Year 12 student Melody Yalda was recently recognised as an outstanding role model as part of the Fairfield City Mayor’s Youth Achievement Awards.
Melody, who attends St Patrick’s Marist College in Dundas, was presented with the award after being selected from 50 other nominees as a result of her ongoing commitment to volunteering with St Vincent De Paul’s Bright SPARKS Learning Club, designed to support newly arrived refugee primary school students.
The Youth Achievement Role-Model Award is awarded to young people who assist and encourage others to reach their full potential and who have extended themselves by acting as a mentor to younger peers.
Melody is no stranger to social justice and advocacy. She is a regular volunteer and advocate within her school community, and has involved herself in a number of other initiatives to help others, including the ‘Chance for Change’ group at St Patrick’s College.
“I feel a great sense of gratitude to the children that I worked with over this period. I share this award with all of these brave young souls who have endured so much suffering in the process of their transition into a new and safer homeland,” said Melody.
Following this achievement, Melody was interviewed on SBS Radio where she spoke about the importance of volunteering and community advocacy.
“I am often asked how I manage to coordinate these extra activities with my school commitments, however, I think a better question is - how can we afford not to?” she said.
Principal Angela Hay is very proud of Melody’s achievements. "She exemplifies all that we hope our Marist graduates to be, imitating Mary’s care and concern for others. A good Christian and good citizen, humble, unassuming, with a deep desire and call to make a positive difference in the lives others,” she said.