Betty Makin Youth Awards

Betty Makin Youth Awards

2015 awards night

A major part of Youth Week is recognising the positive contributions young people make and the community that supports them across the City of Sydney's local area, which we celebrate with the Betty Makin Youth Awards. On Tuesday 14 April the 2015 awards, across 3 categories, were presented by Deputy Lord Mayor Robyn Kemmis at Redfern Town Hall:

  • Individual and group awards: recognise contributions to the local community, environmental sustainability initiatives and, creativity, arts and culture.
  • Youth worker award: recognises demonstrated commitment to developing projects or services for young people, developing a particular program or service and an active long-term commitment to one or more services for young people in the local area.
  • Police award: recognises the dedication and commitment of local police towards improving the lives of young people and their families in the local area.

2015 award winners

The profile information below the photo gallery is based on the nomination applications the City received for the 2015 Betty Makin Youth Awards. 

Youth Week in the City. 10 to 19 April 2015. It starts with us. 

Pictured above: Deputy Lord Mayor Robyn Kemmis with the Youth Worker Award nominees and winner, Daniel Ayalew.

Individual Award

2015 nominees 

  • Thant Thitsa, ASEAN Australia and Macquarie University
  • JiaNi Liu (Laura), NSW Department of Premier and Cabinet/University of Technology, Sydney
  • Garry Smulakovsky, Alexandria Park Community School
  • Rohan Munir, Enactus UNSW
  • Shandi McEwen, Glebe Youth Service
  • Shaynan Carney Allamedinne, Weave Youth and Community Services

The first winner is: Garry Smulakovsky

Garry is in Year 11 and has been a very active member of the Alexandria Park Community School since he started in Year 7. Not only is he on the Student Representative Council, a Peer Support Leader, and Vice-President of the school’s Interact Club but he’s also:

  • coordinated  the annual 40-hour famine charity event helping to raise awareness for World Vision
  • volunteered to sell Legacy Day badges with a number of students outside Central railway station 
  • participated in a leadership training program within the school
  • attended the Year 7 orientation camp helping new students transition to high school
  • a school ambassador regularly helping to welcome visitors or new students
  • part of the sound and media crew for school events such as whole school assemblies and the annual presentation night.

Garry’s scholarship money will go towards buying equipment to help with his education, such as textbooks, computers and a printer.

The second winner is: JiaNi Liu (Laura)

Laura has proudly played an active role in a wide range of programs within the NSW Department of Premier and Cabinet (DPC) from 2014 to 2015. Her excellent communication and translation skills contributed to several local and national cultural events in Sydney, including:

  • Australia Day
  • Martin Place siege memorial
  • Remembrance Day
  • G20 leaders visit to Sydney.

One of Laura’s important contributions was volunteering to help with the Martin Place siege memorial, acting on behalf of the NSW DPC to arrange the public condolence book. She also used her bilingual skills to translate some of the condolence messages that were written in Mandarin.

Laura has now moved into the youth engagement field supporting Sydney’s international students where she helps them adapt to Australian culture and provide local government with more channels to engage with the students.

Laura’s scholarship money will go towards furthering her studies and continuing to build her communication skills.

The third winner is: Shaynan Carney Allemeddine

Shaynan has been a part of Weave Youth and Community Services for the past 2 years.

In July 2014, Shaynan was interviewed by NITV about cyber bullying and its impact on young people in the community. And he made positive contributions to the youth consultation leading up to Mad Pride, a Weave event that aims to break down the stigma associated with mental health experiences.

In 2015, with support from Weave staff, he has developed a free outdoor recreation and fitness program for staff, young people and the broader community called Park Warrior. He successfully got resources donated to the program from the National Centre of Indigenous Excellence.

He continues to design and deliver the program each Thursday afternoon and due to his initiative and commitment, Weave will be able to continue the program throughout 2015.

Weave is proud of the incredible steps Shaynan has taken to reach his goals. He is now completing his certificate 4 in personal training. 

