Dose of encouragement for youth

At the launch of the Kids in Community Awards in Lismore on Tuesday were (l-r) 2007 winner of the Bronwyn Donaghy Memorial Award, Sarah Hort, Kids in Community committee member Christine Doggett, special guest Tristan Bancks and winner of the 2007 Community Support (18-25 years) award, Ben Cooper.

There are always defining moments in life. For actor and filmmaker Tristan Bancks, one of those moments was in sixth grade, when his teacher Mr Ridgeway sat the class down to impart a few words of wisdom on each student before they headed off to high school.

He told me I could do anything in this world if I put enough effort it, Tristan said. I always held onto that comment.

Tristan was the special guest at the launch of the annual Kids in Community (KIC) Awards in Lismore on Tuesday, which are designed to recognise and reward local young people for their positive efforts in addressing issues affecting their peers or society in general. Roles that all too often go unnoticed and unheralded by others.

Bangalow-based Tristan, who has made several short films, starred in various TV roles and will launch his first novel this July at the Byron Bay Writers Festival, said being nominated for or winning a KIC award could be someones defining moment.

These awards might be the one thing that gives a young person the courage to do something really positive in the world, he said. I think if you dont follow your passion as a teenager, at that time when youre finding yourself, it can be dangerous. When I was a teenager I was starting businesses and making films and that kept me sane, pursuing those things that I loved. I hope I can inspire other kids to do the same.

Nominations for the KIC awards are now open and committee members are urging people to nominate a young person who is actively making a difference. There are also categories for individuals and organisations supporting youth.

As KIC patron and well-known actor Rachel Ward says, Compassion and selflessness in any capacity will eventually wither and die without regular doses of encouragement and recognition.

Entry forms are now available online at and at Southern Cross Credit Union and LJ Hooker branches.

Nominations close on May 31 and the awards ceremony will be held in Lismore on August 5.

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