In the biggest ceremony Griffith has seen, students, teachers and parents alike gathered on Wednesday to recognise the achievements of their indigenous students.
This year like last year the Proud and Deadly awards were moved from a night time event to a day event, supported by the many local schools, the Department of Education and the Griffith Aboriginal Education Consultative Group (AECG).
The awards were opened by Wiradjuri Elder Mr Richard Bamblett who presented the Welcome to Country and Piper Stewart who presented the acknowledgment to Country.
And as everyone came together, proud grandmother Veronica Collins said she could feel a clear difference this year.
“I wouldn’t say reconciliation as being the difference – I would say love,” Ms Collins said.
“Everyone here today is proud, whether it be of their friends, children or grandchildren like myself, and the sense of comradery is overwhelming.”
For the students, being recognised for their excellence has given them pride in themselves, and renewed their passion to continue learning and following their passion.
Students were acknowledged on the day for Academic Achievement, Performing, Creative and Visual Arts, Leadership, TVET/VET, Outstanding Sport Achievement, Aboriginal Cultural Engagement, Aboriginal Studies Award Stage 6, Citizenship, Excellent Application in all areas and Year 12 Completion.
Amid the award presentation children from the Wiradjuri Preschool performed Barramundi, Griffith Public Choir performed “This is me” from the movie The Greatest Showman and Griffith North Public School dance groups presented
Alex-Maree Hewitt from Lake Wyangan Public School was one of the 12 students recognised as a leader of the future.
“It’s really important to be a leader,” Alex-Maree said.
“You can guide others to be better and be the best they can be, help them be themselves.
“Just being someone to talk to as well goes a long way.”
Griffith High School’s Quade Stevenson was awarded for citizenship, and said the awards gave everyone the inspiration “to want to do better”.
“It’s really good that they are presenting awards to the kids that try at school, who try their hardest, and put effort into school,” Quade said.
“It shows in the community that you are working hard for yourself and are going to be rewarded.”
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