Page 5389 - Week 13 - Wednesday, 16 November 2011

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celebrate their contributions. There were a number of categories recognised on the awards night for the individual and collective achievement of young people in the ACT.

I was particularly pleased to award 21-year-old Sudanese refugee Garang Kuer Bul with the personal achievement award. He has overcome both cultural and language barriers without the support of his family. Since arriving in Australia he has achieved a number of academic and personal goals, whilst volunteering and supporting the Sudanese community in Canberra, including as president and head coach of Eagles sports association, which he founded.

Twelve-year-old Ben Burgess won the youth arts award for his accomplishments as a dancer, singer and actor and has received numerous commendation awards for his contributions to the arts. Mr Burgess has been dancing since he was four years old, training in tap dance, classical ballet and hip hop, and has participated in a number of eisteddfod festivals around Australia. He was also selected for the role of the young Peter Allen in The Boy from Oz through the Canberra society.

Twenty-one-year-old university student Mick Spencer, who started his own advertising-merchandising brand OnTheGo, was recognised with the young entrepreneur award. The business turned over $110,000 in sales in its first year and he intends to bring it to $500,000 for his second year.

As a southsider, I was pleased to award the young environmentalist of the year award to the wastebusters group at Orana school. The group aims to educate the public about how to sort their waste. Volunteers attend community events and assist the public in placing their refuse in the correct bin.

Also from the south side was Dance Beyond Barriers, winners of the group award for their role in increasing awareness of sexual abuse, domestic violence, drug and alcohol abuse, child neglect, homelessness, racism and suicide. This fantastic group of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aims to empower young people and build their self-esteem through dance.

It is clear from the list of the category award winners that our young people in the territory that were nominated were of a very high calibre. I would like to congratulate them all on behalf of the government, including those young people who were commended on the night for each of these categories.

MS PORTER: Supplementary.

MR SPEAKER: Yes, Ms Porter.

MS PORTER: Minister, what is the role of the Young Canberra Citizen of the Year beyond the award night?

MS BURCH: The Young Canberra Citizen of the Year awards recognise our outstanding young people. The winner has a very practical role to play beyond the award night and is invited to participate in several events throughout the year

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