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Inspiring glbti youth leaders honoured

Wed 21 May 2014 In: New Zealand Daily News

Two young glbti community advocates have been honoured with Leadership Awards as part of Youth Week 2014. Joe Gatland Minister of Youth Affairs Nikki Kaye has announced 24 recipients. Among them are Aucklanders Joe Gatland and Tess Vandenburg. Gatland, 21, is heavily involved with Rainbow Youth. He is currently Treasurer, Chair, Vice-Chair and Secretary due to temporary issues outside of his control. His citation says Gatland has worked above and beyond what a person would be expected to do, to ensure that Rainbow Youth has the structure and means to serve the community. “He is always willing to help the organisation wherever possible.” Tess Vandenburg Vandenburg, 20, saw the lack of options given to lgbti youth who wished to meet others of their community. She established Breaking Boundaries, an online forum for lgbti youth and allies to find support and friendship in a safe online environment. As the creator and leader, Tess runs the small team of volunteers as well as advertising - and spreading awareness of the forum. Nikki Kaye says Youth Week is a great opportunity to recognise, support and celebrate the significant contribution and achievements of youth in our communities. "The theme of Youth Week this year encourages youth to ‘Be the Change’ that they want to see in our society. In order for youth to create change, they need support and praise from mentors in their communities. We need to really value the diversity of our young people in New Zealand."     

Credit: GayNZ.com Daily News staff

First published: Wednesday, 21st May 2014 - 9:53am

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