A BATHURST all-rounder was shocked, albeit honoured, to accept the Jack Aubin Young Citizen of the Year award on Australia Day.
Amelia Meurant, 17, received the honour – which recognises outstanding young people in Bathurst – at the official awards ceremony held on Saturday in Machattie Park.
“It was quite a shock,” Amelia said. “I know a lot of the other candidates and they are amazing people, so I was surprised to win.
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“Bathurst’s youth culture is strong at the moment and it’s a huge honour to be recognised.”
The Kelso High graduate plans to study international relations and political science at the University of New South Wales this year.
She was recognised for her involvement in the community, which she said was driven by the ideals of leadership and teamwork.
“It’s important to be an active citizen,” she said. “I’ve been heavily involved all through high school and I hope to continue that when I go to uni.”
Amelia was school captain of Kelso High last year. The young achiever also completed her Higher School Certificate, earning an Australian Tertiary Admission Rank of 97.7.
Notably, her visual arts major work was selected for Art Express.
In 2010 and 2011, Amelia was part of the NSW Student Representative Council, the peak student leadership consultative and decision-making forum. Through that and her role on the Western Executive Student Team, Amelia has rubbed shoulders with a number of government dignitaries and high-profile officials.
And while she has an impressive academic profile, Amelia has also successfully dabbled in the creative arts. She plays guitar and has participated in the Bathurst Eisteddfod in the creative writing and speech and drama sections.
She particularly enjoyed being a student mentor with Cirkus Surreal, and participated in a circus tour of the United States and Canada in 2011.
“It was definitely a major highlight,” she said.
Amelia’s mother Dianne was proud as punch about the Australia Day honour.
“We’ve had people from Sydney calling to congratulate her,” she said.
“It’s something she’s worked so hard for. She deserves it.
“Amelia has developed an excellent work ethic. She has a finger in every pie.”