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Brenda Amito of Butler has won the Commissioner's 2019 Participate Award and was also named the overall Young Person of the Year. 

At 14, Brenda founded the Edmund Rice Centre WA Multicultural AFL Umpiring Academy - the first of its kind - in an effort to bring cultural diversity into AFL umpiring.

Brenda was born in Uganda and migrated to Australia with her family in 2007. Shortly after her arrival, she joined the Butler Falcons, a multicultural all-girls AFL team. She found her passion for the game through the team and was inspired to give back by starting her own umpiring academy and empowering other young people. 

Now in its third year of operation, the Umpiring Academy has developed more than 60 umpires from diverse backgrounds, many of whom now earn an income from umpiring and are on umpiring talent pathways. She undertook all of this work as a volunteer and recently secured funds to have a paid employee to help manage the Academy.

2019 Finalists

Charlie Chapman, Bullsbrook

At 14 years of age Charlie is a passionate advocate for equality and outspoken about bullying and students' wellbeing in their school. After being frustrated that their school appeared to place more importance on students' appearance than students' wellbeing, Charlie took action and wore knee-high rainbow socks to school every day as a silent protest.

Charlie is a member of the City of Swan’s Youth Advocacy Committee and Bullsbrook’s Bullseye Youth Committee. They have participated in Clean Up Australia events, undertaken fundraising for a local young person battling leukaemia and arranged local PRIDE events. Charlie is also a cadet firefighter and takes part in their school’s youth leadership committee.

Conor Triggs, Albany

Conor was a bright and caring young man, who battled depression for much of his life. Conor was committed to helping others facing mental health issues and he was due to shave off his long hair in October to raise funds for Beyond Blue. Unfortunately, Conor lost his battle with depression in August. Following his passing, Conor’s friends and family rallied and surpassed his original $500 target, with donations now reaching around $6,000.

His brothers Jordan and Charlie shaved their hair on September 12 to honour his pledge. Conor was nominated for the WA Youth Awards to help highlight the need for more services for regional young people struggling with mental health issues.

If you need to talk, please reach out to someone you trust or you can contact KidsHelpline on 1800 55 1800.

Dean Morris, Thornlie

At 10 years of age Dean founded Give Our Strays A Chance, an organisation that raises awareness of stray animals in shelters and pounds, raises money for animal rescue groups, and educates the public about adopting and rescuing stray animals.

Over six years Dean has raised almost $20,000 in cash and well over $150,000 worth of supplies for animal rescue organisations in WA. He is also an RSPCA Junior Ambassador, has undertaken a month-long trip to Mongolia to renovate a school, is an Air Force Cadet learning to fly and won a NASA scholarship to attend Space Camp in Huntsville, Alabama.