Nine outstanding leaders from secondary schools across the Diocese of Wollongong were celebrated this week at the Bishop's Student Excellence Awards. Students and their families, principals, and Catholic Education Office staff gathered with the Bishop of Wollongong, Most Rev. Brian Mascord, and the Director of Schools, Peter Hill, to recognise the excellent achievements and contributions of these young women and men.
A prestigious event in the calendar, the Bishop's Student Excellence Awards provide an opportunity to acknowledge the religious, academic, and community-based accomplishments of a Year 12 student from each of the Catholic systemic secondary schools in the diocese, as nominated by their principal.
Catholic Education Diocese of Wollongong (CEDoW) Head of School Improvement Services – Secondary, John Lo Cascio, said the awards are presented to students who embody true dedication to the vision of Catholic Education and Gospel values.
“In their own spheres of influence, these young people have made significant contributions to the vibrancy of their school communities in an exemplary manner,” he said. “These awards are a way of recognising students who promote our diocese's core values of integrity, compassion, justice, and hope in a truly meaningful way."
At the ceremony, Bishop Brian congratulated the award recipients and thanked them for making a difference as a light in their world. After presenting the students with their awards, he encouraged them to “take everything [they’ve] been given [in their Catholic education] and continue to make a difference out there.”
In the presence of proud family members, recipients were individually acknowledged for being active participants in school life and positive, compassionate role models; dedicated students excelling in their studies and social justice pursuits; and proud representatives of their schools, committed to service and highly regarded by staff and students alike.
Director of Schools, Peter Hill, expressed the immense pride he had in the awardees and their achievements. ”I am so impressed by the calibre of student leaders across our diocese. My admiration has only grown after hearing your principals describe—with fitting pride—your many and varied accomplishments."
“Whether witnessing to your faith, participating in your parish, leading your fellow students, or reaching out to those in need, each of you in various ways has reflected the model of Christ. In a time when many have felt hopeless, you have continued to make known the love of our God.”
The Year 12 recipients of the Bishop's Student Excellence Awards for 2022 are:
|Neave Keenan||St Joseph's Catholic High School, Albion Park|
|Georgia Finlay||Holy Spirit College, Bellambi|
|Sarah Anscombe||St Francis Catholic College, Edmondson Park|
|Athena Fajardo||Magdalene Catholic College, Narellan|
|Jade Poulton||St John the Evangelist Catholic High School, Nowra|
|Luc-Pierre Tannous||Corpus Christi Catholic High School, Oak Flats|
|Gwendolyn Ucar||St Benedict's Catholic College, Oran Park|
|Tameka Thorne||John Therry Catholic College, Rosemeadow|
|Gabriel Garcia||Mount Carmel Catholic College, Varroville|
Of the invited guests, Tony Sanderson, General Manager, Catholic Development Fund (CDF), and Trevor Kellam, Manager – Client Relations, CDF were particularly acknowledged for their ongoing sponsorship of the awards.
Mr Hill wished the graduates well for the future. “The reality of life is that things may not be going so well at any given point in time, but as people of faith we can always have hope for the future.”
“As this significant time of your life comes to a close, I encourage you to keep your hope alive. I know you’ll take the virtues, values, attitudes, and skills of your Catholic education, and—as bearers of Christ’s love—continue to light the way for the people around you. I wish you every joy as you write the next chapters of your stories.” — Peter Hill, CEDoW Director of Schools
The Bishop's Student Excellence Awards are a diocesan-wide celebration of the personal and community achievements of young people graduating from our Catholic schools. For more information about these awards and our CEDoW Awards and Recognition Program, visit our Lighting the Way Faith & Learning Awards and Recognition page.