Aussie Youth Recognised in NFP Unleashed Awards
29 September 2015 at 11:06 am
A group of young people have been recognised at the Foundation for Young Australian’s 2015 Unleashed Awards, including two sisters who co-founded Australia’s biggest youth-driven movement against bullying, Project Rockit.
The Unleashed Awards are part of Australia’s leading social change festival for young people. They honour the best and brightest young people creating change in their community, Australia and beyond.
The winners were announced at a ceremony in Melbourne.
The top Trailblazer Award went to Rosie and Lucy Thomas who established the youth-driven movement against bullying, Project Rockit. FYA said the sisters have worked with hundreds of thousands of students across Australia to come up with safe and engaging strategies to stand up to bullying, on and offline. Project Rockit has expanded from in-school workshops to an online curriculum, mobile app, consultancy and advocacy.
FYA CEO Jan Owen AM said the awards honour and celebrate the vast contributions that young people make in their communities, across the country and beyond.
“At FYA we believe that young people are ambitious, creative, capable of rethinking the world and solving tomorrow’s problems today,” she said.
“If we want young people to live up to their potential and create the best future possible, we need to back them now.
“The Unleashed Awards celebrate the best and brightest young people in Australia, giving them the recognition they deserve and the opportunity to continue the fantastic work their doing leading change across the country.”
This year’s award winners are:
-Trailblazer – Celebrating changemakers who are 29 or older.
Rosie and Lucy Thomas
-La Trobe Local legend – Celebrating young people aged 13 to 26 working within their local community to create positive change.
Nicholas Steepe. Steepe has become the first LGBTI representative on his local council in Dubbo after bringing the concerns of the community to the council members. He also works full-time as a community development officer at Headspace and is the LGBTI representative in the Dubbo Communities Connect Initiative. It is through this role that he started the Dubbo Rainbow Alliance, which is now planning Dubbo’s first Pride March.
-Jumpstart – Celebrating young people aged 13 to 26 who have the potential to scale their idea through digital, but need a jumpstart.
Caleb Maru. Maru is currently working at the Alice Springs Town Council as the Youth Services Officer, and is the chairperson of the Alice Springs Town Council Youth Action Group. His project is called the Aware Project, a platform for young people in his community to share their experiences with issues including racism, mental health issues, homelessness and poverty. With the funds from the Award, Caleb plans to expand from social media into a full website.
-Gamechanger – Celebrating groups or individuals who are engaged in social or socially-minded business enterprise. This award focuses on innovation and enterprise skills.
Thomas Crosbie (12 to 18 category) and Edda Arnadottir Hamar (19 to 29 category).
Thomas Crosbie started a service taking donations of old or broken computers through his Facebook page, Computer Donations for Gippsland. He collects the computers, repairs and updates them with the latest software and gives them to families in his local area who can’t afford their own. Through this project he has started his own IT business in a shed on his property.
Edda Arnadottir Hamar is the founder of Undress Runways. Undress Runways’ mission is to make sustainable fashion the default. Undress Runways brings sustainable designer collections to one location, for one night every year, in a runway show. Edda has also started a sustainable fashion magazine to further awareness of the harmful practices of the fashion industry and educate the public about sustainable fashion.
-SBS Asia Connect – An award for a young person aged 13 to 26 who is working to turbocharge Australia’s connection with the Asian region.
Mirai Kirsanovs is the Co-founder and Director of Asia Options, a start-up social enterprise that provides a guide to work, study and life in Asia. Asia Options bridges the divide between Australians and Asia by providing tools, networks, educational and professional opportunities in the region. Asia Options gives young journalists the chance to share unique stories and inside knowledge about Asia.