Youth Awards

2021 Youth Awards

Congratulations to our amazing Youth Award 2021 recipients and nominees!

The Alpine Shire Youth Awards were held on Friday, 26 November and we couldn’t be more proud of our young people!

With entertainment from local young performers, the event at the EMPAC was a resounding success, celebrating the achievements of the youth of the Alpine Shire who have, once again, shown their fortitude and drive to achieve in what has been another challenging year.

The Alpine Shire Youth Awards are a celebration of the achievements  talents, strengths and resilience of our young people, and are supported by local businesses, community groups and organisations. 

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Photo: Giordana Genero

Congratulations to our nominees and winners across the seven award categories:

Category Sponsor Recipient
Academic Award Dickens Real Estate Samantha Solina
Community Award Mount Beauty & District Community Bank Francesca Carroll
Performing Arts Award Rotary Club of Myrtleford Brady Bourke
Rural Award TAFCO Rural Supplies Tyler Heywood
Sport and Recreation Award Upper Kiewa Valley Lions Club Toby Cossor
Visual Arts and Media Award Bright Art Gallery & Cultural Centre Sasha Rose
Workplace Award Hancock Victorian Plantations Jacob Thomas
Alpine Shire Youth Award 12 - 16 Years Bright Community Bank Riley Ellero
Alpine Shire Youth Award 17 - 21 Years Rotary Club of Bright Molly Cuskelly

Winner biographies:

Academic Award – Samantha Solina

Samantha Solina is an intelligent and enthusiastic young lady who thrives on challenging herself. Samantha first enrolled at Marian College Myrtleford in September 2018 after immigrating from the Phillipines.

Although having some challenges with language, Samantha has aimed high and used every opportunity available to her to become involved in her community and excel in her education. Samantha has been the recipient of numerous Academic Excellence Awards over the last three years of her studies.

In addition, she has challenged and extended herself learning by participating in the Australian Mathematics Challenge and Competitions and the Australian Science Innovation Competition. 

Samantha was the recipient of the Kwong Lee Dow Scholars Award in 2019, an Award that is presented to a student who’s academic performance places them in the top 5% of students in their year level, and who demonstrates leadership, active citizenship and community involvement. 

Samantha has used her leadership skills whilst a member of the Student Representative Executive in 2020, where she was elected by her peers to represent them in school decision making and in organising ways for the students to participate in school life.

In 2020, Samantha was chosen as a Rural Youth Ambassador by the Country Education Project where she represented her school community meeting with students from other schools, education leaders and Members of Parliament to inform decision makers about the difficulties rural schools and students face and to offer some solutions.

In addition, at the beginning of this year, Samantha was chosen as one of eighteen students from across South Australia, Victoria, New South Wales to attend the Rural Youth Ambassador Canberra Forum. 

Sports and Recreation Award – Toby Cossor

Toby Cossor demonstrates passion and commitment to the sport of basketball. His talent and work ethic has seen him achieve many accolades in the sport, most recently his selection into the Border Bandits Senior Men’s Team.

At 16 years of age, this makes him the youngest player in recent history (possibly ever) to make this team. Toby initially thought he would be considered for the U23 team but was quickly snapped up by the seniors.  

He demonstrates sportsmanship and a willingness to give back to the sport he loves by volunteering to coach and umpire junior teams. Toby recently moved to Albury to live with his grandmother so that he can minimise travel time and focus on his basketball career. 

Toby is an exemplary sportsperson, his talent and achievements in the sport of basketball are impressive however it is his willingness to offer his time to give back to the sport he loves that really sets him apart from other talented youngsters.  

He is highly respected by his team mates, coaches and the kids that look up to him.  

Community Award – Francesca Carroll 

Francesca Carroll has been actively involved at her school and in the community on many different levels. She is an active member of the Marian College Myrtleford Student Representative Team and Leadership Team and volunteered her services as part of the drama group that produces school productions.

She is an active member of the Myrtleford Soccer Club. In Mudgegonga she is a member of the Junior CFA and actively involved in the Landcare movement.  In the broader community she has been actively fundraising for mental health, worked for Clean Up Australia and attended the Justice Matters Camp.

Francesca is captain of the Under 17 Girls Soccer team in Myrtleford and has played with the Reserve Women’s team as well. She trained the Under 14 Girls team and, when physical training was curtailed, produced online activities to maintain enthusiasm. She also participated and helped run special sessions that looked at COVID and its impact on the sport and training. Francesca volunteers in the canteen when matches were played at home.

As a member of the Future is Bright section of the Marian College Student Leadership Team, Francesca has helped organise many activities to raise the spirits of the community. The group has also been focussing on applying for grants and finding out what the needs are for student recreational areas.

Francesca has volunteered for the school productions working on and off stage and giving freely of her time and efforts. Unfortunately in the last two years the productions have had to be cancelled at the last minute despite all efforts and the cast and production crew being ready to perform.

