24 October, 2023
Recognition for local youth
WARRNAMBOOL and Moyne councils have paid tribute to some of the region’s top young achievers.
The annual Warrnambool and Moyne Youth Awards recognised the efforts of many young people across the district during a well-attended presentation ceremony at Deakin University’s Warrnambool campus last Sunday.
The awards recognise local young people who demonstrate the values of respect, kindness, resilience, responsibility and passion.
Warrnambool’s award winners were Mia Hynes (12-15 years), Olive Adams (16-18 years) and Brittany Watts (19-25 years).
Mia Hynes, a year 10 student and year level leader at Emmanuel College, is a high achiever with a passion for music and a strong commitment to community service.
Last year Mia volunteered to sing to residents at Mercy Place and started a charity to create Christmas hampers for its residents.
She dedicated time to security products and services from local businesses and started a GoFundMe page to secure donations for the hampers.
She also spent a full day with the residents during her holidays to have a Christmas performance and sing along, raffle and visited every resident’s room.
Olive Adams is passionate about illustration and shares her knowledge with others. Olive runs illustration classes and always makes sure students go home with what they have accomplished.
She also helps to run classes for primary aged children, not only improving their abilities but also their self-confidence.
Having overcome personal hardships in life, Brittany Watts is now dedicated to giving back to the community. She is passionate about social justice, advocacy for young people, people with disabilities, neurodivergent people and marginalised communities, and is currently completing her second year of a Diploma of Community Service.
Brittany volunteers at the Mirabel Foundation and plays an important role with the I CAN Network.
The runners-up for Warrnambool were Isabella Dean, Charlotte Townsend and Keelie Sheppard. Warrnambool mayor Cr Debbie Arnott said that the young people nominated were already making a big contribution in their community.
“These awards are a chance to come together and recognise young people achieving great things – young people who demonstrate the values we admire,” she said.
“There’s so much growth that happens between the ages of 12 and 25. Something as simple as a kind word of encouragement can mean so much to a young person and inspire them to keep going with what they are doing.
“So a huge congratulations to all of our nominees, and a big thank you to everyone who took the time to submit a nomination.”
Moyne Shire mayor Cr Karen Foster said every person nominated had been recognised for their achievements, talents or their positive involvement in the local community.
“On behalf of the entire Moyne community, the council is very pleased to acknowledge such outstanding young people,” she said.
“Some may be shy about their accomplishments, but they inspire and set a wonderful example for all those around them. We want them to know they are seen.
“They are creating a bright future for themselves, and our communities are so much better for it.”
For Moyne, the winners were Amelia Dumesny (12-15 years), Ashton Maher (16-18 years) and Rachel Wilks (19-25 years).
The Moyne runners-up were Addisyn Habel, Charlotte Sutclif and Layla Monk.
Amelia assists with meals-on-wheels deliveries and has volunteered at a local op shop for the past 12 months.
As part of her home education, she oversees groups with children of all ages and organises a book club at the Port Fairy library.
A keen Irish dancer and fiddle player, she has performed locally and at festivals and is a Kirkstall Junior CFA volunteer.