JUST days out from his twenty-first birthday, Luke Owens is celebrating an achievement of the sort most of us would only dare to dream.
The Bendigo musician and advocate for homeless people received the 2013 Pride of Australia Medal in the Young Leader in September.
He’s now been listed as a finalist in the Victorian Australian of the Year Awards 2014.
Mr Owens says he “fell into” his charity work but is encouraging other young people to take every opportunity with open arms and shoot for the stars.
“Believe in yourself is sort of cliche but I’d say to them, ‘take the leap’,” he said.
“Don’t think about it. Just do it.
“That’s with whatever you’re doing.
“If everyone did what they were capable of they would blow themselves away.
“If everyone was at their potential the world would be a totally different place.”
The Victorian Australian of the Year, Senior Australian of the Year, Young Australian of the Year and Local Hero Award recipients will be announced on October 31 at the Arts Centre Melbourne.
The Victorian award recipients will then join recipients from all other states and territories as finalists for the national awards which will be held on January 25 in Canberra.
Mr Owens said he was honoured to be a finalist.
“I probably found out a week ago now,” he said.
“I got a call from the National Australia Day Council.
“They just gave me a buzz and I was like, ‘What have I done?’
“The woman said I was one of the finalists for Young Australian of the Year.
“I said, ‘Fair dinkum?’, as there were 10,000 applications and to be narrowed down to one of four is pretty incredible.
“Mind you I did have a look at the other finalists and I’m not going to win but it doesn't matter.
“You look at the list of Young Australians of the Year in the past and you see Lleyton Hewitt and Cathy Freeman and those sorts of names and you go, ‘Wow, to be nominated is really nice and to be a finalist is even more amazing’.