Performing Arts Award – Brady Bourke

Brady Bourke is a committed devotee of the Performing Arts, taking on both small, cameo and leading roles in the Marian College productions every year. Additionally, he has hosted Performing Arts projects, participated in Theatre Sports Competitions, Lip Synch Battles and been a compere at the college’s annual end of year celebrations ‘Carols by Glowstick’. 

Brady’s characters and performances have been entertaining the North East for many years now – from Oberon, King of the Fairies to a Rock Star in ‘Camp Rock’, from a Prince in the Living Chess Match  to a disciple in ‘Godspell’ Brady has brought characters to life with his wonderful vocal and physical work.

In 2020 Brady took on the challenge of VCE Drama Units 3&4 as part of his Year 11 Studies. His increased workload was matched by effort and a determination to make, create and realise work of a high standard. His ensemble work about his hometown ‘Myrtleford’ was eclectic.

It included thorough research; obtaining and recording oral histories; script and song writing; a multitude of workshops and more before it reached rehearsal and synchronisation with his group members. The product was clever, educational, and entertaining. His solo work matched this quality. Based on the figure of John Lennon and eclectic in style, it more than aptly showcased Brady’s ability to use his musical talents to his advantage. 

Before Covid-19 Brady was set to perform in the school production “Emma Celebrazione” as a singer. He was also going to play the role of Kassim in “Aladdin Jr.” which was to be directed by ByteSized Productions at Albury Entertainment Centre. Both of these productions were sadly cancelled due to the Pandemic. 

In 2021 Brady took on the challenge of the character of the Scarecrow from the much loved “Wizard of Oz” production. A punishing schedule of rehearsals and sessions after school workshops followed by Friday night rehearsals, lunchtime costume and makeup sessions and choreography work! With the postponement four times of the performance season, these workshops and rehearsals went on for an extra two months.

Brady's enthusiasm, skill and commitment to the project never waned, despite the obvious impact on his Year 12 VCE studies. His skill in bringing the innocent and ‘clever’ character of Scarecrow/Hunk was only matched by his persistence, resilience and positivity.

Visual Arts and Media Award – Sasha Rose

Sasha Rose is an extremely talented 17-year-old who demonstrates a genuine passion for the arts in all its diversity. She and her family moved to Bright from NSW at the end of 2020 and Sasha has embraced her new home and learning with gusto. 

Sasha constantly astounds her teachers with her continued dedication, diligence and passion towards her art studies. She has consistently demonstrated a high level of maturity and her work is individualistic and unique. Sasha is interested in current social issues, specifically those relevant to her as a young woman. She is willing to explore these issues, to delve deeper and to look beyond the boundaries and to use her art as her voice. Sasha’s art is a commentary on a range of social justice issues from inequality, sexism, body image & autonomy, period poverty and the devastating and traumatic impacts of rape and abortion.

Using a variety of mediums from POSCA, acrylic paints, pens and watercolours, her images are challenging and thought provoking.

Sasha has demonstrated commitment to her art in her studio process where she has gone beneath the surface and explored, developed, refined, resolved and presented her artworks. She has an insatiable appetite for learning in all aspects of her studies.

Sasha has immersed herself fully in her creative endeavours allowing herself the freedom to experiment, explore and to create. Her own individuality, her creativeness and her strong developing design and technical skills are evident in her portfolio of works, which in itself is a testimony to her creative ability and her developing social conscience. Her diversity of mediums, style and techniques are very impressive for a young adult. Her works to date includes drawings, painting and mixed media.

A significant highlight this year for Sasha was she received the dux for her Unit 3 VCE Studio Arts folio within the cohort of students from Bright P-12 College in partnership with Beechworth P-12 and Mount Beauty Secondary College.  Throughout COVID and these uncertain times Sasha has displayed an exceptional work ethic, remained focussed, positive and self - driven, an inspiration to her peers and the teaching staff, she is to be commended on her dedication and commitment to her studies and her art making.

Workplace Award – Jacob Thomas

Jacob Thomas is completing a weekly work placement as part of his Year 11 VCAL studies at Bright Automotive & Towing. Jacob has overcome personal hardship to be a reliable and committed member of the Bright Automotive team, where he works in the mechanic shop.

Jacob gets up early to travel to Bright every Thursday for his placement; because he’s not yet got his licence, he has also had to arrange his transport every week.  He is eager to learn and gives his best each day. He has fitted right in with the team and is reliable.

Two years ago Jacob moved to Tawonga from Melbourne to live with his father and younger step siblings, seeking new opportunities. He has fitted right into school, the community and his work placement. He approaches work with a positive attitude. Jacob is hard working and shows initiative. He is also humble and appreciative of the staff at Bright Automotive & Towing for mentoring him and providing him opportunities to learn outside of the classroom.

