OP 1 recipient Jessica Pownall, pictured with her dog Jade.
OP 1 recipient Jessica Pownall, pictured with her dog Jade. Contributed

From Monto property to the UNSW: OP 1 surprise

GROWING up on her family's rural property in Monto, Jessica Pownall said being "really good at maths" was a necessity.

It's one that has paid off for the Rockhampton Grammar School graduate, who received an OP 1 on Saturday.

"I was so excited, I wasn't really expecting a one, I was expecting a three," she said.

"We got up early enough so I checked about 6am."

Jessica said before she became a boarder, she grew up on her family's Monto cattle property and attended St Therese's Primary School from Prep through to Year 7.

"I have lived there my whole life, we just had beef cattle really, I lived a normal country life and got to board at Rockhampton," Jessica said.

"I had never been away from home before, I think I coped better than some people did."

It was the near three-hour move from home which has prepared Jessica for her next big step.

After a few months lending a hand on the family property, Jessica will move Sydney to study engineering at the University of New South Wales.

"Engineering has always been a big thing on the property, it's really important, and I'm really good at maths," she said.

"So it made sense.

"I did some work experience in Melbourne at an engineering company and loved it."

Jessica said with direct flights from Sydney to Monto, she hopes to return back home often.

As she reminisces on her schooling years, Jessica said the highlight has been the people she has spent them with.

"Boarding is probably a stand out," she said.

"Living with the girls and all the functions we go to."



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