Teen climate activist Varsha Yajman has notched herself an ATAR of 99.15, after a school year full of politicians telling young Australians to stay in class instead of protesting against government inaction on climate change.
The Sydney Morning Herald reports Varsha, 17, earned five top-band results at NSW’s Gosford High School, all while making a name for herself as a School Strike 4 Climate advocate.
Congratulations to Varsha Yajman – who clocked an ATAR score of 99.15 *AND* a top band result for five of her subjects!!— ABC The Drum (@ABCthedrum) December 18, 2019
We're all very proud of you at #TheDrum – here's Varsha as a guest a little earlier in the year ???? https://t.co/uOWkahUvgr
The young gun helped facilitate the Sydney leg of the September strike, which saw tens of thousands of Australians take to the streets to demand the Federal Government drastically cut the nation’s carbon emissions.
Obviously, those policies are yet to fall into place: the politicians with the power to actually make those changes have downplayed the issue at every turn, and even said students like Varsha would be better off studying than protesting.
Last year, Prime Minister Scott Morrison criticised the protest movement by saying “What we want is more learning in schools and less activism”.
And in 2019, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian this year said “to take time off to go to a protest is not acceptable.”
But that wasn’t the only time Varsha and Berejiklian would butt heads in 2019. While appearing on Q&A‘s high school special panel in August, Varsha slammed the major parties for their handling of climate change policies – and handily countered the Premier’s scaremongering assessment of pill-testing trials at Aussie music festivals.
The Sydney Morning Herald reports Varsha plans to study arts at the University of Sydney next year, with a major focus on politics.
We can see why.