Mt Lawley teen in line for WA Young Person of the Year award

Mt Lawley teen in line for WA Young Person of the Year award

OSCAR Kaspi-Crutchett (16) from Mt Lawley is among several WA youths that could be named WA Young Person of the Year on November 25.

The teenager is a finalist in the cultural endeavour category for his mentoring and activism.

He began volunteering at 10 years old and his community participation now includes involvement in the YMCA Youth Parliament of WA and volunteering during the Save Safe Schools campaign.

Oscar also volunteers to support causes to improve mental health and combat racism in schools, writes articles for LGBTI publications, debates and acts.

Andre May-Dessmann from Leederville and Vanessa Vlajkovic from Dianella are finalists in the positive achievement category.

At age 14, Andre found himself in state care then for four years moved between foster carers and residential care facilities, and experienced homelessness before residing at Foyer Oxford in Leederville.

To help others in a similar situation, Andre became a young consultant with CREATE Foundation, providing advice and insights to improve a number of key policy areas for children and young people in care.

Vanessa was born blind, learned Braille by age four and was mainstream schooled.

By 16, her hearing had deteriorated and her only communication method was ‘tactile’ Auslan; the signs are formed on Vanessa’s hands.

She is an advocate for the deafblind community who helped establish Deafblind West Australians, an entity providing support, social interaction and advocacy for deafblind individuals.

Vanessa is the first deafblind person in WA to enter university, where she is studying journalism.

CREATE Foundation and Passages Resource Centre are also finalists.

Winners will be announced on November 25.