Hannah's art chosen for Christmas card

Thirroul schoolgirl Hannah Carlon has impressed the top brass of the Australian Catholic Church with her image of an "extraordinary night in Bethlehem".

The budding artist from St Michael's Catholic Parish Primary School will have her creation seen by thousands - on the front of Bishop Peter Ingham's personal Christmas card for 2012.

Hannah was one of 147 students in years 5 and 6 from Catholic schools across the Diocese of Wollongong to enter the Christmas story art competition. The works were displayed at Wollongong City Gallery.

But Hannah's accolades didn't stop there. This week she won the Cardinal's Choice Award as well as first prize in the Year 6 section at the Sydney awards.

It's the first time a Wollongong artwork has won both awards.

Hannah said she was "so excited" to hear her name called as the winner.

"I didn't expect to win at all. When I was walking around the gallery looking at all the other entries, they were so good and so different," Hannah said.

"When they called out my name I couldn't breathe. I was shaking as I walked up to accept the award. The prizes were so big that I couldn't carry them."

Hannah received $400 worth of art supplies including an easel.

Her best friend from school, Ella-Jay Libro, won second prize.

"We were opening up all the prizes together that night when we stayed in Sydney and it was everywhere. Dad said, 'You will never need any more art supplies ever again'."

"We need a studio," Ella-Jaye said.

Bishop Peter Ingham said the competition gave students the opportunity to explore their creative and artistic ability in illustrating the Christmas story.

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