Skip to main content

The Headmaster’s Prize for Proxime Accessit: O. J. Gunson

Oliver Gunson is an extremely capable academic, having maintained a place in the top six of the A stream at the end of every year during his time at Auckland Grammar School.

Oliver’s academic strengths are evidenced by his remarkable attainment. In Form 6, he was first in class and recognised with the Flying Officer Alfred P. Fogerty Memorial Scholarship, the Headmaster’s Prize for the Outstanding Scholar in 6A, and awarded the Dr F. Wilson Lang Memorial Prize for Mathematics.

In his end-of-year Cambridge examinations, he scored 94 in A Level Mathematics, 87 in AS Level English Literature, 94 (and Top in New Zealand) in Biology, 96 in Physics, and 97 (and Top in New Zealand ) in Chemistry. He also achieved NZQA Scholarships in English, Calculus, Biology and Earth and Space Science, and an Outstanding Scholarship in Chemistry.

His achievements saw him named on the Honours Board for 2022, and he was one of the 51 students nationally who were awarded Outstanding Scholarship Awards at the 2022 Top Scholars Awards Ceremony. These levels of achievement saw him invited to join Proceres Grammatici, the School’s elite group of our most promising scholarship candidates, in 2023.

Oliver continued these excellent academic standards in 2023, being first in Class in A Level Biology and AS Level Accounting, third in Class in Chemistry and fifth equal in Physics in his Term 3 examinations. His achievements are recognised in 2023 with the award of the Eric Astley Prize, the O’Sullivan Prize for Biology, and the Rabone Prize for Form 7 Science.

Oliver has consistently contributed to the extracurricular life of the School. He has played Football and been involved with Orienteering throughout his time at Grammar, and was Captain of Orienteering in 2023.

He has been a Library Monitor, he completed Duke of Edinburgh Bronze and Silver awards in 2021 and 2022, and in 2023 he has served as a School Prefect. He was also selected as a member of the New Zealand team for the International Chemistry Olympiad.

Oliver is highly regarded by all his masters. He has maintained a straight-A average for his attitude and effort in every end-of-year report. He embodies the Grammar values, especially in his commitment, and his masters draw attention to his “content mastery”, his “excellent problem-solving skills”, his ability to sustain a high level of performance and to act as a role model to his peers at all times.

Oliver hopes to pursue engineering later in life, and next year, he plans to study for a conjoint degree in Engineering and Commerce at the University of Auckland.