Aboriginal academic achievement celebrated

Student hosts of the Deadly Kids Awards relax after the event.

The achievements and success of Aboriginal students from Sydney region public schools were centre stage at a lively awards ceremony at CarriageWorks in inner Sydney recently.

The Deadly Kids Doing Well Awards, which was first held in 2009, recognised more than 145 Aboriginal students from Kindergarten to Year 12 who are doing well and achieving improved results.

Watch an audio slideshow of the Deadly Kids Doing Well Awards.

Sydney regional director Dr Phil Lambert said the aim was to gather Aboriginal children who are doing well, along with their school communities and families, and celebrate their achievements together.

"While it's appropriate to address the issues of underperformance by Aboriginal students, we shouldn't forget that there are many Aboriginal children who are attending school, doing their work, leading, achieving well, and you need to celebrate that and need to support them," Dr Lambert said.

"They're our role models, they're the young people who are going to be showing the Australian community how well Aboriginal people can do."

Desiree Leha, a Year 12 student from Dulwich Hill High School of Visual Arts and Design, said she felt very proud to receive an award.

"It just encourages us to succeed in our lives, gain a better education and strive for new opportunities," Desiree said.

Georgia-Lee Ockerby-Pickett, a Year 10 student from Gymea Technology High School and one of the two student hosts of the event, said she wanted to work in the health field.

"I want to go to university and become a midwife and help follow people during the course of their pregnancy, and also go out to rural communities and help them as they don't get as much support as people may do in the city," Georgia-Lee said.

Emily Lyons, the school captain at Matraville Sports High School who wants to go to New York to develop a career in fashion, advised students to maintain their drive and motivation in pursuit of their dreams.

"Don't give up. Don't settle for something ordinary. Go for something higher than that," Emily said.

The awards were presented by Dr Phil Lambert, Luke Carroll (Play School presenter and Deadly Awards host), Professor Robert Tierney, Dean of Education and Social Work, University of Sydney and former Sydney Boys High student and Deadly Kids award recipient Jimari Bastable.

Performances during the awards presentation included:

  • the Alexandria Park Community School senior choir, which has been working with artistic staff from the Sydney Children's Choir
     
  • Warada Dancers, a girls dance group from Matraville Soldiers Settlement Public School
     
  • didgeridoo players from Matraville Sports High School.

The inaugural Regional Director's Award was presented to Jaydan Donato from Sydney Secondary College Blackwattle Bay Campus.

Photo: Student hosts of the Deadly Kids Awards - James Bridges, Ashfield Boys High School and Georgia-Lee Ockerby-Pickett, Gymea Technology High School. Photo by Robert Edwards.

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