barker College, NSW

YiJie Neo, Year 12, John Monash Science School, VIC

Chen Zhou, Year 12, North Sydney Boys High School, NSW

International Olympiad in Informatics           

28 July – 4 August, Tehran, Iran                       

Richard Gong, Year 12, Sydney Grammar School, NSW

Charles Jameson, Year 12, Sydney Grammar School, NSW

Jerry Mao, Year 11, Caulfield Grammar School, VIC

Angus Ritossa, Year 10, St Peter’s College, SA


International Mathematical Olympiad           

12–23 July, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

James Bang, Year 10, Baulkham Hills High School, NSW

Matthew Cheah, Year 12, Penleigh and Essendon Grammar School, VIC

Linus Cooper, Year 11, James Ruse Agricultural High School, NSW

William Hu, Year 11, Christ Church Grammar School, WA

Hadyn Tang, Year 8, Trinity Grammar School, VIC

Guowen Zhang, Year 11, St Joseph’s College, QLD

International Physics Olympiad

16-24 July, Yogyakarta, Indonesia

Bentley Carr, Year 12, Sydney Grammar School, NSW

Steven Liu, Year 12, James Ruse Agricultural High School, NSW

Yuyu Ma,Year 12, James Ruse Agricultural High School, NSW

Nishka Tapaswi, Year 12, Hornsby Girls’ High School, NSW

Claire Yung, Year 12, Narrabundah College, ACT



Debra Maynard

(for biology, chemistry, physics and Earth science Olympiads)

0407 299 007 or 02 9665 7182     


Kate O’Sullivan                                               

(for mathematical and informatics Olympiads)           

02 6201 2663                                                                                               


Nathan Ford           

Chief Executive Officer

Australian Mathematics Trust           

02 6201 2440 or 02 6201 5330           

0437 226 739             


Yelena Ramli                                                                              

Australian Science Innovations                                                   

02 6125 6282 | 0451 124 050


Learn more about the Australian Science Olympiads at:

Learn more about the Mathematical and Informatics Olympiads at: