COWRA High School was well represented among the winners when the Department of Education and Communities held its Western Region Wudhagaragarra Awards at Dubbo.
The Wudhagaragarra Awards celebrate and recognise innovation, excellence and achievement in Aboriginal education in New South Wales public schools and school communities.
Awards were presented to selected high achieving Aboriginal students (at infants, primary and secondary school levels), Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal teachers, staff, community members and schools.
Award winners came from schools right across the Western Region, including Mudgee, Lithgow, Bathurst, Lightning Ridge, Coonabarabran, Dubbo, Broken Hill, Forbes and Cowra, and places between.
Wudhagaragarra is a Wiradjuri word meaning “to listen, to learn”.
Year 10 student, Kerri-Anne Cutmore, received an Encouragement Award for Stage 5, while Jyedn Murray of Year 11 received an Encouragement Award for Stage 6.
Encouragement Awards are presented to Aboriginal students to encourage them to continue with their studies.
The award is intended to highlight Aboriginal students’ achievements in the areas of excellent attendance, achieving academic potential, consistent effort and a positive attitude to school.
Ebony Williams of Year 12 received the Award for Outstanding Achievement in Performing/Creative/Visual Arts by a senior girl.
This award is presented to Aboriginal students who have displayed a talent in one or more of these areas of the arts.
Ebony’s award recognised her excellence in three areas of the performing arts, in singing, dancing and acting.
Chloe Thompson, also in Year 12, received the Vocational Education Training Award senior girls, which is presented to an Aboriginal VET student who has demonstrated a significant long-term contribution and dedication to their education.
Chloe’s award recognises her achievements in the school-based retail/pharmacy course, which recently saw Chloe awarded the May student of the month in the Pharmacy Guild of Australia, Botani – Guild Training Awards for NSW/ACT.
Aboriginal artist, Nyree Reynolds received the award for Outstanding Contribution to Educational Achievement by a Community Member.
This award recognises an Aboriginal community member who has demonstrated a strong commitment to improving educational outcomes for Aboriginal students and for working with Aboriginal community members.
Ms Reynolds award recognised her eight years of working with the interagency Breakaway Program, where she has motivated many Aboriginal girls to produce some amazing artworks.
Cowra High’s Wagambirra Dance Group opened the award ceremony with both traditional and contemporary welcome dances.
Teaching and Learning Co-ordinator for Aboriginal Programs in the Western Region, Allan Hall, presented the group with a special certificate to acknowledge their contribution to the award ceremony, held at the Dubbo RSL Club last Thursday.