Whyalla's Clontarf Foundation hosts awards night

Whyalla's Clontarf Foundation awards night has recognised the program's major achievers for 2020.

The awards night took place at Stuart High School last month, with awards presented to students across a number of categories.

The 'Academy Awards' was well supported with 170 Whyalla Clontarf Academy students, their families, school staff and foundation partners in attendance.

The Whyalla program included 61 participants this year across Stuart High School, Edward John Eyre High School and Whyalla High School, with the foundation aiming to improve the education, discipline, life skills, self-esteem and employment prospects for young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men.

The program was designed to get young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander boys to school, keep them at school and see them progress through year 12, while also supporting in transitioning to further education or employment.

The event is the program's equivalent to the AFL Brownlow Medal night, with the prestigious Clontarf Spirit Award for the academy member who has committed wholeheartedly to the program and had outstanding attendance and training attendance, as well as upholding Clontarf values went to Terrell Colson.

Ethan Doyle won the Good Bloke Award for his consistent and outstanding behaviour, and values in the academy room and at school, while Cameron Olds took the Employment Award for his ability to successfully manage casual employment and meet the requirements of year 11 at Edward John Eyre High School.

There were three Attendance Award winners in Ignatius Champion-Hunter (100 per cent), Lachlan Irwin (94 per cent) and Fayne Poulson (97 per cent), while Tyler Olds and Darryl Hallett took the Training Awards, and the trio of Billy Yeend-Joslyn, Shaun Byrne and Ryan Wallace were the Encouragement Award winners.

Clontarf Academy director Graeme Twaddle said the night was a chance to come together and celebrate the achievements of the past school year, and demonstrated the breadth of the program to the community.

"We were rapt from a program perspective, about how well it was received by the boys, their families and the community," he said.

"The night was dedicated to all our boys, to celebrate their academic, sporting and social successes throughout the year."

Mr Twaddle said it was also a celebration for their year 12 students, with six completing the program in 2020 compared to two last year.

He said they were having success with the program in Whyalla.

"The program has an attendance rate of approximately 80 per cent and our retention rate is 90 per cent, so we know once in the program they stay at school," he said.

"We do lots of after school activities, camps and training to entice those young men to school and build their capacity which transfers to the wider community."

Mr Twaddle said this year's Clontarf program had to be adjusted due to COVID-19 restrictions, but included activities such as providing goods for people on Kangaroo Island after the summer bushfires and partnering with Mint Cafe to make meals to send out to local families in need, with about 200 meals delivered.

"We had to adapt the program with COVID, but the main thing was to stay relevant to the boys in the program and their families," he said.

"We adapted to be able to do that and it meant we have done a lot more stuff on sites instead of cross-site activities."