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** 2020 Nominations have now Closed **

The SA Branch Chairman Tony Metcalf OAM joins with all Order of Australia Association members in congratulating the following worthy Student Citizenship Award recipients who have been selected to be in the Top 10:

  • Elijah Barrott-Walsh, Cardijn College
  • Kylan Beech, Nazareth College
  • Gabrielle Connolly, Cardijn College
  • Charlotte Mauviel, Temple Christian College
  • Jake Meinel, Temple Christian College
  • Taylor Portelli, Eynesbury College
  • Skye Sexton, Loreto College
  • Sallee Shepherd, Unity College
  • Samoda Silva, Adelaide High School
  • Ethan White, Xavier College

The Student Citizenship Awards program is the flagship endeavour of the SA Branch of the Order of Australia Association.

Students are selected from nominations submitted by schools, and are assessed against a broad range of criteria, including leadership, contributions to the school/community and contributions to the environment and/or community development, as well as pride in Australian citizenship.

With the uncertainties and circumstances caused by the COVID-19 virus pandemic, the closing date for nominations for the 2020 Student Citizenship Awards was extended until the last day of school term 3 in South Australia (25 September).

On 16 November, Student Citizenship Awards Director Mr Noel Hender OAM BEM presented a ‘Highly Commended’ certificate to Olivia Webb (image supplied by Wilderness School).

Our Patron, His Excellency the Honourable Hieu Van Le AC, Governor of South Australia, had once again kindly agreed to host a presentation ceremony at Government House Adelaide. Each of the top 10 would have received an inscribed plaque and a “With Distinction” certificate signed by the Governor. In this ceremony the 2020 Student Citizen of the Year would have been announced. Unfortunately however, this event had to be cancelled.

In keeping with the aim of the Association to raise awareness about the Order of Australia, each school/college was encouraged to invite a member of the Association to attend a suitable school end-of-year graduation or valedictory assembly to present the Top 10 awards and also certificates signed by the Governor for those who were Highly Commended. Fortunately, some were able to do this before another COVID lock-down was imposed. In most cases however, the awards and certificates were delivered to the school to either be posted out, or presented in a live-streamed award ceremony with minimal invited guests in attendance.

To those who volunteered to make these presentations, the Student Citizenship Awards Director Mr Noel Hender OAM BEM said: “I thank you all for making yourselves available for this important program for our young people”.
South Australia’s 2020 Student Citizen of the Year has been invited to join the SA Branch at our Australia Day luncheon, at which time the award will be officially announced.


Since 2003, the Association, encouraged by school leaders, has successfully offered prestigious awards and certificates to year 11 and 12 students nominated by their respective schools and colleges, and selected by an adjudication panel as worthy of recognition for their contribution to citizenship in South Australia.

The awards – known as Student Citizenship Awards – are intended to recognise those young people who contribute broadly through voluntary service to school and/or general communities. They exemplify the Association’s objective: “to foster love of and pride in Australian citizenship”.

The top 10 or so most worthy students, receive an inscribed plaque and certificate; the student judged most worthy also receives a trophy as Student Citizen of the Year. Presentation of these awards are made at a function hosted by His Excellency – the Governor of the day,

Assessment is based on the following criteria – examples should be cited that demonstrate:

  • Significant benefits for the school/college and/or general community.
  • Leadership and influence upon peers.
  • Skills in organisation, management and communication.
  • Initiative and concern for the advancement and/or well-being of others by assisting group(s) in need such as disadvantaged, elderly, homeless youth OR by making a significant contribution to the environment and/or community development.
  • Pride in Australian citizenship.

These criteria have no hierarchy or priority and are all of equal value. Nominees need not satisfy all criteria.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact :

The Convenor, Student Citizenship Awards, Noel Hender at nrhender1@optusnet.com.au

The SA Branch is very grateful for the ongoing patronage and support of His Excellency the Governor. We thank all the participating schools for their strong support of this Branch initiative.

The Student Citizenship Awards are a different initiative from the Governor’s Civics Awards for Schools. The Governor’s Awards are continuing as previously advised on www.education.sa.gov.au/governors-civics-awards-schools

Fatima Shah of Thebarton Senior College received her Student Citizenship Award ‘Highly Commended’ certificate from Principal Eva Kannis-Torry in a live-streamed Year 12 Graduation Ceremony on Friday 4 December.