Over a hundred young achievers from all over Macarthur were honoured at an inspirational and glittering awards ceremony.
The Macarthur Young Champions Awards 2022 was organised by popular local not-for-profit, Rainbow Crossing Inc., to a packed-out room at Wests Leagues Club, Leumeah.
From community service despite personal disabilities and robotic innovations to a gold medal tally, from musical prowess to a passion for inclusion and saving the environment, young people of all abilities who have made outstanding contributions during the year in fields such as art, sport, academics and innovation were applauded by an auditorium packed with local luminaries.
As Federal Member for Werriwa Anne Stanley exclaimed, “It’s fantastic to see so many inspirational kids and young adults in our community all gathered together here!”
The Macarthur Young Champions Awards was initiated by local entrepreneur Brian Laul, Chairperson of Rainbow Crossing Inc., to acknowledge the achievements of our young people under 18 and to celebrate the contributions they make to our wider community. It is a one-of- its-kind event in Macarthur.
“It is my hope that these awards will inspire young people of all backgrounds to rise above their difficulties and pursue a journey of excellence”, Mr. Laul said.
“We have so many talented and passionate under-19s creating positive changes and sometimes just a pat on the back, a little appreciation, can make a real difference and give them the determination to go even further.”
The stories of achievement told from stage by the evening’s host, Julieanne Horsman from C91.3, were truly inspirational.
Stricken by Alopecia herself, Kyla Hodges is an ambassador for Bravery Buddies, a charity that supplies companion dolls for children going through cancer treatment or alopecia. During lockdown 2021 she learnt to crochet making and selling worry worms totalling in sales of over $4000 for Bravery Buddies!
12-year-old Sean Sullivan has already written two internationally published children’s books and was recently the youngest author featured on the Campbelltown Book Trail. He is also a State Champion swimmer!
Despite undergoing major surgery on one of his legs which confined him to a wheelchair for 6 weeks unable to run until early February, Dominic Baker has had an extraordinary season as a multi class special needs athlete in the TF37 for athletics and cross country and broke the Little Athletics State record for Shot in the F37 U13-14 Boys category!
17-year-old stand-up comic Emma Hughes has ADHD, Autism and Tourettes and uses her lived experience of these conditions to shape her comedy routines. She recently raised the roof at the Melbourne comedy Festival as NSW Finalist for Class Clowns and hopes to “change the perception of people with disabilities” through her performances.
Kyla, Sean, Dominic and Emma joined 26 category winners drawn from 100 finalists.
Following the success of the Macarthur Young Champions Awards, Brian Laul is now taking the awards to other LGAs around Sydney.
“The dream is to create a national platform to honour young achievement”, Mr Laul said.
Complete Winners list:
Academic (Junior) – Elijah Bazzo-Reddy
Academic (Senior) – Tiegan Grant
Academic (Special Needs) – Jayden Atsanani
Academic Junior Achievement Award – Madison Sillett
Academic Senior Achievement Award – Maliyah Arnold
Community Service (Junior) – Elizabeth Lynch
Community Service (Senior) – Kyla Hodges
Community Service Senior Achievement Award – Shayyan Ali
Environmental – Samantha Stewart
Fine Arts (Junior) – Isabelle O’Toole
Fine Arts (Senior) – Andreya Shaik Safari
Fine Arts (Special Needs) – Kensi Sbrana
Arts Junior Achievement Award – Sean Sullivan
Leadership (Junior) – Ryder Proudford
Leadership (Senior) – Francis Benasa
Outstanding Employee – Dane Clark
Outstanding Apprentice, Trainee or Vocational Student – Alex Novak
Performing Arts (Individual Junior) – Zahra Eva
Performing Arts (Individual Senior) – Evelyn Tyrokomos
Performing Arts (Special Needs) – Emma Hughes
Performing Arts Junior Achievement Award – Ruby Prasad
Performing Arts (Group) – Lil Loyalz from Breanna’s Dance Academy
Sports (Junior) – Eva Gawel
Sports (Senior) – Kaitlyn Williams
Sports (Special Needs) – Dominic Baker
Technology & Innovation – Daniya Syed