17 year old Michael James from Huskisson is one of 38 Australians to win this year’s national Heywire competition.
Mr James’ submission celebrated his Indigenous heritage, by highlighting cultural diversity and race relations.
“I have always been proud of being Aboriginal, but people have always told me that I’m not,” he said.
“They would say that I’m too white and I have red hair — and that these features mean I can’t be Indigenous.
“I’m only 17, but I already know what I must do to contribute to this outstanding country.
“I love my culture and one day I’ll be an Indigenous elder in my community,” said Mr James.
Heywire encourages young people to tell stories about their life outside the major cities in text, photo, video or audio format.
Federal Member for Gilmore Ann Sudmalis MP said that it was important to highlight individuals who are striving to promote cultural heritage and diversity throughout our community.
“It’s great that Michael has been nationally recognised for his efforts, and I congratulate him,” she said.
“This competition is important to the young people in Gilmore, and serves as a strong reminder that they too have a voice; that their opinions matter.”
Over the past 17 years more than 9,000 young Australians have taken part in the competition.
Past Heywire NSW participants recognised for their contribution include; Lauren O’Connor (Kangaroo Valley), Patrick Collins (Moruya), Dylan Cosgrave (Batemans Bay), Elise Toyer (Tomakin), Matthew Rogers (Bomaderry) and Nik van Zanen (Gerringong)
Competition winner’s score an all-expenses-paid trip to the Heywire Summit, held in Canberra in February 2018. The 30 plus participants will then work together in groups to develop ideas to make positive change in their communities.
Heywire is a joint initiative with the ABC and the Australian Government.
(Photo credit – ABC Heywire)