2023 Graduate Stories: Mundaring Christian College (MCC)

For those of us who think that television viewing now consists of creepy crime dramas and police detectives trying to hunt down deranged human beings – meet Mia Steyger!

The Mundaring Christian College (MCC) alumni is now in the first year of a Psychology & Criminology degree at Murdoch University, and she studies case files of repeat offenders and the sordid details around their crimes and misdemeanours.

“From a faith perspective, I find the whole concept of sin, free will and the way that people interact to be an interesting concept,” says Mia.

“The psychological side of the study asks questions about people’s motivation for their behaviour. The criminology side determines whether the actions undertaken affect another person to the point that their liberty is jeopardised.”

Mia’s hopes of working within the Justice system in Perth or other parts of the world have only just taken their first steps, having begun tertiary studies just a few weeks ago after a successful ATAR campaign in 2023 at Mundaring’s Parkerville campus.

“I was fortunate to have support from encouraging teachers such as Mr [David] Pethick [Team Coordinator of the Arts – MCC] and also from staff who believed that I was capable of actually studying such a unique course at university.”

The first few weeks on the university campus have been challenging for Mia, who has a strong faith and attends Midland’s local Seventh-Day Adventist church.

“People approach life in many different ways, and it’s important that we scrutinise everything that is put in front of us. I think I have learnt that from my studies, and I am grateful for the supportive environment I had at Mundaring. Now I feel that I am very much in the big world, and there are several competing viewpoints every day that I have to contend with.”

The four-year course will equip Mia with a double degree. Still, her hopes are for a further two years after she completes her registration as a Psychiatrist to really understand and work on a deep level with law enforcement services across Australia.

Wow! That’s all a bit heavy! Now for something a little more accessible…

Meet Jake Brinkman. He plays in a local rock and roll band, grows his hair and writes poetic lyrics for his solo music projects.

He has also been accepted by the University of Western Australia (UWA) into a select group of scientists to study ‘Frontier Physics’ – a rare form of quantum physics focusing on innovative research and NASA-level computations.

Should we expect you to be joining Elon Musk with his rockets to Mars at some point?

“My aim is actually to go to CERN [European Organisation for Nuclear Research] where the Large Hadron Collider [the world’s largest and highest-energy particle collider] team is currently working through the relationship between quantum physics and general relativity,” says Jake.

Of course, I should have guessed... For those of us not steeped in the world of quantum physics, can you tell me in a sentence what they do at CERN?

“Well, the high-energy particle experiments can provide data to support different scientific models. For example, the Standard Model and Higgsless model require high-energy particle experiment data to validate their predictions and allow further theoretical development. That’s where the Hadron Collider comes in. The Standard Model was completed by detection using the Higgs Boson Collider in 2012. However, there is still work to be done on the Higgless model.”


“Having said all of that, it is still the early days of my studies, and I feel very fortunate to have gotten this far already. I am very grateful to the entire Mathematics Department at MCC – and I mean absolutely everyone – as they all pitched in together to get me to this point in my studies.  Their love of math resonated with my own, and I thought it was extremely helpful that they all communicated so well within the department. I often found that difficult questions we asked as a class were discussed thoroughly, and an excited teacher often presented elegant explanations the next day. ”

So, once you leave for Switzerland and become the next Einstein, will we ever see you again?

“I still feel very much a part of MCC, with my ATAR friends having all been accepted into university, which I’m so excited about. I’ll be keeping up with everyone, and I am thankful to my friends for keeping me and each other relatively sane.”

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