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Gathering some of WA’s brightest young people

Yesterday morning I hosted the four finalists of my 2016 Participate Award for an informal morning tea.

Three of the finalists, Anneka Bodt, Joanna-Louise Alexandre, and the winner Brianne Yarran all came to my office, while Dodi Tuando participated through a conference call.

My office has sponsored the Participate Award since 2010 as part of YACWA’s WA Youth Awards. It rewards a young person who makes a positive difference in their community and encourages other young people to get involved.

All four of last year’s finalists are exemplary young people who are not only future stars in their communities, but are positive contributors right now. I would like to congratulate all of them, yet again, for their achievements and dedication.

Our discussion broached a range of topics that the four finalists were passionate about. These included: accessibility for people with disability; mental health education; the impact of the stolen generation; and educational sports and social opportunities in regional areas. The four finalists all stressed to me the importance of having their voices and the voices of other young people heard by decision makers.

I look forward to seeing how each of the finalists continues their good work in the future. Later in the year I will be meeting with Brianne and some of the children that she mentors.