Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR): School perspective on implementing new senior assessment system

Chris Tobin1

1Principal, Merrimac State High School


This session will provide a school’s perspective on implementing the new Queensland Certificate of Education. Attention will be given to explain the ATAR process as it relates to international students seeking university entry. Questions will be taken at the end of the presentation.


Chris is a Senior Principal for Education Queensland and his school, Merrimac State High School, has a very extensive and prestigious relationship with the Chinese community on the Gold Coast. He is honored by his school’s long history and recognition for teaching and promoting Chinese culture and language both within the school, and the wider community. To further this Chinese and Australian relationship, Merrimac State High School was awarded the respected status of a Confucius Classroom. Chris appreciates Chinese parents who pursue an Australian education for their children, clearly understand the value of being able to communicate and transact business in both Chinese and English.

Merrimac State High School has always developed strong educational links, and was an early pioneer in developing an off-shore Education Queensland program for Year 10 students in a Chinese secondary school for students who studied in their home town school of Xian. These Chinese teenagers then undertook their Year 11 and 12 studies at Merrimac State High School, graduating to university life, and gaining skills and qualifications that saw them gain success in numerous fields of endeavor. At Merrimac State High School Chinese students are encouraged to be active members of the school community through their academic studies, home life and recreational interests.

Education Queensland has always been a great supporter of teacher’s cultural experiences. The school staff have shown a growing interest in Chinese culture with a number of staff trips to China, visiting culturally significant areas and visiting many fine Chinese schools.

Chris has had 36 years’ experience as a teacher, administrator, and policy advisor with the Department of Education across many locations in Queensland. Chris lives on the Gold Coast with his wife, Jenny and their sons, who both study at university. They enjoy travelling to China, Japan and other South East Asian countries to experience the cultural richness, history and diversity.


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