Aboriginal school students gain recognition for their achievements

More than 100 Aboriginal school students from South-Western Sydney were recently awarded ‘Aboriginal Student Achievement Awards’ at the University of Western Sydney’s Campbelltown campus.

The awards are an initiative of the South-Western Sydney Region of the Department of Education and Communities and began 22 years ago following representations from four local Aboriginal elders.

Ms Anne McLean, Manager of Schools Engagement at UWS, says the University was pleased to host the event for the second year.

“The event - two ceremonies, one for primary school students and one for secondary students – recognises student achievement in a range of categories and brings Aboriginal elders and community leaders, parents, families and of course students to campus,” says Ms McLean.

“The South-Western Sydney Regional Director, his School Education Directors, DEC Aboriginal Education consultants and staff, principals, teachers, and support staff attended the ceremonies.  It was great event with a real buzz around it and our congratulations go to the students, their families and schools.”

“Hosting the ‘Aboriginal Student Achievement Awards’ aligns with our wish to increase our engagement with Aboriginal communities and familiarise students with the university environment, and it reflects the strong relationship we have with the South-Western DEC region.”

Professor Gary Smith, UWS Pro Vice-Chancellor (Engagement and International) welcomed guests at the primary school ceremony and Professor Vaughan Macefield, UWS Professor of Integrative Physiology and Campbelltown campus Provost, spoke at the secondary school ceremony.

UWS Aboriginal physiotherapy student, Kyle James, was a guest speaker at the secondary school ceremony. Kyle is involved in a number of Indigenous Schools Engagement programs, such as a mentor in the Indigenous School Student Mentoring Program (ISSMP) and a guide and role model in the ‘Heartbeat’ series of events.

Awards were given in the following categories:

  • Attendance
  • Culture, Courage and Commitment
  • Creative and Performing Arts
  • Literacy
  • Numeracy
  • Sporting
  • KARI*(opens in a new window) 

* KARI Aboriginal Resources Inc is a not-for-profit organisation that provides an Aboriginal Out-of-Home Care Program as well as a Community Program for the Aboriginal communities within Sydney's South West.


12 November 2012

Contact: Kristy Gleeson, Media Officer