Feb 9, 2017

2016 Holt Community Spirit & Leadership Awards Speech – 9 February 2017

I want to talk today about an exceptional group of young people whose achievements we celebrated on 12 December last year as part of the 15th annual Holt Community Spirit and Leadership Awards. The awards ceremony, which was held at the Cranbourne Community Theatre, was attended by over 200 people on a fairly warm summer night. It recognised 45 students from 41 local schools. The purpose of the awards is to recognise outstanding achievement at school, not necessarily just academic or sporting but something like a young student making a difference to other students’ lives through community service. We honoured 45 students: Justin Coleman, Bradley Harris, Maleisha Fernando, Aaron Konwalow, Bianca Buckley, Brooke Galley, Prabhu Annavai Prabhakar, Bailey Smith, Haylee Phillips, Maali Albert, Neil Reilly, Remi Minto, Rai Miranda, Karissa Peters, Kimberly Dou, Ed Moreno, Jasmine Gonzalez, Anthony Clarke, Arnela Haisila, Sohaila Ahmadi, Victoria Kumari, Kai Maas, Daniel Selimi, Yasara Abeysekara, Spencer Tarnok, Charlotte Gruneklee-Smallman, Matthew Cooper, Kayla Damon, Sienna Volkoff, Sheza Malik, Garry Ford, Emily Lai, Tayissah O’Donnell, Cooper Robertson, Isabella Duiker, Charlie Nelson, Agana Santhosh Kumar, Nandira Xavier, Avantiika Singh, Alessia Biondi, Chloe Harbour, Adele Carthew, Lily-Rose Campbell, Leticia Riyanto and Garrett Munyard.

It is a long list of names, but one example of the award recipients is Sienna Volkoff, from Mossgiel Park Primary School. Her passion for orangutans and other endangered species saw her hold numerous fundraisers and participate in fun runs and walks during her time at primary school. As a result, she raised funds to purchase 40 hectares of protected forest habitat for endangered species in Borneo and Sumatra and she adopted two orangutans. That is just one example of these 45 very inspirational stories. I wish I could go into each of these stories because each of these students made a profound contribution to the lives of the broader community as well as the school community.

I would also like to thank Village Cinemas. To commemorate these awards outside of the awards ceremony, Village Cinemas have donated a cinema on Monday, 20 February. All the student recipients and their families are coming to the cinema, free of charge, to watch Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them—which I have not seen yet and am looking forward to.

To the parents of the students, to the students and to the teachers: you should be very proud of the young people that were there that night. They are making a significant contribution to the community. It was an honour to be able to recognise that in December.

 

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