Each year the Maitland Progress Association invites the community to recognise local people who contribute to the betterment of our town and district.

Last year the association accepted nominations for a Young Citizen of the Year and the inaugural title was won by CYS student Lynarha Newchurch.
This year’s recipient was Sophie Heinrich who was nominated for her contributions to school music, vacation swimming, and for raising over $1000 for child cancer patients.

Sophie’s award was presented at the Australia Day Breakfast on January 26 by CYS old scholar Nicole Hams (nee Koenders) who also delivered an inspirational and motivational message based on the classic poem ‘Desiderata’ and the Dr Suess book ‘Oh the places You’ll Go’.

Nicole’s message was that no matter where we go and what we do in life we will find people to learn from and people to give to; an apt message for the occasion.

Thank you to Progress for their organisation of the event and to the Lions Club of Maitland for their support in recognising community contributions.
Congratulations to both Sophie, and to Steve Thomas (Maitland Citizen of the Year) for winning the awards.

In accepting her award, Sophie said:

” Thankyou for my award. I’m very honoured to be the recipient of the Young Citizen of Maitland Award. Over the past year I have volunteered early mornings at Black Point Vacswim, led the Yorke Peninsula Concert Band as their captain and put my hand up for many leadership roles at school to grow confidence and voice the opinions and ideas of my peers.

But the most rewarding role that I undertook was cutting off 35cm of my hair and raising over $1000 for child cancer patients.

This seemed appropriate to give a child something that I had and took for granted, so that they could feel themselves again. I’m proud of this as I have inspired others in our community to do exactly as I have done. I have wanted to make a difference and become more involved in the community by volunteering my time and stepping out of my comfort zone as without volunteers, events don’t run.

In my role as young citizen of Maitland, I will encourage more young people to become more involved in the community, whether it be volunteering at events, sport, school or doing something to make a huge change in someone’s life. It’s all recognized and appreciated by someone and is rewarding knowing you have done a good thing.”