Youth at front and centre

Natasha Hazell, Jackie Tion, Stephanie Byrnes, Heather Barrett and Rebecca Ffoulkes, shining examples of young people contributing to their community, are finalists in the WA Youth awards. Picture: Elle Borgward d397921
Natasha Hazell, Jackie Tion, Stephanie Byrnes, Heather Barrett and Rebecca Ffoulkes, shining examples of young people contributing to their community, are finalists in the WA Youth awards. Picture: Elle Borgward d397921

Four Rockingham youngsters and a youth organisation make up more than 20 per cent of this year’s finalists in the prestigious awards that will be announced on April 13 at Crown Perth.

City of Rockingham employee Natasha Hazell is one of four finalists in the Minister for Youth’s Most Outstanding Youth Worker Award while the City’s Rockingham Youth Advisory Council (RYAC), which Ms Hazell helps facilitate, is a finalist in the Innovate! BHP Billion Award.

Karnup teenager Rebecca Ffoulkes and Safety Bay resident Heather Barrett are both finalists in the Participate! Commissioner for Children and Young People Award.

Jackie Tion, of Rockingham, is a finalist in the Motivate! Woodside Award and Safety Bay’s Stephanie Byrnes is a finalist in the Create! Propel Youth Arts Award.

Rockingham Mayor Barry Sammels said it was an outstanding result.

‘Five of the finalists are from the Rockingham region and are either working at the City or with RYAC, which has also been nominated for an award,’ Cr Sammels said.

‘Even making it into the finalist category is a wonderful achievement and recognition of the amazing work our youth officers and local young people are accomplishing in our area.’

The winner of each category is eligible for the title of WA Young Person of the Year and all category winners will receive $2000 in prize money.

MEET THE FINALISTS

Natasha Hazell ” a City of Rockingham youth worker, she is passionate about working alongside young people to foster leadership and open doors of opportunity. Her career began in the remote Ngaanyatjarra Lands, where she co-ordinated various events including Desert Dust, Youth Expo, interstate football trips and sports carnivals. She guides RYAC members and programs.

Rebecca Ffoulkes ” in Year 10 at Kolbe Catholic College, this passionate youth advocate has been an RYAC member since 2010. She has helped co-ordinate the local YOUth Fest event and organised the Youth Jam Music Series. She volunteers at Silver Chain garage sales.

Heather Barrett ” Ms Barrett began running Salvation Army appeals at her school two years ago. Also a member of the RYAC assisting with 2011 YOUth Fest, she became council secretary in 2012, has mentored fellow students and helped implement a vegetable garden, worm farm and recycling at her school.

Jackie Tion ” a member of the RYAC for eight consecutive years, she has worked to organise Christmas parties for vulnerable children and activities for multicultural young people. She volunteers for other organisations like the Activ Foundation, Salvation Army and the Youth Affairs Council of WA.

Stephanie Byrnes ” passionate about the arts and culture, Stephanie is a long-term member of the RYAC and as leader of the Arts Committee, successfully managing the arts project that was part of YOUth Fest 2012.

Rockingham Youth Advisory Council ” provides leadership opportunities for young people aged between 12 and 24 who live, work or study in the City of Rockingham.

In 2012, 3146 local young people participated in RYAC events and it is well respected and valued as a key advocacy group for the City of Rockingham.