TERANG College Year 12 student Sophie-Kate Shaw was “very surprised and excited” when she learnt she had received a Victoria Certificate of Education (VCE) Leadership Award.
Recognising the efforts of VCE students in promoting leadership and participation in their school and local community, the awards honoured six finalists from schools across the state last month.
Supporting Sophie-Kate’s own application for the award, teacher Liam Geary submitted an application on behalf of the school and Kerrin McKenzie submitted an application as a community member.
She also had to complete a phone interview with a panel of three award adjudicators.
When she heard she was one of six finalists for the VCE Leader of the Year Award and a VCE Leadership Award, she said she was “very humbled”.
“I don’t do it just to be recognised,” Sophie-Kate said.
She said the highlights of her achievements included time as school captain this year alongside fellow school captain Tom Cavarsan and speaking at this year’s Anzac Day service in Terang.
Along with the support of the school’s Student Representative Council, Sophie-Kate also organised fundraisers to support the Buy a Bale campaign supporting drought-stricken farmers and Ben Stewart in his bid for a seizure assistance dog.
Her other volunteer roles have included collecting for the local Good Friday Appeal, organising Terang College’s Biggest Morning Tea and at the May Noonan Aged Care Centre.
Sophie-Kate visited Parliament House for the presentation ceremony last month and answered two questions about her leadership style and how to encourage local volunteerism.
She said it was inspiring to hear the stories of the other finalists and to receive the award.
“It means that I’ve been recognised,” Sophie-Kate said.
“I’ve made new friends out of it as well.
“It was just a great opportunity to hear what others across the state were doing.”
Facing the last stretch of preparation before the final examinations, she said she was aiming to take a gap year, but was yet unsure whether she would enter into further education.
“I will still continue to be involved in the community. Helping others is something I’ve really concentrated on,” Sophie-Kate said.
“I don’t do it just to be recognised. It’s about giving back to the community and helping others.”