Youth Projects is proud to announce the finalists for our inaugural Youth Awards 2022! 

We have been overwhelmed with nominations from people wanting to recognise their young peers for the enormous contributions they have been making and the ways in which they are creating meaningful change within themselves and their wider community. We received a huge response to our first-ever Youth Awards, and our panel of expert judges had the hard job of picking only 3 finalists for each category.

The finalists are in! Drum roll please...

Finalists are presented in alphabetical order. 

Social Change Maker 

A young person who is actively committed to creating social change in some way, shape, or form in the community. This person has identified a problem that exists and is working towards tackling that problem. 


  • Alex Dekker
  • Jessica Hopper
  • Zac Chu

Trainee of the Year   

A young trainee who may have only just started within their trainee, intern or apprenticeship, or education/development program within their chosen field and are showing remarkable promise and potential in their journey. This is one person that has a brighter future and is set to become a real mover and shaker.  


  • Anna Quirante
  • Nat Japp
  • Vincent Baltazar

Personal Growth Award 

A young person who has experienced and shown significant personal growth. Where they are now is leaps and bounds of where they started. They have become far more aware of ‘self’ and are taking positive steps to grow and develop themselves as a person.  


  • Chloe Hubczak
  • Ellias Dean-Katiforis
  • Sharni-lee Tolliday

Youth/Support Worker Award 

An emerging Youth/Support Worker who is dedicating their career to helping, supporting, or mentoring other young people to fulfill their goals. They see each person they work with as an individual, with their own strengths, goals, and aspirations, and work collaboratively with young people.  


  • Joshua Keenan
  • Nat Japp
  • Sharni-Lee Tolliday

Youth Projects’ Young Achiever of the Year 2022 

A young person who demonstrates humility recognises and celebrates their talents and strengths and is really kicking goals. They show great potential and are achieving great things. They acknowledge, encourage, and promote positive achievements of themselves and their peers, and should be recognised for the positive impact they are creating in our community. No achievement is too small or too big! 


  • Aanchal Sharma
  • Kaif Ul Wara
  • Muhamed (Mo) Mustic

Thank you to each and every person who nominated their peers, and a massive congratulations to all the outstanding nominee's for everything they do for creating change within not only themselves but their communities.  

Winners of the Social Change Maker, Trainee of the Year, Personal Growth Award, and Youth/Support Worker of the Year will receive a $150 voucher, and the winner of the ‘Youth Projects Young Achiever of the Year 2022’ will receive a $250 voucher. Winners for each category will be announced at the FREE 2022 Youth Awards at MicDrop (Carlton) on Tuesday 13th December.

Tickets to the Youth Awards are almost booked out > Book your FREE ticket now!  

Meet our judges  

Angela Gaylard  

Angela has over 10 years of experience in change management and driving impact frameworks, She has worked across a range of projects focused on driving cultural and attitudinal change within private businesses, NFP and education institutions. She is a passionate advocate for best practices where she utilises her extensive knowledge of Organisational Development, Change Management, and Strategy Implementation to help businesses to drive strong quality service outcomes, organisational performance, and employee retention. Angela is currently the People and Culture Manager at Youth Projects and is a proud gender equality campaigner, LGBTQI ally, and self-development enthusiast.  

Dinuki Rajapaksaha 

Dinuki is a proud Australia-born Sri Lankan, passionate about amplifying youth voices and changing the narrative. As a YMCA Victoria Youth Parliament representative and a Shout Out speaker at Centre for Multicultural Youth and a former member of Hume City Council’s Youth Action Committee, Dinuki’s goal is to promote youth engagement and active citizenship. Dinuki is currently an honours student in public health with an interest in representing and empowering culturally and linguistically diverse communities, specifically young people through her research. Dinuki endeavours to shed light on mental health, bullying, racial discrimination, cultural identity/diversity, and women’s rights through her story and ultimately inspire others to stand up, speak out and lead change.

Madison Bieleny  

Madison is deeply passionate about working with young people as she believes that early intervention works to change patterns of inter-generational trauma and cycles of disadvantage. She loves seeing young people excel in areas they never thought they could. She has experience working with young people as a Youth AOD Outreach Worker and has volunteered at Lifeline as a telephone crisis support worker & supervisor. Madison has an undergraduate degree in Psychology and Criminology and AOD is currently studying Forensic Behavioral Science whilst fulfilling her role at Youth Projects as Youth Outreach Team Leader. Outside of work, she enjoys true crime, traveling, and learning about different cultures.

'Youth Awards 2022'

6pm - 8pm, Tuesday 13th December

MicDrop (CreativeCubes), 333 Drummond St, Carlton 3053

 Tickets are free, but spots are limited > Register your attendance now!

This event has been made possible thanks to the generous support of the Victorian State Government and Engage! 2022 – 2024. 

‘Engage! provides young people with the opportunities and support they need to achieve their goals, and to be respected and engaged as valued members of their local community. Activities will promote the voices of young people and participation in decision making; support young people to develop new skills through training, mentoring, and volunteering; and showcase and recognise young people’s contribution to the community.’ – The Hon. Ros Spence MP (Minister for Youth)