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Alice Pung: Surviving and Thriving through the final years of High School

Alice Pung

Session Info:

When I was in Year 12, I had a nervous breakdown due to all the pressures of the final year of school. No one in my family had ever been to university before yet it was always expected of me that I would go. Yet no one expected that without much cultural capital, and the difficulties of coming from a family where one parent can’t read or write (or even speak English), it would be hard, due to this prevailing myth of the “Asian quiet achiever.” Today I work as a lawyer and a writer, and it is very important to me to tell students that it is okay to feel doubt, and even to fail at times, as long as they get back up.


  • Learning to succeed means Learning to deal with failure
  • Perseverance
  • Resilience
  • Hope
  • And strategies for putting the HSC/VCE year in context

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