This year the Bishop’s Awards were presented during the liturgy held at St John’s Chapel, Maitland. Gathering together alongside the Hunter River recipients and their families, along with clergy, celebrated the achievements and efforts of the Diocese's young people.
A special part of liturgy included a recognition of baptismal symbols with involvement from some past Bishop’s Awards recipients and their siblings.
The Bishop’s Awards encourages and recognises the continued efforts of students and young people in the Diocese who have contributed to the community through their parish, church group or church agency.
Congratulations to all the recipients:
Catholic Schools Students Bishop’s Award
Sarah Austin – All Saint’s College, St Peter’s Campus, Maitland
As an active member of the St Joseph’s East Maitland Parish, Sarah is a part of the St Joseph’s Parish Senior Youth Group and assists the Active8 Youth Coordinator by taking on the role of Commentator and First or Second Reader as part of the liturgical roster. Sarah has also assisted in the choir by singing, has taken part in the presentation of gifts and other tasks as required.
At school Sarah is involved in the Social Justice Team and has helped organise the annual Social Justice Awareness Day and Sleep Out for both 2016 and 2017. Assisting in the organisation of fundraisers and events including the Refugee Awareness Day, Easter Raffles for Catholic Mission and St Patrick’s Day fundraisers for Marist Solidarity, Sarah is also actively involved in school liturgies, the school choir and ASPIRE.
WenYuan LimSchneider - St Clare’s High School, Taree
As an Altar Server, serving at both the Sunday Mass at St Patrick’s Cundletown on a weekly basis and as required for larger celebrations at the Parish Church in Taree, WenYuan also assists each week with Mass preparations including vestments, preparation of the Ordo and the preparation of the gifts.
In his school community, WenYuan is a member of the Student Representative Council, the debating team and annually receives Academic Achievement Awards in various subjects. WenYuan is also an active member of the singing/musical group Cadence, assists students at St Claire’s with reading or writing difficulties as part of the Reader/Writer program and shares his musical gifts with residents at a local nursing home.
Helayna McCloy – St Francis Xavier, Hamilton
As a hardworking and compassionate person who is centred in her faith, Helayna has used her academic ability in service of her school and assisted others to achieve their best. In recognition of her leadership and team work abilities she was awarded the Long Tan Youth Leadership and Teamwork Award and in her school community she leads by example through tutoring, mentoring and participating in and organising a range of activities.
In her Parish Community, Helayna is a member of St Vincent de Paul and Dara’s Van, teaches Catechism in State Primary School, plays violin in the John Hunter Hospital Foyer and volunteers on Christmas Day at “Christmas in the Park” for the homeless and needy at the Wool Shed in Newcastle.
Chloe Anson-Smith – St Pius X High School Adamstown
As an active Family Group Member since 2015, Chloe is a Senior Altar Servicer whose primary involvement and greatest passion is her participation in Music Ministry as a vocalist. Chloe had an active role in the 2017 All Saint Blackbutt South Annual Christmas Carols event singing and playing piano to assist the parish with fund raising.
In her school community, Chloe is actively involved in music ministry and has participated in school masses, Diocesan Mission Masses, funerals, special Diocesan liturgies, ASPIRE, Dio-Sounds and the Catholic School’s Week Mass 2017. In 2017 Chloe received the Principal’s “Religious Life”, “Community”, and “Muso Corner” Awards and was also elected as the 2017 Vice-captain at St Pius X.
Chloe has also been selected to attend the three-week World Challenge expedition to Malaysia in 2018.
Catholic Students Bishop’s Award
Sheethal Viju - Macquarie College, Wallsend
As an active member of the Syro Malabar Catholic Community, Sheethal is regularly involved in cultural activities as part of Wallsend Parish’s celebrations.
In her school community, Sheethal participates in Bible Studies and Studies of Religion, receiving an Honour Roll Award from Macquarie College and the Principal’s Award from Our Lady of Mercy College for academic excellence and good conduct.
Sheethal is an active member in the Hunter Malayalee Samajam Community in Newcastle and supports and participates in a number of activities and cultural programs.
Alan Thomas - Great Lakes College, Forster
As an active member of the Foster-Tuncurry Parish, Alan has demonstrated an enthusiastic approach to the parish community and a willingness to develop his spiritual consciousness, allowing him to be an inspiration for the other younger parish members.
Alan is a Special Minister of Communion, is helpful towards the older parishioners and is involved in events concerning the wider community in Taree and Newcastle.
Catholic Young People Bishop’s Award
Baden involves himself extensively in the Music Ministry as part of the choir, organises the youth rehearsals in the parish of Shortland-Wallsend and is involved in the diocesan youth band ‘Spirit and Truth’.
At University, Baden has been a key figure in the newly formed Catholic society, was elected the first President and continues to be re-elected in this position.
Baden has taken on the role of Spiritual Advisor in the Executive for the Vinnie’s Club at the University and organises fundraisers and awareness campaigns. He is also an active member of and volunteer with the Newcastle St Vincent de Paul assisting with Buddy Days and camps and also participates in the St Vincent de Paul home visits program.
As an Altar Server at St Joseph’s Gloucester, a member of the Parish Catering Team and the choir, Kylie has been a Minister of Communion since Year 12 and regularly takes Communion to and visits with the sick and elderly in Storm Village Nursing Home.
Kylie has been awarded the Manning River Lion’s Club Youth of the Year Award, is an active member of St Clare’s St Vincent de Paul (Mini Vinnies) and her leadership skills have been acknowledged by receiving the Long Tan Leadership and Teamwork Award. Kylie is also a Duke of Edinburgh recipient, received many awards for academic excellence and is a volunteer with the Reader/Writer program that assists students with learning difficulties.