Giving Kallaroo youngster named finalist in 2017 WA Youth Awards

Vincent Pettinicchio with students from Sacred Heart College at this year’s packing event.
Vincent Pettinicchio with students from Sacred Heart College at this year’s packing event.

AT just 12 years of age, Vincent Pettinicchio has already helped nearly 4000 people in need.

When he was seven, he was experiencing bullying.

To help, his mum told him to think of doing something to support others in need and Vincent’s Project for the Homeless was born.

Inspired by seeing people living on the streets of Perth, the Kallaroo youngster started putting together packs of toiletries and comfort items for them.

This year, the project expanded at his school, Sacred Heart College, with parents, volunteers and students jumping on board for a two-day packing event.

He also had 18 other schools from around Perth contributing and has gained ongoing support from a number of major corporations.

Vincent also uses his spare time to speak at different parishes, rotary clubs, corporate events and schools to raise awareness about the homeless.

His 10-year plan is to help 14,000 people, which was estimated number of homeless people when he started in 2013. So far he has helped 3960.

Today he was named as one of 24 finalists for the 2017 WA Youth Awards.

These awards recognise the achievements and contributions of young West Australians aged 12 to 25, as well as organisations that work with and support WA youth.

Youth Minister Peter Tinley said the calibre of this year’s finalist, which also includes eight organisation, was “truly outstanding”.

“These young people are representative of the diversity of WA’s young people and the ways in which they contribute to building vibrant communities,” he said.

“Many of these young people have overcome extremely challenging situations and exemplify the qualities of resilience, determination and perseverance that our future generations hold.”

Joondalup-based Youth Futures WA is also a finalist.

The charity of 30 years aims to empower young people to overcome their issues through homelessness, education and support programs.

The awards will be announced at the State Theatre Centre on October 12.

Most Outstanding Youth Worker Award finalists
Lynn Crasto – Hamilton Hill
Alex Arpino – East Perth
Courtney Marie Fare – Seville Grove
Kristin Briggs – Caversham

Participate Award finalists
Vincent Pettinicchio – Kallaroo
Jai Castle – Wembley
Allee Edith Bartlett – Spalding
Robert Walker – Kalgoorlie

Community Leadership Award finalists
Sophie Stewart – Burswood
Angel Chen – Peppermint Grove
Wil Massara – Collie
Matthew Bill – Swan View

Innovation for a Sustainable Future Award finalists
Lily Purser and Alyssa Wong – Shenton Park
Shay Dowley – Lathlain
Isabella Taylor – South Perth
Emily Miller – Beverley

Positive Achievement Award finalists
Joelle Chen – Morley
Areesha Ateeq – Leederville
Habiba Asim – Huntingdale
Cory Payne – New Norcia

Cultural Endeavours Award finalists
Georgia Foulkes-Taylor – South Perth
Josten Myburgh – Joondanna
Jackson Used – Nedlands

Organisational Achievement Award Large Organisation finalists
Street Connect, Anglicare WA
Youth Futures WA
Curtin AHEAD Program
Warnbro Community High School

Organisational Achievement Award Small Organisation finalists
Midwest Charity Begins at Home Inc – Youth
Millennium Kids
Perth Inner City Youth Service
Leading Youth Forward