Swan View’s Matthew Bill named WA Young Person of the Year


Matthew Bill spins a yarn to local children in his group. Picture: Bruce Hunt d474455
Matthew Bill spins a yarn to local children in his group. Picture: Bruce Hunt d474455

OUTSTANDING young West Australians were honoured at the WA Youth Awards last night with Swan View resident Matthew Bill (22) being named WA Young Person of the Year.

Mr Bill, an outreach worker in the Shire of Mundaring, was recognised for his work with local families to encourage positive engagement in their children’s lives.

He said he was still in shock after winning the community leadership category and being named WA Young Person of the Year.

“It still hasn’t sunk in,” he said.

“My win brings with it a lot of opportunities and responsibilities for not only the youth of Midland but for youth across WA.

“As WA Young Person of the Year part of my role will be travelling all over state talking to other young people.”

Three years ago Mr Bill started shooting hoops at a Midland park to help indigenous youngsters stay out of trouble.

That led to a job mentoring primary and high school students, helping those truant from class, suspended from school or at risk of disengagement in the education system.

Mr Bill also spends his own time mentoring young people, even picking them up to get them to school.

“Every morning with my pop we drive around picking up kids, we give them breakfast and get them to school for the day,” he said.

“I love seeing kids get an opportunity and giving it a crack by giving them the tools to succeed.”

Youth Minister Peter Tinley said the awards were a fantastic reminder of the positive contributions made by young people in WA.

“These inspiring young people have contributed more in their lifetimes than many people twice their age,” he said.

“I hope they will inspire other Western Australians to ask themselves how they can make a difference to their own communities.”