2015 National Youth Awards recognise outstanding young Australians

Media Release
  • Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Education and Training

Senator the Hon Scott Ryan, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Education and Training, announced the winners of the 2015 National Youth Awards this evening at a presentation dinner in Brisbane.

“It gives me great pleasure to recognise the achievements of young Australians through the National Youth Awards,” Senator Ryan said.

“Young people are making positive contributions to Australia every day. The National Youth Awards are an excellent opportunity to highlight just some of the good things young Australians are doing in their communities.”

The National Youth Awards see young Australians recognised across seven award categories – six of which recognise individuals. They are: Youth Safety Award, Youth Courage Award, Youth Culture and Diversity Award, Youth Employment Award, Youth Health Award and the Youth Leadership Award.

A seventh category, the Youth in Media Award, recognises the contribution made by Australian journalists and media organisations in positively portraying young people in the media.

This year’s winners in each category are:

  • Youth Safety Award
    Lilly Lyons (New South Wales) – At 13 years of age Lily has become a passionate advocate for raising awareness and providing a voice for sexual assault victims.
  • Youth Courage Award
    Leah Findlay (New South Wales) – Leah has volunteered as a peer mentor to assist new students to transition to university life and tutored many Indigenous students in criminology and law, all while completing her own Arts/Law degree from the University of Sydney. Leah is also legally blind.
  • Youth Culture and Diversity Award
    Meridah Hunter (Queensland) – Meridah has helped create prominent Indigenous, youth-based Biddigal Performing Arts Group, which has performed at major events across Australia.
  • Youth Employment Award
    Colleen Chen (Victoria) – Colleen co-founded the youth-led advocacy organisation Interns Australia, which aims to tackle issues some young people face when undertaking unpaid internships.
  • Youth Health Award
    Samuel Clarke (New South Wales) – Samuel is an ambassador for R U OK? and is committed to reducing the suicide rates for young people.
  • Youth Leadership Award
    Brynlea Gibson (Queensland) – Brynlea is a recipient of the Australian iAward and has been recognised for her work in the ICT field. She recently conducted a project using robotics that could further the progress of remote surgery.
  • Youth in Media Award
    Laura Armitage for her news story ‘Providing a chance for youth to shoot hoops’.

Senator Ryan said that all finalists and winners embody the 2015 National Youth Week theme, ‘It starts with us’.

“Each of this year’s winners, the finalists, and all young Australians involved in National Youth Week can be proud of the contributions they are making in their communities,” Senator Ryan said.

“There are some fantastic stories amongst this year’s finalists, and what is clear to see with these young people is their determination in their chosen pursuit and their commitment to see its success.

“I congratulate all of the finalists and the winners of the 2015 National Youth Awards, and encourage them to continue their good work.”

The National Youth Awards are an initiative of the Australian Government as part of National Youth Week, which runs from Friday April 10 to Sunday April 19. The awards were presented at the Brisbane City Hall; each category winner received a $2000 cash prize and a certificate.

Further information on the 2015 award winners can be found at www.youthweek.com.

For more information

Media Contact: media@education.gov.au
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