|12 April 2017
The 2017 Wattle Range Youth Recognition Awards presentation night was held on Wednesday 5 March 2017 in the Penola High School Hall.
The atmosphere on the night was positive and celebrated the quiet achievements of local youth. Council recognises the important and valuable contribution our young people make to the community.
Youth from 12-25 years were recognised across five award categories. Every nominee received a certificate and gift bag, and each of the five award winners received a certificate, glass plaque and $200 prize money.
Guest speaker on the night was Dallas Skeer, an inspirational Wattle Range youth, who is a champion motorbike racer. Dallas holds the Mac Park Outright Record for the 125 Class; is the Hartwell Club Champion and was the 2017 Australia Day Young Citizen of the Year for the Kintore Ward.
The five awards each represent a unique aspect of community life that youth are intricately involved in. They were:
Contributions to the Community Award
Recognises an individual aged between 12-25 years who has made a positive contribution to the community, has volunteered their time to help others and/or is an active member of the community (Volunteering with community group/school).
This award was won by Alex Guenther of Kalangadoo. Alex has been integral to the success of the Kalangadoo Farmers Market and contributes to the Kalangadoo Community in many ways. At 24 years of age he is one of the founding members of the Kalangadoo Farmers’ Markets, which which has now been operating for 5 years. He has served on the committee ever since and two years ago he became the President. An active member of the Lions’ Club of Kalangadoo, he contributes to cooking the Australia Day and Anzac Day breakfasts as well as doing the dishes afterwards. When he joined Lions’ at 16 he was the youngest member of Lions in Australia. This award was sponsored by The Medical Clinic Millicent.
Employment Achievement Whilst learning (e.g. new initiative, facing a job/ training challenge)
Recognises an individual aged between 12-25 years whose innovation and ideas have been recognised by peers.
This award was won by Felicity Drury of Mount Burr. Felicity completed SACE in 2016, particularly applying herself to the Community Studies subject. She interacted with many community members such as the pre-schoolers at the Penola Community Library and the residents of Pinchunga Aged Care Facility, whilst also undertaking a Certificate III Individual Support (Ageing). She now works at Boneham Aged Care Services in Millicent. Whilst studying she has honed her skills in dealing with people through her part time work in the hospitality industry. This award was sponsored by Kimberly Clark Australia.
Helping Out Family and/or Friends
Recognises an individual aged between 12-25 years who has tirelessly assisted a family or friend in need.
This award was won by James Krieger of Kalangadoo. James is a Year 10 student at Penola High School and supports his mother in providing care for his disbaled sister in many ways. James is a very caring and supportive young man who makes an invaluable contribution to his family as a carer. This award was sponsored by Glen Carron Transport.
Learning Success Award
Recognises an individual aged between 12-25 years who works to continually improve themselves or assists others in learning outcomes.
This award was won by Aliza Pfitzner of Penola. Aliza was joint winner of the Dux award for Stage 1 students at the Penola High School. In 2015 she spent a year in Germany through the Rotary Youth Exchange Program. Last year she studied Stage 2 German while in Stage 1 through Open Access and for her determination she received an ‘A’ and an Open Access College Award. She also undertook a Stage 2 Art Subject also receiving an ‘A’ and placed in the SACE Board Art Show. She also won the Kalangadoo heat of the Lions Youth of the Year Quest. Aliza’s learning also extends to undertaking a Certificate III in Hospitality at the Vintage Café in Penola. This award was sponsored by the Wattle Range Council.
Overcoming Challenging Life Situation Award
Recognises an individual aged between 12-25 years who has turned a negative situation into a positive. They have had the courage to get through a bad situation and show great resilience and determination. This person is someone who inspires others.
This year there were two outstanding candidates for this award and it was decided to award joint winners.
This award was won by Lucy Williams of Penola and Jessica Markey of Tantanoola.
Lucy has shown tremendous resilience in being an integral part of the Tenison Woods College community after her father took his life in 2014. Lucy helped organise a Men’s Night with the aim of promoting positive mental health amongst men in our community. She delivered a brave and moving speech about growing up without her father.
Jessica has shown determination and persistence in pursuing her career goal despite suffering from continuous medical issues. Jessica was born with a medical condition which meant that she spent many of her formative years in hospital. Consequently, she missed out on important parts of her education and she had to fight hard to keep up with her peers. In 2016 Jessica underwent a major operation spending 4-6 weeks in hospital. Returning to school months later in a wheel chair, she continued her schooling and started back at TAFE. She then suffered another setback which resulted in further surgery. Despite the prospect of having to use crutches for the next 6 months she regularly attending TAFE and volunteered at Sheoak Lodge and Boneham Aged Care Services. Her long term goal is to be a nurse and Jessica is driven by the desire to give back to the profession that has helped her for most of her life. This award was sponsored by the Wattle Range Council.
“It was pleasing to see such a high calibre of nominees in all categories” Council’s Chief Executive, Ben Gower said. “This is a fantastic opportunity to recognise the achievement of our youth and their contribution to our communities.”
Wattle Range Council would like to thank the sponsors of the Awards - the Medical Clinic Millicent, Kimberly Clark Australia and Glen Carron Transport for their continued support in recognising the youth in our community.
For further information please contact:
Ben Gower, Chief Executive Officer
Telephone: (08) 8733 0900 or 0402 177 247