- Brenda Amito recognised as 2019 WA Young Person of the Year for her work training multicultural AFL umpires
- Outstanding young people honoured at WA Youth Awards
Youth Minister Peter Tinley formally recognised Brenda Amito, 16, from Butler as Western Australia's Young Person of the Year at the WA Youth Awards tonight.
Brenda migrated to WA from Uganda in 2007. She founded the Edmund Rice Centre WA Multicultural AFL Umpiring Academy in 2017, at the age of 14, achieving a long-term AFL objective of cultural diversity in umpiring.
The academy has developed more than 60 umpires from culturally and linguistically diverse (CaLD) backgrounds - securing opportunities to umpire at Little League and Auskick games at Optus Stadium, Public Schools' Association games and amateurs' football games with the WA Football Commission.
The WA Youth Awards are managed by the Youth Affairs Council of Western Australia (YACWA), and recognise and reward Western Australians 25 years and younger for their achievements and contributions to the community.
The awards also recognise youth workers, through the Minister for Youth's Most Outstanding Youth Worker Award, which was this year won by Kristin Briggs.
Kristin currently works with Comet CaRE (curriculum and re-engagement) School, providing alternative education for 60 young people who do not fit into mainstream education.
Comments attributed to Youth Minister Peter Tinley:
"All WA Youth Award winners are high-calibre young people who bring to bear their passion, skill and sense of service and in doing so excel in their chosen roles and provide inspiration to others.
"The 2019 nominees were leaders, volunteers, artists, sportspeople, decision-makers and carers, just to name a few. Young people's involvement in their communities as decision makers and active contributors is a key element of an inclusive society.
"The 2019 Young Person of the Year, Brenda Amito, has empowered a generation of multicultural youth to take control of their futures and feel part of a multicultural Australia.
"Her umpires have broken cultural stereotypes, inspired mainstream Australians with their professionalism and skill and brought a greater sense of cultural harmony to the community.
"They are fantastic role models, not just for their peers but for all Western Australians."
Minister's office - 6552 5300
WA Youth Awards: List of winners by category
Commissioner for Children and Young People Participate Award and winner of the 2019 WA Young Person of the Year
Brenda Amito, 16, Butler
Brenda migrated to WA from Uganda in 2007 and founded the Edmund Rice Centre WA (ERCWA) Multicultural AFL Umpiring Academy in 2017, at age 14 years. Brenda was instrumental in developing the academy including arranging and running development camps, training sessions and umpiring games. In the development camps, Brenda took full charge of the administrative duties including organising course material, conducting assessments, developing food menus and overseeing the volunteers. Brenda takes full charge of the training and development requirements of the umpires by running regular training sessions and providing on the ground mentoring during umpiring events.
Edith Cowan University Community Leadership Award
Zal is heavily involved in projects that support local artists, young people and not-for-profit organisations. Zal directed a Youth Week WA KickstART Festival, and was awarded runner-up for Best New WA work in the Fringe World Festival 2017 for his intimate sold out performance at the State Theatre Centre. Zal was a 2019 Youth Week WA Ambassador and he recently directed National Science Week 2019's Moonboorli (Beyond), a daylong WA event offering more than 30 free activities and attracting more than 1,500 people.
Minister for Youth's Most Outstanding Youth Worker Award
Kristin Briggs, 29, Butler
Kristin has worked as a youth worker for 11 years in numerous organisations focusing mainly on drug and alcohol prevention. She is currently working with Comet CaRE School, providing alternative education for 60 young people who do not fit into mainstream education. Kristin has developed programs looking at all areas of life and providing a holistic and well-rounded education that incorporates the set curriculum as well as life skills, mental health education and awareness; and drug and alcohol education in a safe, fun and supportive environment for students.
The Life Without Barriers Organisational Achievement Award - Small organisation
Wyndham Youth Aboriginal Corporation
Wyndham Youth Aboriginal Corporation (WYAC) is a not-for-profit community-based organisation servicing the region of Wyndham, and aiming to improve the wellbeing of indigenous youth aged six to 25 years. WYAC's vision is for healthy young people who feel empowered and capable in their chosen endeavours. WYAC acts as a co-ordinating body for youth service delivery in Wyndham and is responsible for bringing together multiple cross-sector stakeholder and advisory groups including local Aboriginal family groups, government agencies, not-for-profits and local young people.
The YMCA Organisational Achievement Award - Large organisation
Youth Involvement Council
The Youth Involvement Council (YIC) provides intense case management to more than 100 young people aged from five to 25 years in the Hedland area, and had more than 550 active clients in 2018-19. Over 90 per cent of clients are Aboriginal and most are assessed as 'at extreme risk' in terms of social behaviour, self-harm, harm to others, damage and vandalism, family support and trauma. YIC supports young people and their families to positively engage with life by helping young people get to school; providing recreation and diversion activities to teach positive life skills; helping young people to find their way out of the justice system; suicide prevention and coping strategies; and helping young people who have experienced assault or trauma.
The Youth Futures Innovation for a Sustainable Future Award
Jacob Cassey, 15, Nedlands
Jacob joined Millennium Kids (MK) at 11 years old and represented his school at a three-day conference bringing together young people from around the world to share ideas about the environment and develop plans for change-making projects. At the end of the conference, Jacob became co-president followed by treasurer for the MK Youth Board, before becoming the project manager for Transition 2020. Jacob considered the ideas from the consultation; particularly that of a website to inspire other young people to share their ideas, join the movement and make real change. The website is attracting global interest and engagement. The secure mentoring portal is now in operation to assist young people with their projects, wherever they are in the world.
The Mission Australia Cultural Endeavours Award
Gabby Loo, 23, Inglewood
Gabby Loo is a youth leader, community organiser, artist and curator, and is creator and facilitator of Belonging, a Whadjuk Noongar Boodjar-based community arts initiative with a particular focus on platforming CaLD and ATSI youth to provide a safe space for artists to express ideas of self and identity, to create art, and have a voice. Gabby is also a youth advocate for the Community Arts Network (CAN) Diversity Working Group which is collaboratively designing and developing a strategy to increase CaLD in the arts in WA.
Hope Community Services Positive Achievement Award
Keisha Calyun, 25, Helena Valley
Keisha is a young Noongar woman and employed as the Mappa Project Officer with the Aboriginal Health Council of WA (AHCWA). Her role is helping to develop an online mapping platform that aims to stop the displacement of people from their family and country. Keisha has endured much personal hardship, raising her three younger siblings after their mother died and their father was absent. She strives to be a guardian and role model for her siblings, who have gone on to succeed in school and are engaged in cultural groups such as Clontarf Academy; Follow the Dream; SEDA Baldja Mob; and Binar Sports Basketball.
Charmaine Dragun Memorial Award
Madeleine Cross, 23, Duncraig
Madeleine Cross is recognised for her radio piece, 20Talk: Fighting for Mental Health, for ECU News in June 2019. Madeleine spoke with Leighton Bradfield, the founder of 20Talk, a local mentoring group in Perth encouraging young males to open up and speak about their feelings. Madeleine also interviewed Professor Patrick McGorry AO, a leading youth mental health advocate, and spoke with young males who had lost friends to suicide.