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21 January 2021

Alex Chu receives Active Citizenship award from City of Prospect

Blackfriars is a school that celebrates the breadth of talents and achievements of its…

Blackfriars is a school that celebrates the breadth of talents and achievements of its students. Today, we are thrilled to be celebrating the hard work of one very community-minded young man, Alex Chu, who was last night announced as a dual recipient of the City of Prospect’s 2021 Active Citizenship Award.

Alex was presented the award by City of Prospect Mayor David O’Loughlin. He will also be invited back to Blackfriars for our Laureate Assembly in Week 2 so that the whole school community can celebrate his achievement.

Alex receiving his award from City of Prospect.

Alex was a member of our Class of 2020, and was an active part of the school community during his years here. Blackfriars Counsellor Dianne Bucciarelli nominated Alex for this citizenship award due to the resilience he showed in overcoming exceptional challenges throughout his high schooling, and being a valued mentor for younger students.

Dianne has worked closely with Alex and says he has become a valuable mentor and guide to younger students.

“Alex thrived when he was asked to support new Year 7 students who were nervous about transitioning to secondary school. He was kind, supportive and encouraging to them – and always had a smile on his face,” says Dianne. This led to more opportunities for Alex, who became a compassionate listening ear for many boys who were struggling with their schooling or wellbeing.

Luca Emerson is just one of the students who worked closely with Alex in 2020, during the passing of Luca’s father. He says Alex helped him navigate the process with greater hope and positivity, while staying focused and motivated for his Year 6 studies.

“Dianne introduced us because we had similar stories,” says Luca. “He was caring and hard-working, and he made me feel much better. Alex really turned me around.”

Alex doesn’t limit his compassion to within the school grounds, however. In mid-2020, the school received a call from a member of the public who had witnessed an act of kindness by Alex and another Blackfriars student. The boys were spotted assisting an elderly lady in Rundle Mall. The woman had become disoriented so the students safely assisted the lady to a taxi and were seen checking their wallets to see if they had enough money to pay for her taxi fare home.

Owen Stanborough, Blackfriars Head of House (de Vitoria and Lagrange), says this incident is typical of the kind of effort Alex puts into everything he does.

“Alex has shown real resilience and he has been brave in his perseverance. He has a great positive attitude and always tries his best. He is a great role model for younger student and representative of Blackfriars,” says Owen. “This is why he was an obvious winner to us for the 2020 Daniel Cox Memorial Award here at Blackfriars.”

Alex receiving the Daniel Cox Memorial Award for resilience, determination and positivity from Blackfriars Principal Simon Cobiac.

On top of all of this, Alex has a great talent for photography, a passion for horticulture and was also heavily involved in the school’s table tennis program.

Dan Shepley, Alex’s digital photography teacher, says Alex was always a valuable contributor in his subjects.

“Alex has shown a creative flair in his approach to photography. His application to his work has exhibited a genuine passion for the craft and he has shown excellent problem solving skills. His love of the natural world is communicated in his imagery and it has been exciting to see Alex’s genuine engagement with the photographic artform,” says Dan.

Whatever path he takes, we are sure that Alex will continue to be a compassionate, hard-working and generous member of the community. We are fortunate to have had him study at Blackfriars, and the seeds of kindness he has sown with younger students will no doubt reap benefits for years to come.