Twenty-seven outstanding young leaders from secondary schools across the Catholic Diocese of Parramatta were recognised through the Bishop of Parramatta awards for student excellence in 2019. The event was attended by local community leaders including Stephen Bali MP, Kevin Conolly MP, Julia Finn MP, Hugh McDermott MP and Councillor Glenn Elmore.
Held at St Patrick’s Cathedral Parramatta, the annual Bishop’s Award for Student Excellence acknowledges the contribution of Year 12 students to their school and local community, as nominated by their Principal. The moving celebration began with the Office of Vespers with Presider Very Reverend Peter G. Williams VG EV.
Delany College Granville School Captain Mary Ghribian received a Bishop’s Award for Student Excellence for her outstanding leadership. Mary, who received a Premier’s ANZAC Award Scholarship in 2017, is a member of Granville Rotary and volunteers at ANZAC and Remembrance Days. She also serves as a Eucharistic Minister and Catechist and is active in school social justice activities, including serving the homeless through Delany College’s Vinnies Van volunteering program.
Delany College Principal Robert Muscat is extremely proud of Mary’s achievements, dedication and passion to serve the community. “Mary lives out the Delany College motto ‘Love, Serve, Hope’ every day,” Robert said.
Mary was honoured to receive the award, and quick to acknowledge the role of her school and family in her success. “Delany encourages students to develop as young Christians,” Mary said.
Emmaus Catholic College Kemps Creek School Captain Anastacia Filer was another Bishop’s Award recipient who expressed her gratitude to her parents and teachers in response to the achievement. “It’s an absolute honour to receive this award as there are so many incredible people at my school,” Anastacia said.
Emmaus Catholic College Principal Rob Nastasi was thrilled to share the special occasion with this caring young leader and her family. “Anastacia is a very humble human being who would do anything to help others,” Rob said.
Anastacia was recognised for her service to the community, never missing a week in visiting local nursing home Emmaus Village as an Emmaus Catholic College community outreach activity. She recently initiated and led a week-long school-wide campaign to raise awareness of autism and has also been involved in fundraising for St Vincent de Paul.
Sue Walsh, Relieving Executive Director, Catholic Education Diocese of Parramatta was inspired by the beautiful responsory sung by the CAPTIVATE Schola during Vespers, ‘Make me a light’. “The world needs good, faithful young people to lead the way,” Mrs Walsh said. “Shine, and light up the world with your love.”