Bridget Raftery Receives Young Citizen of the Year – Shoalhaven Medal

Christine McInerney-Percy, Bridget Raftery and VHS Teacher

At the 2023 Australia Day Awards, local teen Bridget Raftery was honoured with the esteemed Young Citizen of the Year – Shoalhaven Medal for her exceptional dedication and contributions to her local community. The event celebrated community spirit and outstanding achievements, where Bridget’s selfless efforts and commitment to social causes earned her the recognition she deserved.

Nominated by Firefly Bay and Basin, Bridget’s continuous involvement in volunteer roles with Nippers, Netball, and Cricket showcased her commitment to giving back to the sporting clubs that supported her. However, it was her work with Sonder Youth that truly highlighted her exceptional dedication to improving youth mental health in the region and creating positive change. Bridget’s continuous efforts, extra-curricular work, and the positive energy and kindness she brought to her peers made her an inspirational leader in her community.

Bridget’s active participation in Shoalhaven City Council’s Youth Advisory Committee further solidified her reputation as a dedicated youth leader, always showing initiative and commitment to contributing to her community. Jessica Richardson, the Community Capacity Builder at Shoalhaven City Council, commended Bridget for her exceptional contributions and dedication to making a difference.

Representing the Committee at the NSW Youth Council Conference in Goulburn in February 2022, Bridget and her fellow members advocated for Mental Health First Aid Training opportunities in the community. Their efforts were successful, as the Council secured a large grant to support local community partners in providing essential Youth Mental Health First Aid and Teen Mental Health First Aid training throughout the region.

Vincentia High School spoke highly of Bridget, praising her exceptional leadership and passion for community service. As an exceptional student who seeks no recognition for her actions, Bridget’s commitment to her community goes above and beyond, embodying what a Youth Citizen should be.

The Shoalhaven City Council’s acknowledgment of Bridget’s remarkable dedication to creating positive change, inspiring her peers, and impacting the community highlights her as an outstanding role model for the younger generation. The Young Citizen of the Year – Shoalhaven Medal is a testament to her unwavering efforts and selflessness, which have left an indelible mark on Shoalhaven.

As the Shoalhaven community celebrates Bridget’s achievements, her story stands as an inspiration for others to actively engage in community service and work towards a sustainable future. Her tireless efforts have earned her the prestigious award and the admiration and gratitude of those whose lives she has touched. The Shoalhaven Medal signifies the powerful impact one individual can have on a community, fostering a ripple effect of positive change for years to come.

Do you know a remarkable young individual worthy of recognition? Let us know, and we can work with you to organise a nomination for next year’s awards.

Bridget Raflery

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