Hunter students shine in Aboriginal awards

NSW Department of Education

Newcastle and Hunter region students have secured almost half the awards recognising excellence in Aboriginal education in NSW public schools at the 16th Nanga Mai Awards.

Eight local students were 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.

  • Outstanding Student Leadership: Hunter Blunden, Lambton High School
  • Outstanding Student Leadership: Ella Warrall, Newcastle High School
  • Outstanding Achievement in Sport: Sienna Gordon, Dungog Public School
  • Outstanding Achievement in Sport: Milan Hammond, Hunter Sports High School
  • Outstanding Achievement in Sport: Lauchlyn Spicer, Hunter Sports High School
  • Outstanding Academic Excellence: Tameka Murray, Toronto High School
  • Outstanding All Round Student: Bella Way, Cardiff South Public School
  • Outstanding Achievement in Public Speaking: Toby Smith, Whitebridge 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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