Standing up for Canberra

The Chronicle: School Legends 2014

One of this year’s highlights has been taking part in my ‘School Legends’ program.

I introduced this program three years ago because I noticed there were plenty of awards for students who got straight As in maths or English or who excelled in sport, but there were no awards for those students who were what I call the quiet achievers.

There was a real gap in the market for those students who overcome physical and personal challenges and yet still achieve their goals.

The students are nominated by their school, and the awards send a strong message that their school is watching out for them, aware of the challenges they are facing, supporting them and loving them.

It has been remarkable visiting schools this year to present these ‘school legends’ with their awards.

These are extraordinary young people who show resilience, courage and strength of character beyond their years.

It buoys me to think that these awards encourage them to overcome their challenges or even just put a smile on their face.

Thank you to all who have been involved in this year’s program and I look forward to recognising more students in the New Year.

Thank you also to my team – Madeleine, Alicia, Jill and Claire – for your support and hard work this year, I look forward to what next year brings.

2014 has been a wonderful year for Canberra – we have seen blockbuster numbers at events like the Multicultural Festival, Floriade and Nightfest… and we’ve been named the OECD’s best place to live in the world.

Congratulations Canberra on a great year!

I wish all of you a safe and happy Christmas and New Year. I am proud to be able to continue to work and advocate for you in 2014.