Rockhampton Grammar School graduate Sarah MacKenzie is on track to study a bachelor of Pharmacy at UQ after she received an OP 1 result on Saturday.
Rockhampton Grammar School graduate Sarah MacKenzie is on track to study a bachelor of Pharmacy at UQ after she received an OP 1 result on Saturday.

Rural girl pursuing her pharmaceutical passion

AT first glimpse, Sarah MacKenzie thought there could have been a glitch on the Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Authority website.

Unaware OP results were released at 12am on Saturday, Sarah assumed they would be available about 9am.

"I went onto my learning account to make sure it all worked before nine (o'clock),” she recalled.

"And the number came up and I saw it and was like, 'okay', and refreshed just to make sure it wasn't trying to trick me.”

There was no trick, Sarah was the deserving recipient of a perfect score; an OP 1.

"I cried a little bit and was very excited and called mum,” she said.

Sarah has dreams of studying a bachelor of pharmacy at the University of Queensland, but has another anxious wait ahead with course offers not out until January 16, 2017.

"I am pretty relieved I have got the (OP) result now, and that's over and done with,” she said.

Growing up on a cattle station north of Dingo, Sarah realises the need for medical assistance the further rural you go.

She said her studies may lead her back to a career in a regional centre, but is taking it one step at a time.

"I did work experience at Alma St Pharmacy and I really loved that and I wanted to do a health science without being a doctor,” she said.

"I still wanted to help people in a way, maybe be a researcher, or open my own pharmacy, but there's still while to go.”

After completing her schooling at Dingo Primary, Sarah became a boarder at the Rockhampton Grammar School from Year 7.

"I thought it was good, it was a bit of a change from small public school in Dingo to the Rockhampton Grammar School which has hundreds of people,” she said.

"I started boarding in grade 7 before it became a part of high school, it was a bit of a change, but I was ready.

"I found it was easier to become independent not having to rely on mum to do my washing and get ahead.

"Boarding helped me become more of a mature person.”


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