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Twenty young Victorian Aboriginal achievers were recognised at the 16th annual Ricci Marks Awards ceremony at the Korin Gamadji Institute in Melbourne last week.
Victoria's Minister for Aboriginal Affairs Jeanette Powell announced Verhonda Smith from Preston and Benson Saulo from Prahran as the recipients of the 2012 Ricci Marks Award in recognition of young Aboriginal achievers.
Student of Indigenous Studies and History at Melbourne University, Verhonda (Bonnie) Smith excels in netball and was the captain of the National Indigenous Schoolgirl's Netball team for two years. Bonnie's fundraising efforts for the Indigenous Youth Leadership Program led her to the Kokoda Track and remote Kimberley. Bonnie is motivated to promote healthy living and unite the community through sport.
Benson Saulo is the first Indigenous Australian to be appointed as the Australian Youth Representative to the United Nations and has inspired many young people throughout Australia. Benson is passionate about Indigenous youth leadership and presently holds the position of a National Director of the National Indigenous Youth Leadership Academy.
A $500 Encouragement Award was presented to Edward (Eddie) Bryant, a young Yorta Yorta man from Shepparton. Eddie was the first Aboriginal student at his primary school to become a school captain, and excels in sport and the performing arts. Eddie has learned Auslan so that he may communicate with friends and family. Eddie aspires to be a strong Indigenous leader and a role model for his community.
Source: Premier of Victoria