Betty Makin Youth Awards

Betty Makin Youth Awards

2017 award winners

We are proud to announce the winners of the 2017 Betty Makin Youth Awards. The annual awards celebrate the positive contributions of young people and the people who work with them in the City of Sydney's local area.

The youth scholarship awards recognise a team of young people (aged 12 to 25) or an individual young person in a particular scholarship category. And the youth worker awards recognise a person or organisation making a difference to the lives of young people.

The awards were presented by Councillor Jess Miller on Tuesday 4 April at Redfern Town Hall. 


For more information about the Betty Makin Youth Awards, please contact:

Lorraine Ventura
Youth Team Leader
02 8512 8771

Youth worker award winners

Rookie of the year

Laura Tyne
Laura is a Team Leader with the Take Kare program, which operates in the city centre and Kings Cross from 10pm to 4am on Friday and Saturday nights. The program provides support to intoxicated and vulnerable young people. Since July 2015, Laura has been pivotal to successfully implementing the trial program, which subsequently secured funding to operate for 3 years. She has built strong connections with stakeholders including police, venues and transport staff. Since the program launched in Kings Cross, Laura and her team have provided support to 8,716 people with 5,930 of these being under the age of 25. The impact of the Take Kare program in Sydney is largely due to Laura's contribution.

Hall of fame

Siobhan Bryson
Siobhan has been working at Weave Youth & Community Services for more than 15 years. She has made a significant difference to the lives of many local young people, particularly Aboriginal young people during her days as caseworker/counsellor. As Operations Manager at Weave, Siobhan has ensured that the culture of Weave and the way it works with communities is collaborative, meaningful, respectful and empowering. She was part of the founding group that started Just Reinvest NSW advocating against the over-representation of Aboriginal young people in custody and today continues to advocate for social justice. She ensures Weave is at the forefront of raising awareness and advocating for change and programs that provide early intervention and prevention to enable young people to break the cycle of disadvantage and incarceration. Siobhan is a dedicated, passionate and inspirational person.

Outstanding partnership of the year

Save-A-Mate and Fuzzy

Save-A-Mate is an Australian Red Cross program that aims to promote health and wellbeing through education, service and support on youth health issues, particularly those related to alcohol and other drug use, and mental health. The SAM crew is made up of young volunteers (aged 18–35) who conduct health promotion and basic first aid at music festivals, as well as provide patrons with a non-judgemental chill out space. Fuzzy is a music festival and event promotion and management company. Some of its festivals include Listen Out, Harbourlife and Field Day.

In 2016, Save-A-Mate and Fuzzy broadened their partnership by developing harm minimisation training that the SAM crew provided to Fuzzy's bar and event staff before each shift. The aim of the training is to equip staff with the skills and knowledge to reduce risk by informing patrons of practical health promotion tips and identifying patrons experiencing adverse effects from alcohol or other drugs. The training included a first aid component where staff were shown how to respond to an unconscious person. 

Since it started, 1,220 bar staff and 585 event staff across 5 festivals have been trained. Due to its success, the training was also offered to festival patrons at the SAM Chill Out Space, with 123 patrons being trained at 2 festivals to date. The training will be continued in the future with plans to increase training for patrons and possibly include security personnel.

Youth scholarship award winners


Felix Judge (16 years)
For the past 3 years Felix has identified as transgender in a co-ed school environment. He has shown great resilience with the challenges he has faced with fellow students. When he speaks about issues close to home, not only does he have the attention of fellow students, he has their respect. His class in particular is accepting and hang on every word he has to say. Felix is a bright young student who hopes to work with the LGBTIQ community, helping others through the process of coming out and/or identifying as a transgender person. 

Sanja Minaljevic (16 years)
Sanja is a student at St Scholastica’s College and over the past 3 years she has shown herself to be a strong, determined, mature and flexible young person who continues to pursue her education while also dealing with regular seizures. Despite her ongoing personal challenge she is a role model for others. Her positive outlook never dampens her sprits in times when she misses school while her family and medical team continue to try and manage her seizures. Sanja is an avid cook/baker who hopes to pursue a career in the food industry, inspiring her to continue studying food technology.


Mi-Kaisha Masella (16 years)
Mi-Kaisha uses her creativity to share stories and messages with young people. She does this through songwriting and her music. Mi-Kaisha performs at many Aboriginal community events in the inner city. Recently she has been writing about her Aboriginality and stereotypes – and using her music to challenge people's ideas and understanding of what it's like to be a young urban Aboriginal woman in Sydney. She takes great pride in being an Aboriginal young woman and places a strong commitment on meeting her community responsibilities in giving back and supporting her community. Her passion is music and she aspires to study music at university and be a professional recording artist. 


Evelena Chilas (16 years)
Evalena is the current President of the Amnesty International Committee at Fort Street High School. She has organised and led a day of activism involving a multicultural mufti day, a whole-school assembly with guest speaker and performances from the wide variety of cultures represented at the school. She is an outstanding advocate for diversity and cultural sensitivity in the current Australian context and has inspired her school mates to understand the current issues better, and to engage in dialogue and activism around human rights issues. Her engaging manner, natural charm, and truly collaborative approach to issues brings out the best in everyone she works with.

Sandy Al-Aweik (22 Years)
Sandy is a young Muslim Australian who has played a vital role in the local community through her position as a Program Producer/Presenter and youth volunteer coordinator at 2MFM (Muslim Community Radio). Sandy hosts the Community Connect program to help raise awareness around social, health, economic, political and educational issues.  In her role as volunteer coordinator she has inspired young Muslims, particularly young women, to be courageous in pursuit of their ambitions. Her encouragement has not only yielded results at the radio station but has also inspired the young volunteers to be proactive within the broader local community. 

Last updated: Wednesday, 5 April 2017