COVID-19 couldn’t stop the Warrnambool and Moyne Youth Awards, with the event live streamed on Friday May 8.
The awards recognise the achievements of people aged 12-25 who demonstrate virtues including cooperation, resilience, responsibility, kindness and passion.
The ceremony was hosted by radio presenter, author and former Warrnambool resident Alex Dyson and streamed on Facebook, with viewership peaking at 350 simultaneous screens.
“Being able to win an award from the comfort of your own home is something that should happen more regularly,” Mr Dyson said.
“I won the Warrnambool Gymnastics Club most improved medal in 1996 and have been bragging about it ever since.
“But honestly, when you’re going through so much as teenagers and to suddenly have effort recognised, it’s an incredible feeling.
“To feel seen and have your efforts recognised is an extremely fulfilling emotion. It allows not only friends and family to celebrate you, but can be an example to others of how personal skill and determination can allow anyone to succeed.”
The newly established Youth Showcase was moved online, with the talents of young local musicians, artists, filmmakers and entrepreneurs captured in video packages produced by Colleen Hughson of First Ladies Productions.
These packages, along with other videos posted on Facebook and Instagram in the weeks leading up to the awards ceremony have attracted a cumulative 40,000 views.
Warrnambool Mayor Tony Herbert said that he was amazed to see the list of things achieved by people who are still so young.
“Each year these awards recognise some amazing young people who make a real difference in their community,” he said.
“It’s also important to acknowledge not just the winners of the awards, but everyone who has been nominated. It means that your good work hasn’t gone unnoticed.”
Moyne Shire Mayor Daniel Meade said that he was proud of every single nominee for what they have achieved.
“These Youth Awards are a great opportunity for the community to recognise and celebrate our young people’s diverse talents, achievements and contributions,” he said.
“Despite the challenging times we are all currently facing, it was important for these Awards to go ahead, and thankfully we have access to the technology that allows us to still remain connected, albeit digitally.
“It is especially important for our young people to remain connected to their community, and we believe it is now more important than ever, to celebrate the rich contributions made by the youth in our region.”
The 2020 Warrnambool and Moyne Youth Awards are proudly presented by the Warrnambool City Youth Council, the Moyne Shire Youth Council, the Rotary Club of Warrnambool, Warrnambool Blue Light, the Gwen and Edna Jones Foundation, Freeza Victoria and COAST FM.
You can view the awards ceremony on demand on the Warrnambool City Council, Moyne Shire Council and COAST FM Facebook pages.
2020 Warrnambool and Moyne Youth Award Winners
Warrnambool 12-15 Winner: Amarli Frankel
Runner Up: Mia Copland
Moyne 12-15 Winner: Riley Kelly
Runner Up: Phoebe Reaburn
Warrnambool 16-18 Winner: Maggie Johnson
Runner Up: Sebastian Simmons
Moyne 16-18: Winners: Keely Moore & Samuel Sutcliffe
Runner Up: Stephenee Hines
Warrnambool 19-25 Winner: Kajol Eagle
Runner Up: Monique Hustler
Moyne 19-25 Winner: Harry Coffey
Runner Up: Sean Lenehan