Young people making Geelong a better place

2024 Youth Award winners with Cr Elise Wilkinson, Christine Couzens MP and Cr Peter Murrihy. (Supplied)

Geelong has celebrated the young people making a big impact in our community with the annual Geelong Youth Awards.

The City of Greater Geelong presented awards to 13 winners across nine categories.

Inspiration Award winner Belle Boland, 22, is a youth peer worker in an adolescent psychiatric ward, drawing on her lived experience to “create a bridge in the system” between young inpatients and clinicians.

She said she was “still in disbelief” about winning the award.

“It was really foreign, standing up on the stage hearing them list out everything you’ve achieved,” Belle said.

“I love going into work, whether it’s helping someone in one of the worst moments of their lives or it’s just giving someone that little bit of distraction.

“Whether they’re venting to me or they just want to play Mario Kart or they’re asking me about things that I learned in my journey, every single part of what I do in my role is incredibly rewarding.”

Youth mentor Simon Wolfe received the Active Achievement Award for his work at local customised employment service 4gr and the AFL Barwon All Ability football league.

Simon, once a participant at 4gr, said being willing to learn every day was an important part of his work.

“I have a good understanding of my community, of their need, but I’m still learning, the spectrum is so broad,” he said.

“You might know one thing but you don’t know the next. Learning is what I do for work and I love it.”

Councillor Peter Murrihy praised the award winners and nominees.

“Their achievements help to make our region inclusive and a great place to live,” he said.

“It’s exciting to see young people stepping up to make a positive impact in their communities”.

Visit for a full list of nominees and winners.