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Wyndham City Youth Services is committed to supporting and promoting the ingenuity and accomplishments of young people across the municipality.

Each month Council will select a Wyndham resident aged between 12 – 25 to be awarded the ‘young person of the month.

The award aims to build the profile of young people who are positively contributing to the Wyndham community and thank them for their dedication. The selected monthly candidate will be a positive role model to other young people in the community who may have similar aspirations and goals.

What the award entails

Winners of the One Wyndham Young Person of the Month will receive:

  • A $200 gift voucher of their choice, for materials that will help with their education, work or voluntary commitments
  • A certificate, which they can reference in their CV and job applications
  • A professional video showcasing their accomplishments, to be published on Council’s social media accounts and in Council centres
  • A profile article in the Council magazine, Wyndham News, and on the One Wyndham webpage
  • An advert in the Star Weekly newspaper, highlighting their achievements
  • The opportunity to take part in youth-led podcast, to discuss their passions.

Nominate

March winner- Nicole Bagatsing

Nic

Nicole is a dedicated youth advocate and is active in her community, volunteering for both local and international organisations.

What is your community involvement and/or achievements?
I’ve been on community boards and have volunteered for both local and international organisations, including the Children's International Summer Villages Victoria Chapter, Village Camp, Connection Arts Space, Edmund Rice Camps and Give a Textbook Foundation.  I’ve also been active in the youth space, working as Youth Ambassador and contributing to the Loud Youth Magazine. I’m also part of the Wyndham Civic Youth Program.

Nicole volunteers for the Maccabi Football Club, New Hope Foundation and the Pedro and Corazon Yaneza Wellness Society.

Please tell us about your current studies, employment or voluntary work
I’m currently studying Auslan at Melbourne Polytechnic and my Advanced Diploma of Legal practice at Victoria University. I am currently employed as a Homeless Support Worker for the Covid Hotels Homeless client group. As a Homeless support worker, I work with clients transitioning out of the DHHS funded short term hotel accommodation (due to Covid-19) into long term housing options. My work involves advocating for the homeless, understanding their needs and goals as well as allowing them to make their own life decisions. Day to day work varies, from scheduling Centrelink appointments, supporting with personal affairs, assisting with material aid, or referring clients to counselling or rehabilitation programs.

What are you most passionate about?
I'm passionate about working for young people with young people. I believe young people have got an exciting role to play in the community as next leaders. We need more young people in the space of leadership and decision making! I’d also love to see more diversity. Myself being an Asian Australian immigrant, I'm passionate about giving a voice to minority groups in the different settings I work in in the community.

How do you influence other young people within the community in a positive way?
I influence young people by working with young people, listening to their voice and being their voice. Most times young people need to be heard because they have a lot of opinions and perspectives which are important. I influence them positively by listening in and taking on what issues are present in today's community from their stories. From young people I’ve learned more about homelessness in Australia and Asian Australian diaspora.

I also influence young people positively by bringing forward their views and opinions to decision maker. I do these not only in my board member/youth ambassador roles yet I also do this in my involvement with the Wyndham Civic Youth program where I get to speak to political leaders and bring forward the views of young people.

What are your hopes and dreams for your future?
I hope that more young people in Wyndham continue to be involved in the decision-making space! Whether this is through their local high school leadership program with their council or local not for profits. I hope for myself, that I continue to learn more about what I can do to help our community. Hopefully, there is more diversity in space of leadership, it would be amazing to have more Asian Australian voices as well as other minority groups represented as well. I dream of becoming a Lawyer and hopefully working at a Community legal centre to give access for those who are disadvantaged and cannot afford legal representation.

February winner- Libby Knights

lib

Libby is passionate about mental health awareness and dedicates her time to breaking down barriers and stigmas around mental health, specifically young men's mental health. Libby is also an advocate for gender equality.

What is your community involvement and/or achievements?
I am currently a leader for the Western Bulldogs Youth Leadership Program, a program where a group of selected students in the Inner-West area are given the support to dedicate their free time to raise awareness, fundraise, and help create changes for certain social issues in the community. With my chosen focus being Young Men’s mental health, I, along with two students from different western schools, have created and developed an organisation called ‘Mentalking’. Within two weeks, we worked with BATYRAUS and competed in the ‘Run For The Herd’ virtual festival, running a total of 20km between three of us and raising $1,019 for youth mental health. We have also created an Instagram page ‘wbylmentalking’.

Please tell us about your current studies, employment or voluntary work
I am a leader for the Western Bulldogs Youth Leadership Program, co-founder of ‘Mentalking’ and have worked at a local supermarket throughout Covid-19.

What are you most passionate about?
I am dedicated to the cause of raising awareness and breaking down the barriers and stigma regarding mental health, currently with a focus on young men's mental health. Along with this I am a passionate advocate for gender equality and recognise the need to promote the involvement and participation of females in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).

