Archbishop’s Awards recognise compassionate leaders

A group of 49 Year 12 students from Sydney Catholic secondary schools were honoured at the annual Archbishop of Sydney Awards for Student Excellence.

Archbishop of Sydney Anthony Fisher OP presented each student with a certificate and medallion in recognition of their contributions to their schools and communities in front of family and friends at the ceremony, held at St Mary’s Cathedral College Sydney on 8 September and followed by a prayer service at St Mary’s Cathedral.

Now in its 18th year, the award acknowledges students’ achievements and contribution to school life in areas including leadership, academic and sporting life, social justice, parish life and faith, and community service.

The awards were supported by Episcopal Vicar for Education Rev Michael McLean and Executive Director of Sydney Catholic Schools Dr Dan White.

Your dreams have … inspired others around you.

– Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP

At the ceremony the Archbishop Fisher quoted Oscar Wilde to highlight the commitment to faith, service and leadership shown by the students who received the awards. He drew on the English playwrights view that “One’s dreams must be big enough so as to not lose sight of them” to praise their efforts in the wider community.

“You are here today because in your years at a Catholic school you’ve learnt to reflect on what is really important and have set about achieving it,” he said.

“In the process of deepening your faith, you dreamed big enough to do the things that others now honour. And so your dreams have … inspired others around you.”

I like helping people and being part of a community.

– Elroy D’Souza

Executive Director of Sydney Catholic Schools, Dr Dan White, commend the Archbishop’s Award recipients for their achievements and positive impact on their communities.

“The students who have received this award in 2017 stand out for their compassion, faith, integrity, leadership skills, strong sense of social justice and commitment to serving others,” Dr White said.

“Sydney Catholic Schools believes in inspiring the spirits and minds of each individual, and these are qualities we hope for in all of our graduates. It is wonderful to see these students have grown to become a source of that same inspiration for their peers and the wider community.”

Elroy D’Souza is the second student from Marist Catholic College Penshurst to receive the award, after the previously years 7 to 10 college went to Year 12 for the first time last year.

Elroy was described by his principal as a humble young man who embodies the Gospel value of service through his participation of leadership and Social Justice initiatives including Marist Youth Ministry program REMAR.

“I feel quite honoured because I didn’t expect to get the award,” he said.

“The REMAR program involves community outreach. One time we went to support students at a school for disabled children, and supported Marist Youth Ministry initiatives by giving out clothing to those in need and stationary for students who can’t afford it.

Elroy plans to study a Bachelor of Medical Science after he graduates. “I just like helping people and being part of a community, building relationships with other people,” he said.

The students who have received this award stand out for their compassion, faith, integrity … sense of social justice and commitment to serving others.

– Dr Dan White

Casimir Catholic College Marrickville student Madeleine Ferriera was also among the award recipients.

Principal Daniel McInerney said Madeline, who is the College’s liturgy leader, was an all-round achiever who was skilled academically and in sport. Madeline has given her time to Parish initiative’s at St Brigid’s Marrickville and to social justice initiatives including serving breakfast to the homeless with the Vinnies Van and a project to create dental packs for those in need in Nepal.

“We sewed the bags together and put toothpaste, toothbrush and dental floss inside,” Madeleine said.

“We learnt about how little things that we take for granted in our everyday life such as brushing our teeth twice a day really is something that isn’t that accessible for all people. It’s a nice wake-up call to realise we need to be more thankful for what we have.”

“It’s an honour to receive the award. I honestly couldn’t have done it without the support of my teachers encouraging me to be the best person I can and to live out the morals and foundations of our school which has the motto ‘unite and grow’.”

 Archbishop’s Awards recipients in 2017:

  • Maryrose Sukkar, Bethlehem College Ashfield
  • Romeo Contreras, De La Salle College Ashfield
  • Vaiata Hehea, Trinity Catholic College Auburn
  • Steven Hoang, LaSalle Catholic College Bankstown
  • Rianon Dal Bianco, Marist College Kogarah
  • Brianna Fraser, Freeman Catholic College Bonnyrigg Heights
  • Sandra Makhoul, Southern Cross Catholic Vocational College Burwood
  • Mary Clare Perez, All Saints Catholic Senior College Casula
  • Emily Allen, De La Salle Catholic Senior College Cronulla
  • Jake Abeni, St Maroun’s College Dulwich Hill
  • Sarkis Mazmanian, Marist College Eastwood
  • Liam McMahon, St John Bosco College Engadine
  • Thomas Le, Patrician Brothers’ College Fairfield
  • Manuella Gionta, Domremy College Five Dock
  • Cosmino Lasorsa, Rosebank College Five Dock
  • Annie Kennedy, St Scholastica’s College Glebe
  • Matthew Frijo, Good Samaritan Catholic College Hinchinbrook
  • Paddy Dalton, St Joseph’s College Hunters Hill
  • Nova Gomes, Bethany College Hurstville
  • Ciara Pighin, St Ursula’s College Kingsgrove
  • Raelene Fitzhenry, Our Lady of the Sacred Heart College Kensington
  • Samantha Rogers, Loretto College Kirribilli
  • Pamela Obeid, Holy Spirit Catholic College Lakemba
  • Nicholas Greene, St Ignatius’ College Riverview
  • Paul Succar, Christian Brothers’ High School Lewisham
  • Madeleine Ferreira, Casimir Catholic College Marrickville
  • Lachlan Bowmer, Aquinas Catholic College Menai
  • Jorji Simpson, Mount St Joseph Milperra
  • Peter Munns, St Aloysius’ College Milson’s Point
  • Brayden Shawcross, Marist College North Shore
  • Kate McNamara, Monte Sant’ Angelo Mercy College North Sydney
  • Richard Vaka’uta, Champagnat Catholic College Pagewood
  • Elroy D’Souza, Marist Catholic College Penshurst
  • Alana Thorne, St Vincent’s College Potts Point
  • Anna Ayoub, St Charbel’s College Puchbowl
  • Bridget Tan, Brigidine College Randwick
  • Cristian Speranza, Marcellin College Randwick
  • Cameron Lee, De La Salle College Revesby Heights
  • Georgia Cope, Kincoppal Rose Bay School
  • Bennett Wheelhouse, Holy Cross College Ryde
  • Monique Sleiman, Santa Sabina College Strathfield
  • Benjamin Hunt, St Patrick’s College Strathfield
  • Oliver Bautista, St Mary’s Cathedral College Sydney
  • Nathaniel Gleeson, St Patrick’s College Sutherland
  • Lana Balqa, Mary Mackillop College Wakeley
  • Vaiata Halaholo, St Clare’s College Waverley
  • Angus Mullins, Waverley College Waverley
  • Veronica Casha, Clancy Catholic College West Hoxton
  • Janice Balayboa, Marist Sisters’ College Woolwich

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