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Canberra Today 20°/22° | Monday, January 24, 2022 | Digital Edition | Crossword & Sudoku

Awards galore for ACT Children’s Week

Mihini (7) and Akain (10) Ramasundara, who have been selling their own nature artworks.

IT’S ACT Children’s Week until Sunday, October 31, good cause for a week-long celebration.

The launch took place online yesterday, October 27, with an official opening by Children’s Week patron, Margaret Reid; the president of the ACT Children’s Week Committee, Vicki Brown; the Children and Young People Commissioner Jodie Griffiths-Cook; the director of Catholic Education in the Archdiocese of Goulburn and Canberra, Ross Fox, along with teachers, politicians and children playing musical instruments and singing the Children’s Week song, “We are the Children of Australia.”

Ms Reid said in launching the week that she had been impressed by the imaginative response to COVID-19 demonstrated by many of the 50 award recipients about to be announced and thanked for the contribution to society.

Margaret Reid at the virtual launch

ACT Children’s Week ambassador bJackie French took aim at the glamorisation of super heroes on the screen, a phenomenon she’s only just become aware of while trapped at her computer during lockdown.

In real life, she pointed out, “the true superheroes are ordinary people”.

The list of nominations was a long one, since this was neither a horse race nor an Olympic contest, but rather a large arena of community participation where adults and children alike had made contributions to the lives of young people.

“Everyone gets an award and 12 or so are chosen to attend the awards ceremony… it is not a competition, it is recognition,” a spokeswoman told us.

The recipients fell into several categories – Exceptional young person award, the Youth commitment award, the Community for children award, the Intergenerational award, which included the Exceptional Senior award, and the Significant support award.

Annabel Bathgate’s mask initiative.

The full list of 2021 ACT Children’s Week recipients is as follows:

Exceptional Young Person awards for people under 25 years went to: Charlotte Mitchell (16) and Ryan Aquilina, (16) venturers and youth helpers with Scouts ACT; Arushi Natu, a Year 1 student at Canberra Girls Grammar School who has been collecting bottles and cans to fundraise for two causes; Sophie Cameron, who has been an advocate for Juvenile Diabetes sufferers; Annabel Bathgate, a Year 5 student, Canberra Girls Grammar School. Annabel spearheaded a drive to produce face masks for children in poorer nations; Mihini (7) and Akain (10) Ramasundara, who have been selling their own nature artworks on Facebook marketplace to buy books and school supplies for disadvantaged children and who recently donated books to 25 Canberra Aboriginal children via the Gugan Gulwan organisation; and Corey Kettmann, learning support assistant at Macgregor Primary School.

Community For Children awards went to: Shahenie Burns, welfare officer at St Michael’s Primary School; Nicole Sadlier from Early Years, Bluearth Foundation; Niamh O’Connor from Relationships Australia Canberra & Region; Daniel Bartlett Joey Commissioner, Scouts ACT; Carmel Maguire, principal of St Monica’s Primary School; Kirsten Cross vice president of Parentline ACT; Patrick Jenista, Cathy Lin, Natalie Walker, Jazmyn Michie, Kirily Martin, Olivia Bell, Austin Lin, Rhys Newberry and Ryan Jennings from Living Streets Youth; and the teaching team at the German Australian Playschool – Friederike Pender, Gerda Wursag, Lisa Streblau and Birgit Lonergan.

Children playing at the launch

Significant Support Awards went to: Kerrie Long, a Lake Tuggeranong teacher; Lyons Early Childhood School; Maddison Kennedy, a youth counsellor at Relationships Australia; Dianne Spandler, business officer at the Department of Education, Charlotte Kewley, a teacher at Margaret Hendry School; Caitlan Hatley, unit manager – family services at Marymead Child and Family Centre; The Macgregor Out of School Hours Service; Alison Elliott, Tracey Reis and Emma Laverty, all from Macgregor Primary School; Wendy Cummins from the ACT Children’s Week Committee; and from Parentline ACT, volunteer counsellors Melanie Smith, Andrew Cohn, Anna O’Shea, Anna Rawlings, Anne Vitharana, Demeter Davis, Emma Smith, Eva Bali, Jaisy Antony, Jodie Cottell, Karthika Thomas, Lauren Gould, Maninder Minhas, Nanny Gomiero, Nida Ajmal, Noble Singh, Rabia Muqtadir, Shaista Waqar and Zahra Vahaji.

Intergenerational Contribution awards went to: Peter Hewitt, a retired academic who established a strong problem-solving program for children at Macgregor Primary School focusing on mathematics and IT; Mary Jenkins, president of Parentline ACT; and Sue Boyce a teacher at Macgregor Primary School.

The Exceptional Senior award went to: John Lynch for his support of the CCCares Children’s Community Garden.

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Helen Musa

Helen Musa

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