Bishop's Award

Bishop's Award

The Bishop’s Award seeks to publicly recognise the efforts of students and young
people within our Diocese who have contributed to the community through their
Parish, Church group or Church agency such as Caritas, Youth Ministries, St Vincent de Paul, Mini Vinnies or similar church groups. This also includes contributions made within parishes e.g. Liturgy and Youth Ministries.

This recognition serves as a means of acknowledging and encouraging the continued efforts of these and other young people.

The Bishop’s Award is open to students, Years 7-12 and Young People (who have completed Year 12 and are under 25 years of age). The Bishop’s Award comprises four categories:

  • Students in Year 7 & 8
  • Students in Year 9 & 10
  • Students in Year 11 &12
  • Young People (those who have completed year 12 and who are 25 years of age or less)

Applicants must live within the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle and belong to a Parish within the Diocese.

Each successful applicant will receive an award of $1000 which may contribute towards the student’s or young person’s education or faith formation by assisting them to attend events such as World Youth Day, Diocesan Youth Retreat or a music ministry. There is a maximum award pool of $10,000 for the 2019 awards. Each successful applicant will also receive a Certificate of Recognition.

What do I need to do?

Students/young people may nominate themselves or be nominated by their parent(s), carer or a member of their community. In the case of a student/young person being nominated by a member of his/her community, the nominator must seek the consent of the parent(s), (if the student is under 18 years of age) and the student/young
person prior to nominating.

All applicants will need to complete the attached application form and to provide the following information:

  • current contact details
  • school name / academic institution and current year of enrolment
  • evidence of involvement in and notable contributions to his/her school, parish and broader community through his/her continued good works
  • parental consent to apply for the Bishop’s Award if under 18 years of age.

They will also need to seek the support of their Parish Priest/Leaders and include them as a referee in their application. Each applicant will need to sign a Diocesan Image Release form.

Should an applicant’s nomination be successful, the successful applicant may be expected to participate in promotion of Bishop’s Award activities for the following year.

What happens next?

The student/young person or their nominator will need to submit the completed Bishop’s Award Application via email to by the closing date: 30 November 2019.

All applicants are required to inform and seek the support of either his/her Parish Priest, Deacon or Parish Leader as well as their School Principal or Deputy Principal, if applicable. Applicants should also seek the support of their Parish Community and leaders of the organisations with which they are involved as a possible referee.

Late applications will not be accepted.

Review and selection

The Bishop’s Award Selection Panel will review the applications.

The Selection Panel will be made up of a member of the Clergy, the Chair of the Federation of P & F Associations (or the delegated representative), an Assistant Director from the CSO, Chair of the DCMYP (or the delegated representative) and the Vice Chancellor  Pastoral Ministries (or the delegated representative).

Members of the Panel will disclose any conflict of interest and excuse themselves from the committee should a family member or relative apply for the Bishop’s Award. Parish priests are also ineligible to be a member of the Selection Panel should they be an applicant’s referee.

A representative from the Bishop’s Award working party will be responsible for verifying applications that might be successful by contacting nominated referees. This in no way is an indication of the likely success or otherwise of the application. In making its recommendations, the Selection Panel will forward applications and recommendations to the Bishop for his consideration and ratification.

A representative of the Bishop’s Award working party will write to each applicant advising them of the outcome of their application.

Nominees will be recognised and successful applicants presented with their awards at a liturgy presided over by the Bishop in March 2020 at St John’s Chapel, Maitland. Those students who are selected to receive a Bishop’s Award will receive their prizes as well as a Certificate of Recognition.

The decision of Bishop Bill is final.

Applications for the Bishop's Award are NOW OPEN to apply CLICK HERE.