Mackenzie Woodbury announced as Natalie Burton Memorial Award Winner

Bede Polding College student Mackenzie Woodbury is the proud recipient of the 2018 Natalie Burton Memorial Award. The award is intended for a recipient who has faced challenging circumstances but, through their application and determination, has overcome this adversity to succeed. The Award is administered by Hawkesbury City Council on behalf of the Burton, Turner and Lawrance families.

Ms Belinda Pickert, the Acting Assistant Case Management and Diversity Coordinator at Bede Polding College, submitted the nomination for Mackenzie, who is in Year 10 this year.

“Mackenzie has Hypertonic Diaplegic Cerebral Palsy but, despite this, she always tries to involve herself in as many different extracurricular activities as possible,” Ms Pickert said.

“With her friendly and outgoing personality, Mackenzie has become part of a great group of friends who are a very special part of her life.

“She participates in swimming carnivals, athletic carnivals, and the Bede Polding College walkathons,” she said.

“Mackenzie always looks forward to excursions and camps and she has chosen Physical Activities and Sports Science as her electives.

“Mackenzie is willing to try most activities and she extends herself to try new things. She even went to a surfing camp at Collaroy recently. When she puts her mind to it, she’s unstoppable.”

Mackenzie also plans to complete her work placement with the Cerebral Palsy Alliance, and with their assistance she has enrolled in the Duke of Edinburgh program.

“Mackenzie is an excellent representative of the College,” Ms Pickert said.

“We’re all so proud of her.” The Mayor of Hawkesbury, Councillor Barry Calvert congratulated Mackenzie for her determination and active involvement at both school and externally.

“Mackenzie is a wonderful recipient for this award. Her eagerness to get in and do as much as possible is admirable and inspiring to say the least. She is obviously enjoying it too. Well done Mackenzie, and keep it up.”

As a recipient of the Natalie Burton Award, Mackenzie received a commemorative plaque, certificate and $200 prize money.

The Natalie Burton Memorial Award was established in 2004. Natalie Burton was a remarkable individual who died from cancer in March 2003 at the age of 32. The purpose of the Award is to provide a means of allowing Natalie’s life and her extraordinary achievements to inspire students to overcome adversity in their own lives.

Despite being diagnosed with a life threatening brain tumour at 25, Natalie continued to follow her dreams of travelling and adventure, climbing lower levels of the Himalayas and cycling around Australia and overseas.

Natalie Burton was an outstanding local student. She completed her HSC exam as Dux of Colo High School, gaining the highest HSC result in the Hawkesbury District in 1987. She went on to receive her Bachelor of Science (Veterinary) and Bachelor of Veterinary Science, both with First Class Honours from the University of Sydney.

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