Two locals among winners of Takeover Melbourne


Two young Nillumbik residents are among 32 winners of the inaugural Takeover Melbourne storytelling competition.

Takeover Melbourne is a new initiative from the ABC in partnership with VicHealth, Resilient Melbourne and the Centre for Multicultural Youth, amplifying the voices of young Melburnians aged 12 to 18 years.

Despite the many challenges faced by Melburnians this year, hundreds of young people from across Melbourne stepped up to share their stories.

Thirty-two winners were selected, representing each of the local government areas of Greater Melbourne, to have their stories featured on the ABC.

The stories showcase the resilience and talent of the city’s young people. From disability advocates and geologists, to musicians and sport fanatics, the 32 stories paint a vivid picture of Melbourne in 2020.

In Nillumbik, we are lucky to have not one, but two young winners, who each have a powerful story to share.

Fergal, of Wattle Glen, shares his story of growing up with Tourette’s Syndrome.

“I’m not scared of my Tourette’s anymore. It makes me who I am,” Fergal said.

Tahlia, of St Andrews, speaks about surviving the Black Saturday Bushfires.

“I want to remind people that despite the most challenging circumstances, in time, we can overcome anything,” Talia said.

You can read and listen to Fergal and Tahlia’s stories at

Nillumbik Mayor Peter Perkins congratulated all the winners and said it was an honour for the Shire to be represented by Fergal and Tahlia.

“Thank you for sharing your important stories with us and the wider Melbourne community,” Cr Perkins said.

“We are very lucky to have young people such as Fergal and Tahlia enriching our community and spreading such positive messages of hope, courage and resilience.

“I encourage everyone to listen to their stories as I did this morning. It was a great way to start my day and I thank them both.”

Director of ABC Regional and Local, Judith Whelan, said the Takeover Melbourne Competition is an important platform for young people living in Greater Melbourne to make a difference.

“Congratulations to all of the winners for proudly sharing your courageous and powerful stories. Stories like these have the ability to bring us together as a community.”

CEO of VicHealth, Dr Sandro Demaio, also congratulated the winners, saying: “After such a challenging year for Melburnians, it’s more important than ever that young people are heard in the conversation about the future of their city.”

The Takeover Melbourne winners will be showcased across the ABC, so keep an eye out for their stories on ABC Radio Melbourne and on ABC TV. They will also be celebrated in a virtual gala event on December 3, streamed live on the ABC Melbourne Facebook page.

To see the full list of winners go to

Takeover Melbourne is made possible through partnership with Resilient Melbourne, VicHealth and the Centre for Multicultural Youth, as well as with the support of the 32 local councils of Greater Melbourne.

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