03 December 2020
For many school students, this year has been a marathon with hurdles along the way. When lockdown started, COVID-19 restrictions meant students were forced to step away from their normal lives. They had to cope with not being able to go to school each morning and not being able to play sport, kick a footy on the weekend or even celebrate a birthday with friends. For many students, this began to take its toll. Kids Helpline saw a 36 per cent increase in demand between March and August this year.
With so many school and extracurricular activities wound back in 2020, it's important to recognise students who stepped up. So the Dobell School Awards this year are recognising students who, despite the challenges they faced, stepped up to help their friends, families and community. Brian McCarroll of Chittaway Bay Public School receives a Dobell award for his positive action to support others in the school and to improve the school environment. Benjamin Hickmott of Glenvale School the North Entrance campus is acknowledged for completing a Cert II in Kitchen Operations at TAFE and being an active member training with the Toowoon Bay Surf Life Saving Club.
Hannah Tierney from Gorokan Public School is recognised for admirably fulfilling her role of school captain and for her contagious positivity and great initiative to organise an assembly during online learning. Chloe Koppman from Killarney Vale Public School raised over $1,000 and dyed her hair blue to support CanTeen Australia. Ember-Rose Rutherford from Mackillop Catholic College is recognised for her constant service within the school and outside, with many hours of community service dedicated to the St John Ambulance. Tahle Ham and Chelsea Avis from St Cecilia's Catholic Primary School—my old school—are recognised for their incredible maturity and responsibility, and for the considerate and cooperative way in which they help in any way possible. Maddison Sullivan from Tacoma Public School is acknowledged for the support and enthusiasm she showed helping staff and students during online learning. Teegan Harrison from TLSC Tumbi Umbi Campus, who is campus captain, went above her title, providing support for the wellbeing of peers. Bella Wettig of Tuggerah Public School was awarded for her exceptional contributions to girl guiding. Maya Fry of Warnervale Public School was awarded for the fair play and humility she showed in both the school and sporting community. Sharlotte Fisher of Wyoming Public School was recognised for her generosity, kindness and initiative to make poppies, magnets and cards for the older people in our community. And Jamison Hondroyiannis from Wyong Creek Public School was recognised for the love and support he showed to peers and teachers.
As the school year draws to a close, I'd like to recognise all the principals, teachers, support staff, family, friends and carers who worked so hard to keep our students safe and keep them learning. The Dobell award aims to highlight the effort that these students make and to help their community and, most importantly, to thank them for who they are and what they do. They couldn't do it without support.
Finally, I'd like to recognise my work experience student, Isabel, who helped draft this speech today. I wish her the very best for Year 11 next year and happy 16th birthday. Thank you, Isabel.
Authorised by Emma McBride MP, ALP, 204/1 Bryant Drive, Tuggerah NSW 2259