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Inspiring young Canberrans celebrated

30 Jul 2020

Members of the Calwell High School SAGA accept their Group Achievement Awards

Last Friday, the 2020 Young Canberra Citizen of the Year awards recognised a group of inspiring and influential young people from across the ACT region for their contributions towards positive change, including a number of our ACT public school students.

Mathilda Webb, who attended Dickson College, was recognised with the Environment and Sustainability Award. Mathilda is a young leader in national and local climate change activism. Just a few of her achievements include being the pre-eminent ACT organiser and national lead for School Strike 4 Climate, founder of the ACT Schools Sustainability Network and youth representative on a number of ACT panels.

The Group Achievement Award went to the Calwell High School SAGA Sexuality and Gender Alliance (SAGA) group, who have inspired positive change in their school community by creating a safe, inclusive and supportive environment for LGBTQIA+ young people.

SAGA were commended for being a positive example of students coming together to overcome adversity and promote an inclusive educational setting.

Students at Calwell High School started SAGA in 2017 when students identified that Calwell High School didn’t have a safe space or program for LGBTQIA+ young people.

They enlisted the support of the School Health Nurse who advocated on the student’s behalf to engage YWCA Canberra Youth Team to support SAGA’s development.

The group worked with YWCA to develop their skills of the group and empower young people to speak up to identify way to improve an inclusive environment at Calwell High School, including advocating for the school to have non gendered toilets available for all students.

The Young Canberra Citizen of the Year Awards highlight the extraordinary contributions of young Canberrans and shows that you’re never too young to make a difference.

These were only some of the incredible winners recognised at Friday’s event. For more, visit the Community Services Directorate Facebook page:

mathilda webb accepting her award
Award winner, Mathilda Webb, addresses the audience