Amelia maps bright future

CHAMPION: Amelia Rowe will compete in Sydney.
CHAMPION: Amelia Rowe will compete in Sydney.

AN 11-year-old Maldon girl has made history by becoming the youngest finalist in the National Geographic Australian geography competition.Amelia Rowe, who is home-schooled by her mother Alison, breezed through the multiple choice geography exam in just 35 minutes to finish first in Victoria in both the junior and intermediate categories.Amelia will now travel to Sydney to compete against seven other finalists on June 7.The 16th annual competition attracted almost 90,000 entries from primary and secondary students across Australia.Amelia’s talents are not confined to geography. She plays four musical instruments, including the piano, and taught herself to read at the age of two.Competition co-ordinator Kath Berg said Amelia’s results were “extraordinary”.“Previously the youngest finalist was 13, so it’s a big surprise for an 11-year-old to make the final.“Students are home-schooled for various reasons, but this type of education has obviously suited Amelia, allowing her to translate an interest in geography into world-class geographical knowledge and skills,” Ms Berg said.The winner will represent Australia in the 2011 National Geographic World Championship.