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Congratulations Peter Susanto

A hard-working, humble former HRS student is the 2024 NT Young Australian of the Year

NEWS 27 Feb 2024

Peter Susanto (OH 2021) has never under-estimated the value of hard work. Neither has he overlooked the importance of remaining humble and helping the people around him.

Those traits and his commitment to helping to build strong and inclusive communities in his hometown of Darwin have earned Peter the prestigious 2024 NT Young Australian of the Year accolade.

Peter was Dux of Haileybury Rendall School in 2021 when he achieved a near-perfect ATAR of 99.60, despite being the youngest student in his cohort. He is now in his third year of a Bachelor of Clinical Science at Charles Darwin University.

“Many teachers and staff at HRS influenced my passions and ambitions in many ways — their hard work doesn’t go unnoticed. My school friends were also a great bunch who accepted me as one of their own and they often had great ideas to make the world a better place”
Peter Susanto (OH 2021)

“I grew up in a close-knit family where my parents and grandmother poured all their attention and love into my sister, Eva, and me. They provided us with a wealth of knowledge, wisdom and experiences. Their influence has shaped me into who I am today. The Darwin community has also been very supportive of Eva and me.”

During his time at HRS, Peter made the most of every opportunity available. At the age of 12, he came second in the RoboCup National event that encourages students to develop their skills and interest in robotics and computing.

“Although I am currently studying medicine, I maintain my interest in robotics by designing and coding websites when I have spare time. I believe that robotics and other computing skills are becoming increasingly important in all fields of work, and enable us to improve lives,” says Peter.

At HRS, Peter was also a keen swimmer and represented the school in interschool tournaments. He was an Academic Prefect and took part in the Australian Maths Competition, the Australian Computational and Linguistics Olympiad, and debating events. Peter was a regular speaker at special events including Reconciliation Day, Harmony Day and the Graduation Dinner.

In his final year at HRS, Peter also competed in the Australian Brain Bee Challenge neuroscience competition and became the NT’s first national champion.

His decision to pursue a career in medicine is inspired by a motivation to help sick people find better health, and also by his family doctor, Dr Albert Foreman, who is one of the country’s oldest practising physicians at the age of 93.

“I am passionate about neuroscience. The brain is still largely a mystery and many conditions affecting the brain are not well understood. I am particularly keen on neuroscience-related specialties, such as radiology and neurology,” says Peter.

Outside of his university studies, Peter is still actively involved in supporting people in his local community — a commitment that helped him to be recognised as the 2024 NT Young Australian of the Year.

“I’ve been a swimmer for Nightcliff Swimming Club since 2017, competing in community events. I enjoy the camaraderie within our diverse team,” says Peter.

“Every Sunday evening since 2015, Eva and I have raised funds for a different charity by selling our grandma’s delicious Indonesian snacks on the Nightcliff Foreshore. Please come and find us if you’re ever in Darwin! It has been a great way for us to learn a lot of life skills and enrich the lives of people in our local community.”