WA Youth Work Awards 2014

The George, Perth, with thanks to sponsors:

Awards Sponsors: the Central Institute of Technology, West Coast Institute

Event Sponsors: Anglicare WA, Youth Affairs Council of WA, City of Swan

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WESTERN AUSTRALIAN ASSOCIATION OF YOUTH WORKERS PROFESSIONAL YOUTH WORKER OF THE YEAR 2014

IAN GOWING – BALGA DETACHED YOUTH WORK PROJECT

Ian Gowing has been an employee of Balga Detached Youth Work Project since 2006 where he has conducted a range of duties, particularly focused upon Aboriginal youth and youth justice. Ians roles have included Managing alternative education programs, facilitating health and lifeskill workshops, coordinating sporting/recreation programs and camps, and conducting driver training programs. Ian’s most noteworthy for the successes he achieves within his core role of providing advocacy and case management services for vulnerable young people. Ian’s success has been based upon his approachable and non-judgemental nature but also due to his intense commitment in recognising the inherent value and strengths of each of the individual young person served.

Finalists

JESS KAIN – INCLUSION WA

ANNIE MARTELLA – CITY OF SWAN

KRISTY O’BRIEN – YOUTH FUTURES

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WEST COAST INSTITUTE LEADERSHIP IN YOUTH WORK AWARD

MELISSA PORTEUS – YOUTH FUTURES

Melissa Porteus has been a passionate, professional and influential Youth Worker for almost two decades. Melissa began working with her current employer Youth Futures WA in 1997 and through dedication and commitment to her work quickly rose to be the Co-ordinator of accommodation services in 2002. For eleven years Melissa has managed services that accommodate Western Australia’s homeless young people providing them with a safe place and helping them to reach their potential.

At Youth Futures, Melissa currently oversees 5 programs that all aim to reduce Western Australia’s high number of homeless young people and improve options for 100’s of young people. In 2004 Melissa established a mentoring program that partners homeless young people with passionate and inspired mentors. In 2008 Melissa was the driving force behind the development of the NEST program which was developed in response to an identified gap in services providing single-dwelling accommodation and intensive support to homeless teenage mothers and their infants. In the current economic climate that is creating a greater challenge to youth workers taking on the monumental task of tackling Youth Homelessness, Melissa has cemented herself as a key figure lobbying for homeless young people and making positive changes to service provision in Western Australia.

Melissa encompasses what it means to be an inspirational and motivational leader. Melissa continues to be a mentor to current Youth Workers under her guidance by setting an example of a professional and ethical youth work as well as being a strong supporter of the Youth Work profession.

Special Commendation

TRUDI COOPER – EDITH COWAN UNIVERSITY 

Trudi is an Associate Professor at Edith Cowan University where her teaching and research spans over three decades. Trudi has been instrumental as an advocate and a change agent, in the youth work sector and youth work course keeping it alive and valued throughout Australian tertiary education institutes. Trudi is extremely driven and dedicated to promoting the West Australian ECU Youth work course at a national and international scale. This includes recently leading the national project to renew the youth work curriculum in Australian Higher Education.

Trudi has been a part of many WA youth work tertiary student’s learning experience at Edith Cowan University. It is for her decades of teaching, learning and assessment, her countless research publications and national and international partnerships, research projects and presentations that her tireless and inspiring efforts make her a leader in the youth work field, and one of the most outstanding, and monumental with regard to WA’s youth work history as many of us know it. Trudi is valued and well respected by her students, colleagues and especially those of us who are long time graduates of the ECU youth work course of Western Australia.

Trudi has contributed academically as well as on committees and working parties to endorse quality and professional youth work practice standards in Western Australia. The Youth Work course at Edith Cowan University is an essential component of professional youth work in Western Australia, and It is with through Trudi’s dedication and commitment that the course has remained strong. Whilst it might happen behind the scenes, that work has influenced the whole sector.

Finalists

SELINA WATSON – CENTRAL INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY

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CENTRAL INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY EMERGING YOUTH WORKER AWARD

HANISAH AHMAD – SWAN BEHAVIOUR CENTRE 

Hanisah Ahmad from the Swan Behaviour Centre, acts as a mentor and positive role model to the young people who attend the Centre. Hanisah works one to one with the young people both with their school work and helping them to participate in group and team activities in the class room. Hanisah went to the Centre as a practicum student as part of her ECU Youth Work studies and became known by the Centre’s staff to conduct herself as an outstanding, successful youth worker which has transgressed into her first paid role as a youth work in an highly challenging environment.

Not only did Hanisah’s nominators and referees expouse her incredible ability to engage some of the most complex young people, it was clear that Hanisah was performing high quality youth work practice in an environment without direct support from other youth workers. Many youth workers operate in complex multi-disciplinary environments and in this instance, Hanisah has demonstrated the strong value of youth work to her colleagues and managers.

Finalists

DORIAN DE NOBREGA – RISE NETWORK

MARK BIRD – YOUTH FUTURES