David Leo and Sophia Husband

Sophia’s sweep

Friday, October 27, 2017
Avondale honours academic excellence; students receive multiple prizes

A year after David Page’s sweep, another student has received four academic prizes including one of the most prestigious from Avondale College of Higher Education.

Sophia Husband’s Avondale Prize of Excellence comes in addition to prizes in journalism, history and teaching. The prize pool nets the final-year Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Teaching student $4500. She will use the money to buy a car. She needs one—her new job is as English, drama, art and Bible teacher at Carlisle Adventist Christian College in Mackay, Queensland.

Husband has enjoyed her course. “You want to do well when you like what you’re doing.” However, she has “reached my quota of study. I’m ready to teach, to get out among the kids.”

The first two prizes presented during the ceremony—the Adventist Media Journalism Prize and the Allen and Andrea Steele Huguenot History Prize—went to Husband. She also received the Ministry of Teaching (Secondary) Prize.

Among other multiple prize winners named during the ceremony, held in Ella Hughes Chapel on the Lake Macquarie campus this past Wednesday (October 25): Avondale Seminarian David Leo. He like Husband received the Avondale Prize of Excellence, along with the Graham Miller Memorial Prize for Youth Ministry. The former surprised him. “I listened to the reading of the citation and said to myself, Good on that person. Then, What, me?.” Leo used his family as motivation for study. “They’ve given everything to make this happen. Failing wasn’t even an option.” The Leos have received a call to minister at the Glenorchy Seventh-day Adventist Church in Tasmania where David will also serve part-time as chaplain at Hilliard Christian School.

Fabiano Niyonkuru, a Bachelor of Ministry and Theology classmate of Leo’s, also received two prizes—one in public evangelism and the other New Testament apocalyptic studies. Communication specialists Sharna Kosmeier and Ashley Steele did as well, Kosmeier for public relations, Steele for arts, with both sharing the W A Townend Christian Journalism Prize. Music specialist Oliver Doyle and honours student Lauren Taylor doubled, too, with Doyle receiving Avondale Conservatorium’s harmony and composition and academic excellence prizes and Taylor the Barritt Primary Teacher’s Literacy Prize and the Ministry of Teaching (Primary) Prize.

Two-thirds of the 43 students receiving prizes were female.

The recipient of Avondale Prize for Excellence on the Sydney campus will be announced during the consecration service on December 8.


David Leo and Sophia Husband received Avondale College of Higher Education’s most prestigious academic prize in 2017. Danielle Chipchase Noble

Academic prize recipients 2017

Which students has Avondale College of Higher Education recognised as excelling as leaders in 2017? Find out in this list of academic prize recipients.

Academic prize recipients 2017



Brenton Stacey

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Brenton is Avondale College of Higher Education’s Public Relations Officer. He brings to the role a decade’s experience as a communicator in publishing, media relations, public relations, radio and television, mostly within the Seventh-day Adventist Church in the South Pacific and its entities. He is also co-convenor of Manifest, an Avondale-led movement exploring, encouraging and celebrating faithful creativity.

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