Kate’s outreach work recognised by Order of Australia Association

25 September 2019

The Order of Australia Association recognises those who have made outstanding contributions that benefit their communities and ultimately, our country. Year 12 student and Head Prefect, Kate Jacobs, has been presented with the Association’s John Lincoln Youth Community Service Award in a ceremony at Government House that acknowledged her as a role model and change-maker.

During her time at Meriden, Kate has been a member of Justice League and Interact Club, the School’s social justice cocurricular groups. Since 2014, Kate has presented many insightful sessions on pertinent social and political issues. She has raised money and awareness for the Salvation Army, the refugee crisis and a local organisation dedicated to supporting women and children escaping domestic violence, called “Got Your Back Sista”. She also led the School to prepare care packages for the homeless in Samoa through international charity, “Samoan Victim Support Group”. In 2016, Kate volunteered to serve a remote Indigenous school in the Northern Territory, then at a local primary school in Laos two years later. In 2018, Kate was a Strathfield representative at the Model United Nations Assembly held at New South Wales Parliament House.

Dr Julie Greenhalgh, Principal, said Kate is a deserving recipient of the John Lincoln Youth Community Service Award.

“Kate’s proactivity and servant heart have undoubtedly served the Meriden and wider communities, and her leadership and mentoring of younger students mean that her impact continues to multiply beyond her,” Dr Greenhalgh said.

“The School congratulates Kate and thanks her for her service to our community. She will graduate Meriden having made her mark on many people at home and overseas and her continued passion for philanthropy makes us hopeful that the future of our world is in good hands.”

Kate said her interest in community service was sparked by her involvement in Meriden’s outreach activities in Ti Tree, Northern Territory.

“We stayed at the primary school and helped to teach the young children English and that’s what started my passion for outreach, making direct connections with people whom I could help,” she said.

“One of the highlights of my time at Meriden was travelling to Laos last year, where we worked on the construction of a school. The woman who kindly allowed us to stay in her home for two weeks became my mentor and she said to me, ‘When looking at other people, the most important thing to notice is the similarities, rather than the differences, between you.’ I’ve taken that to heart and it’s part of what keeps me engaged in wanting to help others because I see how fortunate I am to come to a school like Meriden and I want to give back for all that I have received.”