Mayor Dr Peter Gangemi attended the 7News Young Achiever Awards – NSW/ACT in May at Doltone House.
The awards provide the opportunity to recognise, honour and more importantly, promote the positive achievements of young people making a difference in their community. The calibre of the finalists was incredible, and it was amazing to see what the next generation of leaders across the State are achieving. The Hills Shire had two residents who were finalists for awards, Angelica Ojinnaka and Sonya Clarke.
Mayor Gangemi said, “Both Angelica and Sonya work very hard to make to a positive impact on the lives of others. It’s fantastic that we can recognise them for everything they do to make our region such a generous and caring one”.
23 year-old Beaumont Hills resident Angelica Ojinnaka is a champion for women, a mental health advocate and an inspirational young person. She is on the Board and Director for One Eight Inc, as well as a youth leader within the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, the largest health research institute in Australia.
She is a founding member of the African Australian Youth Suicide Prevention Committee. She collaborates with young people and organisations such as the Western Sydney Local Health District to promote mental health for young people of diverse backgrounds and to create greater awareness of mental health. Angelica is also a youth activist for Plan International Australia and has coauthored a report on the experiences of girls and young women globally.
Angelica was the winner of the First National Real Estate Leadership Award during the 7NEWS Young Achiever Awards – NSW/ACT and from her vast work, it’s easy to see why she was presented this award.
Sonya Clarke who is 13 years of age, used art to promote positive well-being in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Sonya, who is an artist on the rise and a Beaumont Hills resident, participated in the 2021 Immunisation Coalition Party Art Competition, winning First Prize for her mixed art that encouraged the use of healthy preventative measures to stop the spread of airborne diseases.
Her entry to the Sydney Local Health District Photography Competition also encouraged people to focus on their mental health. Sonya was one of the youngest finalists to be recognised in her category at the 7NEWS Young Achiever Awards – NSW/ACT and one of the youngest people to be nominated for a Young Achievers Award.
“I congratulate Angelica and Sonya on their tremendous achievements. They are incredible young leaders and have made the residents of The Hills Shire proud. Their work inspires us to be the best we can be. I encourage them to keep achieving and I can’t wait to see what they do next”, said Mayor Gangemi.