Wodonga Council

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Celebrating young people and their achievements

2 Aug, 2022

Did you know Wodonga Council offers financial assistance to young people who display an outstanding commitment or achievement in their chosen field?

At each monthly council meeting, one or more young people is presented with a Wodonga Council Young Achievers Scheme (YAS) award.

Do you know someone who has displayed an outstanding commitment or achievement in one of the six following categories?

  • Arts, performance, music and dance;
  • Sport and recreation;
  • Community leadership;
  • Education and training;
  • Cultural; and,
  • Agricultural, environmental and sustainability.

If they're aged under 25, chances are they're eligible for our YAS award.

Joseph Lotan, a past recipient, received $400 towards the cost of competing at the Australian Intermediate League National Baseball Championships in Mildura last May.

The talented right fielder and pitcher got his love of baseball from his American dad, Carlos, who believes Joseph has the skills and drive to achieve his dreams, which include winning a scholarship to an American university when he finishes school.

His mum, Erin, said her son is always striving hard to make a difference in the community.

“I wanted to say thank you for the wonderful experience we had and all the work you and your colleagues put in behind the scenes,” she said.

“Joseph and ourselves felt truly honoured for him to be considered for the YAS and he was so honoured to receive the award in a frame - it made his night!”

The recognition Joseph received after being presented the YAS have been far-reaching.

“All of his friends and team mates in the community had seen his recognition and congratulated him and it made him feel really appreciated in the community,” Erin said.

“He is always striving hard to make a difference in the community and this is a great stepping-stone for him.”

Another recipient, Benjamin Skalic, will use his YAS money towards travel costs to the US in December for the USA North East Bushrangers Basketball Tour.

The talented 16-year-old played representative basketball for the Wodonga Wolves six years ago and was invited to play for North East Bushrangers by his coach, Brett Harvey.

The Bushrangers will play ten college basketball games against college students aged between 15 and 19.

His parents, Simone and Adam, expressed their appreciation to council, and in particular, Mayor Kev Poulton.

“Kev spoke wonderfully to the children and their families whilst genuinely being interested in their achievements,” Simone said.

“It was also pleasing to see Kev's fellow councillors engaging and warmly celebrating their successes.

“As a family we are extremely humbled by Wodonga Council’s generous gift. Hopefully in the near future Benjamin will be successful in his ultimate sporting achievements and gain a much desired basketball college scholarship.”

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