The Pope Francis Award gives students in Year 6 a unique faith-based volunteering opportunity.

Sydney Catholic Schools' Pope Francis Award recipient with life-size Pope Francis poster

The program supports students to develop their leadership skills and equips them to be a powerful witness of the Catholic faith, regardless of their academic ability, within the nurturing environment of their school and parish community.

The yearlong program helps students recognise the importance of respect and caring for others, while encouraging them to be compassionate open-hearted service leaders who “never see a need without doing something about it.”

The Pope Francis Award was launched as a pilot in five secondary schools in 2022 and will be offered to all Year 7 students in Sydney Catholic Schools’ secondary schools from 2023.

About the Pope Francis Award program:

  • Initiated by Sydney Catholic Schools in 2017, this system-recognised award supports students’ growth as a whole person – including their social, spiritual and emotional learning and wellbeing – by encouraging the involvement of students in their school and local parish.
  • Year 6 students earn an award by volunteering their time before and after school completing community service projects, tailored to their own strengths and causes they are passionate about – selfless gifts of time that may shape their future course in life.
  • Students also complete four online modules, designed to deepen their understanding of their service and the significance of their contribution to society, as well as their own personal faith journeys.
  • In Term 4 of every year, Sydney Catholic Schools recognises thousands of participating students across the Archdiocese of Sydney with specially designed certificates and medals.
  • In 2021, 92 primary schools across the Archdiocese of Sydney delivered this program, supporting 1,142 students to develop mindsets of ‘giving back’ through active service to others.