Millie Banks says she was surprised, but those that know the talented St Mary's Catholic Primary School artist would have been far from it.
The 12-year-old won the Archbishop's Choice Trophy in the Sydney Catholic Schools Christmas Art Competition 2019, becoming the first student from the Bathurst Diocese to claim the award.
Catholic Archbishop of Sydney Anthony Fisher elected Miss Banks' piece, called 'The Journey', as this year's winner.
The artwork is inspired by 'The Journey to Bethlehem' and the faith journey that led to the birth of Jesus.
Miss Banks says Mary, baby Jesus and Joseph appear in the foreground of the work while the background is a representation of their trek to Bethlehem.
The painting features on the front cover of the Sydney Catholic Schools Christmas Story booklet.
She says it took a couple of days to complete and when her work was awarded the major prize she was stunned.
"It was unexpected, especially to get the archbishop's award. They called out my artwork and I was surprised," Miss Banks said.
A number of St Joseph's students from Molong received highly commended awards for their submissions in this year's competition.
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