Young activists, advocates and achievers have been commended at the 2021 Bayside Youth Awards.
The biennial awards were announced at a ceremony last night at Sandringham Yacht Club to recognise young people aged 10-25 for their contribution to the Bayside community across six different categories: community, creative, courage, environment, leadership and the Julian Gurrieri Memorial Award for Bayside Youth Participation.
Bayside City Council Mayor, Cr Laurence Evans OAM said the awards helped highlight the positive impact of young leaders on Bayside.
“Last year really demonstrated the resilience of our young people. They navigated a challenging situation whilst remaining engaged and passionate about the issues important to them,” Cr Evans said.
“I’m impressed by the leaders living in our community. Their talent and resilience is commendable, and these awards highlight the importance of engaging young people in the decision-making process.”
Danielle was part of the Boombox Events FReeZA committee for six years, creating drug, smoke and alcohol-free events for young people in Bayside. In 2020, Danielle was part of the committee creating Bayside Youth Service’s first online events, paving the way for Council in new ways to engage young people all the while demonstrating versatility, resilience and a "can do" attitude.
Ruby and Chloe have helped raise over $18 000 for the Royal Children's Hospital Good Friday Appeal. Since 2016, they have held lemonade stands in their front yard and together, they promote and source donations to contribute to the set up and running of the stall. Their lemonade stand brings together local Bayside friends and families and is incredibly appreciated by the girls to help support their fundraising efforts.
Kevin Thong is a founding member of Self-Made Inc., a free after school tuition program, run in partnership with Highett Neighbourhood Community House. The goal of the program is to support primary and secondary school students with their education, inspire their curiosity and encourage students to find their passion which they may not have had the chance to explore. Over the last two years Self Made Inc.’s focus has been on offering volunteer support to disadvantaged students in Bayside.
Edward is involved in BAM Arts Inc. Edward was involved in the Moomba parade last year, performed at Government House and most recently World Down Syndrome Day at Werribee Zoo. Edward is involved with Starfish Nippers at Hampton Life Saving Club and would love to be a mentor in the future. He also attends ski camps with Disabled Winter sport Australia.
Natasha has overcome her mental health challenges and found strength sharing her story. Her life experiences have contributed to her amazing strength and inspired her to write a book about her journey. She is now dedicating her life to supporting and helping young people realise their amazing true self through the planning of wellness centres for children and young people in need.
Rebecca entered the ResetLife program at TaskForce after struggling with mental health and addiction issues for many years. After completing rehabilitation, Bec has rebuilt her life and now gives her time as a volunteer peer worker at TaskForce sharing her lived experience. Bec works in the ResetLife program and runs a SMART Recovery group at TaskForce, helping young people to regain their self-efficacy, cease substance use and start their recovery journey.
Lili Mayer is a young, passionate climate advocate, volunteer and presenter in the Bayside area. Involved in numerous sustainability initiatives at her school and in the community, Lili is an Australian Youth Climate Coalition member, participating in a national climate leadership program and the ‘Schools Strike 4 Climate’ initiative. In 2020, Lili was nominated for the Bayside Citizen’s Youth Award and spoke at the December 2019 Ordinary Meeting of Bayside City Council asking them to declare a Climate Emergency. Lili inspires other young local people to act urgently and advocate for climate action.
Mia has participated in the national climate leadership program for secondary school students, the ‘Schools Strike 4 Climate’ initiative and is a passionate climate advocate, volunteer and presenter. She has been involved in numerous sustainability initiatives at her school such as the Environment Action Group and helped develop a proposal outlining a Climate Action Plan. This has set the school on the pathway to becoming carbon neutral. Mia was also nominated for the Bayside Citizen’s Youth Award and presented to Bayside City Council asking them to declare a Climate Emergency. Mia volunteers at an Opportunity Shop to support recycling and less ‘fast fashion.’
Emily Knott is an outstanding young leader who advocates on behalf of the LGBTIQA+ community. Other students look up to Emily and seek her advice, while teachers ask her to provide insight into what it is like to be a young LGBTIQA+ person. Emily has spoken confidently at teacher training sessions about the importance of LGBTIQA+ inclusion and participates in several social action groups in and out of school that promote other social justice issues. Emily Knott is a leader in social justice who is helping to shape a positive and inclusive future for us all.