The 15th annual Nanga Mai awards, held virtually yesterday, celebrate the achievements of Aboriginal students and the continued commitment and accomplishments of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal staff, school communities, and community members.
Banora Point High School and five students across the northern rivers region were honoured for their outstanding contribution to Aboriginal education in NSW public schools at the 2021 Nanga Mai Awards. They were among 33 winners recognised across 17 categories across the arts, sport, leadership and academic excellence.
Mia Thom from Byron Bay High School received the award for the ‘Highest achieving Aboriginal student in the 2020 Higher School Certificate’. She earned an ATAR of 99.95 and will be studying a Bachelor of Law with an emphasis on Indigenous Studies and Human Rights at the University of Sydney.
Kiahn Ladkin, also from Byron Bay High School, was awarded the ‘Outstanding Achievement in Performing/Creative/Visual Arts’. Kiahn is a high academic achiever, committed to a professional dancing career, and is involved with Bangarra Dance Theatre and mentoring younger Aboriginal students in dance.
The award for ‘Outstanding Student Achievement’ went to Banjo Golder from Bogangar Public School for his active involvement in school and community, assisting his peers to navigate Microsoft Teams during the pandemic lockdown, pursuing his public speaking interest, and is a singer-songwriter, didgeridoo maker and player.
Jasmin Morrissey from Tweed River High School was awarded the ‘Outstanding Achievement in Sport’ for representing her school and state in various sports including hockey, touch and athletics, is a member of the Queensland Under 18s Girls Hockey Squad, and school captain.
‘The Nanga Mai Awards display the NSW Government’s ongoing dedication to celebrating Aboriginal students, their achievements and their cultural identity,’ said Minister for Education and Early Childhood Learning, Sarah Mitchell.