Rural Youth Award banner calling for nominations with last year's winner Lizzie

2020 YACVic Rural Youth Awards

Young people and youth workers in rural and regional Victoria have stepped up in the face of isolation, unreliable internet connections, increased stress and other challenges brought upon by COVID-19.

That’s why we’re inviting you to nominate a young person, youth worker or a youth-led initiative for a 2020 YACVic Rural Youth Award, to promote the positive stories and outstanding achievements during these unprecedented times.

The Awards will showcase the exceptional examples of place-based youth engagement, youth participation, innovation and co-design in rural and regional Victoria.

For 2020, the categories for nomination are:

  • Young person leading change in rural or regional Victoria
  • Youth Worker making a difference in rural or regional Victoria
  • Outstanding youth projects or programs in rural or regional Victoria
  • Rural Hall of Fame

There will be an additional Young People’s Choice Award which will be voted by a panel of YACVic young members.

Winners will receive a $1000 donation or gift.

Nominate someone now

Nominations are open now and close 11.59pm Wednesday 21 October. Make sure you read our FAQs when preparing your nomination. 

Finalists will be announced at the end of October, with the ceremony planned to take place online in mid-November.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you have a question? Check our Rural Youth Awards FAQs for more information about the nomination process.

Contact us

If you're still unsure about a question, you can contact one of our friendly YACVic Rural staff members via their details below.

Derm Ryan, YACVic Rural Manager 
0408 674 738 or email

Karen Walsh, Rural Development Coordinator – Great South Coast
0472 514 870 or email

Rhiannon Jennings, Rural Development Coordinator – Southern Mallee
0474 506 000 or email

Meet the winners from 2018

On Wednesday 26 September 2018 Youth Affairs Council Victoria (YACVic) held its inaugural Rural Youth Awards. The celebration brought together young people and those working in the sector to celebrate our amazing youth workers and innovative youth projects from across country Victoria. 

Designed and hosted by our YACVic Activators and Rural team, with guests from across the state, we recognised the achievements of young people and our rural youth sector.

Young people leading change in rural or regional Victoria

Rural Young Person winner Lizzie Harms from Leongatha

Winner – Lizzie Harms from Leongatha

Lizzie wanted to develop a conversation about gender equality and respect in her community. She set up a workshop for hundreds of young women from across a number of secondary schools in Gippsland to work with Clementine Ford and gave young women the language and confidence to articulate their feelings about the world they live in. While this was occurring, young men gathered to discuss the importance of equity and respect for women — truly kick-starting a community wide conversation.  Lizzie continues show up for young people, at every opportunity she is given, or can find for herself.

Youth workers making a difference in rural or regional Victoria 

Lee Ann Rural Youth Worker from Portland winner

Winner – Lee Anne Nelson from Portland

Lee Anne is the Youth Resource Officer in Portland, is the Chair of the Glenelg Youth Network and is a key member and contributor to the youth and community sector in the region. Lee Anne embodies a strong sense of collaboration and partnership, working tirelessly to improve opportunities for young people. Whatever the issue, the community can count on Lee Anne to be there to provide support whether in a strategic role such as chairing the Local Learning and Employment Network to working on a Friday night at the Blue Light Disco. With her no nonsense attitude and dedication she is one of the unsung heroes of the community.

Innovative Youth projects or programs in rural or regional Victoria

Rural Youth Projects winners Youth Live4Life Inc

Winner – Youth Live4Life Inc

Youth Live4Life Inc. was founded in the Macedon Ranges Shire and has expanded to Benalla Rural City and Glenelg Shire. It is an innovative, evidence based and local community driven response to youth mental illness and suicide prevention. The program focuses on a whole of community approach to mental health education and suicide prevention in order to build resilient young people and communities.  Over 8,100 secondary school aged young people have undertaken mental health education and over 1000 teachers, parents and community members have been trained in Youth Mental Health First Aid. 

YACVic Rural Hall of Fame

Rural Hall of Fame winner Kane Sparks from Swan Hill

Inductee – Kane Sparks from Swan Hill

Kane is the Senior Youth Support Officer at Swan Hill Rural City Council. Kane’s knowledge and expertise in youth engagement and participation has established his reputation as a leader in this field. Kane’s ability to successfully engage with young people and facilitate youth participation in a co-design model has resulted in opportunities and support needed for young people to feel connected to their community. Kane always put young people first and is prepared to do whatever he can in his power to ensure that young people in Swan Hill are given as many opportunities as possible.

Congratulations to the winners, all the finalists and thanks to the Hon Minister for Youth Affairs Jenny Mikakos MP for presenting the awards.

Application Questions

The application question for the nomination form are below. Please us this to help develop your answers then nominate via the online form here.

1. Your contact information


Group name / Organisation (if applicable):



Phone number:

2. Who are you nominating?

Yourself or your program/organisation 

Someone else. Please provide contact details.

3. If you’re nominating someone else or a program that you’re not part of have you let them know that you are nominating them?

Yes / No, I will shortly – they need to know!

4. Which award categories does the nomination apply to?

       Young people leading change in rural or regional Victoria.

       Youth workers making a difference in rural or regional Victoria.

       Outstanding youth projects or programs in rural or regional Victoria.

       Rural Youth Awards Hall of Fame

5. Please summarize why they should receive this award. (300 words max - This is the info that may be read out at the ceremony)


6. Is there any supporting information available online to highlight your/their achievements you can share with us? (eg. news articles or webpages) If you do please copy and paste the links here:


7. Please list a referee who can support this nomination.

Full name:

Relationship to nominee:

Phone number:


 8. Have you notified this person that you have listed them as a referee?

Yes / No / I will shortly

9. We will be asking rural/regional young people who are members of YACVic to vote on a Young People’s Choice Award in each category. If this nomination is listed as a finalist then it will be included in that voting, but we need to keep the info succinct for broad voting purposes from the young people.  So, please describe in 50 words or less why you would want someone to vote for this nomination.

 10. If this nomination is shortlisted as a finalist, we’ll need a 1 minute video to promote online, and screen at the Awards Ceremony. Videos will not form part of the panel’s decision making on finalists.

 11. How did you hear about The YACVic Rural Youth Awards?

  12. Would you like to become a member of YACVic and/or sign up to YACVic Rural's e-newsletter Signposts?

Yes, please contact me  /  No, already a member and subscriber thanks.