Education excellence honour for local students

NSW Department of Education

Five students from local schools have been recognised for their outstanding contribution to Aboriginal education in NSW public schools at the 13th annual Nanga Mai Awards.

The students are among 17 academically successful students, confident public speakers, talented performing artists and outstanding sportspeople to win an award this year. They joined eight dedicated teachers, community leaders and schools who were also recognised at the virtual award ceremony held on December 1.

The local winners are:

  • Outstanding Achievement in Public Speaking: Briannan Eggert, Elderslie High School
  • Outstanding Student Leadership: Tyleaha Tompkins, Briar Road Public School
  • Outstanding Performance Creative/Performing/Visual Arts: Shaelah Saunders, Briar Road Public School
  • Outstanding Academic Excellence: Bella Needham, Elizabeth Macarthur High School
  • NSW VET in Schools Student of the Year Award: Georgia Marchbank, Campbelltown Performing Arts High School

Minister for Education and Early Childhood Learning Sarah Mitchell said she was proud to share, witness and celebrate the incredible level of educational brilliance displayed within Aboriginal education in New South Wales.

“It is thrilling to see that by embracing the diversity of schools, communities, students and staff that support and champion Aboriginal education, we can continue to fully embody the spirit of Nanga Mai, which is the Eora word for ‘to dream’,” Ms Mitchell said.

NSW Department of Education Georgina Harrisson said the Nanga Mai awards recognised students, staff and community members demonstrating excellence across all areas of education from academic achievement, performing arts and public speaking, through to sport and leadership.

Ms Harrisson said despite the challenging year, there had been a doubling of nominations for the awards.

“I’d like to congratulate all that were nominated for the awards today and commend our amazing recipients,” she said. “The leadership, creativity and excellence demonstrated is undeniable and is the result of our targeted programs, strong community partnerships and the sheer dedication of our tremendous staff. These combined efforts are integral to the ongoing successes of Aboriginal education in NSW.”

The 16th Annual Nanga Mai Awards is supported by: Aboriginal Education Council, Hicksons Lawyers, University of New South Wales, Teachers Health, Expedite IT, RD Facilities Management, MBB Group, University of Sydney and Curijo.

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