Youth Awards


Every year, the City of Ballarat Youth Awards recognises our wonderful local youth who make a unique and positive contribution to life in Ballarat.

2016 Winners Top of document.

Leadership in the Arts Award -  Cameron Hodgson

Cameron has been involved in many community theatre productions since 2009, including "Fluid" which explored gender fluidity and breaking gender stereotypes, and a "Queen" which follows his transformation into his onstage persona 'Gabriella Labucci.’ Cameron’s work addresses many points about homosexuality, the blurred line between transgender, drag and the pursuit of happiness; and he has performed for several charity events.  


Challenge and Change Award - Rebecca Boers

Rebecca is an inspirational and motivating person, passionate about education, human rights, equality, government accountability, justice, advocacy and mental health awareness and stigma reduction. Coming from a challenging childhood, Rebecca is now a specialist paralegal at a Melbourne law firm and her volunteer roles include delivering legal education to prisoners and paralegal services at Fitzroy Legal Service. 


Positive Leader Award - Bryce Gabell

Bryce’s passion for cooking and baking has motivated him to start his business, Bryce’s Bistrot in 2011 at only 17 years of age. He has expanded to two locations and in the community Bryce continues to support others, helping young people learn the tools of the hospitality trade.


Alyce Saunders
Anna Wright
Byrce Gabell


Leadership in Sport Award - William Gallagher

William is actively involved in the basketball community and structured a national charitable organisation that helps "youth at risk" using basketball. He has been instrumental and supportive to a wide range of youth services and is determined to bring out the best in others. 


Adult Ally – Volunteer Award - Cathy Filcock

Cathy has organised multiple fundraisers at her children’s school and in the wider community. In 2015, Cathy received a Catherine King Award for her contribution to the community, fundraising and enthusiasm for helping people. 


Adult Ally -  Worker Award - Judith O’Grady

Judith is employed as the welfare worker/social worker at Sebastopol Primary School. She supports a number of the schools families by way of phone contact after hours and getting children to and from after school activities. Judith has implemented, sourced funding and spends many hours of her own time running various programs and encouraging the children and their families to stay involved. 


Cameron Hodgson
Cathy Filcock
Connor Prebble


Young Carer Award - Michelle Donaldson

Michelle has twin sibling with disabilities and she helps with the day to day carer tasks as well as cleaning and many daily housework jobs. She often gives up her own plans to help with hydrotherapy and meal times, and looks after the twins if her parents are busy. 


Brighter Future  Award - Brody Filcock

Brody’s passion is fundraising for cancer research. He has been involved with Ballarat Relay For Life for the past four years, fundraising by organising out of uniform days at his Sebastopol Primary School. Brody and his family also sponsor one child a fortnight to register for the school Relay For Life Team.


Youth Volunteer Award - Ruby Gedye

Ruby loves to volunteer and be involved in the community. She has participated in the Red Shield Door Knock since 2012, Clean up Australia Day, White Ribbon March and Youth Council. Ruby’s leadership initiatives include requesting her school invest in a 'Raising Respectful Boys' program. 


Corey Uren
Jacob Rumler
Judith OGrady


Group Project Award - LARF Mentor Program

The LARF program allows children and youth to participate in fun activities with an older mentor how contributes wisdom, a different life experience, guidance, support and positive role modelling. The mentors and buddies develop meaningful relationships based on trust, respect, commitment, non-judgmental support and understanding, compassion and fun. The older children are also introduced to Youth Services and familiarized with the positive opportunities offered through the Ballarat youth networks. The LARF mentors are: Alice Nicholson, Abby Swift, Sophie Pullman, Lucy Flynn, Maggie Sellars, Grace Cain, Emma Bedford, Emily Wade, Samijo Spiteri, Jordan Betts, Shellee Spalding, Christian Strachan and Greta Murdoch.


Technology Award - Corey Uren

Corey has volunteered in the City of Ballarat FReeZa Program, SONIKA, for two years, taking on the technology jobs including setting up PA equipment, sound-engineering at events and upgrading software on iPads. Corey has also taken on the leadership role of the SONIKA social media marketing team, designing posters, flyers, promo cards and logo. Corey uses his DJ skills to create a mash up of bullying songs for the Media Champs program.


City of Ballarat Award Aged 12 – 17 years - Connor Prebble

Connor has been contributed to the community at seven years old, packing Anglicare Christmas hampers and helping with fundraisers at Bray Raceway. In 2014, he raised $1,000 for the breast cancer foundation by shaving his head, and recently has been involved with the St Vinnies group at St. Patrick's College, coordinating events including chocolate deliveries to hospitals at Easter, and several food drives across the community. 


Lext Ryan
Michelle Donaldson
Ruby Gedye


City of Ballarat Award Aged 18 – 25 years - Jacob Rumler

Jacob is the first ever Aboriginal senior school representative at Phoenix College and is the school vice-captain. His many leadership positions include participating in the ANZAC Day march and the opening of the school's kindergarten. Soon, Jacob is heading to China and Vietnam assist communities in need with housing, education and health. Jacob was awarded a Wannik Scholarship by the Department of Education and Training, volunteers for the Salvation Army, mentors with the Smith Family, tutors Aboriginal primary school children, and participated in the SHOUT Magazine program.  


Honourable Mention - Lext Ryan &  Alyce Saunders

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