St Augustine’s College in Kyabram was awarded the prestigious Philomena Billington Social Justice Through the Arts Scholarship at the Official Opening of the Mackillop Art Exhibition held at the Sacred Heart Cathedral on Friday evening. The exhibition celebrates outstanding fine art completed by students from across the Sandhurst Diocese and the presentation of the coveted prize. Of the 56 schools across the Sandhurst Diocese, it was St Augustine’s project application entitled, ‘Our Common Home’  that was deemed to have the most potential to create art, shape community and drive change. 

College Principal Jay Sutton stated his understanding that the College has a great deal of work to do in the area of forming hearts for ecological justice and cited the issue as one of the greatest challenges and priorities for the generation, and the school community.

The significant $15,000 dollar scholarship has been awarded to support an incursion experience for students in Foundation to Year 4 to further their understanding of Christian stewardship and Aboriginal culture. Tammy-Lee Atkinsion (Yorta-Yorta Artist) and Aunty Greta Morgan and Aunty Hilda Stewart (Education Officers, Parks Victoria) among others, will lead student workshops and invite learners to engage in the design process, which will be used to produce metal bin covers, metal bollards and an Indigenous garden at the entrance to the College.  Though the learning will be ongoing, the ‘Our Common Home’ project will culminate in readiness for the College’s National Reconciliation Week Mass in May 2024.

The College is grateful to the Shire of Campaspe, Neville Hunter of Kyabram Landcare, and Brigidine Sister, Cecilia Merrigan, csb, for their support throughout the application process. The College looks forward to working especially with Tammy-Lee Atkinson (Yorta-Yorta Artist) and Aunty Greta Morgan and Aunty Hilda Stewart of Parks Victoria to bring the learning to life for students in 2024. 

The Philomena Billington Social Justice Through the Arts Scholarship wasn’t the only prize that St Augustine's College won for the evening. Year 11 student, Laura Emily Graetz was awarded the top VCE Art Award for her oil painting titled, ‘Peering Through’ which is now competing for the People’s Choice Award. Additionally, Year 7 student, Jemma Hart’s artwork titled ‘Life’ was selected for the Junior Secondary People’s Choice Award. Voting for the People’s Choice Award closes at 11.59 pm on Sunday, 26th November with winners to be announced on Tuesday 28 November on the Catholic Education Sandhurst Limited Facebook page. To cast your vote, please visit

The MacKillop Art Exhibition is open in the Sacred Heart Cathedral in Bendigo from 10 November 2023 to Saturday 26 November 2023, 10 am – 4.00 pm Wednesday to Saturday.

St Augustine’s College congratulates all those who submitted artworks for the Mackillop Art Exhibition. The Exhibition is a striking display or fine artwork!

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