The Sydney Hills Youth Ambassadors and Champions for 2016/17 were announced at the Volunteer Week Celebration Evening last night, Thursday 12 May, at The Hills Shire Council.
This year’s Youth Ambassadors are Claudia Chow and Thomas Kelly. The Youth Ambassadors will be supported by Youth Champions for Community and Culture; Hanna Murray, Laura Wood and Neha Gupta and Youth Champions for Sport and Recreation; Balraj Ougra and Janath Kasthuriarachchi.
Sydney Hills Youth Ambassadors play an important role in representing young people in The Hills Shire. This representation includes participation in local youth activities, community events and Council functions, youth award functions and the Hills Youth Army.
During their term, Youth Ambassadors may also be asked to sit on local youth advisory committees, attend Hills Youth Service Network or other relevant interagency meetings or represent young people at functions and events throughout The Hills in a ceremonial capacity.
The female Youth Ambassador for 2016/17 Claudia Chow is already involved with the Hills Youth Army and has been an active member since its inception two years ago. She is currently studying a Diploma of Youth Work and has a great passion for youth.
Thomas Kelly, the male Youth Ambassador for 2016/17, is currently involved with the Conviction Group working towards eliminating the stigma surrounding young men’s health. He is currently studying to be a teacher and is involved as a youth leader within his church community.
The Sydney Hills Youth Champions will play a key role in supporting the Youth Ambassadors and establishing links with the various youth, sporting and community networks to increase the involvement and engagement of young people in The Hills.
Sydney Hills Youth Champion for Community and Culture Hanna Murray has been involved as a youth leader in her church community as well as volunteering with the Make Bullying History Foundation, an anti-bullying, anti-violence charity organisation working towards reduction of bullying, violent behaviours and domestic and family violence. Hannah is a part-time university student.
Laura Wood joint Youth Champion for Community and Culture is the current Australia Day Young Citizen of the Year and is in Year 12 at Crestwood High School. Laura has participated in the Max Potential Youth Leadership Program in The Hills and has been involved in a number of fundraising and charity events such as Jeans for Genes Day and Hills Relay for Life.
The third Youth Champion for Community and Culture is Neha Gupta. Neha is an advocate for everyone having an equal say and for positive mental health. Neha recently attended the Youth Mental Health Forum and the Social Justice Conference 2016.
Sydney Hills Youth Champion for Sport and Recreation Balraj Ougra was a finalist for the Australia Day Young Citizen of the Year. He founded Super Sikhs Sports and Cultural and has served as a Cricket Australia Community Ambassador. Balraj just completed his degree and is currently working as a chiropractor. His passion is increasing female participation in sport and sees this as an opportunity to connect and engage with young people.
Janath Kasthuriarachchi joint Sydney Hills Youth Champion for Sport and is also a finalist for the Australia Day Young Citizen of the Year. Janath just completed his degree and is currently working as a physiotherapist. He is passionate about sport and is the President of the Lankan Islanders Cricket Club and Coordinator of the North West Sydney Hurricanes Women’s Team.