With a passion for go-kart racing, this month's Wodonga Council Young Achiever Scheme recipient is paving the way for the sport on the border.
Piper Muller is a member of the Albury Wodonga Kart Club and actively advocates for her sport, taking part in radio, television and newspaper interviews, as well as representing the "girls race too" campaign for her club at the 2019 Australian Grand Prix.
The seventeen-year-old will use the YAS financial grant towards competition fees and new tyres for her next big race - the Pink Plates event.
Hosted by the Albury Wodonga Kart Club for the first time, the Pink Plates event is an all-female race weekend on January 28 and 29.
The event has attracted 40 entries from throughout Victoria, NSW and Queensland.
Piper's mum, Sheree, who is president of the local kart club, said her daughter works hard to achieve her goals and has her sights set on winning the pink plates.
"This competition means a lot to her and she has certainly been working hard and is hoping to win," Sheree said.
The winner is awarded the pink plates, which they get to display on their kart until the next competition in 12 months' time.
Sheree said the financial assistance from Wodonga Council was a blessing.
"To be competitive, tyres have to be replaced before every big race meet so that might be eight times a year," she said.
Sheree's son, Dylan, who is also involved in karting, is a past YAS recipient.
"It's great that our local council can help young people out in this way," she said.
"I am hoping that Piper's success with the grant might raise awareness within our club so that others apply."
Piper, who is a student at Wodonga Senior Secondary College, has been karting since she was 11 years old, following in the footsteps of her older brother.
"It's a big family thing for us," Sheree said.
"I love seeing my kids out there having a great time and being competitive.
"Seeing the smile on their face makes it all worth it."
Sheree said her family also enjoys the social side of the sport.
"Piper has made some great friends through karting that are like family, it's just one big great community," she said.
Along with Piper's leadership and advocacy skills, she is also a talented musician.
Piper plays multiple instruments and was a band member, playing three instruments, in the Wizard of Oz theatre production staged in Albury earlier this year.
Piper has also taken part in many school and local theatre productions, donating her time and effort to ensure the success of these productions.
Wodonga Council recognises and supports young people (under 25) who display an outstanding commitment to and/or achievement in their chosen field.
The scheme provides financial assistance (of up to $800) to individuals or groups of young people to participate, develop skills, compete, perform or represent Wodonga in their chosen endeavour at a local, state, national or international level.
There are six categories:
- Arts, performance, music and dance;
- Sport and recreation;
- Community leadership;
- Education and training;
- Cultural; and
- Agricultural, environmental and sustainability.
To apply online, click here.