Youth work rewarded

Kokoda Youth Leadership Challenge winner Krista McMeeken. Picture: Louise White d403641
Kokoda Youth Leadership Challenge winner Krista McMeeken. Picture: Louise White d403641

The 22-year-old was chosen for her volunteer work and engagement with the community, including being a part of the Follow the Dream program and The Aspiration Initiative.

‘I got involved in these programs because I am passionate about education, the advancement of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth and culture and a strong believer that these students have the potential to, and will be, strong leaders in our community,’ she said.

Ms McMeeken, who works as a lawyer in Perth, said her passion for human rights started at high school.

‘I want to see greater recognition of the continuing contributions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in our community,’ she said.

‘I want to see youth being meaningfully engaged in our community at all levels and across all programs which affect them, their futures, or in which they have an interest, and I want to see more female role models in our community being recognised at all levels and in all fields.’

Ms McMeeken said her interest in the Kokoda Youth Leadership Challenge stem-med from her grandfather’s service in World War II and she will retrace his steps as a part of winning the Clubs WA challenge.

‘I believe that in many ways, Kokoda was one of Australia’s most challenging treaties and war, given the terrain, tactics and planning, proximity to home and sensitivity to the campaign,’ she said.

‘I am particularly interested in the role played by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander servicemen due to the lack of recognition given to them and their families both at the time of their service and upon their return.’