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MEDIA RELEASE - Young Bulldogs graduate

19 September 2019

The Western Bulldogs Leadership Project welcomed 18 new graduates to the Glenelg Shire alumni last night, celebrating the region’s sixth graduating class to the program focused on supporting young emerging leaders.

The youth leadership program, which is administered by the Western Bulldogs Football Club Community Foundation with support from the Glenelg Shire Council, culminated with an official reflection of the participants’ achievements over the past six months, including individual Community Leadership Projects.

This year participants tackled issues such as cyber and schoolyard bullying, body image and obesity, environmental crisis and beach pollution, gambling, condom inaccessibility and equality in sports participation in their projects, aiming to create change and make a positive influence.

Western Bulldogs Leadership Project graduate Lilly Perkins, whose project focused on the impact of cyber and schoolyard bullying, said the experience had been ‘life changing’.

“My time in Western Bulldogs is one that I will never forget,” she reflected.

“I have had the best time and met the most amazing people. Throughout the camps and the excursions I have created memories which I will cherish forever. I am very grateful that I had this opportunity.”

To spark conversation and change about her project, Lilly singlehandedly organised a community trivia and auction night, raising more than $2,600 for the Dolly’s Dream charity including a large number of donations from local and further afield businesses.

“I was extremely surprised by the support of the community and businesses, both local and Australia wide, for the trivia and auction night. The amount of people that came and supported on the night was amazing and it was great to see how many people starting talking to others about their experiences,” she said.

“I hope that more programs and resources will be offered in schools to prevent or support kids who have been bullied or are experiencing bullying. My hope for the future is that people start discussions about bullying and don’t just dismiss it.”

Glenelg Shire Council Mayor Cr Anita Rank said this year’s cohort included young people from across the shire hailing from Narrawong, Portland, Heywood, Bolwarra, Milltown and Casterton.

Our aim was to ensure that we had a diverse and inclusive group that represents all communities from across the shire,” she said.

“On behalf of council, I am incredibly proud of what this group has achieved in such a short amount of time. Throughout the six month mentorship program participants have received hands-on opportunities to learn from respected industry leaders and build their capacities in teamwork, resilience, goal setting and community engagement.

“I encourage every graduate to continue engaging with our local community, as we look to them as the next generation of local leaders.”

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