Excellence award for Ballina High achiever
By BREE PRICE firstname.lastname@example.org
EMMA BALDREY is the champion of her peer group.
Not only is the 17-year-old Ballina High School student a member of the statewide School Representative Council, she was also one of just 38 students to be awarded a NSW Department of Education and Training Minister's Award for Excellence in Student Achievement yesterday.
Richmond River High School's Nicholas Barclay, and Alecia Van Hest from Nimbin Central School, were also presented with the prestigious award by NSW Education Minister Carmel Tebbutt at a ceremony in Sydney.
The award is designed to highlight the efforts of current Year 12 students in demonstrating the core values of integrity, excellence, respect, responsibility, co-operation, participation, care, fairness and democracy to the community.
Nominations are made on the basis of excellence in academic, sporting and cultural achievements, as well as in leadership and contribution to the school community.
Emma was nominated for her roles as Ballina High School captain and SRC female president, district and NSW SRC representative, and mem- ber of the NSW Commission for Children and Young People Reference Group.
She also helped to establish the Ballina Youth Council.
"I enjoy being able to stand up and say something and represent young people," Emma said.
"If I don't like something it's logical to get up and change it.
"I'm very proud. I never expected to win an award as prestigious as this.
"I found out (about the award) when I was in Hong Kong on holiday with my mum.
"My dad sent me a text message and I thought he said I had been nominated, but when we got back I found out I had won one."
Emma said there were several issues confronting young people that she was passionate about.
"I think everyone should have a right to public education," she said.
"It provides so many opportunities and public education deserves recognition."
Emma has also worked to support the introduction of healthy foods school canteens and to prevent bullying.
She said she hoped to receive a traineeship with the NSW Commission for Children and Young people next year.
"I think things are getting better, and it is recognised children and young people are there," she said.
"They just need to be listened to."