The wait is finally over for nervous HSC students who woke to text messages with their results on Tuesday morning.
Twelve Illawarra students have excelled in a number of their HSC subjects to feature in the all-round achievers' list.
Eleven Illawarra students also made the 'top achievers' list for excelling in a particular subject.
Smith's Hill High School again featured heavily in both lists, with eight in the all-rounders' list and seven students securing a top achiever nod.
But just as impressive, if not more, was the top achiever status achieved by Kiama resident Leonie Cannon.
The German-born 20-year-old only arrived in Australia three years ago.
Cannon then took a year off school before undertaking a Tertiary Preparation Course (TPC) at the TAFE Wollongong campus.
It was through this two-year program that Cannon not only completed her HSC, but excelled in mathematics.
"It was a great option for me. The TPC definitely suited my needs at the time," Cannon told the Mercury.
"After coming here I was having a bit of trouble acclimatising to being in a completely different country, especially the cultural differences and the language.
"I feel like the TAFE course really was the best option for me rather than going to a conventional high school.
"I think TAFE would also be a good option for a lot of other students as well.
"To do so well is an honour for me. I really feel like I've accomplished something special in just three years. I'm very happy."
Cannon is hopeful that she can continue her love of languages and study linguistics at Macquarie University.
"That's my dream, hopefully I can do it," she said.
Hundreds of Illawarra students were also recognised as distinguished achievers.
This prestigious 'all-rounders' honour is afforded only to the students who achieved a result in the highest band (Band 6 or Band E4) in 10 or more units of courses in their current pattern of study.
Smith's Hill High School principal David Deitz said it was no fluke students at the Wollongong-based selective high school kept on doing well in their HSC.
'It is not always the best and brightest who achieve the highest results in the HSC," Mr Deitz said.
"It is often those students who apply themselves, that are committed to their studies, who set personal bests and goals and have that athlete mindset around achievements.
"That's what we've seen this year and the wonderful reward of that for those students is that they have also received these great accolades."
The Illawarra's all-rounders
- Black, Sebastian - Smiths Hill High School
- Clark, Jarrah - Smiths Hill High School
- Charlton, Laura - Smiths Hill High School
- Hedayati, Gemma - Smiths Hill High School
- Hurley, Jonah - Edmund Rice College
- Kershaw, Kate - Holy Spirit College Bellambi
- Mahon, Grace - Smiths Hill High School
- Milross, Mary - St Mary Star of the Sea College
- Riddell, Ava - Corpus Christi Catholic High School
- Rylander, Sarah - Smiths Hill High School
- Turner, James - Smiths Hill High School
- Wang, Kangnan - Smiths Hill High School