Awards for student leaders

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Award recipient Charlie Davis, Year 12 student of St Joseph’s College, Hunters Hill, with his parents. PHOTO: Giovanni Portelli

Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP today presented the Archbishop of Sydney Awards for Student Excellence 2018 to 49 senior students from Catholic schools across the Archdiocese of Sydney.

The recipients from systemic and congregational schools were recognised during a ceremony held at St Mary’s Cathedral College Hall for service to their school and parish communities, their witness to the Catholic faith and example of leadership.

The archbishop said he is “always excited” to present the annual awards.

“It is a great occasion for recognising and congratulating the leadership and example that you and other young people have given in our schools, as part of the Church’s broader mission to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ ­­­­to twenty-first century Sydney,” he said.

The Archbishop also welcomed the Episcopal Vicar for Education, Fr Michael McLean and other clergy, the Executive Director of Sydney Catholic Schools, Dr Dan White, and the recipients’ “proud parents and families”.

Student Excellence Award recipient Felix Jenney (at right) College Captain at Marist College, North Shore, with fellow student Josef Slater. PHOTO: Giovanni Portelli

Felix Jenney, Year 12 student at Marist College North Shore, said that it had felt “surreal” to be chosen for his award for service as College Captain and his volunteer work with the St Vincent de Paul Society and other charitable causes.

He has been accepted into the Australian Army, beginning his new adventure in January, and says that going above and beyond to serve others is “just a natural part” of his life.

“It’s hard not to enjoy it because our community is so unique and so strong, it’s actually more of a brotherhood bond that we have,” he said.

“We have great teachers who are focused on pastoral care just as much as academics, we have very active parents and friends committee, and strong personal connections at every level which is what makes our community what it is.”

Estelle Friedrich, Year 12 student at St John Bosco College, Engadine, and member of its youth leadership team, said she felt “absolutely honoured” to receive her award for her contributions to the religious life of her parish and school.

Award recipient Jane Kent of Domremy College, Five Dock, with her mother, Sinead. PHOTO: Giovanni Portelli

She said she most enjoys her involvement with Antioch.

“It’s really important to be with a group of young people of different ages and stages in life who are coming together in their desire to make faith at the centre of their lives,” she said.

“I also think it’s really important help people to grow into adulthood in a faith environment. Faith is something that my parents, grandparents and family certainly tried to pass onto me, while my school has encouraged me to be active in my faith and given me important opportunities as well.”

Following the award ceremony, the recipients and their families and friends joined the Archbishop for a prayer liturgy in St Mary’s Cathedral.

The Archbishop of Sydney Awards for Student Excellence was established in 1999 by Cardinal Edward Clancy, as an annual recognition of some of the outstanding young men and women in Sydney’s Catholic schools.