Talented teenagers, a committed police commander and three youth support groups have been recognised and rewarded at the City of Sydney’s annual Betty Makin Youth Awards, which salute positive youth achievements.
Glebe’s Jasmine Tilberoo and Dulwich Hill’s Sabrina Soares, both 16, as well as 13-year-old Patrik Borlandelli from Earlwood, were each awarded $500 scholarships for their contribution to the community at the awards ceremony in Sydney last night.
Awards also went to Redfern Local Area Commander Luke Freudenstein and youth worker Brandon Bear, as well as support organisations Wear it Purple, AIESEC UNSW and the YMCA NSW Youth Parliament Taskforce.
Lord Mayor Clover Moore said the awards, now in their 20th year, were a major event of the Youth Week in the City program.
“There were many impressive nominations this year, which not only celebrate excellent youth role models, but also the commitment and passion of the people who nurture and encourage them,” the Lord Mayor said.
“I congratulate everyone who was nominated or has received an award this year and thank them for helping make our city a better place.”
For the past four years, Jasmine has volunteered her time at the Glebe Youth Service, helping out on numerous projects – including Girlzone – a drop-in service and community artworks. During her spare time after school, she also worked hard on the renovation of the female bathrooms.
Jasmine said the $500 scholarship would contribute to her future schooling and ensure she doesn’t miss any classes due to financial obstacles.
Sabrina is a talented young singer-songwriter who joined in one of the City’s Almost Famous music workshops in September last year.
Since then she’s donated her time and musical skills to record an original song and film, which aims to promote tolerance and diversity. The song and film will be launched on International Day Against Homophobia, on 17 May.
Thirteen-year-old Patrik was the youngest person nominated for an award and was given a $500 scholarship, which he’ll spend on extra tutoring to assist him with school work.
Commander Freudenstein began a mentoring program for youth at risk and is at the National Centre for Indigenous Excellence at 6am every morning, working out with young people.
Commander Freudenstein’s nomination form says he consistently “does all in his power to prevent young people getting locked up for minor offences and will collect them from a police station (in his personal time) and will make a contract with young people to participate in the mentoring program.”
The awards are named after Betty Makin (1926-1993), who was born in Waterloo and was one of Redfern’s great community leaders.
Ms Makin served on dozens of voluntary community support groups, helping to foster community spirit, as well as improving people’s lives and amenity in the area.
For many years she was involved with the Community Youth Support Scheme and was instrumental in setting up The Factory, a drop-in centre for young people in Waterloo.
Betty Makin Memorial Youth Scholarships ($500 each)
Jasmine Tilberoo, 16, Glebe
Jasmine is an active member of the community and a motivated young individual who is much admired and appreciated by youth workers.
She is currently working towards her Higher School Certificate and hopes to complete a Bachelor in Social Work at university, so she can one day work as a youth worker.
To help her reach this goal, Jasmine is about to embark on a student placement at the service in which she will oversee the development and implementation of various youth projects in Glebe, including Reconnect’s Quit Pot and Weave’s Streetbeat Bus programs.
Sabrina Soares, 16, Dulwich Hill
Sabrina will perform at community events during Youth Week in the City and the Living in Harmony festival.
Sabrina will use her scholarship money to contribute to the production of professional music recordings and equipment purchases.
Patrik Borlandelli, 13, Earlwood
At just 13 Patrik has been helping the City of Sydney’s Youth Services team in running events, such as the Almost Famous Open Mic Night, which he helped MC. English is Patrik’s second language, so he showed great courage in publicly speaking at this event. Patrik has also displayed mentorship and leadership qualities while participating in the Tweenies program for younger children and Darlington Public School.
Betty Makin Group Award ($500 each)
Wear it Purple
Wear it Purple is run by young people to support and empower sexually and gender diverse young people. The organisation was established in 2010 and hosts the annual Wear it Purple Day, which aims to raise awareness about the issues young people face in relation to their sexuality and gender.
Wear it Purple Day is now held in about 20 schools and has a strong education focus.
AIESEC is the world’s largest youth development organisation and the UNSW group is wholly run by young people based at the university. The group encourages young people to gain life experiences through student exchange programs and by getting out of their comfort zone to try new challenges. In the past six months, students under their programs have learnt about agriculture, taught farming skills to minimum-security prisoners in the Philippines and raised awareness among Polish schools students about cultural diversity.
YMCA NSW Youth Parliament Taskforce
A dedicated bunch of volunteers design, organise and facilitate the YMCA NSW Youth Parliament Taskforce, which aims to encourage young people to make a positive contribution to their community.
The apolitical program aims to fill a gap in the NSW school curriculum by providing education about civics and community.
Participants are provided with a positive environment to develop community leadership and advocacy skills, to help raise and improve the profile of young people in the community.
Betty Makin NSW Police Force Award
Commander Luke Freudenstein, Redfern Local Area Command
Commander Freudenstein organises sponsorship for local sporting events and encourages his officers to take part in ‘cops v kids’ games.
He also assists “way and beyond his role and responsibilities. He is very approachable, understanding, compassionate, professional, culturally aware, helpful and accessible.”
Betty Makin Youth Worker Award
At just 25, Brandon Bear has had a positive and lasting impact on dozens of young people’s lives through his advocacy work for youth health, diversity, equality and opportunity.
He has over 10-years-experience working in youth health, particularly with early intervention, peer education and harm minimisation.
Seven months ago, Brandon joined the team at Batyr, a registered charity group that seeks to engage, educate and empower young people to make a positive chance to the mental health of young Australians by speaking out about social and mental health issues.
Brandon was nominated by Batyr chief executive Sebastian Robertson, who wrote: “There is no doubt in my mind that Brandon is, and will continue to be, a role model for young people in our community.
“His integrity and commitment has ensured that his values are never compromised speaking up for his beliefs and supporting those in need.”
For more information, visit youthweekinthecity.com
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