Other than lockdowns or illness, Jacob has not missed a day of placement. He found the placement opportunity on his own in semester one, and the arrangement has worked so well that he has continued the placement for a second semester. At school Jacob speaks positively about his work placements and shares his knowledge of mechanics and what he is learning with the class. 

Rural Award – Tyler Heywood

Tyler Heywood demonstrates a commitment to rural life in the Alpine Shire. Commitment to the rural industries is not a passing fad for Tyler it is a lifetime passion. Tyler is committed to the future of the local beef industry. He is passionate about future opportunities for young people to succeed in agriculture and has been a keen participant in the newly revitalised school agriculture program at Myrtleford P-12 College. 

He is happy to share his knowledge and passion for the rural industries, and is actively pursuing opportunities to expand his knowledge of and skills in a range of agricultural industries. Tyler is keen to expand his expertise in agricultural industries and currently successfully combines school, his VET Certificate II Agriculture and an ongoing work placement at Ovens Junction Pastoral Co. in a feedlot. He has plans to undertake Certificate III in Agriculture in 2022.

Tyler spends much of his time at home riding horses, raising calves, mustering cattle and feeding stock. He is a keen horse rider and is breaking in his own horse. His work placement at the feedlot involves pen riding on horseback, treating ill stock, processing/inducting cattle, loading trucks and mustering on horseback or with a motor bike.  He also undertakes relief milking at a 600 cow dairy.

During 2019 and 2020, Tyler has been a crucial member of the MYCAL class and demonstrated great enthusiasm and leadership in reinvigorating the Myrtleford P12 College Agricultural program.  This has involved working in and leading teams to remove old fences and replace them with new cattle-proof fences, responsibly taking part in a roster for feeding calves, volunteering to unload calf feed and supporting other less-experienced students.  He has also been enthusiastically involved in a series of NELLEN Future Agricultural Employment Opportunity excursions exploring the range of local agricultural industries.

Youth Award Ages 12-16 – Riley Ellero

Riley Ellero is a vivacious young dancer and positive role model within the Myrtleford P-12 community and wider Alpine Shire. She shines on the stage, always willing to showcase her talents for school wide performances and competitions whilst maintaining a modest and humble persona. She has achieved excellence in both dance and choreography. Riley has danced from a very young age. Her commitment to the performing arts has never wavered throughout her primary years and has flowed into secondary school.

Riley performs for the school and wider community. Riley's commitment to dance is strong, dedicating sometimes in excess of 10 hrs a week to training. She is always willing to go the extra mile to attend rehearsals, perform and motivate younger dancers. Despite pandemic restrictions, she remained motivated to dance and perform. She competed and trained via zoom winning several placings. Riley also participated in several on-line masterclasses hosted by choreographers around the world.

Riley performs regularly in a variety of locations and situations including on-line competitions that were hosted during lock-down, winning and placing in a number divisions. Riley also auditioned successfully for the 2020 Katy Perry gig at the MCG, performing for the ICC women’s T20 Final in March 2020. This entailed 6 weeks of travel and rehearsal.   

Riley regularly choreographs her own pieces for competitions and performances, many of which have been spectacular to watch. For a young student, she is a confident and capable choreographer and has also been an active volunteer at the Myrtleford Performing Arts Community Shop (PACS) where proceeds of donations support our local performing artists.

Youth Award 17-21 – Molly Cuskelly

Molly Cuskelly is a student dedicated to all aspects of academic study which can be evidenced by her dominance of academic excellence awards over the past years. Her ascendancy to excellence is marked by focus; determination to complete work to the best of her ability at all times; the fortitude she displays when faced with academic challenges; the willingness she displays to seek clarification and offer assistance to her peers; and the modest way she participates in her active learning.

Molly achieves and excels in more than one academic field. She is at the forefront of Sciences, Humanities, Health and Physical Education and the Arts. She has been crowned School Champion in Sport and competed at State level events. Molly is a Kwong Lee Dow Young Scholar: University of Melbourne - Class of 2022

She was awarded the Marian College Community Youth award for her selfless action and enthusiastic participation in community work inside and outside of school and parish. Across the disciplines she embodies excellence.

In English her written work fluently engages an academic style, in Mathematics, exam results in multiple choice and extended response questions are always excellent, her acumen in Business Studies showed she gained significant insight into what is involved, and her passion for Human Development is matched only by excellent scores across the board.

As Molly prepares for Year 12, she is recognised for her consistent striving for excellence on all fronts. 


2020 Youth Awards

The Alpine Shire Youth Awards teamed up with local business, Handcut Productions, to create a film that highlights the achievements of the award recipients. 

