By Melissa Sheil
TWO young people in the Echo News readership made it to the semi-finals in a state-wide competition acknowledging exceptional community work.
Both Effrem Garlett-Watson from Swan View and Zoe Horner from Wattle Grove reached the final stages in the Health and Wellbeing Award category of the 7News Young Achiever Awards, empowering their community’s physical and mental health through their work.
Mr Garlett-Watson, 20, was nominated by the City of Swan itself for his work at Swan Active Midland, running basketball programs, lifeguarding, teaching water safety and being an active leader and role model to the local Indigenous youth.
Now in the top four for his category, Mr Garlett-Watson is speechless he made it this far.
“I’m very happy with how I’ve gone, I definitely wasn’t expecting to get this far,” he said.
“When I first heard I was nominated I was like cool, nice but I didn’t realise that it’s actually a pretty big award, so now it seems crazy.
“Being from this area, I really just want to show that it’s possible for people around here to be a leader and do positive things.”
Centre coordinator and Mr Garlett-Watson’s nomination referee Anna Shepherd said he is very humble, but very inspiring.
“Effie is such a bright spark,” she said.
“He takes on every challenge and his perseverance is incredible and something we are all proud of.
“He’s just a leader in the community and is always so willing to help out anyone who needs it, especially the younger ones.”
City of Swan mayor Kevin Bailey said Mr Garlett-Watson deserves to win.
“Effie is an exceptional young man, who is a role model and emerging leader in both the workplace and the community,” he said.
“We are very proud of Effie.
“He is an asset to Swan Active and our City and has a bright future ahead of him.”
Though Wattle Grove resident Zoe Horner didn’t quite make it to the top four, she was very grateful to have made it to the semi-finals.
“It was an absolute honour to have even been nominated,” she said.
“I wasn’t expecting it, but was delighted to be recognised for the work I love and am deeply passionate about.”
As well as working as an occupational therapist in Wattle Grove, Ms Horner runs Treasured Youth Co, a not-for-profit that advocates for youth mental health through an upcoming treasure trail of art murals throughout the south west.
“We’ve got the artwork at the Walliston deli up and running and the one inside the Kalamunda library is almost done which is very exciting,” she said.
“The City of Stirling just approved a wall for a new piece and we were approached the other day by the Shire of Serpentine-Jarrahdale, saying they would love to have a mural too, they don’t want to be missed out.
“So hopefully, this will be a bit of an exponential project, that once murals go up and get publicity, more shires will ask to be involved.”
The winners of the Young Achiever awards will be announced at a gala presentation on Saturday May 29.