Australia Day awards- Young citizens of the year

THE Young Citizen of the Year award has been given to avid volunteers Rochelle Shilling and Penny Slater.

Miss Shilling, 17, has been involved with the Girl Guides since she was five-years-old. Last year she received the Queen's Guide Award, which is the peak achievement for Girl Guides members.

The Jerrabomberra teenager will soon become a Girl Guides leader and hopes to start a pre-junior unit for girls aged 5 - 7years-old.

"Volunteering is fun and a chance to give back to the community. It's not something where you're in it for yourself," she said.

"Being part of the girl guides has helped me become a confident and resilient person. The girls can test your patience at times. You just have to be determined."

Queanbeyan High School student Penny Slater, 17 was recognised for her efforts to end poverty with the Oaktree Foundation.

The Year 12 student organised the 'Live Below the Line' challenge where participants lived on less than $2 a day.

"We were eating damper and rice the whole five days. It made us realise how little energy you have and yet people living in poverty still have to walk 20 km for water," she said.

"It was a little insight but made me so appreciative of what I have. Living in Australia, it's the best country and we're lucky to live here."

Miss Slater of Wamboin is the 2014 Queanbeyan High School captain and member of the SRC. She said creating awareness is the key to bringing about change.

"I want to educate my peers so they know about things happening in the world," she said. "I just want to create awareness, so they're not stuck inside their own world and isolated from the real issues."

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