Xavier High School congratulates Emma Aldrich on the fantastic achievement of being the recipient of the Dame Marie Bashir Peace Award. Emma received her award from Dame Marie Bashir at a ceremony at Parliament house Sydney.
Here are some of the things Emma’s peers have to say about her.
“Emma is a remarkable young woman with a passion for service, equity and social justice. She has led the way in our community for the support of others. Inspired by her desire to serve, she was the integral fundraiser and champion of a group of students who engaged in an Immersion programme with a remote Indigenous community at Yuendumu. Here she worked with the exclusively female community to teach the children and to work alongside and learn from the elders.
On returning to our home community, she has continued this presence, being involved in raising awareness of the Indigenous communities, working to support local children and families and speaking at numerous events to share her experiences. In addition to this, Emma has been a leading light in working with the St. Vincent de Paul society. She has led the student group working with this organisation, volunteering her time to be involved in their store, raising funds and awareness for the local homeless people, including coordinating the Project V sleep out.
She has also inspired and supported other students to be involved in this worthy cause, mentoring and guiding students from the junior years to find their voice and to build confidence in their involvement with such programmes. Emma has been responsible for organising and running school and community wide events including bar-b-qs, a huge market event, exhibitions and presentations; all of which were aimed at raising funds and awareness of the plight of those less fortunate than us. As a leader and a senior student in the school, Emma is an exemplary role model in care, compassion, justice and equality. “
And a short-story reply about the award day from Emma
“On international peace day (21st of September) I was honoured to met Dame Marie Bashir and members from the National Council of Women at the annual “NSW, Dame Marie Bashir Peace awards,” at Parliament House in Sydney. As a privileged recipient of the award I had the opportunity to hear the inspiring words of Dame Marie who actively works towards enhancing social justice within society.
Dame Marie Bashir was the second longest serving Governor-General of NSW and a strong advocate for equality, holding a special interest in the field of Indigenous mental health. Followed by Dame Marie, the 5 recipients of the award and 3 highly commended individuals had the opportunity to address the audience with a speech outlining the work they had done towards enhancing peace and harmony.It was inspiring to see the works such wonderful youth had achieved within their schools and the wider community to promote the inequities that they had encountered. The broad range of areas that the individuals addressed were overwhelming, from civil wars in Sri Lanka to bullying and domestic violence.
It was fulfilling to see the active work these individuals were doing and the impact it had on their community. I took the opportunity to speak about the diverse nature of Australia, including recognition of our Indigenous citizens as well as local issues that we face here in Albury. This once in a lifetime experience was extremely enlightening, and I’m very humbled to have had such a wonderful opportunity. I would like to thank the entire Xavier High School community who provide students with great opportunities to work towards justice and Mr Dykes who accompanied me as the school representative at the presentation. “