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Keniesha Ryan - Young Citizen of the Year 2018

Enthusiastic and energetic are the words used to describe Berriwillock student, Keniesha Ryan. Her leadership and interpersonal skills were amongst the many attributes that saw her recognised as Buloke’s Young Citizen of the Year in 2018.

A ready volunteer whose contributions assisted the Sea Lake Youth Group with organising social and community events, Keniesha also shared her sporting skills, both on the court and off, with the Sea Lake Nandaly Tigers Netball team and coaching the “Net Set Go”.

K Ryan Baton Relay 1

A high achiever academically, Keniesha was School Captain during her final year at Tyrrell College, as well as holding the roles of vice-Sports Captain, bus captain, and SRC leadership team member during her secondary education.

Keniesha’s generous nature has seen her support various charities, as well as participating in organised fundraising with the Talent at Tyrrell performing group, which raises money for the Leukemia Foundation.

Always one to accept a challenge, in 2016 Keniesha undertook a nine-week program at the Alpine School for Student Leadership and Outdoor Education at Gnurad Gundidj.

In 2017, as one of only 25 students across Victoria, Keniesha expanded her theatrical interests after receiving the Betty Amsden Youth Scholarship for an immersion week program with the Melbourne Theatre Company.

Engagement in the Lady Somers Powerhouse Camp in 2019 enabled Keniesha to build her leadership and resilience skills. She returned the following year as a volunteer to assist other young people on their journey. She has continued to support this charity with participation in a 20km walk around Geelong during 2020.

Representing the Buloke and Berriwillock communities, Keniesha gained the honour of being a baton carrier in the Queen’s Baton Relay for the 2018 Commonwealth Games – an experience she described as “amazing” - and reflection of the community spirit she embodies.

Commencing a double major Psychology and Criminology course at Melbourne University earlier this year, Keniesha experienced only a short time on campus before COVID-19 ended face-to-face classes. Having already applied to be the First Year and Wellbeing Representative at University College and joining the women’s cricket team, these activities have been put on hold until on-campus learning resumes.

Keniesha has subsequently moved to Geelong where she is currently continuing her studies remotely.

Nominate now for this year's awards at https://www.buloke.vic.gov.au/australia-day-awards