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Caring students commended


Helping to raise awareness – and money – to support Indigenous literacy programs was one way Sam Austin showed his commitment to social justice issues during his final year of secondary schooling.

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As leader of Murphy House at Cabra Dominican College, Sam was instrumental in organising several fundraisers to support the work of the Indigenous Literacy Foundation which runs programs in remote communities.

“We held a cupcake day and beanie day during NAIDOC Week, where we celebrated the lives and successes of many Indigenous Australians,” Sam said.

“We even held a table tennis tournament between Year 12 students and teachers which was a bit of a fun way to raise money.”

Sam’s desire to be involved in social justice issues and campaigns such as the Vinnies Winter Sleepout and Hutt St Centre’s Walk a Mile was recognised when he was named as one of the 36 recipients of a SA Governor’s Excellence Award for 2022.

The Governor’s commendations acknowledge students for their excellence in Year 12 SACE subjects, as well as highlighting the qualities young people need for community, life, citizenship and work.

Sam’s nomination also highlighted his engagement with Cabra’s St Mary’s Unit for students with an intellectual disability.

“I’ve been mates with some of the students there throughout the years and they are such beautiful kids,” he said.

“How they overcome challenges is crazy. One student, Benny, he is such an incredible, joyful person and he inspires me every day to enjoy life.”

This year Sam will study Computer Science at the University of Adelaide and hopes, time permitting, to continue his volunteer work.

Other students from Catholic colleges to receive a Governor’s Excellence Award were:

Ridhey Grover, Rostrevor College, for academic excellence in achieving six subject Merits.

Cameron Tunno, Rostrevor College, for his studies and ‘incredible support’ of all Rostrevor students. Cameron was commended for his commitment to the music program, coaching junior soccer teams and numerous social justice and mental health initiatives at the school.

Taylem Stubbs, Rostrevor College, joined the school community as a boarder from Larapinta in the Northern Territory. He contributed to the college’s holistic programs as a mentor, advocate for younger students, as part of the football, basketball and volleyball programs, while balancing his studies to achieve high academic success.

Layne Bailey, Xavier College, for his role as college captain and creating positive links between the school and the local community, especially at official events. Layne also received the Long Tan Youth Leadership and Teamwork Award, Order of Australia Association Award and St John Bosco Medal.

Georgina Tenny, Loreto College, for leading the college community to raise more than $40,000 for community projects and causes. Initiatives included a sleepout to raise funds for Hutt St Centre, a whole school walk to raise awareness about bullying and a bake sale and education campaign for those impacted by the Ukraine war.

Beau Hope, Sacred Heart College, achieved outstanding academic results while managing a part-time job, running study sessions for his peers and volunteering for charities. During Year 12 he was an active carer of his grandparents who endured significant illness in 2022. Passionate about STEM subjects, Beau received the ADF Future Innovators Award, recognising his commitment to innovation and technology.

Jessica Tresidder, Tenison Woods College, received a $15,000 Business Scholarship from Business News Australia in recognition of her business and entrepreneurial talent. Following the purchase of a second-hand etching machine she started to make personalised key chains for her school peers. Jessica launched her business, created an Etsy account and has expanded her customer base over time.

Bridie Dolan, St Michael’s College, was described by her teachers as being a ‘natural physicist’, who thrived on discussions about various aspects of the subject. She was commended for her support of the school’s Beyond Borders program, by volunteering for several fundraising events and activities, designed to support the refugee community connected with St Michael’s.

Chloe Murnane, Nazareth Catholic College, received the Excellence in Modified SACE Award. In 2022 she competed in the worldwide Adaptive Surfing Championships in Hawaii and won a bronze medal for Australia in the Prone Assist (women) event. At school she participated in a weekly adaptive tennis workshop, learning the sport of ‘pickleball’. Chloe was also named the winner of the 2022 Novita, Michael Wooley Recreation and Sporting Achievement award.


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