Category Sponsor Recipient
Academic Award Dickens Real Estate Cody Allport | Video
Community Award Community Bank Mount Beauty & District Marian School Leadership Team 2019 | Video
Endurance and Persistance Award Rotary Club of Bright Brianna Oldis | Video
Performing Arts Award Rotary Club of Myrtleford Giordana Genero | Video
Sports and Recreation Award Upper Kiewa Valley Lions Club April Moran | Video
Visual Arts and Media Award Bright Art Gallery & Cultural Centre Mia-Larni Saric | Video
Workplace Award HVP Plantations Hista Soldier-Wolf | Video
Alpine Shire Youth Award 13 - 16 Years Community Bank Bright & Myrtleford Jake Grayson | Video
Alpine Shire Youth Award 17 - 21 Years Rotary Club of Bright Claire Lock | Video

2019 Youth Awards

Category Sponsor Recipient
Academic Award Dickens Real Estate Rory Miller
Community Award Mount Beauty & District Community Bank Taneka Mackay
Endurance and Persistance Award Rotary Club of Bright Tovah Harley-Wilson
Performing Arts Award Rotary Club of Myrtleford Axel Mero
Rural Award TAFCO Rural Supplies Jack Quinn
Sport Award Upper Kiewa Valley Lions Club Jackson Griffiths
Visual Arts and Media Award Bright Art Gallery & Cultural Centre Dylan Jenkins
Workplace Award Hancock Victorian Plantations Mitch Leist
Alpine Shire Youth Award 12 - 16 Years Bright Community Bank Ash Forrer and Tommi Silvester
Alpine Shire Youth Award 17 - 21 Years Rotary Club of Bright Matilda Manning

2018 Alpine Shire Youth Awards

The 2018 Alpine Shire Youth Awards were held in Mount Beauty on Friday 7 September 2018.

Congratulations to all the nominees, finalists and winners of the 2018 Youth Awards, and thank you to the local businesses and community groups that sponsored the awards.

Category Sponsor Recipient
Academic Award Dickens Real Estate Rahn Stavar
Community Award Mount Beauty & District Community Bank Erin Bourke
Endurance and Persistance Award Rotary Club of Bright Amaya Harris
Performing Arts Award Rotary Club of Myrtleford Tyra Hunt
Rural Award TAFCO Rural Supplies Simon Zanin
Sport Award Upper Kiewa Valley Lions Club Jalen Barker
Visual Arts and Media Award Bright Art Gallery & Cultural Centre Elly Jenkins
Workplace Award Hancock Victorian Plantations Meaghan Hood
Alpine Shire Youth Award 12 - 16 Years Bright Community Bank Amy Rogers
Alpine Shire Youth Award 17 - 21 Years Rotary Club of Bright Josh Thompson

2017 Alpine Shire Youth Awards

The red carpet awards evening was held in Myrtleford on Friday 7 September 2017 and featured supper, music, an art exhibition and inspirational guest speaker Lincoln Budge. 

Congratulations to all of the winners of the 2017 Youth Awards, and thank you to the businesses and community groups that sponsored the awards:

Category Sponsor Recipient
Academic Award Dickens Real Estate Harrison Neville
Community Award Mount Beauty & District Community Bank Deakin Hunter
Endurance and Persistance Award Rotary Club of Bright Dylan Sgambelloni
Performing Arts Award Rotary Club of Myrtleford Jordyn Parmesan
Rural Award TAFCO Rural Supplies Harris Doodewaard
Sport Award Upper Kiewa Valley Lions Club Flynn Eriksson
Visual Arts and Media Award Bright Art Gallery & Cultural Centre Lily-Rose Burgess
Workplace Award Hancock Victorian Plantations Rhiannon Symons
Alpine Shire Youth Award 12 - 16 Years Bright Community Bank Ashley Farmer
Alpine Shire Youth Award 17 - 21 Years Rotary Club of Bright Dylan Sgambelloni

2016 Alpine Shire Youth Awards

The 2016 Alpine Shire Youth Awards were held at the Bright Community Centre. Guests were entertained by local young musicians and guest speaker, Mr Al Jeffrey.

Congratulations to all the winners of the 2016 Youth Awards, and thank you to the businesses and community groups that sponsored the awards:

Category Sponsor Recipient
Academic Award Dickens Real Estate Caitlin Smith
Community Award Mount Beauty & District Community Bank Madeleine Lennox
Arts Award Rotary Club of Myrtleford Indianna Drew
Rural Award TAFCO Rural Supplies Matilda Hutton
Sport Award Upper Kiewa Valley Lions Club Jonah Cosgriff
Inspiration Award Rotary Club of Bright Peter Bennie
Workplace Award Hancock Victorian Plantations Nicholas Goznik
Alpine Shire Youth Award 12 - 16 Years Bright Community Bank Teagan Atherstone
Alpine Shire Youth Award 17 - 21 Years Rotary Club of Bright Tasman Cocks-Wheaton

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