A graduating student from each of our eight Diocesan Catholic secondary schools has been recognised for exemplifying the best of Catholic education at last night’s Bishop’s Student Excellence Awards at the Campbelltown Catholic Club.
Diocese of Wollongong Vicar-General, Fr. Bernard Gordon, presented the awards to the Year 12 students at a special afternoon ceremony in front of proud family members, teachers, principals, and senior leadership from the Catholic Education Office.
The annual awards seek to recognise the religious, academic and community-based achievement of our Year 12 students, and serve as a Diocesan-wide celebration of all the young people graduating from our Catholic schools and the cumulative contribution of Catholic school staff over the years in support of these students.
Director of Schools, Peter Turner, said the award recipients exemplified the positive influence of a Catholic education. He expressed his pride in the students and their outstanding achievements, and his high hopes for them becoming agents of change and good works in the world.
“You have embraced the opportunities provided to you through the gift of a Catholic education...you have grown and developed values, attitudes, skills and knowledge that can benefit you, and more importantly, be of benefit to others. I urge you to remain focused on those values most clearly seen in the example of the person of Jesus Christ and know that authentic leadership is found in the service of others.”
The Vicar-General also commended the students on their achievements and quality of character. He reflected on the meaning of ‘excellence’ and offered advice to those gathered on how to keep growing as people of calibre.
“One of the greatest architectural advancements was that of the arch [and] how its two sides can take the weight of a building,” he said. “The two sides of the arch are like two very important virtues in life - magnificence and humility. If you get the right balance, they support each other. So be magnificent - strive always for the perfection of your gifts; but also continue to be humble.”
Congratulations to the Year 12 recipients of the Bishop's Student Excellence Awards for 2018:
Click the names below for an excerpt from each student's citation and to hear their full citation read aloud.
Lleyton Callaway - St Joseph's Catholic High School, Albion Park
"Lleyton Callaway is widely recognised and most highly regarded within the St Joseph’s, Albion Park community as a student who has displayed consistent effort, excellent achievement and true dedication across multiple areas of school life - including his academic studies, sport, community service and exemplary conduct. Lleyton is an exceptionally talented, well-rounded young man. Throughout 2018, he has displayed outstanding leadership and service in his role as School Captain, has been an excellent ambassador for St Joseph’s across many areas of responsibility and interest. Lleyton has been a wonderful model for all members of the school community - he is an example of what can be achieved with a strong work ethic and a positive, confident attitude."
Isabelle Tannous - Corpus Christi Catholic High School, Oak Flats
"As School Captain, Isabelle Tannous has embodied the Catholic values of Corpus Christi, Oak Flats through selflessly giving of her time. She has made an outstanding contribution to the Catholic life and identity of the school community and is an active member of Ss Peter & Paul Parish, Kiama. As a learner, Isabelle has proven herself to be an exceptional student. As an individual, she is a young woman who acts in accordance with her values and faith - a congruence of character that reflects well on her and her family. Isabelle has executed her formal leadership responsibilities with maturity and grace, proving to be an excellent ambassador for the school, and has actively engaged herself in all dimensions of the school community."
Declan Cleary - Holy Spirit College, Bellambi
"Throughout his time at Holy Spirit College, Bellambi, Declan Cleary has demonstrated the qualities of a true servant leader. He has always been available to assist teachers and his peers, and has given his time often and willingly to any school event. Declan has wholeheartedly participated in various extracurricular activities and wider community service. His exceptional service and leadership has also been demonstrated as College Captain for 2018. Declan has approached all aspects of school life with Jesus as his example, and epitomises the Christian concepts of love, kindness, generosity and charity. He has committed himself wholeheartedly to the service of others and proudly upholding the ethos of the College."
Mikayla Gauci - St Benedict's Catholic College, Oran Park
"During her time as a student, Mikayla Gauci has truly embodied the core values of St Benedict’s, Oran Park: love of God, love of neighbour, and love of learning. She has demonstrated continued engagement, active participation and leadership, and an authentic commitment across a range of activities and areas of school life - including her studies, the Catholic life of the College, and social justice and outreach programs. Mikayla is a young woman who has inspired her peers and earned the respect and high regard of the staff and school leadership team. Her senior year has been an outstanding example of the power of positivity and enthusiasm, active participation and a willingness to build and grow a sense of community spirit and culture."
Sarah Vella - Magdalene Catholic High School, Narellan
"Sarah Vella has been an exemplary student who has consistently displayed values, qualities and attributes that are deeply embedded in the Catholic culture and identity of Magdalene, Narellan as a faith-based learning community. She has demonstrated a deep commitment to service in her senior school years and has been an active participant and leader in the school community across a number of areas, including social justice, sport and the creative arts. Sarah generously gives of her time, always striving to succeed in her learning, and treats others with dignity and respect. She is a young woman of integrity, honesty and humility and has demonstrated an excellent work ethic throughout her schooling. Her determination, enthusiasm and attitude are a fine reflection on both Sarah and her family, and her caring and compassionate approach is a source of blessing to all with whom she comes into contact."
Eleanor Petricevic - St John the Evangelist Catholic High School, Nowra
"As a school leader of St John's, Nowra, Eleanor Petricevic’s focus has been centred in the quality and sincerity of her actions. She always gives of her time and energy to anyone who needs it. Throughout her school life, Eleanor has participated in numerous charitable and volunteer events, and has proudly represented the school in the wider community on many occasions. She possesses outstanding talent and is deeply committed to the creative arts. She has also achieved academically, attaining an Outstanding Excellence in Academic Studies Award for being placed in the top three at the school in five HSC subjects. Eleanor has demonstrated continual dedication to the Catholic ethos of the school. Her sincere gentleness of heart and genuine humility most truly reflect the school motto of Pax Christi."
Jeswin Jo Joseph - John Therry Catholic High School, Rosemeadow
"Jeswin Jo Joseph has been an outstanding member of the John Therry, Rosemeadow school community, recognised for his service and public witness to his faith as a senior student. He has been actively involved in all areas of school life and has made a most positive contribution to our school and parish communities, particularly extra-curricular and social justice oriented experiences. Jeswin has consistently demonstrated a strong work ethic and has fully committed himself to his studies. As School Vice Captain, he has also demonstrated a care for others above himself and has been a wonderful role model for staff and students at John Therry."
Lachlan Walsh - Mount Carmel Catholic College, Varroville
"Lachlan Walsh has been a student who has consistently and authentically displayed the true spirit of Mount Carmel, Varroville - through his words and actions, and most often, in the ordinariness of the day to day life of the school community. Lachlan possesses many outstanding personal qualities and attributes that have earned him high respect and admiration from his peers and teachers. As College Vice Captain, he has been an excellent senior student and an outstanding role model for all in his pastoral group, HSC courses and in the school environment. In all Lachlan’s encounters and interactions, he exhibits honesty, integrity and good character. He has been approachable to both students and staff, and truly epitomises the values and character of a Mount Carmel graduate."
Listen to the full playlist of student citations read out at the awards ceremony here...