A student and teacher have been recognised for their outstanding contributions to Aboriginal education in NSW public schools.
The annual Nanga Mai Awards presented Max McKimm from The Jannali High School and Kirsty Adams from Tharawal Public School with the honour.
Max is one of 13 academically successful students, confident public speakers, talented performing artists and outstanding sportspeople to win the award. Ms Adams joined 12 dedicated teachers, community leaders and schools at the International Convention and Exhibition Centre at Darling Harbour on November 27.
A proud Bidjigal man, for the past 12 months, Max has thrived in his role as school captain, leading and being a role model for more than 1000 students. His dedication and strong leadership led him to attaining the ADF Long Tan Award. Max aspires to become an industrial technology teacher. He discovered his passion for this subject after creating an Aboriginal-inspired major work. His teachers supported and inspired him - and he'd like to do the same in the future.
Under Ms Adams's leadership, the 'Deadly Kids Program' was successfully implemented, empowering students to set personalised learning goals and celebrate their cultural heritage. Collaborating with parents, students, and staff, she fostered a culture that embraces the richness of Aboriginal and or Torres Strait Islander cultures.
She collaboratively initiated and led a comprehensive professional learning program for staff, equipping teachers with the tools to integrate Aboriginal perspectives into their teaching approaches. The teacher's achievements have fostered a positive and inclusive school environment, embracing Aboriginal histories and cultures authentically.