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Young Mob impresses at Youth Awards in Redfern

The City of Sydney Betty Makin Youth Awards ceremony took place recently at Redfern Town Hall, with a huge crowd in attendance reports Darcy Byrne in the South Sydney Herald May 2008.

The awards are held annually to honour the late Betty Makin, a tireless social activist and advocate in the Redfern-Waterloo community. A leaflet prepared by Council’s history unit was distributed to guests outlining “Aunty” Betty’s life-long commitment to the local community.

The large number of adult guests who attended to support young people was particularly encouraging. Betty Makin’s daughter, Jill Edwards, addressed the crowd: “It’s great to see the community come out like this. This is what it’s all about.”

Many guests commented on the outstanding skills displayed by the Young Mob from Redfern as the night’s MCs. The Young Mob is a girls’ group from Redfern Community Centre Youth Program whose members have been trained in public speaking, etiquette and event coordination by Koori Toastmasters and World Vision Australia.

“The confidence levels of the girls who have done the toastmasters training have improved dramatically,” said Mereani Cooke from Redfern Community Centre. “They are now at the stage where they can MC an event in front of hundreds of people. They’re very professional.”

Many of the award nominees and winners were from low-income inner-city communities. It is clear from the contributions they are making to their communities that Betty Makin’s ethos of volunteerism and community participation is alive and well.

The ceremony included a number of impressive dance performances by young people from Glebe, Pyrmont and Ultimo. A closing performance by Paulini of Australian Idol fame brought the house down.

Source: South Sydney Herald May 2008