Student shoots for the stars

Ashwini SaseedaranSouth Western Times

PETER Goddard is shooting for the stars after achieving an outstanding ATAR result of 99.8 last year.

After years of hard work and a string of days and nights spent with his head in books, Peter is now off to the University of Sydney to fulfil a lifetime goal of studying aerospace engineering.

From a young age, Peter whiled away time by watching space DVDs and immersing himself in the work of Elon Musk – an American business magnate, founder of space transport service SpaceX and chief executive officer of Tesla, which left him in awe of spatial realms and all its wonders.

But apart from choosing to divulge in indoor time by watching video content on rockets and planes, Peter also enjoys plenty of outdoor time which he said played a major role in shaping both his personal and educational paths.

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“We grew up on a Donnybrook farm out near the countryside so there was a lot of riding motorbikes, driving cars, looking at the stars and mucking around on the farm,” he said.

“I used to pull stuff apart all the time and learn how it works so that led me into thinking engineering might be the way.”

The 17-year-old Bunbury Cathedral Grammar School graduate expressed his excitement to study and live in a bustling city after growing up in a small town.

“It’s a big change moving to Sydney but it’s also really exciting and I’m really looking forward to making my dreams a reality.

“It’s satisfying to know all that hard work paid off, it’s such a rewarding feeling.

“I was expecting good results but 99.8 was definitely a surprise.”

When asked if he would consider heading home to Donnybrook after completing his degree, Peter happily spoke of moving to Sydney as just the beginning.

“I’ll probably end up in America or something, I hope to work at (global aerospace company) Lockheed Martin or with Elon Musk.”

Instead of feeling heavy-hearted about leaving his family and friends behind, Peter gratefully acknowledged the support he had received from those around him.

“I have a really tight-knit bunch of friends here and they’ve helped me through.

“All the teachers at Grammar have also pushed me – a lot of them are from Donnybrook so I know them personally as well and they have helped me both in and out of school.”

Peter will begin the next phase of his life as one of the first students starting a new Space Engineering course offered by University of Sydney.

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