The NSW Premier’s Sporting Challenge will mark its 10th anniversary this week
(Wednesday, May 24) having clocked up 19,265 years of physical activity by its 2.4 million
student participants across the decade.
In its first year in 2008 the Premier’s Sporting Challenge was completed by about 74,000
students from 404 schools.
The program’s popularity has grown exponentially and this year more than 1500 schools,
350,000 students and 10,000 teachers will take part in the annual exercise challenge.
The Premier’s Sporting Challenge was established in 2008 to promote the importance of
daily physical activity, not just for fitness but overall health and wellbeing. Students at
participating schools record their daily activity during a 10-week period during terms 2 and 3.
“The NSW Government is committed to improving the wellbeing of the state’s young people,
and the Premier’s Sporting Challenge has played an important part in this objective,”
Education Minister Rob Stokes said.
“Congratulations to all 2.4 million participants in the challenge since it began in 2008 – they
have all taken a positive step to improve their health.”
Australia’s Physical Activity and Sedentary Behaviour Guidelines recommend children and
young people undertake at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity every
Students who reach that target in the Premier’s Sporting Challenge receive a Gold Award
which is the most common achievement of most participants.
Research shows the benefits of exercise are about more than being fit. Exercise has been
shown to improve students’ ability to focus and concentrate and lift their general mood. It
also provides a chance for students to make friends, learn about teamwork and to build
The program’s 10th anniversary will be marked at a gala event at Sydney’s Olympic Park on
Wednesday, May 24, with the Secretary of the Department of Education, Mark Scott, and a
group of elite athletes and Olympians who are public education alumni and now volunteer as
Premier’s Sporting Challenge Ambassadors.
Students and representatives from 10 of the 149 schools who have been involved with the
sporting challenge since its inception will also be present at the ceremony.
Among the original participating schools is Molong Central School, a school of 480 primary
and high school students in the town of Molong, halfway between Parkes and Bathurst.
School principal Michelle Barrett said the Premier’s Sporting Challenge was a highlight of the
“In regional schools we are always looking for opportunities to grow strong leaders in and we
see the sporting challenge as a chance for our older students to take on a leadership role
with our primary-aged children,” Mrs Barrett said.
She said it also helped inspire older students to take on coaching and mentoring roles within
community sports organisations
TALENTED TRIO MAKES IT INTO MISS SAIGON MUSICAL
Three talented West Sydney girls are now part of the new Miss Saigon Musical that’s set to launch on July 28-August 12 at the Riverside Theatre in Parramatta.
Filipino-Australians Jayd Luna, Trinity Dawn Ilagan and Princess De Leon have been selected by Packemin Priductions to be a part of a huge ensemble cast.
Luna, 17, from Quakers Hill, was a contestant on the X Factor last year. St Clair residents Ilagan, 17, is a contemporary dancer while De Leon, 17, is another accomplished singer who trained in classical music for over 10 years. All three are from the Nepean Creative and Performing Arts High School.
The three close friends, influenced by a variety of genres from classical, jazz, pop, acoustic, a cappella and pop music, are excited at the prospect of working together for the very first time.
“I love Miss Saigon because I’m a Leah Salonga fan. We all auditioned around the same time and got in. Our roles take us out of our comfort zone but as growing performers its good for our experience and help develop our mindset if we want to break into the entertainment industry,” said De Leon.
by Norma Henessy
IRENE KRASTEV AWARD
"In acknowledgement of the participation of women in the social, economic and educational life of South Australia, the Irene Krastev Awards for women from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds is presented to a woman from a migrant or refugee background, who has made a significant contribution to the community. Qualities that the award seeks to recognize, value and commend include community involvement in South Australia, participation in community activities, achievements in community work, leadership in women’s groups and volunteer work with women. The award is convened by the Migrant Women’s Lobby Group of SA and it is given out at the annual IWD Luncheon which has been in running for more than 15 years. This year’s Irene Krastev Award was presented by former Minister for Multicultural Affairs and now Chair of the Multicultural and Ethnic Affairs Commission the Hon Grace Portolesi."
INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY
The annual International Women’s Day 2017 luncheon on March 9 was held in conjunction with the celebration of International Women’s Day the day before. The 2017 theme for International Women’s Day, 8 March, was “Women in the Changing World of Work: Planet 50-50 by 2030”. While there is much advancement going on in the labour force and in the
workforce environment, women have yet to enjoy a better share of involvement in shaping the future of the evolving world. In her message to the world in this occasion, UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka said “ Achieving equality in the workplace will require an expansion of decent work and employment opportunities, involving governments’ targeted efforts to promote women’s participation in economic life, the support of important collectives like trade unions, and the voices of women themselves in framing solutions to overcome current barriers to women’s participation, as examined by the UN Secretary-General’s High-level Panel on Women’s Economic Empowerment. The stakes are high: advancing women’s equality could boost global GDP by US$12 trillion by 2025.” In South Australia, it was during the International Womens Day that awards honouring 2 great South Australian women, Irene Bell and Irene Krastev were given out along with the Young Women’s Community and Spirit Awards.
