Community minded: Young leaders, Gemma Shaw, Brodie Kamp and Magbul Abraham with Youth Services coordinator, Katja Fiedler (back) on Monday. Photo: EDWINA WILLIAMS

Awards celebrate youthful impact

June 19, 2020 BY

THE City of Ballarat Youth Council is now accepting nominations for their annual Youth Awards.

Launched last Monday via Facebook, with a showcase of young artists, musicians, poets and previous winners, the nomination process will run for five weeks, and the Youth Awards ceremony is to be digitally held on Friday, 28 August.

Anyone can celebrate a Ballarat resident aged 12 to 25 by nominating them in an award category; challenge and change, group project, leadership in sport, influential artist, positive leader, compassion and care, youth volunteer, STEM or young entrepreneur.

Youth councillor, Brodie Kamp said the awards have been running for 15 years. His leadership team coordinates them to highlight the proactive, creative, impactful things young people do every day in the community, and provide a space for them to network, connect and find likeminded people.

“Even the smallest contribution is something to be celebrated. Every step counts,” he said.

“It doesn’t matter if you think the nominee is going to win or not. We make a real effort to make sure that every person feels valued for their contribution.

“It’s not about winning. Whether you win or not, you’ll still be recognised for what you’ve done.”

Katja Fiedler, coordinator of Youth Services, said there are lots of structures in place to recognise young people excelling in sports or academia, but the Youth Awards look at the effect of young people.

“They recognise and celebrate the impact that they have in the community, whether it’s through volunteering, or even being a positive leader as an artist or sportsperson,” she said.

“It’s not so much about achievements, more so the impact that they have and the change that they’re creating.”

Brodie said planning the awards process online for the first time ever has brought its challenges.

“Certain people in our group live rurally, so don’t have a strong, reliable internet connection. Every meeting can have a different group of people, but we’re adapting well,” he said.

Last year, more than 130 young people were nominated for an award. The youth councillors hope that many are acknowledged, and some, in 2020.

Nominations can also be made in the adult ally categories, celebrating people working or volunteering to support young people in the community.

Visit youthawards.ballarat.vic.gov.au to nominate.