As his mates were finishing year 9 at Byron Bay High School, Beau Chaseling was opening his ATAR. At just 15 years old, the guitar-playing surfer is not yet allowed to drive but will be able to study biotechnology at university.

And when he finishes his three-year degree, Beau will be graduating when students his own age will be finishing high school. “That will be pretty cool,” he said. “I might be able to go to Schoolies [week] with them.”

Beau Chaseling on the beach at Byron Bay this week.

Beau Chaseling on the beach at Byron Bay this week.Credit:Danielle Smith

Even when Beau was a toddler, it was clear he was bright. He’d ask his parents to read him the encyclopaedia, and by four or five, he was reading himself.

When the extent of Beau’s scientific talents became clear in primary school – despite missing a year of classes when the family sailed around the Pacific – his parents, Angela and Peter, were hesitant about letting him jump ahead in his schooling. They didn’t want him to be separated from his friends.

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