A total of 17 students have been recognised for their outstanding contribution to Aboriginal education in NSW public schools.
The 16th annual Nanga Mai Awards were held virtually this year, and featured a range of awards across academia, public speaking, the performing arts and sports
Eight teachers, community leaders and schools were also recognised for their dedication.
Minister for Education and Early Childhood Learning Sarah Mitchell said she was proud to celebrate and witness the education brilliance on display.
“It is thrilling to see that by embracing the diversity of schools, communities, students and staff that support and champion Aboriginal education, we can continue to fully embody the spirit of Nanga Mai, which is the Eora word for ‘to dream’,” Mitchell said.
NSW Department of Education Georgina Harrisson said there had been a doubling of nominations for the awards despite the challenging year.
“I’d like to congratulate all that were nominated for the awards today and commend our amazing recipients,” Harrisson said.
“The leadership, creativity and excellence demonstrated is undeniable.”
Schools such as Vincentia High School and Oxley Park Public School received awards due to the numerous initiatives the two schools have implemented.
Some of the initiatives include an Aboriginal Youth Leadership team, Aboriginal Student forums, the development of cultural counselling and the annual NAIDOC Indigenous Careers Expo.
Vincentia High School’s Kade King and Coonamble High School’s Mekayla Peacock were some of the winning students.
They both were awarded School-based Apprentice and Trainee of the Year.
Kade, who wants a career in the animal industry, secured work experience with Nicolstoke Salers in Nowra while also attending TAFE and school.
Mekayla aims to be the first person in her immediate family to acquire a university qualification, with her sights set on a nursing degree.
For more information visit the Nanga Mai website.