West Australian teen wins 2016 Lions Youth of the Year Award
The 2016 Lions Youth of the Year competition has once again placed issues important to today’s youth on the national stage, with Riley Faulds, 17, from Western Australia earning himself the official title as the Lions Youth of the Year.
Riley, from Christian Brothers College, Fremantle was selected to represent Western Australia in the highly competitive five-stage contest, outperforming more than 2000 national applicants.
He was one of six state finalists from schools throughout Australia, Norfolk Island, and Papua New Guinea who took to the stage in Echuca, Victoria, today for the final leg of the competition.
Lions Australia Executive Officer Rob Oerlemans said providing a platform where Australian youth could voice their opinions on issues that matter to them was more important than ever.
“In 2015/16 we have seen many national and international events take place that have had an impact on the youth of our country,” Mr Oerlemans said.
“Considering this and the fact that a federal election is just around the corner it has never been more important for youth to have their say and be heard.
“It’s no surprise that issues such as domestic violence, education, indigenous rights and women in technology and science have dominated the topics for the final stage of the competition this year.
“By encouraging youth to air their opinions we hope to instil a sense of leadership in all applicants and encourage them to go onto to high profile careers which help to inform the youth policies of the future.”
Alongside West Australian winner Riley Faulds, Joseph Dwyer from St Joesph’s College in Brisbane, Queensland was awarded the National Public Speaking Winner award for his speeches, winning himself a trip to a destination of choice to the value of $2,000 plus $500 spending money.
The competition, which is now in its 52nd year, gives Australian youth the opportunity to hone their academic, leadership, sporting, and public speaking skills while addressing issues that affect Australian youth now and into the future.
This year, the 2016 Lions Youth of the Year finals were held in Echuca as part of the Lions Clubs National Conference and included a presentation from one of Australia’s most influential and highly experienced voices in economics, policy and regulation and governance, Dr Ken Henry AC.
The presence of Dr Henry who is the Chairman and Non Executive Director of the National Australia Bank (NAB) also marked the 20 years of support that the Lions Youth of the Year awards has received from NAB.
Open to young people aged 15-19 years, the Lions Youth of the Year awards has proven the ticket to a high profile career for many previous finalists and participants, such as Kevin Rudd, Sabra Lane and Chaser star Andrew Hansen.
The 2016 Lions Youth of the Year Winner Riley Faulds, has won himself overseas trip to a destination of choice to the value of $4,000 plus $1,000 spending money.
All National Finalists, including the National winner will attend an organised group tour to a Lions International Youth Camp at Rotorua, New Zealand, followed by a group tour to the National Winner’s home state for a total of 16 days’ duration during the summer holidays, with each finalist receiving $500 spending money.