Camden Haven High School principal Margaret Hutchinson recognised at 2019 Aboriginal Education awards

Camden Haven principal recognised for enhancing education

Students, staff and community members have been commended for their contributions to Aboriginal education on the Mid North Coast.

The 2019 Aboriginal Education Awards were hosted by the Hastings AECG and the Department of Education at Hastings Secondary College - Westport campus on Tuesday, November 19.

Camden Haven High School principal Margaret Hutchinson was acknowledged for her work helping students in the community.

She said the award was credit to a proactive school team, which includes terrific student leaders who are working to enhance Aboriginal education.

As a community member, Tony Clarke was recognised for his outstanding contribution to Aboriginal education through the implementation of programs to help students learn about their culture.

Every week about 20 to 30 students turn up at Chatham school and Mr Clarke said they are all very enthusiastic about the program.

Mr Clarke said the students learn about their culture through exploring the tools, weapons and art of their ancestors.

Aunty Linda Olive

Aunty Linda Olive

To increase access to Aboriginal education, Mr Clarke said funding is crucial and has called for more investment into programs.

Aunty Linda Olive was recognised for her work with the Hastings Aboriginal Education Consultative Group (AECG) for over the last 20 years.

She is also the Aboriginal Community Liaison Officer for Hastings and Macleay schools and said she was humbled by the award.

Ms Olive has been a passionate educator for over 40 years and strived to achieve equal and quality opportunity for Aboriginal students.

"Making sure they are reaching outcomes to ensure their dreams and aspirations for the future," she said.

In 2018 Aunty Linda Olive was recognised with a NAIDOC Hall of Fame award.

Hastings Secondary College School (Westport campus) student Caitlin Axelby received two awards for leadership and academic excellence.

Hastings Secondary College (Westport campus) student Caitlin Axelby

Hastings Secondary College (Westport campus) student Caitlin Axelby

Caitlin said it was a surprise to receive an academic excellence award, as she sees herself as an 'average Joe'.

She said it was special to be acknowledged at the Aboriginal Education Awards event.

Caitlin was selected to be part of the Regional Youth Taskforce to help advise the government on ways to help young people in less than ideal circumstances.

She was invited to meet NSW parliamentarian Bronnie Taylor as a youth event in Kempsey earlier this year.