Irene Bell was born in Alberton, South Australia in 1906 and died in 1995. She was a member of the International Women’s Day Committee for more than 35 years. She was the Honorary Secretary in 30 of those years. She was instrumental in raising the status of women in the community. Irene fought tirelessly for the unemployed, personally helping many of them with no thought for her own welfare. She campaigned for women’s rights and supported women taking their place in Parliament and local government.
The Irene Bell award in her honor was shared this year by four outstanding South Australian women: Frances Bedford, MP, Erica Majba, Dr. Wendy Abigail and Steph Key, MP.
IRENE KRASTEV The Irene Krastev Award is presented by The Migrant Women's Lobby Group of SA Incorporated (MWLG) to recognise women from a migrant or refugee background who have made a significant contribution to the community and to the participation of women in the social, economic and educational life of South Australia.
The values that the MWLG seek to recognise, find noteworthy and commend through this award are: community involvement in South Australia; participation in community activities; leadership in women's groups; volunteer work; working with women, individuals and groups; and mentoring individuals and providing support for individuals and groups I was deeply honoured to be this year’s recipient of the award. My congratulations to my co-finalists: Emily Tanui Kori and Monica Belosevic. They have been equally as dedicated and passionate as I have been in my commitment to serve the community. The YOUNG WOMEN’S COMMUNITY AND SPIRIT AWARD was awarded to Atena Abrahimzadeh and Nadia Baldassi- Winderlich.
GOVERNOR’S MULTICULTURAL AWARD
This year’s Governor’s Multicultural Award that was held on 21st of March at the Government House grounds saw 34 finalists and 17 winners. Congratulations to all the winners, among whom was Cynthia Caird who received this year’s award for Community Service – Individual category.
I was privileged to have been a finalist to the Art and Culture Award-Individual category.
The special Individual Achievement Award was given to Mr Ly Luan Le.
Mr Ly Luan Le fled his home country Vietnam in the wake of Vietnam war and found initial refuge in the Philippines. It was in the Philippines where the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees asked him to develop a curriculum of English language for refugees. He arrived in Australia via a refugee camp in 1982, of which he had a first impression of it being "paradise".
He used his own experiences to help refugees and new arrivals. Since his arrival in Australia he has been actively involved in promoting multiculturalism and diversity.
Governor of SA Hieu Van Le acknowledged all nominees, finalists and winners:
"This is the opportunity to congratulate and acknowledge the wonderful work of so many people quietly within our community, that are working day in and day out, to ensure that the benefits of cultural diversity is known."
The GRAHAM SMITH PEACE FOUNDATION bagged the award for arts and culture – under the organization category. The foundation was initiated by Leonie Ebert. Celebrating Harmony Day in the afternoon of the same day, the Graham Smith Peace Foundation successfully raised funds via auction at the event. Among the many notables who attended were Stephanie Key, MP, and Lady Mayoress Genevieve Haese who came with her mother who was vacationing from Singapore. The guest speaker was Henry Olango, a retired professional cricketer from Zimbabwe who now calls Australia his home.
The Children’s Festival 2017 has been rescheduled, due to bad weather
before and on March 19 forced the cancellation of the planned event at
The festival’s founder, Thuat Van Nguyen, today announced that the 2017 festival will now be held
on Saturday 13
th of May at the same venue, First Fleet Park, The Rocks in Sydney.
It will be officially opened by the NSW Minister for Multiculturalism, Hon Ray Williams MP.
“We were naturally disappointed for the scores of children who had been preparing for the festival
for many weeks. However, the extra time available should allow us to make the event even better.
“This festival is something important for today’s world which is so divided by cultural and religious
difference. “On Saturday 13
th of May, children from over 30 groups will take to the stage to sing
and dance. Hundreds more will parade in national costume, accompanied by marching and drum
bands, and lion dancers.
“Children coming together in this way once a year, deliver an important lesson in harmony and
acceptance”, Mr Nguyen said.
Thuat Van Nguyen staged the first Multicultural Children's Festival in Bankstown in 1999.
“Over the years we have continued to grow and this year we are including indigenous children who
will dance and participate in creative activities. We have also invited children from recently-arrived
Syrian refugee families to introduce them to the amazing diversity of our society.
"There has probably never been a time when acceptance of difference was more important.
Children demonstrate welcome and acceptance much more easily than adults and our festival is
designed to bring all these children to together to mingle, share and to teach each other.
"Parents and children will know that they can talk to anyone, ask questions, and share their
knowledge and skills.
“I invite everyone, whatever your background, to join this fun-filled day that celebrates who and
what we are as a wonderfully successful and unique multicultural society”, he said.
The Multicultural Children’s Festival will take place in First Fleet Park close to Circular Quay with
non-stop entertainment performed by children between 11 am and 4 pm. This includes fun for
“under 5's” - jumping castle, kite making & flying, bamboo pole dance, animal farm, lion dance
workshop, and colouring-in…
The event is part of The City of Sydney’s Living in Harmony Festival 2017 and sponsored by
Multicultural NSW and other project partners.
For more information: