LAST night’s Warrnambool district annual youth achiever awards again put a positive spotlight on the next generation of south-west community leaders, who dispelled negative perceptions about teens.
Award winners included a world aerobics champion, a national mathematics champion and European athletics champion to a future international airline pilot and national surf lifesaving gold medal aspirant.
Overall Warrnambool female achiever Emma Manderson, 16, had a tip for other teens wanting to fit more into their lives. “Find something you enjoy and go for it,” she said.
This year Emma has to achieve a score of at least 95 in her VCE to be eligible for a special scholarship she already has been offered for Melbourne University.
She will be cramming in top-level hockey and table tennis as well. She hopes to study international relations and work in Indonesia.
Warrnambool’s top male achiever, John Hart, 17, will also have his head in the study books for VCE, but still found time to win gold in the state and national surf lifesaving titles.
He hopes to gain a career in the building industry.
Moyne’s top female achiever was 18-year-old Emily Grant, of Mortlake, who was inspired by a trip to slums in the Philippines to work in health and nutrition.
“I’ve seen how bad life can be and want to help people live healthy,” she said.
Moyne’s top male achiever, Taylor McKenry, 18, of Penshurst will move to Melbourne in a few weeks to start studies which he hopes will launch him into a career as a professional pilot.
At weekends he hopes to find time to return to play with Penshurst Football Netball Club seniors where he won the under 21 best and fairest award last season.
Moyne Female Youth Achiever: Emily Grant
Throughout 2010 Emily was significantly involved in charity work.
Through the Student Representative Council, she helped organise fund-raisers for charities such as Jeans for Genes, Shades for Aids and the 40 Hour Famine.
She raised money for primary school children in the Philippines and travelled there to assist with teaching and building a vegetable garden on a Alternative to Schoolies trip.
Emily received an ATAR score of 88.40, completed the Australian Maths Competition and is a recipient of Melbourne University’s Kwong Lee Dow Scholarship.
Throughout the year she received an A - A+ average for all five of her subjects.
Emily competed in both the athletic and swimming interschool carnivals and was captain of the triathlon team. She also attended a global leadership convention in Geelong and received a Hall of Fame membership for being involved in school productions for eight years.
Moyne Male Youth Achiever: Taylor McKenry
As senior boys school captain of Hawkesdale College, Taylor excelled in his VCE results receiving an ENTER of 88.6.
He is a recipient of Melbourne University’s Kwong Lee Dow Scholarship and won the overall mathematics award for his school.
He is completing his Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award which involves volunteer work at the Penshurst Football Club, whose website he created and maintains.
Taylor is an active member of the Minhamite Fire Brigade and has been accepted to Swinburne University to study a Bachelor of Aviation and Commerce.
Taylor excelled in swimming and was involved in several swimming carnivals in the district. He was also involved in athletics and played cricket for Byaduk.
Taylor played for the Penshurst seniors and won best under-21 player. His football skills won him a spot in the North Ballarat Rebels as a under 18 TAC Cup squad member.
Warrnambool Female Youth Achiever: Emma Manderson
Emma was awarded Lions Youth of the Year and excelled in various public speaking and debating competitions.
She completed her Silver Duke of Edinburgh award and participated in the 32-hour challenge and 100-hour follow-up.
Emma was presented with an award from the Australian Defence Force for the Long Tan Leadership and Teamwork skills.
She was the year 11 public relations leader and sat on the Warrnambool College council sub-committee specialising in the area of “engagement and wellbeing”.
Emma has represented the south-west at the state hockey championships. She placed third in the Victorian table-tennis championships and received a school sporting award.
Warrnambool Male Overall Youth Achiever: John Hart
John’s efforts in surf lifesaving paid off when he won a gold in the under 17 board race at the Victorian titles.
He has committed to over 40 hours of beach patrol at the Warrnambool main beach and holds his bronze medallion and level one first aid certificate.
John has participated in numerous surf lifesaving carnivals and at Ocean Grove he and his partner Jackson Fary were pennant winners in the double ski event.
John completed his year 11 VCAL at Emmanuel College and has partly completed a course in building and construction.