22 November 2016

A Berwick teenager who advocated for Victorian students at the Royal Commission into Child Sex Abuse has won the 2016 VCE Leadership Award.

Parliamentary Secretary for Education Judith Couacaud Graley presented the award to Thomas Velican at a ceremony in Queen’s Hall at Parliament House.

The VCE Leadership Awards recognise outstanding students who have made significant contributions to their schools and communities during their VCE years.

Thomas Velican was recognised for his outstanding leadership as a member of various youth groups, including the Victorian Student Representative Council (VicSRC) and the Casey Tech School Peak Planning Committee.

As a VicSRC member, Thomas has made sure student voices are valued in every aspect of education, surveying his peers and presenting the findings to Ms Graley.

He also traveled to Sydney in 2015 to contribute to the Royal Commission into Child Sexual Abuse and gave recommendations on empowering young people to speak up and feel supported at school.

Quotes attributable to Parliamentary Secretary for Education Judith Couacaud Graley

“It has been a great pleasure getting to know and working with Thomas as he has worked tirelessly to bring positive change to our local schools and community,”

“He is a young leaders who has no doubt inspired others through his efforts to empower young people and ensure they have the opportunity to speak up and share their ideas,”

“This is just the beginning for Thomas and I look forward to sharing in his journey as he goes on to even bigger and better things.”