Lions International Youth Of The Year Quest – Club Winners

By Lion Geoff Irvine
Lions International prestigious Youth of The Year Quest provides opportunities for our youth to grow and develop such qualities as citizenship, communications, leadership, public speaking, and community service.

At The Lions Club of West Pennant Hills Cherrybrook, judging rewarded two outstanding students, both from local high schools, with one contestant advancing to the Regional Finals and the other winning the Public Speaking Award. The field this year was very competitive, and the experienced Judging Panel were well challenged in selecting the winners.

The local Lions Club has been involved in the Youth of The Year project for the past 52 years and during this time hundreds of students between the ages of 16 and 18 from local high schools have benefited from their quest experiences.

The winner of the Club Judging was a talented year 12 student from Normanhurst Boys High School, Benjamin Prince, who delivered an inspiring speech entitled “The Loss of Freedom.” Benjamin is very active in citizenship and community affairs such as being a member of Normanhurst Alpha Leos Club and after school leadership for children and support against domestic violence.

Benjamin’s interests involve photography, music and film making as well as baseball and athletics. He is enjoying success with his studies and expressed a desire to complete a Bachelor of Education (primary) so he can teach and inspire young students.

The winner of the Public Speaking Award was William Clarke College year 12 student, Vanshi Batish. Vanshi who spoke on current affairs to the delight of the audience. She is well involved in school activities including Bead-U-Knit Charity Service Club and School Cricket Gala Days. Vanshi’s ambition is to study criminology and criminal law at Western Sydney University.

This year’s awards were presented by the Sydney Lions District Governor, Lion Sunil Amaratunga.

Both students expressed their appreciation to the Lions Club for giving them the opportunity to compete in this years quest. They specifically thanked the Clubs Youth of The Year Chairman, Mr. Gavin Ridley and his committee. Mr. Ridley is a retired Maths teacher, formally of Normanhurst Boys High School.

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