Each year, the Youth Australia Trust recognises the outstanding contribution of a young Australian citizen. Currently employed by Murdi Paaki Regional Enterprise Corporation, Max said it was a privilege to be awarded the prize.
“Last year MPREC opened BlueRidge Café in Dubbo were I was employed as team leader, a key component of my role is to support training and employment opportunities to disadvantaged community members. From the start, I have had a specific focus on founding an enterprise that could become a significant platform for the betterment of our clients seeking to develop their skills and get ahead in life.”
Max, whose background is in five-star hotel management, stands in good stead with previous recipients, who have been recognised for a variety of work from delivering AIDS education in Zambia to working with homeless children in Dhaka, Bangladesh.
“Each day, I train young people in the café in everything from restaurant work, to resume development and interview skills. For these wonderful young people, my aim is to instil confidence, self-respect and a high level of ability, in any line of work they may choose to pursue.”
Max’s approach has already seen success. A recent graduate of the six (6) month employment program was immediately accepted to complete a full time apprenticeship in construction, and will become one of the first in his family to gain a full qualification.
“I am so proud to have seen tremendous growth in each of my associates. Some have experienced drug and alcohol abuse, domestic violence, homelessness. But the rewards of steady and meaningful employment have helped them to make real, positive change in their lives.”
“The opportunity to be able to work in regional NSW, where I was raised, has been truly remarkable. I hope that receiving this award helps to shine a light on the excellent work being done by organisation’s like MPREC to improve opportunities for disadvantaged Indigenous members of our community.”
The award has been recognised since 2001, and is part of a wider programme of grants to assist young people working together within Australia and developing Commonwealth nations within our region.
The Commonwealth Day luncheon was held at NSW Parliament House, Sydney, on Wednesday 15 March 2017 and attended by Mr. Michael Miller, representing the Governor of NSW, Her Excellency Menna Rawlings, British High Commissioner to Australia, The Honorable Max Willis, President of the Australian Youth Trust and distinguished guests.