James Cook medical student Lize Nortje .
James Cook medical student Lize Nortje . Allan Reinikka rok141217aop1

Rocky Dux takes on medicine after ranking among best in Qld

IT WAS a placement with her local GP when we was 15-years-old that set Lize Nortje on the path to study medicine.

Lize, a former Heights College student, said her doctor Bernard Van Heerden encouraged the now James Cook University (JCU) student to pursue medicine.

"He always had faith in me that I would get into medicine,” she said.

"I really liked how he had such a good relationship with his patients and was someone that everyone trusted.

Former Heights College student Lize Nortje
Former Heights College student Lize Nortje

"Everyday he is faced with different cases and the amount of knowledge he has to have is admirable.

"There's a problem to solve everyday, and solving these in lots of different ways was really inspiring.”

Named the 2017 Dux of Heights College, Liza was awarded the highest Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) score possible of 99.95.

"I got my OP and heard other people talking about their ATAR score, so I just wanted to see what mine would be,” she said.

"I got home, read my email and called my parents straight away.”

This outstanding achievement placed her in the top 31 students in Queensland out of over 50,000 Year 12 students.

With the new Queensland Senior Schooling system, all Queensland schools will move from OP scores to ATAR scores in 2020.

Lize was also in the top 5 per cent of all the students who received an OP 1.

The medicine student credited her high-school teachers for pushing her to excel.

"All the teachers were really supportive,” Liza said.

"They knew medicine was my goal and helped keep me on track.

"They encouraged me to excel.”

Accepted into medicine at JCU with fellow classmate Samuel Lawson, Lize said her first two weeks of class have been really great.

Former Heights College students Lize Nortje and Samuel Lawson settling into life at James Cook University
Former Heights College students Lize Nortje and Samuel Lawson settling into life at James Cook University

"It's been very different to school, but everyone here has been so supportive,” she said.

"I am living on college, which has been really good to make friends.

"It's also comforting to have another couple of Rockhampton students studying here.”

Not knowing which path of medicine she wants to take, Liza said the decision to attend JCU came around because it focuses upon rural and indigenous health.

"It's a different approach to medicine, and I think it's one that's of value to society,” she said.

"It's a course that helps you gain more of an understanding into the culture of Australia and puts you in regions that need doctors.

"I've been told that JCU doctors are really equipped for the workforce because you do so many placements early on.”



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