WORLD-VIEW: Downlands College Dux Zoe Hulme-Peake has accepted a position at Cambridge University where she plans to study philosophy.
WORLD-VIEW: Downlands College Dux Zoe Hulme-Peake has accepted a position at Cambridge University where she plans to study philosophy. Contributed

From Downlands College to Cambridge University

CAMBRIDGE University is calling for one of Queensland's smartest Year 12 graduates recognised at the weekend for her hard work and dedication.

Downlands College's Zoe Hulme-Peake ranked in the top 0.06 per cent of all 2018 graduates, earning her a Queensland Certificate of Education Distinguished Achievement Award - one of 30 in the state.

The incredible result follows her artfully juggling a full academic load combined with extra curricular activities such as music and science.

"I know that I did well in Grade 12 because I set those high expectations for myself to achieve the best I could, but I didn't know I was on par with the top 0.06% in Queensland," Ms Hulme-Peake said.

The award was somewhat a surprise but smashed the belief that a semi-regional school such as Downlands could perform as well as - if not better - than some of the prestigious institutions in major cities such as Brisbane or the Gold Coast.

"Downlands is quite a rural school compared to other schools in Brisbane," she said.

"I didn't expect any awards or accolades."

Ms Hulme-Peake scored an Overall Position of one, along with four other students in her cohort.

Described by her teachers as a once-in-a-generation student, Ms Hulme-Peake balanced a strong commitment to the arts in her senior schooling as a playwright, actor, musician and orator, and attended both the National and International Youth Science forums.

She has accepted a place at Homerton College at Cambridge University in the UK and plans to study Philosophy Tripos.

"I'm really interested in the inter-play between physics and philosophy," she said.

"I'm not sure where my study will lead, but it's important to me to integrate an element of social justice and change for the better into my future career."

Ms Hulme-Peake spoke to Downlands' current Year 12 cohort this week, offering up some advice.

"If I could give any advice, it would be see beyond the academic side and see (school) as an opportunity to equip yourself with skills you need to become the person you want to be," she said.