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Xavier old scholars inspire other young people


Old scholar Jess Maiolo (class of 2017) and current Year 11 student Ethan White were named joint Gawler Young Citizen of the Year for their efforts in inspiring other young people.

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There was a strong influence from Xavier College at citizenship award ceremonies held in the Lower Mid North region on Australia Day.

Born prematurely at 25 weeks, Jess wasn’t expected to talk, walk or attend mainstream school. However, she proved the doctors wrong and despite having a vision impairment and mild Cerebral Palsy, attended Xavier College and has since completed a Certificate III in Adaptive Education, volunteering her time to work with severely autistic children. She is a senior leader with the Don Bosco youth group run through Xavier and draws on her life experiences to mentor other young people.

Ethan, who raised $5500 for the Gawler Relay for Life, is making a name for himself through his television series ‘Off the Couch with Ethan’ which is screened on local community station Channel 44. Akin to Ask the Leyland Brothers of the mid 1970s, Ethan’s show encourages young people and their families to get off the couch and explore some of the interesting places South Australia has to offer.

At the Adelaide Plains Council awards, old scholar Phoebe Eckermann, 19, was named Young Citizen of the Year, acknowledging her work in establishing a Limousin cattle stud on the family farm. Phoebe, who graduated from Xavier College in 2017, is also currently studying a Bachelor of Agricultural Science at the University of Adelaide.

Meanwhile, a leader in cardiovascular medicine, a pharmacist, public servant, secondary teacher and school board chairman were just some of the Catholics recognised in the 2019 Australia Day honours.

Following on from last month’s story in The Southern Cross, more recipients with connections to Catholic education or the Catholic Church have been uncovered.

St Dominic’s Priory College’s deputy principal (Curriculum) Rita Shepherd received an Order of Australia Medal (OAM) for her service to the community through charitable organisations. Since 2009, when St Dominic’s first India pilgrimage took place, Ms Shepherd master minded and has nurtured a partnership between the college and Yuva Yothi Orphanage. Her initial vision has grown over the years and led to the establishment of the Dare 2 Dream Foundation, which offers underprivileged people new hope upon leaving the orphanage.

Rostrevor College old scholar Professor John Beltrame, who graduated in 1977, was made a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for his significant service to cardiovascular medicine and to medical research and education. Another Rostrevor alumni, Grant Kardachi, was awarded an AM for significant service to pharmacy at the State and national level and to professional societies. Mr Kardachi, who graduated from Rostrevor in 1970, is a director of Southern Cross Care and former president of the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia.

St Michael’s College Board chair, Marie Dorrington, received an OAM for her ongoing community work with a variety of organisations. Mrs Dorrington is a passionate contributor to Catholic Education in Australia, Interplast (non-profit medical care and training) and Rotary.

Sacred Heart College old scholar Frank Brennan, who graduated in 1974, was the recipient of the Public Service Medal (PSM) for outstanding public service to the Millicent and later Wattle Range councils.


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