TWO years after leaving a refugee camp, not knowing where fate may take him, Ram Khanal has been named dux of Murray High School.
The Bhutanese refugee yesterday scored a tertiary entrance of 90.05, the highest recorded at the school this year.
The high score will earn Ram, 18, a two-year university scholarship and the ambitious new arrival has his sights set on becoming a doctor, medical researcher and also a computer engineer.
He said his “happiness was boundless” after receiving news of his year 12 success which he conceded will probably see him be a student until the age of 30.
Ram said when he was in the Nepalese refugee camp he believed his English was pretty good but received a rude awakening when he arrived on the Border.
“But when I arrived in Australia I couldn’t understand anyone and they couldn’t understand me,” he said.
Ram showed he was no academic slouch when he blitzed a trial maths exam soon after arriving for year 10 at Murray High.
He has also proved an entertainer, doing a traditional Bhutanese dance on muck-up day and teaching it to five class-mates.
Ram was one of a group of six Bhutanese who successfully completed year 12 this year at Murray High.
They were all thrilled with their results and university entry scores and you could not wipe the smiles off their teachers’ faces either.
They had met the group when their poor English skills had almost overshadowed their natural ability, and Ram’s brother, Dilli, now 20, had been turned away from James Fallon High School because he was too old.
Many of the refugees are aspiring to careers they dreamt of in the refugee camp.
The group’s only female, Surga Bhujel, said she wanted to be a nurse.
“I worked in the camp as a volunteer in the hospital and I wanted to do it,” she explained.
Durga Adhikari, 21, wants to be a nurse too and already has early entry into a CSU course, while Gopal Dahal, 20, will study medial radiation science.
Dilli Khanal, 20, has a place in an accounting course at CSU and Tek Dahal, 21, with a score of 83.25 is heading to Wollongong to study mining engineering.