THE hard work and dedication of 2012 graduating seniors and OP 1 recipients Harmony Douwes and Samuel Waltisbuhl continues to be recognised after they were both awarded with the Australian Government's Student Prize for 2012.
The national award recognises an exceptional level of academic excellence and achievement of students in senior secondary years.
Five hundred students are awarded each year with the prize of $2000 and a certificate signed by the education minister.
Harmony was surprised when she received a letter in the mail a few months ago informing her she had been nominated for the national award.
"It was definitely a nice surprise. I'd never really heard of it before or knew anything about it. I'm still not sure who would've nominated me," she said.
On Monday she received the certificate and letter of congratulations signed by former Education Minister Peter Garrett in the mail telling her she had received the prize.
Considering Harmony's exceptionally high results and long list of achievements from her final year of school at Gympie State High School it's no surprise to her family and friends that the OP 1 recipient received the award.
Receiving straight As in all of her subjects at school, including the highest score possible of a VHA 10 in Maths B and C and being named the dux of Gympie High, Harmony excelled both academically as well as through her leadership role as a vice-captain for the school.
With the endless number of possibilities an OP1 brings, both Harmony and Samuel decided to take a gap year to deliberate what career path they would commit to at university.
Cooloola Christian College graduate Samuel plans to study medicine after completing his Gympie Regional Council business traineeship at the Gympie Library this year.
Harmony is currently working for The Gympie Times in advertising, but next year plans to start university.
She is still unsure of what to study but has narrowed her list of choices down to either material engineering, an art degree majoring in set and costume designer or vet science.