Students from James Meehan High School did Macarthur proud when they bagged three awards at the 2023 Proudly Public! Awards night at Sydney Town Hall on Monday.

Mahina, Amy and Tijana were among over 700 public school students and educators from across Australia to receive scholarships administered by the Public Education Foundation in 2023.

Other Macarthur schools to feature on the honour board were Ingleburn Public School, Elizabeth Macarthur High School, Ambarvale High School and Hurlstone Agricultural High School.

The evening’s MC was Julieanne Horsman, aproud alumni of Hurlstone Agricultural High School. Julieanne is a former journalist and army reservist and strong supporter of public education.

Since the launch of PEF’s scholarships program in 2009, over 3,000 students and more than 120 educators have been supported with greater than $8.5 million in life-changing scholarships administered by the Foundation.

Department of Education Acting Secretary Murat Dizdar thanked the Public Education Foundation for its ongoing support of public education in NSW.

He said the scholarships helped to remove barriers to achievement created by social and economic disadvantage.

“These scholarships are about recognising student excellence, potential and ability and rewarding students so they can continue to reach their potential,” Mr Dizdar said.

“Behind many of these awards are extraordinary stories of resilience and a commitment to learning against the odds, especially during the pandemic, bushfires and floods.

“I am proud of our students, teachers and leaders who have attained scholarships. It is their efforts that combine to create the extraordinary public education system we have in NSW, one that believes in the individual no matter your postcode and as part of its DNA is determined that every individual connects, succeeds and thrives in public schools.”

Public Education Foundation CEO David Riordan said the awards celebrate the enduring values of Australian public education.

“Every student deserves the opportunity to achieve their full potential, and these scholarships will help make that possible,” Mr Riordan said.

The Public Education Foundation is a charity dedicated to enhancing the value and reputation of public education by providing life-changing scholarships to its students, teachers and principals.