By Helen Tatchell
As a direct result of the 2013-2016 Youth Strategy, Moorabool’s Youth have been acknowledged.
The third Youth Awards were held by Council at the Civic and Community Hub in Darley and presented by Mayor David Edwards.
Cr Edwards said in 2015 in partnership with Council’s Youth Action Group, external agencies and schools, Council’s youth services unit launched and hosted the inaugural Moorabool Shire Youth Awards.
“I congratulate the young people here tonight for the extraordinary involvement they have in our community.”
In an age range from 12 to 22, five male and female recipients from Gordon to Bacchus Marsh proudly accepted their awards.
Nathan Borg accepted his award in the Art/Overcoming Adversity category and thanked his family and friends that helped him break into the film industry and “the random that nominated me.”
“Remember to follow your heart and your happiness. Teenagers, people with a disability – follow your dreams.
“It is great to have diversity. Aren’t we kind of bored of normal people?” he said.
Mr Borg is profoundly deaf and has a cochlear implant fitted.
Moorabool News’ own, Jessica Howard, was also a successful recipient and thanked everyone for the opportunity and acknowledged how “wonderful these awards are”.
“Moorabool Shire is fortunate to have such great youth services, events, facilities and groups.”
Sport – 12 to 15 years.
Winner – Shannon Craggill, 12-years old (Ballan)
Shannon is involved in cycling at a State level, travelling to Melbourne three times a week to train. She has competed in events national wide, has represented Victoria, winning the Under 15 Women’s event and Under 13 Girls Criterion in Canberra. Shannon also assists juniors at training camps and aspires to compete in the Olympics, working hard in a bid to reach this goal.
Community Contribution 12 to 15 years
Winner – Cory Williams, 13-years old (Bacchus Marsh)
Already a veteran of Bacchus Marsh Scouts, Cory assists in the delivery of the active learning curriculum that is delivered to the 8-10-year old scouts, and he mentors these scouts as they run weekly visits to Grant Lodge Aged Care to engage with residents. Cory often gives up his weekends to act as assistant cook on scout camps. He has joined the MSC Youth Action Group and the ‘Offtap’ FReeZA Group.
Volunteer – 16 to 25 years
Winner – Zachary McCarthy, 16-years old (Gordon)
For over a year Zachary has been involved in Youth UN and in July will be one of just 12 students from around Australia to participate in the Pacific Project. He will travel to East Timor to be involved in a community-based project designed to assist that community. He is also Vice-Captain of Woodman’s Hill VCE Group and has been a member of the Gordon CFA Juniors for near five years.
Art/Overcoming Adversity – 16-25 years
Winner – Nathan Borg, 20-years old (Bacchus Marsh)
Being profoundly deaf has not prevented Nathan from pursuing his chosen career in acting and modeling. He is involved in theatre on a number of levels. From age 17, Nathan has had parts in TV and film including the Doctor Blake Mysteries, Molly and Tough Times Never Lost. Nathan has also been involved for a number of years, including stints on the catwalk for the likes of Just Jeans.
Community Contribution – 16 to 25 years
Winner – Jessica Howard, 22-years old (Bacchus Marsh)
A young professional journalist working throughout the Shire for The Moorabool News, Jessica has recently helped write, collate and research the now published book, ‘People with the Right Spirit’ for Ballan District Health & Care. Jessica’s job has her covering general news, sport and presents an opinion column. Her particular interest is in the courts and legal system. Jessica has also joined the Youth Parliament Press Gallery.