The 2015 awards included a new category, the ‘Catholic Young People Bishop’s Award’, open to young people currently enrolled in Year 12 and up to age 25. Other categories included the ‘Catholic Schools Students Bishop’s Award’, open to students currently enrolled in a diocesan Catholic school Years 7-11 and the ‘Catholic Students Bishop’s Award’, open to Catholic students currently enrolled in Years 7-11 and belonging to a parish within the diocese. Recipients received $1,000 to contribute to their education or faith formation.
The 2015 Catholic Young People Bishop’s Award recipient was Samantha Hill. Samantha is actively involved in the youth movement with many parishes in the Chisholm region and was recognised for her work with the Diocesan Council for Youth Ministry and for her contribution to the organisation of the 2015 Australian Catholic Youth Festival, Maitland-Newcastle contingent.
Samantha felt humbled to be named the first recipient of the youth award, “We engage with our parish communities because we care about the bigger picture. It’s fulfilling for us and gives us a sense of belonging,” she said. In 2016, Samantha plans to continue her involvement in parish and diocesan initiatives, with the hope of further engagement with other like-minded young people.
The 2015 Bishop’s Award recipients were:
Catholic Schools Students Bishop’s Award
- Stage 4 Rebekah Leslie, St Paul’s, Booragul and Elijah Doherty, St Clare’s Taree.
- Stage 5 Clare Melville, St Pius X, Adamstown; Johanna Soo, San Clemente, Mayfield and Lachlan Byrnes, St Pius X, Adamstown.
Catholic Young People Bishop’s Award
- Samantha Hill
Nominations for the 2016 Bishop’s Award will open later this year. Information packs will be sent to schools and parishes.