Leading light

Carine resident and homeless advocate Conrad Liveris. Picture: Marcus Whisson www.communitypix.com.au d418204
Carine resident and homeless advocate Conrad Liveris. Picture: Marcus Whisson www.communitypix.com.au d418204

The 21-year-old started not-for-profit organisation Street Smugglers in 2012 with brother Brendan and friends Sandra De Witt Hemala and Jessica Short with the aim of educating the community about homelessness in a fun and accessible way, as well as creating change by building relationships with the homeless community.

Mr Liveris said he was thankful to be nominated and grateful to have taken out the award.

‘I know that my peers in Perth, WA and Australia do amazing work, so it is great to be acknowledged along with them,’ he said.

‘Community leadership takes on many meanings and that is the best thing about this category; we are a diverse and unique group.

‘The varied nature of community-based work is exciting.

‘I am able to support those in need, when I can.’

Street Smugglers is a volunteer-led group dealing with homelessness in Perth and Australia.

Mr Liveris said he and his peers had a vision for a world where homelessness was not the only option.

‘We live in a country and state that is rich in culture, diversity and even monetary wealth,’ he said.

‘We think it is an issue that homelessness is on the rise, so we are lending our voices and skills to inform, educate and advocate support for homeless people.

‘I don’t really think of myself as a voice for anyone. I prefer to use my opportunities to help others use theirs.

‘It is fantastic to see a bigger focus on homelessness in the media and commentary, and the rise of young people taking leadership roles in society.

‘We all have a role to play; sometimes it can take us a while to figure what that is.’

This year’s awards included the categories Health and Wellbeing, Creating Pathways, Community Leadership, Safer Communities, Personal Courage, Cultural Understanding and Positive Media.