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Local young achievers celebrated in Kingston’s Youth Awards

23 April 2018

Kingston’s best and brightest young people have been honoured in the annual Kingston Young Citizen of the Year Awards.

A dedicated volunteer Scout leader, a champion for local youth employment and a key member of Kington Youth Services youth committees were named finalists in the awards which seek to celebrate the positive contribution of young people in Kingston.  The awards are open to young people aged 12-25 with a strong connection to Kingston.

Mayor Steve Staikos said councillors were impressed with the high calibre of young people working tirelessly to support local youth.  “We were faced with the difficult task of choosing just one winner, but all of our finalists are remarkable young people making a positive difference in their local community,” Cr Staikos said. 

The Winner for the 2018 Kingston Young Citizen of Year is Laura Vandersluys. Laura works at the Bayside Glen Eira Kingston Local Learning and Employment Network where she has made her mark by connecting hundreds of local students with local employers who are willing to give a young person a chance.  Laura, 25, is the deputy chairperson of the Victorian Youth Congress and a champion for youth unemployment. She has written blog posts and lead high-profile newspaper campaigns highlighting unemployment issues. She donates her time to speak at Rotary and other business events and provides career counselling in schools. Working with the Foundation for Young Australians, Laura guided the development of a VCAL career-based toolkit which is now being used by 200-plus schools and more than 7100 students.

The two finalists were:

Elizabeth (Lizzie) Honeybone Unit Chair of 4th Mordialloc Sea Scouts’ Venturer Crew for 14-18-year-olds, responsible for coordinating events and guiding multi-night hikes with limited adult support. Lizze, 17, also helps run and mentor the group’s Cub Pack. In 2014, Lizzie was appointed as the Mentone Girls Secondary College Science and STEM domain leader, working to promote the involvement of women in science and technology careers. Lizzie has worked with Scouts Australia on its national Scouts Youth Program and she presented the 2016 keynote address to the 250-strong Annual General Meeting of Scouts Victoria. Her speech was mentioned in Federal Parliament by Adam Bandt and Lizzie was interviewed by radio personality Andy Lee. 

Sammar Bassal is a dedicated and hard-working member of two Kingston Youth Services committees. She also works as a graphic designer for State-Government funded Universal student magazine and Kingston’s own FReeZA Fuse Productions which supports and promotes the talents of local young musicians.  Twenty-two year old Sammar has assisted in teaching a graphics software program with Kingston’s Media and Communications team and takes on leadership roles with Kingston Youth Services, mentoring other young people.


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