Teenagers honoured with prestigious award

YOUTH IN ACTION: Yaz Bock of Laidley High School and Amelia Webster of Lockyer District High School were rewarded for pursuing their community passions.
YOUTH IN ACTION: Yaz Bock of Laidley High School and Amelia Webster of Lockyer District High School were rewarded for pursuing their community passions. Contributed

TWO young trailblazers have received one of the nation's highest honours for their community services in the Lockyer Valley.

Amelia Webster and Yazmin (Yaz) Bock were two of nine Queensland teenagers who were awarded the Certificate of Community Service in last month's Order of Australia Association Queensland Secondary Schools' Citizenship Award.

The pair are well-known in their communities, with Amelia leading the Lockyer's National Tree Day youth committee and volunteering with her netball club, and Yaz heavily involved in the Laidley sports scene.

Amelia said her volunteer work was largely centred around her two passions, caring for the environment and mentoring younger players.

"The environment is the most important thing around us,” she said.

"Without it, we can't exist and we especially can't exist without trees giving us oxygen.

"It's of vital importance we take care of our environment and educate young people so we can instil that pride (in our environment) in the next generation.”

Yaz similarly said she loved working with the younger kids in athletics, netball and fundraising projects.

"I guess I get enjoyment of helping people, especially the younger kids,” she said.

"Seeing them excel and their improvement I guess is just a hobby of mine.”

Both young women currently juggle school life, volunteer work, part-time jobs and family commitments - a tough job for any teenager.

Yaz said her secret is to enjoy the perks of her community involvement rather than dwelling on the negatives.

"I don't really have a social life I guess,” laughed Yaz.

"That's where volunteering comes in for me, it's something I enjoy doing and it helps others achieve things as well.”

For Amelia, it's a question of prioritising.

"I don't think people realise how much time you can waste,” she said.

"It's a lot better to be doing something that betters others as well as yourself.

"It's still selfish in a way because helping others makes you feel good too.”

Yaz hoped to join the police force after university studies and considered forging a career in politics while Amelia intended to accept a University of Queensland scholarship to do a Bachelor of Education.

Topics:  gatton laidley laidley state high school lockyer district high school oam order of australia order of australia association queensland branch young people

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