Perth Airport Achiever Awards: five northern suburbs teens recognised


Luke Willemsen and Jarred Lacey at the 2016 Perth Airport Achiever Awards. Picture: Department for Child Protection and Family Support
Luke Willemsen and Jarred Lacey at the 2016 Perth Airport Achiever Awards. Picture: Department for Child Protection and Family Support

FIVE northern suburbs teenagers were among 25 young people recently recognised at the Perth Airport Achiever Awards.

Luke Willemsen (17) from Two Rocks and Jarred Lacey (18) from Butler won in the registered training achiever category at the Department of Child Protection and Family Support awards.

Child Protection Minister Andrea Mitchell said the awards provided up to $4000 each to help people aged 15-25, who had been in the department’s care, with further education and training.

“What inspires me about these young people is seeing the growth, resilience and positive changes they are making in their lives,” she said.

“They have grown into determined and responsible young men and women who want to become role models within their own community.”

Luke said he had not felt “part of the family” in some of his earlier placements.

“This all changed when I came into my family now – I now feel like I can survive in the world with the support I have,” he said.

Jarred said he was most grateful for the people around him in his youth.

“These people have surrounded me and allowed me to channel the times of instability, into positivity,” he said.

Carramar resident Fiona Fenner (18) won the university achiever category at the March 31 awards.

“Karen Tucker, my foster mum, has not only taken me into her care for the last 10 years, but has treated me like one of her own,” she said.

Tu Ri Bwit (19), who lives in Girrawheen, is studying nursing at Edith Cowan University in Joondalup and was also a university achiever winner.

“Since (I arrived in Australia in 2009) the Department for Child Protection and Family Support are always there for me and my family – the people are so keen to help us with every problem,” she said.

Robert Gardener (16), of Landsdale, won the apprenticeship/traineeship category.

“My mum is important to me because she believes in me and has faith in me,” he said.