The 2009 Central Coast Aboriginal Education Pathways Awards were held on the 29th April at the Erina Centre. Over 300 award recipients, guests and local dignitaries attended a colourful and culturally rich evening celebrating the educational achievements of Aboriginal students across the Coast.
More than 420 Aboriginal students qualified for awards with achievements in Higher School Certificate, School Certificate, TAFE, Youth Connections, Central Coast Community College and University of Newcastle studies.
Central Coast Aboriginal Education Consultative Groups (AECG) put forward nominees for 'Contributions to Aboriginal Education' across Central Coast schools.
"It is essential that the hard work of Aboriginal people in our community committed to Aboriginal education across all schools on the Central Coast be acknowledged through the Pathways Awards," said Annie Vanderwyk, Secretary of the Ourimbah Campus AECG.
Dignitaries from NSW Department of Education and Training, University of Newcastle, Central Coast Community College, Hunter Institute of TAFE and the Department of Education Employment and Work Place Relations presented students with their awards.
Belinda Whyte and Jimmy Cole showed the depth of vocal talent of young Aboriginal people on the coast complimenting the great talent of NAISDA Developing Artists who performed traditional dance.
Acting Pro Vice Chancellor, University of Newcastle Central Coast campus, Associate Professor Bill Gladstone, said the award presentations were an inspiring tribute to the artistic and educational achievements as well as the community contributions of the Central Coast Aboriginal community.
"It was a great pleasure to be there and to know that the event is growing every year," Associate Professor Gladstone said.
The Pathway Awards have gained valued sponsorship from Hunter Land Holdings, Indigenous Business Services and Darkinjung Local Aboriginal Land Council.
Darkinjung Local Aboriginal Land Council CEO Mr Shaun Gordon said the Awards were a great indication of the positive growth and strength of Aboriginal peoples in our area.