Bendigo’s high achievers get recognised

THE efforts of four people in the community have been recognised, after they were all nominated for the Victorian Young Achiever awards.

Lachlan Hickey of Maryborough, Luke Owens of Epsom, Bridgewater’s Todd Broadbent and Bendigo’s Sarah Floyd were all nominated.

There are six categories of awards, with a winner from each to be presented at a gala presentation dinner on April 12 at Etihad stadium.

One category winner will also be announced the Victorian Young Achiever of the Year. 

Victorian Young Achiever director Geoff Griffin said the awards’ aim was to recognise, promote and encourage young people.

“The awards are designed to recognise the significant contributions made by young people, and to encourage others to follow their lead and achieve greater heights,” he said.

“They are about creating role models and inspiration that other young people can follow and look up to.”

Mr Griffin said it was important for young people to be recognised for the positive contributions they have made in their communities.

“We need to encourage people, none more than young people, to stand up and contribute to the community,” he said. 

Winners will receive a $2000 prize grant and trophy while the major prize winner will receive an additional $2000.

Sarah Floyd

SARAH Floyd has called the Bendigo Yacht club home since the day she was born.

The 18-year-old began sailing solo when she was just seven years old and has since flourished into an active member of the club.

Sarah is part of the club committee, which involves organising club and intra-club competitions as well as participating in the events.

She also ressurected the junior sailing program after drought put a temporary end to sailing at Lake Eppalock for a number of years.

“There was no water in the lake and this created a generation gap. I wanted to get kids back involved in sailing, so I started up the kids program,” she said. 

Sarah said she was surprised to be nominated for the Rent the Roo sports award.

However, she said her nomination meant a great deal to her.

“It means my work around the club is recognised and that people do acknowledge it,” she said. 

Sarah will study a bachelor of outdoor education at La Trobe University this year.

Luke Owens

MANY people would agree Luke Owens epitomises leadership and innovation.

The 20-year-old has demonstrated maturity well beyond his years through the creation of the Bendigo for Homeless Youth project.

The project was aimed at raising awareness and funds to help fight homelessness.

Luke said it was humbling to be nominated for the Harcourts Leadership and Innovation award. 

“It means that my efforts have been recognised by certain members of the community and I have confidence to go forward and achieve other things,” he said.

He said it was important for young people to contribute in a positive way in the community.

“It is important that young people have the opportunity to be involved,” he said.

“It is great to make a difference.

“People may not realise that by changing someone’s life and making them happy, it also creates happiness for you.”

Lachlan Hickey

MARYBOROUGH’S Lachlan Hickey said he was “shocked” to be nominated for the Saward Dawson Community Service and Volunteering award.

The recent secondary school graduate has been part of the RACV Energy Breakthrough committee since 2007, where his duties involve  assisting with running the website and organising event entertainment. Lachlan also volunteers as a presenter on a local community radio station, recently joined the Relay for Life committee and is part of the arts’ society committee in Maryborough. 

Lachlan said he was happy with his nomination.

He said volunteering his time to the community kept him busy.

“It is pretty cool,” he said. “But I wouldn’t do it if I didn’t enjoy it.” He said planned to take a gap year in 2013 and use his time to continue volunteering with community organisations.

“I have a lot of interests but I don’t know what I want to pursue yet,” he said.

Lachlan said he was interested in radio and engineering.

Todd Broadbent

AT 22 years old Bridgewater’s Todd Broadbent has achieved a great deal. 

For the past two years Todd has acted as head coach of the Bendigo Bank Academy of Sport volleyball boys’ program.

“I love working with the young athletes, helping them to improve their skills,” he said.

“It is very rewarding.”

Coaching Girton Grammar volleyball teams to state and national titles are also among some of his past accomplishments.

Todd said he was surprised to be nominated for the Rent the Roo sports award and that it was humbling to be recognised for his contributions in the community.

“To get recognised for the contributions I have made to the sport is very overwhelming,” he said.

“But you don’t do it to get those awards, it is more about just enjoying it and having a passion for something.”

Todd is currently in his final year of a studying a degree in physical education and health at La Trobe University in Bendigo.

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