Over the holidays, while most CHAC students were relaxing, eight members of our Year 7 da Vinci Decathlon State Champion team travelled to Sydney to compete in the da Vinci Decathlon National Finals, emerging with a sensational 2nd place in Australia in the Code-Breaking category. The competition was held over four days of challenging competition at Knox Grammar School between Saturday 24 June and Tuesday 28 June, with the team pitting themselves against some of the toughest academic competitors in the country.

In addition to a further full round of competition, students were part of a Great Debate and a Race Around Sydney Quiz, with a little sight-seeing included. In freezing conditions (teams were outside for the  coldest June day in Sydney in 21 years!), our team was identifiable in the warm, hand-knitted red and blue CHAC scarves made for them by Mrs Kylie Leonard. As teams were only required to wear school uniform on the final day of competition, the scarves marked our students clearly as a team and ensured they stood out from the crowd, even when dressed in casual clothes, as well as helping them survive the sub-ten-degree temperatures.

To put their achievement into perspective, our Year 7 team started as eight students out of more than 10,500 competing in State and Regional da Vinci Decathlon events around the country this year, and finished as participants at Nationals with 256 other students, 96 of whom were in their Year 7 division. Given the high standard of competition, the team was delighted to achieve 2nd place in the extremely difficult Code-Breaking category.

The team performed admirably during the competition and competed across ten disciplines as varied as Engineering, Mathematics, Code Breaking, Art and Poetry, Science, English, Ideation, Creative Producers, Cartography and General Knowledge.