Geelong Youth Awards return for 2024, with nominations now open

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Geelong Youth Awards return for 2024, with nominations now open

Words by Staff Writer

For generations bands have been claiming the younger generation are worthy; both The Who and The Offspring offered “the kids are alright” and Rick Springfield encouraged us to “celebrate youth”. 

On a local front, The City of Greater Geelong has been championing the youth of Geelong in an official manner since 2008 through the annual Geelong Youth Awards.

Aimed to recognise and celebrate the contribution of young people between the ages of 12 and 25 years who live, work, learn or play in the Greater Geelong region, the Geelong Youth Awards are returning for 2024. 

The City of Greater Geelong invites community members to put forward a nomination of a young person or volunteer who have made, or are making, a significant contribution in the community. From being a leader, to outstanding work in a disciplinary area, being a standup citizen to promoting cultural awareness; there are so many ways a young person can be seen as assisting the community, which is why the awards have been divided into nine categories. 

Stay up to date with what’s happening in and around the region here.

The first category is the Active Achievement Award in recognition of a young person who has made a positive impact through their involvement in sport and recreation. The Youth Awards are not just for the next sporting great like Michael Jordan or Joel Selwood, but could be for someone who demonstrates leadership in their chosen sport that is of inspiration to those around them, or someone that volunteers or acts as a role model that encourages and supports others to participate. 

In the same light sits the Arts and Music Award, recognising a young person who has demonstrated hard work, creativity and passion in their art and engages in the community through various mediums. Whether it is visual arts, music, writing, sculpture, theatre or film – if that person is exuding passion and contributing to the wider arts community, throw them a nomination.

The Citizenship Award is one that demonstrates the values of an individual person. From having a positive attitude, to connecting with others and encouraging positive outcomes, mentoring other young people or having made a significant contribution to the local community, nominees in this category are treasures to the region.

Creating a vibrant and diverse cultural community is the aim of the Cultural Awareness Award nominees games. Characteristics to look for in this nominee are inclusivity, connection and celebration of their wider culturally diverse community. This category is for those that are involved in the culturally diverse makeup of Geelong.

Digital technology, social entrepreneurship, start-up’s, environmentally sustainable practices, advocating through social media platforms; The Innovation Award covers the change-makers of Geelong. It doesn’t need to be Greta Thunberg level of activism and action, but if they’re heading towards positive change then that deserves a nomination.

The Inspiration Award is fairly self-explanatory. Does this person inspire others around them? Have they shown strength in the face of adversity and overcome life hurdles to be where they are? Do they display admirable qualities of kindness, empathy and general care in order to improve the lives of others? Perhaps they are taking on carers duties for a family member, relative or friend with a disability, mental illness or chronic condition. Not only do they deserve a massive round of applause, but a nomination in the Geelong Youth Awards.

A leader or a role model can look like anything from a person making strides in their community through various activities or roles, encouraging others around them, advocating for the community, or promoting respectful and positive behaviours towards others. These qualities are looked for in the Leadership Award. Whether it’s in the school, workplace or generally in society, this young person is a demonstrated leader.

Developed by the Youth Council, who are highly involved in the Youth Awards, The Unsung Hero Award category is for the quiet achiever; the non-traditional leader and the difference maker who wouldn’t typically get recognition. The unsung hero has a positive attitude, a willingness to help and a commitment in doing so.

The final category is the Volunteer Award. Open to all ages this award is given to any person who works on a voluntary basis with young people with a view of benefitting that young person’s life. Whether it’s being a mentor in existing programs, demonstrating exceptional leadership in supporting young people, or simply inspiring young people to develop ideas and activities, this person is a positive enabler of our next generation.

With so many awards on offer, there is no excuse not to nominate a respectable young person. In addition to being recognised, each category winner receives a trophy and a $500 contribution to support their ongoing interests, education and/or community work. 

Nominations are now open through the City of Greater Geelong website, closing 12 May 2024. The awards will take place on 28 June at The Geelong West Town Hall.