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Students from Albury and Corowa receive Minister’s Awards for Excellence

Three Border year 12 students whose success includes, but goes well beyond, good academic results have been recognised by the NSW government.

Laura Thomson and Oscar Little, both of Albury High School, and Corowa High School’s William Johnston each received a Minister’s Award for Excellence in Student Achievement.

Education Minister Rob Stokes presented the honours to 35 students at a Sydney ceremony on Wednesday.

Nominated by their schools, eligible students demonstrate academic excellence, sporting and/or cultural achievements, leadership skills, commitment to the school community and values such as integrity, respect, responsibility, participation, co-operation, care and fairness.

Eight parents and 37 staff from across NSW also gained awards in other categories.

“Schools are just empty buildings without the students, teachers and parents that make them great,” Mr Stokes said.

Corowa High School principal Joanne Bellette said William stood out as the best possible nominee.

He has represented NSW at the annual poetry slam competition and was selected to represent the school and Corowa on a cultural exchange visit to Japan in 2014.

Vice-captain and a member of the student leadership team, he has been a role model for other students.

“He’s got a really broad set of talents and skills and has been recognised in various different endeavours across the school and the community,” Dr Bellette said.

William was the 10th Corowa High School student to receive a Minister’s Award for Excellence.

Albury High School principal Darryl Ward said both Oscar and Laura were fine ambassadors for their school.

“We’re very pleased that they’ve been recognised in this way,” Mr Ward said.

“It’s good to have some rural representation at the awards.”

Oscar has represented the state in dragon boat racing and also raced internationally.

He is an Albury youth councillor and was an Australian Air Force cadet.

Laura represented Riverina at the junior state debating championships and is a member of the Victorian sailing squad. She started the Albury High School sailing team in 2015 and has led it to two state championship titles.

Dr Bellette said it was important to mark students’ achievements.

“So many of our kids really are incredibly successful, both at school and outside of school,” she said.

“This is a moment to take a pause and celebrate the things that are going really well, the kids that are doing the great things, those who are the role models for the others.”

Story from The Border Mail.

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