Teens light the way with mayoral awards

Ashlee Kruse and Emily O’Connor (below). Pictures: Damjan Janevski

The community spirit of two Wyndham girls has been recognised with mayoral awards.

Ashlee Kruse, 16, won the award for her commitment to sport, while Emily O’Connor, 18, gained hers for leadership.

Ashlee plays on two netball teams with the Hoppers Crossing Eagles and volunteers as coach of the under-9 side.

“I didn’t want to get a job at a fast-food outlet and I like talking to and being around kids, so I thought coaching was a good idea,” she said. “I really enjoy every part of it, especially the feeling I get after playing sport. It wakes me up and keeps me going for the rest of the day. It’s also a great way to make friends.”

As she prepares for year 11 next year, Ashlee is still unsure about her career path but is certain her love for children and sport will be part of it.

“I either want to be a primary school teacher or study sport science and health,” she said.

Emily O’Connor mayoral awards winner

Meanwhile, Emily’s role as Thomas Carr College vice-captain and social justice captain led to her award.

“I organised fundraising for a number of issues in our community and worldwide,” she said.

A Thomas Carr winter sleep-out earlier this year was a large part of her work as social justice captain.

“Homelessness is just such a big issue in Australia and around the world,” she said. “Not many people take much notice of it, so I wanted to bring attention to it.”

Emily has just finished year 12 and hopes her ATAR score can get her into a law course at university next year.

“I want to be a lawyer who focuses on social justice,” she said.

“I want to focus on homelessness, gender inequality and poverty.”