Vaughn Arambatzis: Meet the Georges River Council’s Young Citizen of the Year


15-year-old teenager Vaughn (Vaio) Arambatzis from Sydney has gained major recognition after being named one of two Young Citizens of the Year for Georges River Council.

This award is handed out annually and recognises young people making a difference in their community.

Vaughn was rewarded for his strong commitment to recycling and active involvement with the Sydney Dogs and Cats Home.

In 2022, he earned the Keep Australia Beautiful (NSW) ‘Young Legend’s Award’ and was named ‘Community Champion’ for Georges River Council.

Vaughn Arambatzis
Vaughn Arambatzis with one of his purple collection bins outside an F45 Gym to collect drinking containers. Photo supplied.

Vaughn told The Greek Herald his goal was to raise much needed funds for the Sydney Dogs and Cats Home by collecting cans and bottles and recycling them through the NSW Government’s Return and Earn Scheme.

Since commencing in 2020, he said he has collected and recycled 35,000 drink containers for the Return and Earn Scheme.

Vaughn said undertaking charity work was always something he really enjoyed.

“In 2018, we adopted a dog from the shelter, and it turned out that she just wasn’t the right fit for our family, so we had to give her back,” Vaughn explained.

“As most shelters would have euthanised her, we were lucky that Sydney Dogs and Cats Home don’t euthanise unless it’s necessary, so I was really happy about that.

“Then when my school started something called ‘SOL Service,’ which stands for Shinning Our Light, and it encouraged us to go out and do something for the community, I just decided then and there that I wanted to start raising money for the shelter and I’ve been doing it ever since.”

Vaughn Arambatzis
Vaughn Arambatzis with Councillor Natalie Mort. Photo supplied.

Vaughn said he was extremely grateful to be named Georges River Council’s Young Citizen of the Year for 2024.

“I’m honestly very shocked to receive this recognition,” he said. “To even be nominated by Councillor Natalie Mort is a huge honour and it makes me feel really grateful.”

Vaughn’s parents also expressed their pride for their son’s achievements.

“We feel very proud of Vaio, and we’re pleased that he’s committed to a cause that he is passionate about,” Barbara Arambatzis said.

“We hope that he can continue with his project because the Sydney Dogs and Cats home fulfils a very important need in our community.”

The Young Citizen of the Year said he now aims to get more people involved in recycling within his community, as well as encourage others in different communities to recycle and find ways to contribute and support their local charities.




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