Topping the state in dance was not entirely unexpected for 18-year-old Jessica Goodfellow, who was headhunted by the Sydney Dance Company during her final year of high school.
More than 55,000 students will receive their Australian Tertiary Admissions Rank (ATAR) from 9am, determining whether or not they make the cut for university.
Vocalist Isabella Hanley came 10th in the state in her Higher School Certificate music course.
"Bravissimo!" was the word Patrick used to describe his elation at being named one of the state's all-round HSC achievers.
A rare male in classes of mostly female students, Joe Garcia has heard his gender could be an advantage when it comes to getting a job as a freshly minted primary school teacher.
Janek Drevikovsky and Grant Kynaston have been sparring in the classical languages for years but in the end, the HSC proved a dead heat.
The state's brightest young women outshone their male peers at the pinnacle of HSC achievement this year, taking home almost two-thirds of the top trophies.
Out of the 60 most advantaged schools in the state, public schools scored above 90 in 38 per cent of their exams, on average, while the rate was 26 per cent in private schools.
Dwindling enrolments almost closed Ultimo Primary School more than 20 years ago but instead of families fleeing to the suburbs, the inner city.