On Friday night, leaders and changemakers from across the third sector came together to celebrate and recognise the best not-for-profit practices across Australia for the annual Third Sector Awards.  

Youth Projects was represented in the Top 5 Finalists across three categories including 'Board Director of the Year', 'Social Entrepreneur of the Year' and 'Campaign/Marketing Executive of the Year'.

There was fierce talent on display across all categories, from right across the third sector, and Youth Projects we were among the very few organisations to have multiple finalists up across the categories.

Excitingly, our Chairperson and staunch YouthProjects advocate – Melanie Raymond OAM – was announced as winner of 'Board Director of the Year'.

"It was a lovely surprise to be awarded, and an honour to be in the company of so many people working for social good, including my outstanding team at Youth Projects 

I am also deeply appreciative of the contribution of my colleagues on the Board at Youth Projects including Monica Gould, Srinath Susarla, Mark Van Miltenburg and Carl Roberts," shared Melanie.

A lady stands, smiling in her black dress holding a glass trophy that shows

Pictured here: Melanie Raymond OAM, Chairperson at Youth Projects

Melanie has never been one to merely “talk” ideas - she is passionate, aligns herself to networks and groups with the ability to create real action and amplifies the voice of young people, and people experiencing homelessness to cast a light on their very real experiences. 

Melanie has been named one of Australia’s Top 100 Most Influential Women, awarded an Order of Australia Medal and has proudly held board and committee positions with Connected Communities Melbourne, Moreland Affordable Housing Association, Victorian Ice Taskforce and Taskforce on Rough Sleeping.

As a longstanding Chair on our Board, Melanie has created a positive and lasting legacy for Youth Projects and the Third Sector as a whole and we’re humbled to see her decades of contributions recognised.

We would also like to congratulate and celebrate our other Top 5 Finalists - Celeste Norris (Social Entrepreneur of the Year) & Nic Horton (Campaign/Marketing Executive of the Year), and all of the inspiring changemakers awarded and nominated for their contributions to the third sector.

To have so many of our talents recognised at a national scale is significant, and something we are very proud of.

Pictured here (L-R): Nic Horton (Marketing Manager), Ben Vasiliou (CEO), Melanie Raymond (Chairperson), Celeste Norris (Social Enterprise Leader), Trent Miller (Executive Manager) and Srinath Susarla (Director)

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