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Con Theocharous and Alex Khlentzos: How topping the HSC years ago impacted their lives

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In a special feature by The Sydney Morning Herald, Con Theocharous and Alex Khlentzos both share how their lives were influenced many years ago when they received their Higher School Certificate (HSC) scores.

Mr Theocharous, a proud Cypriot Australian, graduated in 1981 from Sydney Grammar School with a top mark of 486. He finished in the top one percent of the state of New South Wales.

“It was a life-changing experience for us. We needed to work to make it, so it was elation,” Mr Theocharous tells SMH journalists, Natassia Chrysanthos and Monica Attia, about the moment he found out his results.

Con Theocharous and Alex Khlentzos topped the HSC years ago.

At the time, Mr Theocharous’ parents wanted him to become a teacher but he followed in his brother’s footsteps instead and studied a five-year medical course at the University of Sydney.

“I chose pathology as a career and I was very focused on that as well – internships, residences, five years of specialist training. And I’ve been in one job since then, at St George Hospital in Kogarah all along,” he said.

Twenty years later in 2001, Alex Khlentzos, a student from Armidale High School, came along and topped the state in two subjects – mathematics and biology.

Alex Khlentzos is now a GP in Dubbo.

Khlentzos remembers leafing through university guides to determine his next steps: he landed on a Bachelor of Science at the University of Queensland, majoring in drug design and development.

But after two years working at the university’s therapeutic research, he realised it wasn’t the right path and decided to study medicine at the University of Sydney instead.

These days he works as a GP in Dubbo and says it’s not a career but “a vocation or calling.”

“Having that chance to care for people who are incredibly valuable, I think that’s just wonderful,” Khlentzos concluded.

Source: The Sydney Morning Herald.

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