How do you influence other young people within the community in a positive way?
I encourage everyone to be their own individual and unique self. I also try to lead by example and be the best version of myself I can. To help promote the involvement and participation of females in the fields of STEM, I’ve participated in the IT@Work program, where women are encouraged to take part in male-heavy jobs, such as economics, and have used this experience to create connections with fellow like-minded individuals.

I also competed in the Singapore International Science Competition, where I represented the college in an all-female team to promoting STEM to women. I am a Western Regional AFL umpire and have encouraged other girls to take up umpiring.

What are your hopes and dreams for your future?
I aspire to be a teacher. It would be a privilege to have the opportunity to educate children, equipping them with knowledge and skills that they will use for the rest of their lives. I believe this would be a rewarding career.

 

October winner – Mirjana Gligorevic

Mirjana

Mirjana has overcome many challenges in her life and whilst enduring hardships has become a positive role model and advocate for youth in Wyndham.

Please tell us about your current studies, employment or voluntary work.

I completed a certificate IV in Tourism in 2014 and since then have volunteered regularly at Vinnies.

What is your community involvement and/or achievements?
For over 5 years, I have volunteered at Vinnies, which makes things more affordable for people. Vinnies also collaborates with Meals on Wheels, Soup Van, Vinnies Youth and other organisations.

I've also contributed to the World Wildlife Foundation and Save the Children. World Wildlife Foundation helps the environment and endangered animals, and Save the Children provides emergency aid to children and teenagers around the world.

As a teenager, I competed in tennis competitions with people with higher abilities.

How do you influence the other young people within the community in a positive way?

I've nominated other outstanding young people to be recognized and was the voice for the unemployed youth in our community.

I’m also about to release a book about my solo travel experience to encourage more young people to live life to the fullest and follow their dreams, despite their circumstances. I’m hoping people will get something positive out of it. My Balkan Heart will be released on Amazon this December.

What are your hopes and dreams for your future?

To travel the world more, value my experiences and help others where I can.

September winner – Alexander Dalton

September winner – Alexander Dalton

Alexander, 17, is a passionate LGBTIQ+ advocate with a formidable public speaking record.

Please tell us about your current studies, employment or voluntary work.

I am a 17-year-old transgender man and an advocate for change, specifically within mental health and LGBTQ+ rights areas. I have been speaking publicly about my experiences as a young person, a person who has suffered – and still suffers – from mental illness, and as a gender diverse individual.

These opportunities have allowed me to inspire people to be themselves, and help others understand what we’re going through to some degree, particularly concerning the transgender community.

What is your community involvement and/or achievements?

I am the youngest member of headspace Werribee's Youth Advocacy Group, where I have revamped our schools workshops to make them more applicable and relatable to young people.

I have presented speeches for Orygen and Wyndham City and spoken at events such as the Midsumma Festival. I’d like to think that my speeches have made a positive contribution to those in the community who have heard them.

How do you influence other young people within the community in a positive way?

I influence young people to be themselves – whatever that looks like. Whether they’re trans/gender diverse, queer or insecure about who they are. I encourage them to realise their worth and their potential, and show them that they are greater than they think they are. That everything is going to be okay. That they’re going to be okay.

What are your hopes and dreams for your future?

I hope to move into public speaking full-time with the possibility of politics in my sights. I think it will be the most effective way to advocate for LGBTQ+ rights and promote mental health, particularly from a financial and legal standpoint, which, I find, is where a lot of advocacy can fall short or fails to be heard.
 

August winner – Phoebe Edwards

August OneWyndham winner – Phoebe Edwards

Phoebe, 17, is a dedicated environmentalist who is taking both local and global action to make the world a more sustainable place.

Please tell us about your current studies, employment or voluntary work.

I am in year 12 at Wyndham Central College studying VCE. For the past seven years I have been participating in Beach Patrol 3030 clean-ups and been involved with organisations such as the Werribee River Association.

What is your community involvement and/or achievements?

I went on an expedition with World Challenge to Malaysia and Borneo for a month, where we assisted in the conservation of green sea turtles at Tanjung Datu National Park. I have spoken at Sea Life Aquarium's virtual youth summit for World Oceans Day this year.

In my new project, I have been going to my local park each week to clean and sort rubbish so I can learn more about pollution issues in my area.

How do you influence other young people within the community in a positive way?

I participated in a grant committee with the Victoria International Container Terminal, where I achieved a $10,000 grant for Wyndham Central College.

Using this, I have helped plan a project for VCAL students at my school, where we can work with Alma Doepel to build wooden boats that allow students from my school to pick up unreachable rubbish and plastic in local waterways and Port Phillip Bay.

What are your hopes and dreams for your future?

My hope is that the projects I undertake can become my job in the future, and for me to be able to study animal or environmental science next year. My biggest passion that I hope to work towards is implementing more environmental education into school curriculums.

