St Michael’s student named Young Citizen of the Year in Port Stephens

Mackenzie Bell, a Year 5 student at St Michael’s Primary School in Nelson Bay, was recently named as ‘Young Citizen of the Year’ in Port Stephens.

The 10-year-old student received the award in recognition of her outstanding efforts to raise awareness and much-needed funds to support those living with multiple sclerosis (MS) while the search for a cure continues.

She was one of nine Port Stephens residents who were presented with Port Stephens Annual Awards on Australia Day.

Mackenzie, who was just two years old when her mother Deanna was diagnosed with this condition, raised a huge $1,860 by participating in the recent MS 24-hour Mega Swim at Sydney Olympic Pool.

“Mackenzie is an exceptional young lady and we are very proud of her,” said Helen Bourne, the Principal at St Michael’s.

“She is a passionate, caring and generous young student who is also a wonderful role model for other children in the school as she is always thinking about how she can help others.”

As well as raising money for MS, Mackenzie supports the RSPCA Million Paws Walk to fight against animal cruelty - a cause for which she is a passionate advocate.

Mackenzie is also involved in the Mini Vinnies social justice group at St Michael’s and the Stewards of Creation group.

She also hopes to one day become a professional swimming coach and a lifesaver.

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Gabrielle Sutherland Image
Gabrielle Sutherland

Gabrielle Sutherland is a Marketing & Communications Officer for the Catholic Schools Office and a regular contributor to and Aurora.