Among the Bankstown Senior College winners was 2018 graduate Somali-born refugee Hani Abdile who won the Western Sydney Leadership Dialogue scholarship.
Ms Abdile spent 13 months in detention on Christmas Island before arriving in Australia, has published a book of poetry that she wrote while imprisoned and is now studying communications at UTS.
Bankstown Senior College is a high school that caters for mature age and re-entry students and holds the only adult Intensive English Centre for students newly arrived in Australia who are 16 years of age or over.
Chester Hill High School was another big winner with six scholarship winners and Wiley Park Girls High School students securing three awards.
The winners are among more than 131 public school students and educators from across NSW to receive scholarships as part of the Public Education Foundation national awards.
Secretary of the Department of Education, Mark Scott, said the scholarships aimed to remove barriers to achievement created by social and economic disadvantage.
“These scholarships are about recognising and rewarding student excellence to encourage high-achieving students to continue to maximise their potential,” he said.
“I congratulate our students, teachers and leaders who have won scholarships – it is their efforts that combine to create the extraordinary public education system we have in NSW.”