A strong vision of how to make a difference in the future was the common theme of my discussions today with three young people who were Participate Award finalists at last year’s WA Youth Awards.
I invited the 2015 Participate Award recipient, Emily, and finalists Aaron and Shannieka, to my office to discuss in more detail their outstanding work in the community and their ideas to help children and young people.
They had some positive suggestions for improving their neighbourhoods such as creating more fun and inclusive activities to keep young people occupied, and offering opportunities to get out into the community.
They agreed that physical disabilities were not well catered for and support for young carers should receive more focus. They also thought campaigns for drug awareness should be more tailored to young people.
Each of these impressive young people have shown remarkable dedication, whether it has been to set up new recreational programs for children with a disability, develop apps and encourage others to get involved in research projects, mentor Aboriginal community members about health and wellbeing, or deliver positive experiences to some of Perth’s most ‘at-risk’ young people.
What inspires me the most is that these individuals are acting as leaders at a young age, empowering other young people to also think outside the box and to support their peers.
This is what the Commissioner’s Participate Award is all about.
I would like to congratulate Emily, Aaron, Shannieka and Danikka again for their achievements and I sincerely thank the finalists for taking the time to speak with me today.
Commissioner for Children and Young People