Ballarat Student of the Month Awards
In 2016 Ballarat Blue Light introduced a new initiative in partnership with local Ballarat primary schools with the introduction of the Blue Light Student of the Month Awards. The initiative was possible thanks to a City of Ballarat Community Impact Grant which contributed $10,000.00 to the project.
The project was the brain child of Ballarat Blue Light Branch President and local Police Youth Resource Officer, Leading Senior Constable Des Hudson who adapted the initiative from the model of the Blue Ribbon Spirit of Sport Awards which also run in Ballarat. Initially, 11 primary schools nominated to be part of the program in year 1 which has now grown to 13 primary schools this year. Each school is asked to nominate two students, one from Grade Prep to Grade 3, and then another from Grade 4 – Grade 6, who demonstrate the following values; Positive School Attendance, Respect for School Teachers, Respect for their fellow Students, and making a Positive Contribution to the broader School Community.
Each month the winners are presented with their awards by a uniformed police member who will attend at their school assembly to make the presentation in front of the whole school community. Each award winner receives a framed certificate of achievement, an engraved Blue Light Student of the Month Medal and a Free Double Pass to an upcoming Blue Light Event.
The initiative was originally designed to grow awareness and attendance at Ballarat Blue Light events by the next generation of young people coming through schools, but the award has now become a significant monthly award sought after by students in many of the schools participating. Each school uses the same fundamental criteria to decide who receives the award but might make some subtle changes to reflect their own individual values. Feedback from School Principals has been extremely positive with students often wearing their medal proudly to school on the days following the presentation. Some winners even turn up to Blue Light events wearing their medals as well.
In the 2 years the initiative has been running, 528 individual students have been recognised for their positive behaviour and all winners are now published in local Ballarat newspapers and on the various Blue Light Social Media Platforms.