Finley’s Aboriginal youth recognised

By Daniel Hughes

The academic, sporting, artistic and civic achievements of district Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students was recognised at the 2019 Proud and Deadly Awards Wednesday last week.

The annual awards ceremony was once again held at Deniliquin High School, and more than 200 students, educators and family members from 17 different schools in the region gathered to celebrate.

Schools from Finley, Deniliquin, Balranald, Barham, Hay, Oaklands, Mayrung, Mathoura, Barooga, Tooleybuc and Moama attended the event.

Deniliquin Network Aboriginal community liaison officer Matthew Daniels said the event wouldn't be possible if it weren't for the tireless efforts from those in such a wide catchment.

“We get the best help from around the region,” he said.

“Each year we put the option out from around the region for a chance of sponsorship and it is always so wonderful to see all of the sponsorship and help we get back.

“We certainly don't send it out expecting such generosity but we are very lucky to have such generous schools and businesses in our region.

“It makes it worth it when you can see the sense of achievement and happiness it gives our kids across the region.”

This year was the first year the ceremony has had a paid performer with local talent Dwayne Broome performing.

“Last year we had the Deniliquin High senior band perform and they were just incredible,” Mr Daniels said.

“We were lucky enough this year to have it in our budget to have some paid entertainment, which was clearly worth it when you could see the enjoyment on the kids faces.”

Finley High School award recipients were: Shiane Mason, Ben Neessen, Cassidy Reynolds, Matilda Burton, Paige McKenzie, Riley Collis, Charlotte Mason, Nick Taylor, Robbie Hamann, Ethan McLeish, Tayla Adams, Andrew Neessen, Lexie Hines, Mia Neessen, Shannon Neilsen, Stella Mason, Breanna McLeish, Dakota Cracknell, Hugh Burton, Jacob Arner, Kadeesha Conlan, Lucy Arner and Makala McKenzie.