Another successful Geelong Youth Awards has concluded with the presentation of six awards to outstanding young people in our region.
More than 300 people attended the event, which was hosted by local young person Nina Denham from the Bellarine Youth Action Crew, together with Christine Couzens MP, Simon Ramsay MP and Geelong Mayor, Bruce Harwood.
The Geelong Youth Awards recognise and celebrate young people who live, work, learn and contribute to the Geelong community.
The successful nominee from each category received $500 towards their work, education, community projects or studies.
Geelong Youth Awards category winners:
Arts and Music – Joshua De Hoog
Joshua is the 24-year-old owner of Analogue Academy, a film developing studio and café in Geelong. Joshua was nominated for the award by a friend, Jane Currie, because he donates the use of his café space to weekly art exhibitions and art classes. In March 2018 he organised and curated MUTT – a group exhibition about dogs where all proceeds went to Geelong Animal Welfare Society (GAWS).
Joshua also donates empty film canisters from Analogue Academy to environmental group Plastic Bag Free Bellarine to be used as portable cigarette butt bins.
Community Citizenship – Brandon Dellow
Brandon is a 21-year-old volunteer from Norlane. Brandon was nominated for the award by Jacqui Bennett who is the founder of Humans in Geelong – a team of volunteers telling stories about local people who are making a difference.
Brandon is an advocate for mental health, cultural diversity, equal opportunity, human rights, education and Type 1 Diabetes (having lived experience with the disease). Brandon was diagnosed with depression and anxiety in 2014. He went on to share his story to raise awareness about mental health in teenagers. Brandon now works in community engagement, education support and at the City’s fOrT Youth Centre.
Leadership/Role Model – Travis Lines
Travis was nominated for the award by his boss, Norine Ma. Travis has excelled in his university studies in medicine and he is passionate about education and tackling disadvantage in education.
Travis works with a team of volunteer tutors from universities around Victoria. Travis’ drive to combat educational disadvantage has seen him devote his summers to the VCE Summer School (VCESS) program. Travis also writes and edits the UniMelb Adventures, a blog aimed at helping students fit in at university. The blog has an audience of more than 100,000 people.
Social Justice (advocacy) – Georgie Demir
Georgie is a 14-year-old from Ocean Grove. Georgie was nominated by her mother Tracey. Georgie is passionate about social justice and has started her own business, Arkoun (which means thank you in Khmer). Arkoun sells handmade soaps, with all profits helping fund the construction of wash houses in Cambodia.
Georgie has tested and produced six soap products, worked with a graphic design student to create her brand and has built a website with an online shop.
Within six weeks of launching her business, Georgie sold 650 units of soap, which raised enough money to build a wash house.
Sport – Mitchell Bond
Mitchell is a 15-year-old from Leopold. At six months old Mitchell was diagnosed with Transverse Myelitis and is paralysed from the neck down. Each year Mitchell volunteers his time to paediatric students for their exams. He assists in primary and secondary school inclusion education days, where PE classes learn about wheelchair sports and inclusion.
In 2015, Mitchell was the sport captain at Leopold Primary School and he went on to win the 2015 School Sports Victoria, excellence in sports award for wheelchair racing, and the 2015 Athletics Australia National Championship for wheelchair racing.
Mitchell is dedicated to participating in sports, he is a part of the 2018 National Wheelchair Basketball Championships and is the assistant coach to about 20 children in junior development programs for wheelchair
basketball. Mitchell was nominated by his family friend Danielle Stanesby, because he continues to inspire her.
Young Carer Award – Bianka Turner
Bianka is 18 years old and was nominated for the Geelong Youth Awards by support worker Elizabeth McCracken.
Bianka cares for her mother and her sister, who both have a range of health matters. Bianka is their full-time carer and assists them with daily activities while she’s studying full-time at the Gordon and working part-time as a swim instructor to support herself financially.
Cr Bruce Harwood - Mayor
It is vitally important that we recognise and reward the hard work that young people do in our clever and creative community.
It was an honour to be able to meet these young people and learn about the outstanding and diverse work they do.