What is it?
The Mayoral Youth Award is a program operated by Wyndham City that aims to:

  • Recognise the diverse range of personal and community achievement of local young people
  • Assist young people to reach their goals
  • Reward young people for their achievements and potential
  • Show community acknowledgment of the abilities and inherent within young people in the Wyndham community

 There are 4 award categories:

  • Sport
  • Community service/volunteering/leadership
  • Music/arts/media/culture
  • Other

Young people will nominate a category and their application will be considered amongst other applicants of the same category.

For more information, please contact the Youth Project Officer at Youth Services on 8734 1355.

Apply Now

Application Information

The Mayoral Youth Award is for individual young people that live, work or study in Wyndham. A total of 12 individuals are Awarded the $500 award each year. Each of the successful applicants are entered as finalists for the Wyndham Youth Achiever of the Year Award.

While the Mayoral Youth Award can be given to young people that either live, work or study full time in Wyndham, only young people who reside in Wyndham will be considered for the Young Achiever of the Year Award.

The Award program aims to recognise a diverse range young people with varying potential and skills. The criteria that applications will be assessed against are listed below. Please note that applicants do not have to meet all of the criteria, however, the more points that are met, the stronger the application will be.

The Award recognises individuals who:

  • Have excelled and made achievements in their chosen field (e.g. arts, culture, recreation, leadership, volunteering)
  • Have shown uniqueness or innovation in their chosen field
  • Have been independent and self motivated in achieving their goals
  • Have the potential to continue to excel in their chosen field and develop existing skills
  • Have been recognised and endorsed by the general community for their outstanding achievements
  • Have overcome hardship or are experiencing hardship (financial, physical, personal, etc)
  • Have identified that a council contribution would meet a specific need
  • Are between the ages of 12 and 25 years (mandatory)
  • Live, work or study full time within Wyndham (mandatory)

The Award cannot be given to:

  • Groups agencies or collectives
  • People who do not either live, work or study full time in Wyndham
  • People who are outside of the age criteria
  • People who have been recipients of the Award in the last two years


A young person can either nominate themselves or be nominated by someone else (consent must be obtained if applying on behalf of someone else).

In order to be considered for the Award, the attached nomination form must be completed and returned to the Youth Planner.

Additional supporting information can be attached to the application (e.g. newspaper clippings, letters of support, audio/visual tapes, etc). Unless requested, attached information will not be returned.

Each applicant will be assessed based on the information provided in the nomination form. As a result, it is important to include as much detail as possible in the form.

The assessment committee that decides on the successful applications is made up of:

  • Wyndham City Mayor
  • Youth Task Force (a group of young people)
  • Youth Project Officer
  • Youth Services staff member

The assessment committee may carry over strong applications to be considered for the next round (applicants will be made aware of this in writing).

Applicants who are unsuccessful are welcome to re-apply for the Award in the following round.

If you have any questions or would like assistance to complete the nomination form, please contact the Youth Planner on 9742 8155.

The Process

There are 4 rounds per year for this Award. Every round, 3 awards are awarded (1 for each stream – sport, community service/volunteering/leadership and music/arts/culture). The closing dates for the nomination rounds are:

  • 31 March
  • 30 June
  • 30 September
  • 31 December

At the closing date for each round all nominations will be considered by the assessment committee. The committee will measure all nominations against the criteria and decide on the successful applicants for that round.

Young Achiever of the Year

Wyndham Young Achiever of the Year Award

Each year, the 12 winners of Wyndham City Mayoral Youth Award are automatically entered into contention for the Young Achiever of the Year Award. The winner is determined by a judging panel that comprised the Mayor, the Youth Project Officer, Youth Services Coordinator, two representatives from the Youth Task Force and a representative from the Youth Service team. All nominees were assessed according to set criteria.

The winner of Wyndham’s Young Achiever of the Year Award receives prize money to the value of $1,000

2016 Winner Sarah Baarini

Sarah Baarini was recognised in the Community Service, Volunteering and Leadership category. She is 17 years old, lives in Point Cook and attends the Australian International Academy. 

