Two incredible young Greek Australians have been recognised for their contributions to the community, winning their local council’s respective ‘Young Citizen of the Year’ awards.
Deni Eleftheriadis, of South Australia’s Berri Barmera Council, and Aidan Dimitriadis, of Victoria’s Boroondara Council, were presented the awards during Australia Day ceremonies.
Speaking exclusively to The Greek Herald, Deni said it was an “honour and a privilege” to be recognised for something she enjoys doing.
“I feel like a lot of the time with volunteering you get back a lot more than what you put out and it’s really rewarding to be able to be recognised,” Deni said to The Greek Herald.
Deni works with primary schools where she mentors younger students to improve connection and a sense of positive wellbeing including transition into high school. She regularly updates her peers by addressing students at school assemblies with updates of the progress of the Our Town project and building on community awareness for mental health.
An active member of the community, she also works closely with her school and greater community in developing a long-term mental health plan. Deni said it’s incredible she’s been given the opportunity to “make a change”.
“It’s very touching and rewarding to know that I can do something to further progress in reducing the stigma around mental health,” Deni said.
“It’s something that I’ve always been passionate about since I was a very young age.”
Despite only being in Year 5, Aidan Dimitriadis has spent nearly half his life giving back to his community.
Aidan volunteers at Four Golden Hearts, a group that supports local families. His “Build Anything, Be Anything by Aidan” campaign has provided hundreds of packs of Lego to children in need.
In addition to his own campaign, Aidan helps sort and pack toiletries, clothing and toys for those in need and for charities such as St Kilda Mums and Backpacks 4 VIC Kids Melbourne. He is also involved in an annual “Coats of Kids” campaign, which he has run through his school to donate winter clothing for children in need.
Aidan was applauded for showing exceptional leadership and commitment towards improving the lives of others.