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Youth awards focus spotlight on contribution of young achievers

Outstanding young Western Australians were honoured at the WA Youth Awards last night, with Matthew Bill, 22, from Swan View, named WA Young Person of the Year.

Matthew, an outreach worker in the Shire of Mundaring, was recognised for his work with local families to encourage positive engagement in their children’s lives.

Matthew works directly with school students in his community, particularly those at risk of disengagement. He was also named the winner in the Community Leadership category of the awards.

Other WA Youth Award winners included Habiba Asim, 19, from Huntingdale who used her experience of bullying for wearing a hijab to school as a way of engaging with and working with young people deemed at risk. Through her role as a mentor, speaker and contributor on a number of youth committees, Habiba is a wonderful role model for migrant youth.

The WA Youth Awards showcase the achievements and contributions of young Western Australians aged 12 to 25, as well as organisations that work with and support WA youth.

The awards are delivered through a partnership between the Department of Communities and Youth Affairs Council of Western Australia (YACWA), and are supported by Lotterywest.

Youth Minister Peter Tinley said “the WA Youth Awards are a fantastic reminder of the positive contributions made by young people in WA and this year’s remarkable group of finalists represent the diversity of WA’s youth.

“These inspiring young people have contributed more in their lifetimes than many people twice their age.  I hope they will inspire other Western Australians to ask themselves how they can make a difference to their own communities.

“If the calibre of young people awarded tonight are anything to go by, then I strongly believe that we are in very capable hands for the future.”

2017 WA Youth Awards – full list of winners

  • Vincent Pettinicchio, Commissioner for Children and Young People Participate Award;
  • Lily Purser and Alyssa Wong, RAC Innovation for a Sustainable Future Award;
  • Matthew Bill, Community Leadership Award and WA Young Person of the Year 2017;
  • George Foulkes-Taylor, Cultural Endeavours Award;
  • Lynn Crasto, Minister for Youth’s Most Outstanding Youth Worker Award;
  • Curtin AHEAD Program, Organisational Achievement Award (Large);
  • Millennium Kids, Organisational Achievement Award (Small);
  • Habiba Asim, Positive Achievement Award; and
  • Letitia Busniak, Geraldton Newspapers, Charmaine Dragun Memorial Award, for Leading ladies – savvy entrepreneurs making mark