Twenty-nine outstanding young leaders from secondary schools across the Catholic Diocese of Parramatta were recognised through the Bishop of Parramatta awards for student excellence in 2020.
Through the annual Bishop’s Award for Student Excellence, Bishop Vincent Long, Bishop of Parramatta, acknowledges the contribution of Year 12 students to their school and local community, as nominated by their Principal.
“These faith-filled young people will go on to become the attentive, intelligent, reasonable and responsible graduates Catholic schools are known for,” Bishop Vincent said. “Learning more about their service to their school and parish communities brings me so much joy.”
Christine Howe, Relieving Executive Director, Catholic Education Diocese of Parramatta said that the Awards were an opportunity to recognise the leadership of these outstanding young people in challenging times. “I am so conscious that these young people graduate into an uncertain world,” Christine said. “The extraordinary standard they set gives much hope for the future.”
St Clare’s Catholic High Hassall Grove student Camille Bautista is one of the students recognised with an award. A committed member of the Good Shepherd Parish Plumpton, Camille is gifted with a beautiful voice and serves her community as an active member of the choir and through ministry with Catholic Youth Parramatta. At school, Camille is a leader of the St Clare’s Catholic High School Social Justice Group and Student Representative Council.
“Camille Bautista is a young person of conscience, commitment, compassion and competence,” said Principal Kevin Jones. “We have been blessed in her leadership at St Clare’s.”
Penola Catholic College Co-Captain Raymond Limbaga lives in South Penrith and is a parishioner at St Nicholas of Myra Penrith. Together with Co-Captain Payton Sibary, Ray created the schools’ Student Leadership Action Plan. This leadership has resulted in student engagement in supporting the work of Jesuit Social Services, Vinnies, creating a doorway to Stormbirds Disaster Relief which is transforming Penola Catholic College into an ECO-School.
“As a young leader, Ray serves in the spirit of St Mary of the Cross MacKillop,” Principal Tania Cairns said. “It’s great to see our College Co-Captains putting our values of Courage, Compassion, Integrity and Hope into action.”
St Clair local Michaela Sultana is a student leader at Emmaus Catholic College Kemps Creek. Michelle serves her community including as a volunteer at Emmaus Village, an Extraordinary Minister of the Eucharist and member of the College Liturgy Committee. She attended the Australian Catholic Youth Festival in 2016 and 2019 and participated in Mission immersion to Timor Leste.
“Michaela has a strong and joyful faith,” Principal Rob Nastasi said. “She loves learning, has an exceptional work ethic and attains excellent results.”
Since her commencement at CathWest Innovation College, Minchinbury local Kathleen Sikuea has consistently demonstrated that she is a person for others, selflessly giving of her time by completing training for Vinnies Van; participating successfully in the Pacific Youth Summit and being selected as a mentor for NRL Youth Advocates. Kathleen is an active participant in all school liturgies, parish Masses, a valued member of the school choir and of most sporting teams.
“Kathleen has so much strength of character and faith,” Principal Cathy Larkin said. “It’s such a pleasure to have this honest and generous young woman at CathWest.”
Delany College Granville student Toaila Liutai was recognised for demonstrating effective leadership academically, socially and spiritually. Toaila has taken a leading role in the college choir and fund-raising and community-based activities like the Delany Multicultural Day and the Vinnies Van.
“I’m extremely proud of Toaila,” Principal Paul Easton said. “She is a remarkable student who has such a strong social conscience, is so generous with her time and displays extraordinary compassion in her constant willingness to help others.”
With thanks to Catholic Education Diocese of Parramatta.