Betty Makin Youth Awards

The Betty Makin Youth Awards celebrate the positive contributions of young people as well as the people who work with them in the City of Sydney local area.

Named after the late dedicated community leader and activist, Betty Makin, these awards recognise the importance of participation and service in Sydney’s local communities.

The awards encourage young people aged 12 to 24, and those who work with young people, to play an important role in building stronger and healthier communities.

In 2020 the awards included 2 winners in each category of creativity and community mindedness. The awards also included youth worker of the year and a group award for outstanding partnership.

Betty Makin (1926–1993)

Betty was born in Waterloo and lived in the Redfern area all her life. She was an active volunteer in many community groups. Her tireless work improved the lives of countless Redfern and Waterloo residents, and fostered a strong community spirit.

Compassionate, honest, feisty and practical, Betty was a straight talker who wasn’t afraid to speak up to get things done.

Betty was ahead of her time and believed women should have the same education and career opportunities as men. She also advocated on behalf of incarcerated women, who had given birth ‘on the inside’. She fought for their rights to keep their babies with them until the mother and baby had bonded.

For many years she worked with the Community Youth Support Scheme Committee and was instrumental in setting up The Factory, a drop-in centre that continues to help young people in Waterloo today.