Sarah has organised several fundraisers within her school and community for the SIDS Foundation, Kidney Foundation, Leukaemia Foundation, and Islamic Relief. She has also worked on the Lords Mayor’s Philanthropy group, and participated in think-tanks for the Cancer Council. Sarah has been motivated in gaining donations from local businesses and organisations, donating over $6000 to numerous charities through her school and community 

She helps to coach and train younger students in various sports and has participated in the Essendon District Football League (EDFL) program and umpired halftime matches for AusKick at the MCG. This year Sarah was named school captain, following her success as school vice-captain last year. Through her school, she has helped organise an anti-bullying day and school festivals.

Sarah is passionate about promoting peace and harmony within the community and aspires to continue furthering her work in this area. Sarah is currently working to raise awareness for the “Towards Hope Foundation”, a medical team that donates time and money to under privileged countries. Later this year, Sarah will be raising awareness for the World’s Greatest Shave. 

Congratulations to Sarah Baarini for being named Wyndham's Young Achiever of the Year 2016.

2015 Winner Khurram Khan

Khurram Khan was recognised in the Community Service, Volunteering and Leadership category. He is 20 years old, lives in Hoppers Crossing and studies Biomedicine at Melbourne University.

Khurram is the coordinator for the Sudanese Australian Integrated Learning program Wyndham campus, where he voluntarily manages and tutors young Sudanese and African students. Through Embrace Education he volunteers to tutor science subjects to VCE students. He is an active member of the Hoppers Crossing Rotary Club, helping out with community projects and designing the Rotary Young Leaders Award. He volunteers at Werribee Vinnies; volunteers with Amnesty International as a green writer; volunteers with the Hope Foundation as an event organiser and panellist; volunteers for the Red Cross; is an active member of the Pakistani Society, Youth Climate Coalition; and was a youth representative of Celebrate Living History where he manages promotions and interviews of senior citizens.

Before leaving Pakistan for Australia, he volunteered at the Sindh Institute of Urology and Transplantation, Darul Sukoon school for special children, and was president of the Outreach Society where he helped to found eight projects, including a scholarship program for disadvantaged children in Pakistan which still runs today.

In addition to his efforts in the community, Khurram has been a delegate on several Model United Nations from 2010-14, most recently promoted as the Director of Marketing and Sponsorship. At Melbourne University this year he was selected as a student representative for the departments of genetics, and mathematics and statistics. He is the assistant chair this year at the Australian World Health Organisation conference. Last year Khurram received the Victorian Premier’s New Resident Volunteer of the Year Award, and is an Associate Fellowship of the Royal Commonwealth Society. He has received a Leaders and Communities Award from University of Melbourne, a Gold Standard Award from Duke of Edinburgh, and an Outstanding Cambridge Young Learners Award from the University of Cambridge.

Khurram’s ambition is to complete a Doctor of Medicine degree specialising in immunology, and to enter the rural and Aboriginal health sector.

Congratulations to Khurram Khan for being named Wyndham's Young Achiver of the Year 2015.

2017 Recipients

September Quarter

Lachlan Creaner

Lachlan is being recognised for his achievements in Sport. He is 21 years old and lives in Tarneit.

  • Lachlan participated in Hoppers Crossing Auskick during his years in primary school, and in high school went on to become an assistant coach
  • After high school, Lachlan became the lead coach for Auskick at Hoppers Crossing, taking charge of running the clinic for different year levels
  • He currently coaches years 4, 5 and 6, planning drills and training strategies to teach the participants football skills.

Congratulations Lachlan on your achievements in sport.

Joshuah Ephraums

Joshuah is being recognised for his contributions in Arts and Culture. He is 15 years old and lives in Werribee.

  • Joshuah is currently completing grade 8 classical piano, having achieved high distinctions throughout preliminary to grade 7
  • He has been a band member of Heathdale Christian College in strings, wind, and full orchestra on violin since 2012. He has played for various college musical productions including Oklahoma, Oliver!, and Fiddler on the Roof
  • Joshuah is a member of the college choir, and has competed in many choral competitions
  • He has been teaching himself to DJ, learning how to create, mix and master his own compositions from scratch, and has created his own SoundCloud account, Triple J profile and Instagram music page.

Congratulations Joshuah on your achievements in the Arts and Culture category.

Leejana Georgakopoulos

Leejana is being recognised for her achievements in Arts and Culture. She is 16 years old and lives in Werribee.

