High youth achievers honoured

Tuesday, 11 June 2019

Young people who have made significant contributions in their community have been celebrated at the annual Geelong Youth Awards.

The awards recognise the positive impacts young people aged between 12 and 25 years have made in Greater Geelong across areas such as social justice, care, sport and the arts.

The City’s Youth Council helped shortlist nominees and select the seven award winners, who were awarded a trophy and $500 to further their interests, education or community work.

Acting Mayor Peter Murrihy, Councillor Jim Mason and Councillor Trent Sullivan joined Junior Mayor Josie Horne and other youth councillors at the awards ceremony, held at Geelong Arena on Friday night.

They celebrated all the nominees and presented awards to the following category winners:

Arts and Music – Callum Watson, 22, from Torquay

Callum has left his mark on the international stage and local audiences, from shows at the Melbourne International Jazz Festival through to Berlin.

He has enjoyed two international premieres of his works in recent months, including his appearance at the International Youth Composers Meeting in the Netherlands.

Callum is also the founder of a monthly jazz event at Black Hatt called Geelong Jazz Soirées, which promotes and highlights local musical talent.

Community Citizenship - Mutheinchri Ra, 21, from Corio

Mutheinchri combines her medical studies at Deakin University with a tireless schedule of community work.

She is a leader of the female Futsal league, gaining sponsorship of the program to ensure young girls don’t have to pay registration fees to access the sport.

The 21-year-old also runs a girl’s art group, supports her church youth group and performs in the church choir.

Born and raised in a Karenni refugee camp in Thailand, Mutheinchri is aiming to help other refugees by becoming a doctor and working with the United Nations.

Clever and Creative - Makaira Le, 13, from Leopold

Makaira is dedicated to raising awareness and interest in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields.

She represented Australia at the first Lego League Open Invitational event in Hungary last year, while she also visited Nepal last month to help students in the South Asian country.

Makaira is a member of Sacred Heart College’s Bradbury Club and has been a strong public advocate, presenting to leaders at the Catholic Education Office in Melbourne.

Leadership / Role Model - Lauren Solomonson, 24 from Highton

As Deakin Law Students’ Society Geelong president last year, Lauren built stronger relationships with local law firms and helped connect students with leading employers.

She also helped run a legal hackathon and a Careers Dinner, to assist the next generation of legal professionals transition into the workplace.

Social Justice (advocacy) - Roghayeh Sadeghi, 17, from Lovely Banks

The Northern Bay College Year 12 student is a passionate advocate for diversity, inclusion and equality.

A member of the Centre for Multicultural Youth, Roghayeh’s ability to address social issues in a mature and open manner at public events has made her a role model in her community.

Sport - Ashlee Shaw, 12, from Grovedale

Ashlee is a dedicated young athlete, who contributes on and off the field for her local Surf Coast Football Club.

As a member of the Melbourne Victory youth academy, she is not only talented but a valuable contributor off the ground.

Ashlee helps her club with merchandise and also bakes cakes to sell in the canteen after games.

Young Carer - Zainab Sherzad, 16, from Norlane
Zainab is a resilient young woman, who juggles school and other commitments with caring for her mother and supporting her family with daily living tasks.

Councillor Peter Murrihy - Acting Mayor

The awards highlight the depth of talent, commitment and passion among our young people and the huge impact they have in this region and beyond.

Their achievements and selfless efforts contribute so much to our rich and diverse community life.

Page last updated: Tuesday, 11 June 2019