July winner – Logan Tapuala

Logan Tapuala

Logan, 16, is a proud Samoan Australian, who moved to Truganina from Samoa in 2014. Logan has a passion for Siva Afi – a traditional Samoan knife fire dance – and has co-founded a business teaching the skill to Wyndham residents.

Please tell us about your current studies, employment or voluntary work.

I am studying at Tarneit Senior College in year 11. I am cofounder of a business Measina Siva Afi School, where I teach Samoan fire knife dancing.

What is your community involvement and/or achievements?

I have volunteered with Williams Scout Group and other community groups to help run fundraising sausage sizzles, planted trees along James Cook Drive Reserve in Truganina with Truganina Community Group and have worked alongside Pacific Climate Warriors to share the need to fight climate change.

How do you influence other young people within the community in a positive way?

I show them through example that respecting your own culture can help to understand similarities in other cultures, so that we see we are more alike than different.

What are your hopes and dreams for your future?

I want to make a living as a Siva Afi performer and use my skills and knowledge to help others.

December winner – Anastasia Kusmawan

December winner – Anastasia Kusmawan

Anastasia demonstrates leadership and a commitment to sport. Anastasia is also a keen community member and volunteers at local sporting clubs.

Please tell us about your current studies, employment or volunteer work:

I have attended Mackillop Catholic Regional College since Year 7 and have immersed myself in the school community. I have always been told, from a very young age, that I should seize every opportunity I can, and regularly take controlled risks throughout my life. At school, I enjoy participating in a variety of the sports carnivals and competitions, as well as various musical bands and ensemble groups. I have also held several leadership positions over the years, which has assisted many other aspects of my life. Despite my already quite busy schedule, I understand the importance of developing work experience from a young age, and recently became employed after turning fifteen earlier this year. For the past five years, I have also volunteered at my swim club's local Bunnings Barbeques.

What is your community involvement and/or achievements?

I’m involved with numerous communities, from my sporting teams and school, to the local council. It is from such extensive surroundings with various environments, that I have continued to learn new skills and adopt different attitudes. Over the years, I have had multiple achievements, which has broadened my field of participation. In 2019, I was able to travel around Australia and to Europe, to compete in the Youth FINA World Championships. Since the age of nine, I have also travelled interstate to participate in the Australian National Championships. This year, I competed at the Victorian State Championships, and won 6 gold medals, as well as two championship cups in various age categories. I also hold many academic awards, as well as various leadership positions, and continue to search for new limits and possibilities.

I have always been fortunate enough to have very supporting parents, friends, teachers and coaches, which has likely been the most driving cause of my various achievements. I have learned to always work diligently and perform to my absolute best in all cases, which personally, is one of the greatest keys to success.

During my time in isolation these past six months, I have continued to maintain training sessions for a few hours each day online, to sustain my fitness levels. My family has faced personal hardships of our own, like so many countless others, although early on, decided to make the most of my time at home, rather than focus on the negatives. These mindsets and attitudes have thankfully paid off, as I have grown tremendously in all areas.

I have adapted my general schedule to involve up to 35 hours of synchronised swimming each week plus approximately 4 hours of music, whilst remaining on top of my studies, work and personal life. School has always been my number one priority, and I have remained a top-scoring student throughout my entire schooling journey, regularly receiving academic excellency awards.

November winner – Sri Thivashia (Sasha) Sri Deenathayalan

November winner – Sri Thivashia (Sasha) Sri Deenathayalan

Sasha is passionate about social justice and is an active community member. As a new Australian citizen, Sasha is using her time to build connections with Wyndham residents.

Please tell us about your current studies, employment or volunteer work:

I am currently in Year 12, studying VCE. The subjects I’m studying include Psychology, Legal Studies and English and Methods. I would like to go to Deakin University to study a double degree of International Studies and Law. I also volunteer; at the library, for clean-up days and on community projects.

What is your community involvement and/or achievements?

I’ve been involved in multiple community projects across Wyndham, but my most notable achievements involve clean up days with Naturewest and my participation as a finalist in the Wyndham Youth Public Speaking Competition from 2015-2019. I have also volunteered at my local library, with Youth Services with their community projects and coached in my local track and field club, as well as my local calisthenics club.

How do you influence the other young people within the community in a positive way?

As a school captain, I aim to promote a safe space for positive wellbeing and do my best to ensure that everyone feels heard. I do my utmost best to be as supportive as I can and go to great lengths to make sure that student voice is upheld in my role as a captain. In the community, I influence other young people in sport - this includes coaching and educating others in order to motivate them to maintain their wellbeing through a healthy outlet.

What are your hopes and dreams for your future?

My hopes for the future is to be able to advocate for minority groups. Ultimately, my goal is to educate as much of the future generation as I possibly can in order to promote an equal future. One day, I wish to become a lawyer so I can fulfil these hopes and dreams to the best of my ability.

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