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Published on 09 February 2024

Nominations called for local youth awards

Nominations are now open for the City of Onkaparinga’s 2024 Youth Recognition Awards.

The annual awards recognise the inspiring talent, hard work and achievements of young people aged eight to 25 years.

Nominations are open until 5pm on Monday 26 February – and only take five minutes to complete online.

There are four awards for young people aged 8 to 25 years and one award for a youth sector worker working in the Onkaparinga region:

Learning Success: Young people who have achieved significant academic success whether it’s ‘getting the grade’, mentoring other young people to do so or showcasing excellence in learning new skills.

Contribution to Community: Young people who give extra time back to community groups, schools and other programs that benefit the people of Onkaparinga.

Personal Achievement: Young people who have overcome adversity and challenges and shown resilience through personal hardship.

Business, Employment and Social Enterprise: Young people who have turned their ideas into business and social enterprise or who have worked hard to secure employment.

Onkaparinga Youth Worker of the Year: People of any age who work with young people in the Onkaparinga area across any sector, such as policing, child protection, health, education, social welfare, youth work and youth services.

In 2023, the awards attracted more than 70 nominations across the five awards categories.

The winners were recognised for excellence in university studies, fulltime caring roles, volunteering, fundraising, and launching and building their own businesses.

Molly-Eve Day, winner of the 2023 Learning Success award for excellent results in her Bachelor of Psychological Science, has now completed her Honours degree in psychology and is working in dementia research at Flinders University.

She says that the awards help motivate young people to continue to achieve.

“The awards reinforce that you always get out what you put in,” she says.

Mia Weston won the 2023 Contribution to Community award for fundraising efforts for the Hutt Street Centre and the Starlight Foundation. She also achieved stunning results in competitive swimming.

She agrees with Molly-Eve. “A lot of time and effort goes on behind the scenes that most people don’t see.

“When you achieve a personal goal you have been working so hard towards and you get recognition for it, it means a lot and gives you confidence and drive to carry on.”

Mia has since gone on to win gold and silver medals at the state swimming championships and all gold at the pool rescue state championships. And she’s continued her fundraising efforts.

Both winners have advice for aspiring young people.

“Find something that you are passionate about and believe in and seize every opportunity,” says Molly.

Mia says, whatever it is, just do it.

“You have nothing to lose and everything to gain!” she says. “Every little bit helps. The feeling of knowing you made even a small difference is the best thing.”

The awards are hosted by the Onkaparinga Youth Committee and are part of South Australia’s Youth Week, running from 15 to 24 March 2024.

The Onkaparinga Youth Committee is an active group of young people aged 12 to 25 years who meet regularly to represent young people’s views, advocate for young people, and drive change in the community.

The group is supported by the council and will be recruiting new members in 2024 to join their cause.

Nominations for the Youth Recognition Awards close Monday 26 February 2024 at 5pm.

The awards will be presented at an invitation-only event at the Arts Centre in Port Noarlunga on Monday 18 March.

To nominate and for further information, please contact Joshua Stokes atyouth@onkaparinga.sa.gov.au or go to the Youth Recognition Awards website.