With one sister carrying out her dream as a professional dancer (Nicola Bolton, Class of 2013) and the other studying agribusiness in NSW (Aimee Bolton, Class of 2015), Olivia Bolton looks up to her older siblings and knows the sky’s the limit. “Having two older sisters has definitely shaped who I am, both with school and generally in life,” she said. “I’ve seen both of them work quite hard for what they’ve got; I watch what they do and learn from their experiences.”
Eloquent and vibrant, it’s not hard to understand why Olivia has been chosen to representative GVGS for 2019 as School Captain. She speaks excitedly about her scholastic achievements, her future beyond secondary school and what the year ahead holds. “You just have to stay passionate and positive,” the ardent 17 year old comments when asked how she will handle adversity over the course of her time as school captain.
Currently living in Shepparton with her mum, Lisa, and her dad, David, on a farmlet, Olivia enjoys being outside and regularly takes part in a wide range of co-curricular activities. Although she is focused on her studies, Olivia knows recreational activities such as competitive horse riding, cattle showing and playing netball for the school help to keep her stress levels low. “I try to ride once or twice a week, at least, which is a good break from Year 12,” she said.
In a bizarre coincidence, Olivia has been teamed up with Patrick Bolton (no relation) for the title of GVGS 2019 School Captains. “We always joke that we’re cousins or twins, but no there’s no relation at all,” she laughed. “People ask that question a lot!”
Being a member of the school leadership team is a daunting concept for some, but Olivia is confident that she has what it takes to make those around her proud. “I’m finding the role really exciting with all the opportunities,” she said. “It’s fun being involved in school activities on a new level and getting the opportunity to be a role model is really great.”
With a large portion of the year still yet to unfold, Olivia is optimistic about what she can give to the school. “Even though it’s only early in the year, both Pat and I have realized that every year is going to be different. Last year’s school captains were fantastic and we really want to echo what they did for the school, but we know we’ve got to do things our own way,” she said. “If you’re passionate about something and you’re confident about it with your partner then it’s worth it.”
The travel bug bit Olivia in 2016, leading her to take part in the month long 2016-2017 World Challenge in Indonesia – completing two community projects: tree planting and building a toilet block – and then heading to St Edwards in Oxford, England for four weeks of exchange at the end of 2017.
It’s no surprise that Olivia is looking forward to the possibility of again embracing the nomadic lifestyle and heading to the UK for 2020, undertaking a GAP year program as a sports coach. “I loved England when I went over for exchange,” she said. “Although, it’s a really big time commitment to go overseas for the whole 12 months, I will have to think about it.”
Olivia’s VCE subjects are English, Further Mathematics, Health and Human Development (H&HD), Biology and Psychology. She chose to fast track Geography in 2018 and her favourite subjects are Psychology and H&HD. She only opted to take on H&HD this year after she realised her passion, choosing to drop Legal Studies from her portfolio. “There is a lot of writing and note taking in Legal Studies, and that really isn’t my favourite thing to do,” she laughed. Adopting a more physiology-centric curriculum has helped Olivia focus in on what she ultimately aims to do at university: study Neuropsychology. “I find neuropsychology really interesting and I want to help people. There are a lot of career paths.” Olivia is keen to study neuropsychology at Monash University after her gap year, but her interest in the science field is relatively new. “I never liked the idea of studying psychology, but then when I started the subject I got really interested in it,” she said. “I’m planning on studying psychology and then further specialising so I can work with stroke patients and patients with brain injuries.”
Looking back over her time at GVGS, Olivia is appreciative of the staff and students she has been surrounded by. “Everyone is so supportive, you can talk to anyone in any year level and the teachers are all so great – I enjoy coming to school for that reason. Everyone is so nice and respectful,” she said.
With a few solid months of experience now under her belt, Oliva’s advice for future school captains is simple. “Be confident in yourself – you’ve been carefully put in this leadership position and you are capable of doing good things for the school.”