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Highly Commended


Tara McClelland – Oasis Youth Services

Outstanding New Talent

Tara began casual work in the ACT Youth Sector in November 2017, then took up a full time role after graduating in June 2018. Since then Tara has demonstrated her commitment to young people, and her own individual learning, professional development and self-improvement in many ways. While being a full time Youth Worker at Oasis Youth Services, working shift work including evenings, weekends and overnights, Tara also volunteers extensively within the sector – the Headspace Youth Reference Group, Canberra Youth Theatre (CYT) Young Artists Advisory Panel and Youth Worker Practice Network. Tara uses these groups and networks to expand her knowledge and skillset, giving back to the community and liaiseing with likeminded others. At Headspace, Tara successfully wrote a grant application for a Mental Health Month event and is currently planning it for October. She also MC’d the Headspace Canberra 10th Birthday Party earlier this year. Tara also represents Headspace at community awareness activities/events and advocates for youth mental health. At the CYT Young Artists Advisory Panel Tara has been influential in ensuring CYT reaches those young people who may not otherwise have the opportunity to participate in Theatre, as Tara knows Theatre can be greatly beneficial to a young person’s confidence, mental health and wellbeing. CYT has collaborated with local organisations to offer low or no cost referrals and partnerships and Tara has been involved in establishing these. Tara has also completed work based training as well as individual training this year in a number of areas including, Trans and Gender Diverse housing, borderline personality disorder, youth mental health and trauma informed car which has benefitted her individual learning, professional development and self-improvement. Tara’s energy and enthusiasm for young people and the youth sector can be seen in the range of external commitments, as well as her daily work with youth homelessness. Tara is excited to see where the sector takes her in the future, as young people is her true passion.

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