HUNTER student Mikaela McGill has received nationwide recognition for her artwork promoting respectful relationships.
The St Joseph's Primary School Charlestown year six student, 11, has been named the winner of Interrelate's Say No To Bullying Poster Competition, which received more than 2000 entries from primary aged students and schools across Australia.
The competition. aims to help students embrace respectful relationships and take a stand against bullying behaviours.
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"I'm very happy and excited," said Mikaela, who said she didn't expect to win.
"I just thought I'd get to the finals and that would be as far as I'd get."
Governor of NSW Margaret Beazley AC QC announced Mikaela as the competition winner in a virtual awards ceremony, which Mikaela watched with her classmates.
"I was very, very excited and quite kind of nervous," she said of the moment.
Mikaela's poster is divided into four drawings that show the world becoming a more colourful place when people show respect for others and own up to their actions.
She's written the words 'Responsible for your actions, respect others, respect yourself', which she said was akin to a class slogan.
"My thoughts on bullying is that it's not a good thing at all and it is just going to hurt others," she said.
"It's really rude to disrespect someone like that, [especially] if they did nothing to you."
Principal Kate Drake said the school was proud of Mikaela, "as her deep understanding of the need for respectful relationships and her hope filled spirit have shone through" in her poster.
The school has three competition finalists this year and produced a winner in 2015.
Ms Drake said the school valued the conversations started by thinking about the theme each year.
"This year in particular, the theme Say Yes to Respectful Relationships highlighted the importance of respect for each other in our similarities and in our differences," she said.
"The students could connect our school values of being honest, including others, playing fairly and using kind words and actions to the message in the theme, making it real and achievable in their daily lives."
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