Celebrating YOUth - Awards Night

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Celebrating YOUth is an annual youth-led event that shines a spotlight on young people, by recognising and celebrating their contributions as community members in the Yarra Ranges. 

In the second half of 2023, we will open nominations for young people with connections to the Yarra Ranges to receive awards for their contributions in the following categories:   

Resilience award

A young person or group who persevered in a time of great challenge. This award represents being relentless in the best way possible and flourishing through adversity.

Young Entrepreneur award

A young person or group who have started a small business or project and achieved their goals using resourcefulness, ambition and creative thinking. 

Community Improvement award

A young person or group who have demonstrated passion through starting, leading or contributing to a community project that has impacted the local area. This award represents an ambitious and/or selfless person who sees the bigger picture and wants to create positive change.  

Passionate Advocate award

A young person or group who are strong advocates for a cause. This award represents standing up for something, raising a voice for change, and creating awareness on an issue they strongly believe in. 

Environmental Sustainability award

The Environmental Sustainability award is in recognition of those who help keep the local area clean and healthy. It will be awarded to a determined environmentalist who is committed to sustainability and caring for our environment.  


Creative Arts award

A unique individual or group who are proud of their personal craft, and who should be recognised for their creative ability. This award represents individuality and creativity and recognises anything from music to dance or art. 


Nominations and Eligibility

To be eligible the nominee must be aged between 12-25 years, with connections to the Yarra Ranges. 

  • Nominations can be made by friends, family, a professional or you can even nominate yourself! 
  • You can nominate an individual or group for one award
  • All nominees will be contacted prior to the event.  

The award winners will be decided on by our assessment panel after nominations close. There will be one winner per category, with each award recipient receiving a gift for their achievement. Each nominee will be recognised for their contributions on the night also. 

The event is held at  Mooroolbark Community Centre and has acts from local performers, food, presentations and a fun atmosphere!  

2022 Award Winners

Resilience Award  - Biak Hlei Par Kung

Biak won this award for her admirable perseverance in the face of adversity and difficulty. Biak is a Burmese refugee, and having arrived in Australia with very limited English skills and missing several years of formal education, she had to work much harder than her peers to catch up and keep up. Not only has she experienced hardship, she has maintained a positive mindset and work ethic, determined to use her education to help her family and community.

Young Entrepreneur Award – OBG Productions

During covid, Blaise, Oskar and Geordie started their own video production company. Noticing a gap in the market for local talented videographers, they seized the opportunity and created OBG Productions. Through their skill, professionalism, and hard work, they have not only fulfilled but exceeded customer expectations. They go above and beyond, are incredibly accomplished and produce exceptional work. They’re on their way to building an empire. 

Community Improvement Award – Rural Rainbows Volunteers

Harry, Teddy, Jessy, Kirsten and Razz have been awarded for their volunteer work with the Rural Rainbows peer support group, facilitating fortnightly groups for LGBTQIA+ young people in the Yarra Ranges. They have helped create a safe inclusive space for young people to be themselves, make friends, gain self confidence, and have fun. They are great role-models and display strong leadership skills, respect and validation to best support the well-being of LGBTQIA+ young people in the region. 

Passionate Advocate Award - Telita Lenore

Telita is very passionate about making things fair, especially around indigenous issues. Using her passion and knowledge, she contributed to the Youth Parliament group and helped write the Bill that all schools should have mandatory Reconciliation Action Plans. While dealing with her own personal challenges and adversity, she always faces things with a positive attitude.

Environmental Sustainability Award – Candice Farrugia-Roberts

Candice was nominated for her advocacy efforts toward meaningful environmental inclusion for young people. Alongside her studies in Botany, she draws attention to the issue of litter by being a litter fairy and tries in a multitude of other ways to impact the environment and community around her in a positive way. 

Creative Arts Award - Hayden Pierson

Hayden won the Creative Arts award for his dedicated work with the Misfit Project, an organisation that gives creative youth an outlet. Hayden has been heavily involved in the Misfits theatre programs, campaigns, and camps. He is a passionate individual when it comes to creativity, self-expression, youth voice, and encouraging others self-confidence through creative pathways.