Bishop to Recognise Young People’s Contribution

Many young people in local Catholic schools have demonstrated strong commitment to their communities through their involvement in their parish or church groups or agencies.

The Bishop’s Award has been a way of publicly recognising these worthy efforts and encouraging others to become similarly involved.

This award was developed and implemented by Bishop Bill in collaboration with the Federation of Parents & Friends Associations.

The first Catholic Schools Bishop’s Awards were presented in 2013 during the annual Catholic Schools Week Mass to young people in our Catholic schools who were enrolled in Years 7-11. These young people had demonstrated commitment to their parish and school through involvement in a variety of activities and ministries.

The award has been re-imagined with a view to broadening the eligibility criteria so recognition can be given to the great work of Catholic students and youth who are not enrolled in Catholic schools in our diocese and who contribute to their Catholic parish and community.

Two new categories will now be added: the Catholic Students Bishop’s Award for young Catholic students enrolled in state or independent schools or who are home schooled, and the Catholic Young People Bishop’s Award for Catholics from Year 12 to 25 years residing in the diocese and belonging to a parish.

An award in each category will contribute towards the young person’s education or continuing faith formation.

In sharing his experience of receiving this award in 2014, Alexander Melville said, “I was encouraged to apply by others around me who saw what I was doing in the parish, school and generally in the community. I think it’s good that there is a way for young people to be encouraged and supported in their commitment to their church and school communities. Students can look up to their peers who are trying to live out their faith.”

It is hoped that this recognition will serve as a means of acknowledging and encouraging continued efforts of these and other students.

Application packs will soon be available in parishes and Catholic secondary schools.

To learn more, contact Cath Garrett-Jones, Parent Liaison & Resource Officer, Catholic Schools Office. P 4979 1303 or email

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Cath Garrett-Jones Image
Cath Garrett-Jones

Cath is the Professional Officer (Parent Liaison & Resources) with the Maitland-Newcastle Catholic Diocese Schools Office.

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