Young people who have made significant contributions to their community have been celebrated at Council’s annual Maroondah Youth Awards.
This year’s Maroondah Youth Awards recognises 117 exceptional young people. Each award nominee was presented with an award at a formal presentation ceremony held at Karralyka on Wednesday 21 April.
The annual event recognises the many talents, contributions and achievements of young people aged 10 and 25 years in Maroondah across the four award categories of leadership, creativity, perseverance and teamwork.
Mayor of Maroondah, Councillor Kylie Spears, said the annual event provided the opportunity to acknowledge and reward the courage, passion and hard work shown by the city’s young people.
“We are so lucky in Maroondah to have such an engaged community of young people, though at times the amount of work they put into creating positive change in the community can go unnoticed,” Cr Spears said.
“The Maroondah Youth Awards is a chance for us to acknowledge and celebrate our young people and I congratulate each of our deserving award recipients who lead by example and inspire others through their leadership, drive and determination,” she said.
“Whether it be coordinating events for other young people, acting as a role model for new settlers in the community, or having triumphed over hardship and adversity, there are so many young people in Maroondah who dedicate their own time to better the lives of others, and they should be recognised for their efforts,” Cr Spears added.
Leadership Award – Ebony Brice
Among those to receive a Maroondah Youth Award is Norwood Secondary College Year 12 student, Ebony Brice.
Ebony was nominated under the Leadership Award category, which is awarded to individuals who have shown significant leadership qualities, positive direction and who empower others.
“I was nominated because of my involvement in the Year 11 leadership team. I really enjoyed our weekly meetings and throwing myself into each project no matter if we were planning a large-scale fundraiser or just a small trivia afternoon with the year level,” says Ebony.
“I believe the teachers noticed me because I’m always happy to speak up and share my thoughts or volunteer to take on the tasks necessary to bring our ideas into action. This was particularly challenging last year in isolation. We struggled to find ways to foster the sense of community that we were missing by not being physically together at school. But by putting our heads together in our video calls, we were able to create opportunities to engage the year level and let everyone know that we are in this together, despite feeling very much alone sometimes,” she said.
Teamwork Award – Lachlan Kennedy
Also receiving an award this year is Lachlan Kennedy, a peer advocate with the Maroondah Youth Wellbeing Advocates program that provides two-way engagement between Council and young people.
“It’s always an honour to be recognised as part of my community and my efforts in making it better for everyone. Receiving a youth award helps me realise that what I’m doing actually matters,” says Lachlan, who was nominated under the Teamwork Award category for his collaborative work with the Maroondah Youth Wellbeing Advocates.
Lachlan’s advocacy work also earned him the title of 2021 Maroondah Citizen of the Year at this year’s Australia Day Awards for his invaluable work and innovative contribution towards youth-led projects.
Due to ongoing restrictions on large social gatherings, the Maroondah Youth Awards event was livestreamed, allowing many who were unable to attend on the night to tune in to share in a range of stories and performances by award nominees.