New Hills youth ambassadors named

KELLYVILLE High School captain Matthew Campbell and National Breast Cancer Foundation ambassador Cassidy-Rae Wilson were named the 2014/2015 Hills Youth Ambassadors on Friday night.

The Hills mayor Michelle Byrne presented the recipients with their awards at a ceremony at the Castle Grand, Castle Hill, held during National Youth Week (April 4-13).

The awards recognise their passion for volunteer work, community life and representing The Hills.

“Both of these youth ambassadors should be commended for the efforts in our community,” Cr Byrne said.

Cassidy-Rae, 18, is a member of the Australian Girls’ Choir and working towards her Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award.

Matthew, 17, is an advocate for Youth Beyond Blue and a former NSW Youth Parliamentarian who, unsurprisingly, wants to go into politics when he leaves school.

“As the youngest ever mayor of The Hills shire, I know that young people do have good ideas and a lot to offer the community,” Cr Byrne said.

“We want to recognise the young people in our shire that are doing wonderful things in the community and encourage others to do the same.

“I also want to congratulate all those who were nominated for Sydney Hills Youth Awards. Although you may not have won on the night, you are exactly the kind of role models we want in the Sydney Hills.”

■ Art and culture: Harrison Lee, 14, Castle Hill

Harrison has spent his life dancing and was recently accepted into the Youth America Grand Prix from more than 5000 entrants internationally. He is currently in New York for this ballet competition.

■ Environment and Science: Olivia Wakeling, 14, Beaumont Hills

Olivia has been a Hills shire bushcare volunteer since she was five. She has been awarded a National Young Scientist Award High Distinction and CSIRO Crest Program Bronze Award. She has also attended the Girls Programming Network at the University of Sydney through the Science Alliance.

■ Education and Training: Manjekah Dunn, 17, Castle Hill

Manjekah has excelled in academia, particularly in biology. She participated in the Biology Olympiad, which saw her offered a 2 week training program at Monash University for the International Biology Olympiad. This program covered a year-long university biology course in 2 weeks.

■ Sporting and Achievement: Christian Shadwick, 12, Castle Hill

Christian is a Dan II taekwondo regional, state and national champion. In 2013 he won nine state titles. Christian also volunteers as a junior taekwondo instructor.

■ Sporting and Achievement: Alexandra Hulley, 15, Rouse Hill

Alexandra is the current under-18 girls hammer throw champion. She holds the U16 and U18 Australian records, has been the national champion for three consecutive years and has represented Australia at the  International Association of Athletics Federations’ Youth Athletics Championships.

■ Young Achiever: Andrew Molesworth, 21, Glenhaven

After developing cardiomyopathy at the age of 10, Andrew required an artificial heart device. Then, aged 13, he needed a heart transplant. Despite these adversities, he was able to complete year 10 and over the past three years has completed a number of computing courses at TAFE.

■ Volunteer: Upeka Nanayakkara, 16, West Pennant Hills

Upeka has volunteered as a violinist for two musical shows in Sydney to fundraise for a children’s hospital in Sri Lanka. She also donated more than 30 centimetres of her hair to the Pantene Beautiful Lengths program, which provides free real-hair wigs to female cancer sufferers.

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