Deadly Kids are awesome role models

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Nathan Cox is motivated to help people and wants to go to university to study to be a paramedic. But the Dulwich High School of the Visual Arts Year 11 student would also like to go to TAFE to learn his native language of Wiradjuri.

Nathan's story was just one of many celebrated when Aboriginal students across the Sydney region were recognised for leadership and improved academic results at the recent 2012 Deadly Kids - Doing Well Awards.

Certificates were presented to 146 students from Kindergarten to Year 12.

Sydney regional director Dr Phil Lambert, who initiated the event in 2009, said the event was very important.

"Those that are here for our Deadly Kids Awards leave so buoyed by what they see and hear. It sends a very clear message that there are a lot of Aboriginal children doing well and they are tremendous role models for other children," Dr Lambert said.

Paul Degney, school development officer (Sydney region) and manager of Aboriginal programs said: "To get the message out there has been a very powerful thing to do across our region. We've been able to identify the broader Aboriginal community as being very rich and full in terms of what they do in our schools.

"One of the crucial things we see is the number of students who do outstanding things beyond sport and the arts." 

JJ Cahill Memorial High School student Grant Maling and fellow student Marni Reti, from South Sydney High School, hosted the event.

The ceremony also featured didgeridoo players from Matraville Sports High School and performances by students from Newtown School of the Performing Arts.

These included Aboriginal student dancers, who have been working with the Bangarra Dance Theatre, and Baden Hitchcock, a Year 12 dance and music student who played the violin.

Award presenters included the Minister for Citizenship and Communities and Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Victor Dominello, Dr Phil Lambert and Professor Larissa Behrendt, director of the Jumbunna Indigenous House of Learning at the University of Technology, Sydney.


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