A 22-year-old Aboriginal man who overcame a disadvantaged childhood to become a mentor and human rights advocate has been named 2015 WA Young Person of the Year.
Preston Colbung, a Curtin University student from Mount Nasura, also won the Community Leadership Award at the WA Youth Awards held at Crown Perth on 27 November.
Preston is a youth case worker working with young recidivist offenders in Armadale. He is Western Australia's Aboriginal representative for the Australian Youth Climate Coalition and has worked with Amnesty International Australia.
The WA Youth Awards were presented by the Youth Affairs Council of WA in partnership with the Department of Local Government and Communities, and supported by Lotterywest.
Other WA Youth Awards winners were:
- Cultural Endeavours Award: Zal Kanga-Parabia, 20, Winthrop. Zal volunteers his time as an artist to support local projects and other young artists.
- Commissioner for Children and Young People Participate Award: Emily Hardbottle, 16, Attadale. Emily is a young carer and founder of a basketball program for young people with physical disability.
- Active Participation Award: Jay McLean, 19, Caversham. A Year 12 student at Kiara College, Jay is a young Aboriginal leader dedicated to reconciliation.
- Minister for Youth's Outstanding Youth Worker Award: Lorraine Drew, 29, Middle Swan. Lorraine is a youth worker at Rise Network with Outreach Support Services.
- Organisational Achievement Award: Dismantle Inc., West Leederville. Dismantle delivers bike-based programs for at-risk young people.
For more information, visit http://www.yacwa.org.au/wayouthawards/