Awards acknowledge youths

Monet Lewis, Kyle Hayes, Michael Smith, Shyla McPhail and Kirk Close were among the 2020 Youth Award recipients. (Supplied)

By Oliver Lees

Nominations are now open for the Macedon Ranges council’s 2021 Youth Awards.

Individuals or groups of young people between the ages of 12 and 25 can be nominated for one of six award categories which highlight a contribution to the community.

Shyla McPhail, who received a youth award in 2020, said she felt “very privileged” to receive the ‘Good Deeds’ Award, which recognises individuals that support the wellbeing of others.

“I would recommend that many people stand up and nominate someone that is doing something amazing,” she said.

Other award categories recognise perseverance through adversity (Will Power), pursuit of passion for creativity (Pure Imagination), notable recreational and physical activity (Nicely Played), excelling in mentorship (Skilling It) and those who shine a light on important social issues (Well Aware).

Macedon Ranges council youth services worker Terence Jaensch said the unique categories were designed to allow for a greater number of nominations.

“The categories have opened up possibilities, they’re more in line with what young people are engaging in,” Mr Jaensch said.

“It’s really wide-ranging, some young people have been awarded for mental health advocacy, as well as creatives.

“We wanted to put focus on the nominees. Youth awards are all about the process, of course there is a winner, but we want to honour everyone that is attempting to do good in the community.”

Last year council had more than 40 nominations for the Youth Awards.

Mayor Jennifer Anderson said the awards give recognition to young people who can be an “unacknowledged force” in the community.

“The Youth Awards ensure that some of the creative and sustained ways young people, individually and collectively, contribute to the Macedon Ranges community are given higher recognition,” Cr Anderson said.

The award ceremony was hosted online last year, but this year winners will be announced at a special event on Wednesday, September 15, at Kyneton Town Hall.

Nominations close before midnight Sunday, August 8.

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