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2021 GOTAFE Community Education Award Finalists Announced

The 2021 Community Achievement Awards for Regional Victoria are all about the passion of people who are committed to making regional Victoria a better place to live.

Home >What's on >Articles >2021 GOTAFE Community Education Award Finalists Announced
Post date: 13th September 2021

The GOTAFE Community Education Award acknowledges the valuable contributions that individuals, communities, and businesses make throughout regional and rural Victoria. These initiatives, led by community groups, play a vital role in encouraging the social, economic, commercial, and environmental prosperity of our region. Whether it be working together on an event, providing a service, or simply connecting people, these initiatives are central to promoting learning and enhancing the way people live and interact in their community.

The Finalists in the GOTAFE Community Group Award have been selected and are in the running to receive $2,000 Westpac Choice Account, or a PRIME7 Television Package. One of the category winners will be named the “Westpac Regional Achiever of the Year” and receive an additional $2,000 Westpac Choice Account and state trophy. The finalists include:

Rebecca Absalom of Ballarat North

Rebecca is an engaging educator with a passion for inspiring positive change. Rebecca is a program leader for regional Victoria for High Resolves, an education not-for-profit. In 2016, High Resolves developed Videos for Change, a national competition that challenges young people to create a one-minute video to raise awareness and calls the public to action on issues they are passionate about. In 2019, Videos for Change amplified Australian youth voices by extending the program internationally. Their videos were viewed over 1.69 million times in 56 countries. High Resolves opened its first regional Victorian hub, extending citizenship education to regional and remote areas.

Community Education Award Finalist: Rebecca Absalom of Ballarat North (photo of woman smiling)

With Camera in Hand

Founded by Michelle Dunn in 2013 in Ballarat, With Camera in Hand (WCIH) offers a suite of in-person and online courses for photography enthusiasts aged 14 through 70+. In 2019, they launched a membership site, allowing photography lovers from any location to take part in the “Photography Challenges with Heart”, share their work on Facebook and learn through monthly tutorials. WCIH’s long term goal was to influence members of the community to consider how images can be used for social change. They maintain an ethos of being 100% independent.

Community Education Award Finalist: With Camera In Hand (photo of woman holding camera and smiling)

Zoe Support Australia of Mildura

Zoe Support Australia is a not-for-profit, community-based organisation founded with a goal of re-engaging young mothers aged 13 to 25 in education and employment through intensive case management, removing barriers to education like transport and childcare, providing study hubs, and offering a number of pre-accredited educational and social programs. In 2019, they began the ‘Contemporary Cakes and Small Business’ weekly pre-accredited Learn Local course, designed to develop basic baking skills and improve employment outcomes. Zoe Support mothers are largely disadvantaged and vulnerable, all facing the daily stigma of being a teen mother.

Community Education Award Finalist: Zoe Support Australia (photo of women and children smiling)

Little Dreamers Australia

Little Dreamers Australia launched in 2009 with a mission of improving the quality of life of young carers or those who grow up caring for a family member with a chronic or mental illness. They deliver empowering and proactive support programs co-designed by Young Carers to reduce risk factors and increase life opportunities for young carers. Programs include Dream Experiences; holiday programs; mentoring and tutoring; The Dreamers Hub, an online peer support platform; and the Big Dreamers Personal Development Program. During the Covid pandemic, they received a 218% increase in requests for support.

Community Education Award Finalist: Little Dreamers Australia (photo of group of youth at the beach)

All Finalists will also go into the People’s Choice Award which is run through the Community Achievement Awards Australia Facebook page. The winner will be announced at the Awards Presentation and will receive an accommodation package, provided by Sofitel Melbourne On Collins.

With the People’s Choice Award nominations underway, it is a fun way to spread awareness of our Finalists achievements. The Finalist who receives the most votes will become the 2021 People’s Choice Award winner!

You can vote once a day here.

The poll closes at midnight on Monday 6th December 2021. The winner will be announced at the Awards Presentation on Friday 10th December 2021.

Congratulations and good luck to all Finalists!