Festive fun from our creative students

Public school students captured the spirit of the season for the Minister for Education’s 2022 Christmas Card competition.

Image: Joshua Reade of Cammeray Public School worked with Aboriginal artist Bibi Barba before designing this Christmas card.

A record number of students this year sketched Christmas cards featuring images ranging from surfing Santas to Australian birds and animals, sending positive messages of peace, happiness and laughter.

More than 1,100 artworks from 90 NSW public schools were received for the Minister for Education’s 2022 Christmas Card competition interpreting the theme, ‘All I want for Christmas’.

The Minister, Sarah Mitchell, selected the smiling Santa created by Year 6 Merewether Public School student Edie Clarke as the overall winner and is featuring the design on her Christmas cards.

Edie said her family’s Christmas ritual was to have a swim and spend special time together.

“Christmas is a time for giving and to spend time with your family,” she said.

Another 30 students were finalists or highly commended in the competition and three designs were chosen for Christmas cards for Department of Education Secretary Georgina Harrisson and Deputy Secretaries Murat Dizdar and Leanne Nixon.

Ms Harrisson chose an image of a family Christmas designed by Forbes Public School Kindergarten student Kelsey Lee.

“I love the exuberance of Kelsey’s drawing and it reminds me of how exciting Christmas is for kids,” Ms Harrisson said.

“Kelsey’s hometown, Forbes, and the surrounding towns, were badly affected by the recent floods so I hope this artistic recognition lifts the spirits of her school community.”

This year’s competition saw record participation by students from Schools for Specific Purposes (SSPs).

Mary Brooksbank School in Rosemeadow submitted more than 30 artworks, the most from an SSP. Students Lachlan Henry, Areelo Nadeem and Michael Langley were finalists in the competition, as was the school’s Emu Class.

The 9C class at Les Powell School at Mount Pritchard was a finalist as was student Salim Salim.

At George Bass School, students Heath Tisdell and Daniel Nguyen were finalists. Deputy Secretary Murat Dizdar chose Daniel’s Christmas tree design for his yuletide cards.

“Daniel’s use of colour and texture is extraordinary; his artwork really shimmers,” Mr Dizdar said.

“It’s wonderful to see so many entries this year from students in our Schools for Specific Purposes. They have really captured the spirit of Christmas.”

Mary Brooksbank School and Pitt Town Public School, which submitted 184 artworks, received commendations from Ms Mitchell and books for their libraries.

Cammeray Public School worked with Aboriginal artist Bibi Barba before the students submitted their Indigenous-inspired designs. Deputy Secretary Leanne Nixon chose artwork by Year 4 student Joshua Reade for her digital Christmas cards.

“It’s so interesting how the school consulted a First Nations artist so the students could learn more about their local totem animals before creating their artworks,” Ms Nixon said.

“Joshua’s artwork is about the essence of a Christmas summer by the beach, complete with Santa hats on the sea creatures.”

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