His scholarship money will go towards further developing the recreation program with equipment, which he will also be able to use towards his goal of becoming a personal trainer.

Group Award

2015 nominees 

  • AIESEC, Carine Ma
  • Sydney Youth Music, Jenna Bloom
  • Enactus UNSW, Alice Cheung

The winner is: Sydney Youth Music 

Sydney Youth Music is a team of young volunteers who work together to organise and deliver live music events across the City of Sydney's local area.

The aim of Sydney Youth Music is to provide accessible live music to people of all ages in the city.

Since the team was established in 2013 it has delivered 6 events:

  • Live in Martin Place – Youth Week 2014
  • Acoustic event at 107 Project
  • Acoustic hard core event for the Take Kare – Thomas Kelly Foundation
  • Mental health acoustic event for Mental Health 2014
  • Acoustic event at Cathedral Square
  • Hip hop event – Youth Week 2015   

The scholarship money will go towards setting up a website/attending training development workshops.

Youth Worker Award

2015 nominees 

  • Rhys Wesser, Souths Cares
  • Amy O’Neill, Glebe Youth Service
  • Kylie Fitzmaurice, Weave Youth and Community Services
  • Daniel Ayalew, Whitelion
  • Heather Coull, Weave Youth and Community Services
  • Lee-Mei Pok, The Fact Tree Youth Service

The winner is: Daniel Ayalew 

Daniel has provided outreach to at risk and homeless young people in the Sydney city centre since 2010, walking the local streets and engaging young people who are otherwise 'off the grid'.

Many young people on the streets are not receiving any form of support, government or non-government, and are sleeping under bridges, in parks and laneways.

These are our most vulnerable young people, and Daniel is a consistent and available presence on the streets of the city centre, providing everything from casual interactions and advice, to long term intensive case management support. 

He is never judgmental, but does not back down from tough conversations with young people about drugs, violence, mental health, and other issues. Daniel works with numerous services to provide the best supports for young people.

Daniel works hard with young people to help them achieve their goals, which are often finding stable and safe accommodation, and building a future. Most importantly, Daniel treats the young people with respect, and is always open and transparent with them about his role.

Every year, Daniel has contact with over 300 young people – not because he provides food or activities, but because he is real – he dedicates his time to them, and he keeps his word.

Police Award

2015 nominees 

  • Winston Pisani, Glebe/Leichhardt LAC
  • Ann Sidlo, Kings Cross  LAC
  • Sam Donni, Glebe PCYC
  • Renee Simpson, South Sydney PCYC 

The winner is: Senior Constable Ann Sidlo

Ann is the youth liaison officer for Kings Cross local area command, where there is a significant drug problem among young people who are homeless or in public housing. She is committed to attempting to divert young people from a life of crime in the Woolloomooloo area.

She formed a partnership with the Plunkett Street Primary School at Woolloomooloo, and undertakes leadership activities with those children including a weekly touch football training program, which is a core part of the school’s sporting activities.

Ann takes children from the school on retreats and excursions, reading programs and other leadership and positive learning activities to help build rapport between police and young people in Woolloomooloo and the broader community. 

Ann also runs a weekly local youth touch football competition.

Due to Ann’s commitment, the relationship between local police and young people in the Woolloomooloo area has improved dramatically.

In September 2014, Sydney MP Alex Greenwich congratulated Kings Cross police in parliament for its proactive work building positive relationships with young people. Mr Greenwich mentioned the touch football training program and excursions where children took part in group activities, building skills and confidence in an outdoor environment.

Ann has helped young Indigenous women apply for scholarships at SCEGGS and St Vincent’s. Through her support it is strongly anticipated that 2 of the young women will receive full scholarships to those high schools next year – the first time this has occurred.

The long and short term benefits of Ann’s work is diverting youth from crime and anti-social behaviour, and improving their relationship with the local community and police.

Last updated: Wednesday, 15 April 2015