22 May 2017:

Shakeila Bartman might only be in her first years of school, but her leadership skills are all ready shining through.

The Toomelah Public School student was named the winner of the inaugural Camburn Withers Scholarship at the Proudly Public! Celebrating Excellence in Public Schools’ awards night at Sydney Town Hall this week (Wednesday, 17 May).

Shakeila’s scholarship supports an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander student through primary school.

“Shakeilah is in Grade Two and is 7 years-old.

“She has a truly kind heart and always thinks of others needs in the classroom,” her application said.

“She demonstrates strong leadership skills to her younger peers which has seen so many friendships blossom. Shakeilah loves to play games with her classmates and has a genuine happiness for others’ success or winning.

“She loves sport, reading and colouring in.”

Connected Communities schools work in partnership with Aboriginal leaders in the local community to help improve education outcomes for young Aboriginal people.

The Secretary of the Department of Education, Mark Scott, said Shakeila received one of almost 280 scholarships from the Public Education Foundation to help students and educators reach their potential by enhancing their learning and professional pathways.

“What’s particularly notable is how the individual efforts of these exceptional students and educators combine to create the extraordinary outcomes that our public education system delivers year in, year out,” Mr Scott said.

“The annual awards of the Foundation are a timely reminder of the important role philanthropy plays in Australian society and the life-changing contribution it can make through education.

“The generous and ongoing support from sponsors means the Public Education Foundation can continue to expand its scholarship pool and support even more richly deserving students.” 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.

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