Feb 12, 2018

2017 Holt Community Spirit & Leadership Awards Speech – 12 Feb 2018

Last year, in December 2017, I was proud to present 43 students from 39 local schools with the 2017 Holt Community Spirit and Leadership Awards, held at the Cranbourne Community Theatre. These awards recognised the outstanding contribution made by students, and the difference that their hard work and their dedication made to the schools and to the broader community. I’d like to read their names into the parliamentary record so we have a permanent record of those that we honoured at these community spirit and leadership awards. These young students were: Emily Franklin, Shaylah Portelli-Moore, Sean McKigney, Arien Pateras, Adithya Prateep, Elli-Dion Martin, Jashan Jangra, Aliyah Jewel, Mahonri Akaiti, Indi Ogilvie, Jade Jolicoeur, Jessica Nikitina-Li, Maya and Sarah Ghassali, Jade Greenwood, James McBride, Sophia Cabador, Eddie Vusic, Daniel Schmidt, Aarya Daware, Merric Gardner, Fareshta Karimi, Autumn Reihana, Rangi Kimibra, Hailey Chapman, Aidan Illig, Avani Singh, Sorei Soth, Elisa Karaim, Ava Harrison, Dean Krikas, Bonny Cortese, Callum Browning, Keya Dogra, Alessia Alifano, Adrian Fernandesz, Aadi Sachdeva, Mitchell Tharle, Lisa Lei, Keertan Vinu, Sarah Kis, William Zhang and Luis Herera—a lot of names there.

I wish I could describe, though, having read those names, the achievements and the contributions that these young students made. One of the reasons I initiated these awards is that we hear so much about what our young people do that is wrong. I wanted to celebrate in our community the contributions that young people make in their community that are right, and that often doesn’t get mentioned in the mainstream community papers. But we had a lot of support there from the school community—as I said, through 39 local schools. There was enormous pride from the parents, from the teachers and from the friends of the students that were nominated and honoured. It is an award that’s been going from strength to strength for 16 years. I’m very proud of our young people, and I hope that those whose names I just read into the Hansard remember this, because they will be remembered.


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