When Year 12 student, Jasmine Brotherton, looks back over the last six years she sees some great positive changes.

“I remember being shy back then and avoiding speaking in class,” she recalls. “I was also quite judgy of others and hadn’t developed the maturity to realise that most people don’t choose their circumstances. I wish I’d thought about some people more kindly.”

Jasmine is not only grateful for the insights which have enriched her life, she has also deepened her appreciation of the beneficial circumstances that make her life easier.

“I’m so fortunate to have been born in a country where I don’t have to worry about basic necessities such as food—or the availability of sanitary products,” she says.

“To be alive is something I’m so grateful for.”

The recent federal election—the first Jasmine has been old enough to vote in—highlights another benefit she appreciates in a world where numerous countries still deny women the right to participate in democracy.

Despite all these things, Jasmine believes Australian society still needs to overcome persisting negative attitudes towards others—including people with disabilities, diverse gender groups and people struggling with mental health issues.

“Negativity limits and narrows our view,” she says. “The more open and welcoming of diversity we can be, the better. What if our first thought was ‘we’ instead of ‘me’?”

Jasmine looks around BSSC and chooses the word ‘inclusive’ to describe the college.

“Here you can be into whatever interests you—and nobody cares,” she says. “For example, there’s a genuine welcome to people from the LGBTIQA+ community here.

“I also love the way study blocks are set up… and the layout of the college with all the great study spaces. It’s easy to study in groups which really works for me.

“Where I study really impacts on ‘how’ I study. I need some noise, but not interruptions; silence makes me anxious.”

Jasmine often heads down to the bustle of the Goldfields Library for a change of scene.

Something of a trailblazer, Jasmine, also works part-time at Schnitz and began using her work breaks to study. Other students who work at Schnitz have joined in.

She’s also discovered how much she enjoys helping classmates.

“During Year 11, I was doing really well in Chemistry, but I had a friend who was struggling,” she explains. “We began studying together and I discovered how satisfying it is to help someone grasp a complex concept.”

Jasmine’s passion for science has grown over the past twelve months. While her long-held interests in drawing and drama are still there, science has become much more than a pathway to a career.

“I would say science is as much a hobby as an academic pursuit for me now,” she says. “I don’t think of creative arts and science as opposites anyway. They are just different ways of thinking about and understanding the world.”

Jasmine found the shift from Year 10 to Senior Secondary a challenging one.

“It’s a big shift from the style of learning where teachers are constantly reminding you about work that’s due, to one where you have to take responsibility for your own learning,” she says.

“It’s ultimately made me much more organised and more aware about pacing myself and caring for my mental health. It’s great preparation for uni too.”

BSSC has provided Jasmine with the opportunity to connect with completely new groups of people.

“I’ve made some fantastic friends as I’ve branched out into different groups,” she says.

Jasmine is also pleased about the increasing numbers of young women choosing STEM subjects.

Long-term, she’d love a career that makes her happy and creates a positive impact in the world. While she doesn’t know what that looks like yet, her passion is STEM.

“I think I would enjoy research, teaching or astronomy,” she says.

Jasmine admits to being an avid stargazer.

“While it does make me feel very small, I also find it reassuring because whatever I do is not really that crucial in the fantastically-long history of the cosmos,” she says.

“As long as I don’t harm others or do damage, it’s not worth getting stressed about the small details of daily life or the choices I make.”