26 January 2011: Brendan Davey, a primary education student at Australian Catholic University (ACU), has been named the City of Yarra Young Citizen of the Year.
Commencing student Danielle Shaw was also honoured with the Murrindindi Junior Citizen of the Year Award.
Brendan, who is in his final year of study at ACU’s Melbourne Campus, said the award came as a huge surprise.
“I didn’t think that I could possibly win Young Citizen of the Year, I actually said don’t bother nominating me,” he said. “There are so many young people contributing to the community that it is quite humbling to receive this award.”
“I think you tend to hear a lot of negative stories about youth in the media, so it is great to know that there are awards which celebrate the role youth can have in society.”
Mary Campbell, Relations Coordinator for ACU’s Institute for Advancing Community Engagement, nominated Brendan after working with him on the Homework Support Program run at Atherton Gardens.
More than 100 local primary school children meet at the Atherton Gardens Housing Estate in Fitzroy every week for one‐on‐one or group help with their homework – which promotes literacy, numeracy and social connection.
“Brendan volunteered every week throughout 2010 to assist with the coordination of the Homework Support Program, which is the largest community program at Atherton Gardens,” she said.
“He is responsible for managing the children’s challenging behaviours, engaging them in meaningful learning activities and welcoming the parents to the program.
ACU student and City of Yarra Young Citizen of the Year Brendan Davey.
“Brendan is exceptional on so many levels. He has an undeniable generosity of spirit, always willing to extend himself and has a natural gift for community engagement,” she said. “It is wonderful to bear witness to his delightful and engaging character.”
ACU alumni were also honoured with Australia Day awards.
Peter Maher, CEO of Vinnies Queensland, was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia for service to the community through the St Vincent de Paul Society.