SORRENTO resident Jilen Patel was honoured as the overall winner at the weekend’s Western Australian Young Achiever of the Year Awards.
The 29-year-old first won the Community Service and Volunteering Award for his work as a paediatric dentist before being named the overall winner from the nine category winners.
Mr Patel was recognised for his commitment to helping vulnerable and disadvantaged families in remote Aboriginal communities in the Kimberley, homeless people, refugees in Perth and children with complex medical needs.
Among his achievements, he developed the Kimberley Dental Team providing oral health education and volunteer-based dental services to cohorts across WA, and spearheaded the implementation of the Strong Teeth for Kimberley Kids school tooth brushing program.
He also developed a multidisciplinary oral health education and prevention program for resettled refugee children, and pioneered the use of digital technology to better facilitate the surgical repair of neonates with cleft lip and palate.
The Young Achiever Awards began in 2016 to acknowledge, encourage and promote the positive achievements of young people up to 29 years of age.
Youth Minister Peter Tinley congratulated the finalists and winners.
“The example they set to their peers is important, as is the contribution they have made to their communities and the contribution that we all hope they will continue to make,” he said.
“Young Western Australians have enormous potential to bring about positive change and it is our responsibility to support and encourage young people to reach their potential.”
Western Australian Young Achiever of the Year Award winners
Sports Award – Brianna Throssell (22) of City Beach
Community Service and Volunteering Award – Jilen Patel (29) of Sorrento
Agriculture Award – Daisy Goodwin (23) of Broome
Online Achievement Award – ACE Tutors (23) of Nedlands
Young Leadership Award – Krista Dunstan (28) of Bayswater
Innovation Award – Briege Whitehead (27) of Karrinyup
Environment and Sustainability Award – Jason Pitman (27) of Gosnells
Regional Service Award – Joella Ashwin (26) of Wiluna
Youth Group Achievement Award – Willetton Senior High School Interact Club
Overall winner – Jilen Patel (29) of Sorrento