  • Leejana is a member of the instrumental music program at Wyndham Central College, playing in the string orchestra. She is also an accomplished pianist.
  • She has been a part of every school musical and performance since she started at the school in year 7
  • She participates in music events held outside of school, such as parent and partner evenings, local primary school events, and the Bairnsdale Camp Experience
  • Leejana actively encourages other students to participate at their highest levels, and assists year 7s with their transition into high school

Congratulations Leejana on your wonderful achievements in Arts and Culture.

June Quarter

Declan Parker

Declan is being recognised for his contributions in Community Service and Volunteering. He is 19 years old and lives in Tarneit.

  • Declan was a member of the CFA from the age of 10 years old up until recently, and has been awarded CFA Junior of the Year. During this time he attended many fires and car accidents as a volunteer
  • His volunteering efforts include assisting with fundraising for The Cancer Council and Daffodil Day each, as well as participating in the Relay For Life each year
  • He has also been involved in fundraising efforts for the Royal Children’s Hospital Appeal, Pink Ribbon Day, and Red Nose Day

Congratulations Declan on your service to the community and your volunteering efforts.

Jessica Jane Rule

Jessica is being recognised for her achievements in Arts and Culture. She is 22 years old and lives in Tarneit.

  • Jessica recently graduated with a Bachelor of Illustration and is currently studying Concept Art
  • She has had her work displayed at several galleries and events across Melbourne, and has upcoming shows with Off The Kerb Gallery in Collingwood and the Brunswick Street Gallery
  • Jessica is working on a picture book project with a published author in Melbourne
  • She is a member of the Wyndham Arts Collective Group and Illustrators Australia, and has her own brand – Jessica Jane Illustration.

Congratulations Jessica on your achievements in the arts and illustration.

Jessica Ricci

Jessica Ricci is being recognised for her achievements in Arts and Culture. She is 23 years old and lives in Tarneit.

  • Jessica runs a lifestyle blog and YouTube channel with over 30,000 subscribers
  • She is responsible for all aspects of her business such as photography, lighting, editing, negotiating with brands, and proofing contracts
  • She is the social media manager for the Wyndham Ultimate Frisbee League
  • Her other achievements include being a finalist in the Rising Social Star Awards, spokesperson for GHD’s breast cancer awareness campaign, a member of YouTube Australia’s Young Content Creator’s Seminar, and Save Water Award photography winner

Congratulations Jessica on your achievements in arts and culture.

March Quarter 

Meleane Sopu

Meleane is being recognised for her achievements in Community Service and Volunteering. She is 18 years old and lives in Wyndham Vale.

  • Meleane has been a member of non-profit-organisation Doors Of Opportunity in Wyndham Vale for 5 years, and is also a member of the Culture Club and 3DC performance group
  • Through these groups she has volunteered her time for many fundraising events
  • She has volunteered to teach the class for Study Club, regularly assists with setting up the room for programs to begin, and assists with teaching performances
  • Additionally she participates in showcasing her culture through performances at local festivals

Congratulations Meleane on your community service and volunteering efforts.

Fuapauna Pati

Fuapauna is being recognised for her contributions in Community Service and Volunteering. She is 19 years old and lives in Werribee.

  • Fuapauna is the secretary for Doors Of Opportunity, where she also volunteers her time to assist students in both the study club and culture club
  • She assist with preparing and planning activities, helps to teach cultural dances to children, and performs at local festivals and events
  • Fuapauna also assists with fundraising for Doors Of Opportunity and connecting with the Samoan Victim Support Group

Congratulations Fuapauna on your service to the community and your volunteering efforts.

Madeline Page

Madeline is being recognised for her achievements in Arts and Culture, due to her achievements in dancing. She is 15 years old and lives in Tarneit.

  • Since she started dancing in 2011, Madeline has received a Passion Award, Rising Star Award, and a half-year scholarship to dancing school
  • She was accepted into the Transit Dance Origins Company and their Extension Program, receiving an Excellence Award and Dedication and Development Award
  • She regularly assists with teaching younger children at her dance school
  • Madeline has overcome great physical and mental challenges in recent years, yet she remains determined and committed to pursuing dancing

Congratulations Madeline on your wonderful achievements in dancing.

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