Macarthur students recognised in Indigenous education awards

Top of the class: Briannan Eggert, Shaelah Saunders, Tyleaha Tomkins, Bella Needham and Georgia Marchbank. Pictures: Supplied
Top of the class: Briannan Eggert, Shaelah Saunders, Tyleaha Tomkins, Bella Needham and Georgia Marchbank. Pictures: Supplied

Five Macarthur students have been recognised for their academic and school community achievements in the annual Nanga Mai Awards.

Briannan Eggert from Elderslie High School, Tyleaha Tompkins and Shaelah Saunders from Briar Road Public School, Bella Needham from Elizabeth Macarthur High School and Georgia Marchbank from Campbelltown Performing Arts High School were recognised in a virtual ceremony on December 1.

Briannan Eggert received her award for outstanding achievement in public speaking.

"Briannan has been involved in many public speaking competitions, mock trials, debating teams, presentation evenings and regularly performs Acknowledgement of Country at school events," her citation read.

"She has also chaired and hosted many regional events, NAIDOC Week events been involved in the Junior AECG and was a participant in the UWS Pathways to Dreaming program."

Briannan has served as school prefect and vice captain and was "instrumental in leading the development of a senior study space", and using "her leadership skills to help organise a Domestic Violence Awareness Week".

Tyleaha Tomkins picked up the Outstanding Student Leadership award.

"Tyleaha is the school captain and president of the Junior AECG. She shows immense commitment in both roles and is an asset for the school leadership team," her citation read.

"Tyleaha's passion for school and culture is recognised by the whole school community, resulting in Tyleaha being successful in receiving multiple regional Aboriginal Student Achievement awards."

The Wiradjuri girl was described as an advocate for her school and had led school-wide cultural workshops, Traditional Indigenous Games, weaving workshops, formal assemblies and the Aboriginal Dance Group.

Shaelah Saunders, a proud Kamileroi and Biripi girl, received the Outstanding Performance Creative/Performing/Visual Arts award.

"She has natural talent and passion in creative arts, in particular, visual arts," her citation read. "Shaelah creates artworks for the school and mentors her peers to develop their arts skills, as a strong leader in this field."

The student aspires to study Creative Arts at university and be "an influential Aboriginal artist" when she finishes school.

Bella Needham was recognised for Outstanding Academic Excellence.

"She is a selective student who has worked extremely hard to achieve her best, actively seeking teacher feedback and utilising the school-run Deadly Homework Centre," her citation read.

"Her commitment to learning has allowed her to maintain a ranking in the top ten of four HSC courses."

Bella hopes to become a social media or public relations manager and has achieved early acceptance to university.

Georgia Marchbank received the NSW VET in Schools Student of the Year award for her work in the Hospitality Food and Beverage and Retail Services courses.

"Georgia is working beyond expectations in the units studied in these courses," her citation read.

"Throughout work placement and practical lessons at school, Georgia has demonstrated professionalism and maturity beyond her 17 years."

The student always volunteers her time and will "go the extra mile for staff and fellow students".

This story Macarthur students recognised in Indigenous education awards first appeared on Campbelltown-Macarthur Advertiser.