Ashley Carvalho, a final year Law (Honours) student from the University of Notre Dame, Fremantle in Western Australia, has received this year’s Helen Lombard Award for her outstanding service to the university and the wider community.
The Award was established in 2000 in honour of Sister Helen Lombard SGS, past Congregational Leader of the Good Samaritan Sisters and former Provost and University Governor, and is presented each year to a female student who has made an outstanding contribution to student leadership and the advancement of the Catholic mission and goals of the University.
On receiving the award, Ashley said she was honoured to be recognised for her contribution.
“I am very honoured to be recognised by the university and the Good Samaritan Sisters for my contribution to the University,” Ashley said.
“The University of Notre Dame has provided me with so many opportunities to grow on my faith journey,” she said, “and I endeavour to let people see Jesus through me in all that I do.
“Thank you for the ongoing support the Good Samaritan Sisters provide to the University and for all the good work you do for the community.”
Ashley is in her final year of a Law (Honours) degree, and has completed a degree in Arts (Politics and International Relations), as well as a Certificate IV in Christian ministry at Acts 2 College of Mission and Evangelisation.
She spent a semester studying abroad in Indonesia and completed a six-week internship in Cambodia, as well as undertaking missionary work in Vietnam, Cambodia and the Philippines.
“Participating in the internship program has opened doors to opportunities in the region and in Australia, and has strengthened my understanding of Cambodia’s culture, history, language and people,” Ashley said.
Ashley was NDA’s Inaugural New Colombo Plan Ambassador in 2018, is the president of the Young Christian Workers Club, and was a past president of the Notre Dame student association for a semester in 2016. She was also the Australian Young Christian Workers national secretary and attended the 2016 World Youth Day in Poland.
Ashley has volunteered with the St Vincent De Paul Society since she was 12 years old and now sits on their state youth council in a spiritual advisor capacity. She has participated in an immersion and mentoring programs in remote Indigenous communities in the Northern Territory, and has been a mentor to the youth team within Aboriginal Catholic Ministry.
In looking to the future, Ashley said she is seeking a career in the field of international relations and community development.
“I am really passionate about combatting transnational crime, such as human trafficking, and would love to be apart of an organisation that fights against this,” she said.
Good Samaritan Oblates, Penny Carroll and Elaine Walley represented the Congregation at the Awards ceremony in Fremantle.
“Elaine and I had an adventurous and long trip from Mt Magnet back to Perth encountering many roadworks and holdups, but managed to arrive just after the UND Awards Ceremony commenced,” Penny said.
“It was great to meet Ashley and as we had a long chat, we heard of her passion for supporting people who are disadvantaged in many ways,” she said. “Elaine was excited to hear of her connections with Indigenous communities and about her desire to keep learning from others.”
“We were grateful for the opportunity to be the Good Samaritans “on the ground” at the ceremony,” Penny said. “It was a privilege that both of us did not take lightly.”