Damascus College Year 12 student and College Captain Maya Tolliday was recently awarded the Helen Handbury Leadership Award, as part of the Future Leaders Awards, for her strong leadership and potential.  The awards aim to inspire others to engage in environmental and community issues and make a difference.

This award recognises Maya’s commitment to her school, her community, and her growing leadership qualities.  Throughout her time at Damascus, Maya has represented students as an SRC member and as a Year 10 peer mentor.

Maya said that the position of College Captain has strengthened her leadership skills and qualities, and she is very grateful for this opportunity.

“Outside of school, I volunteer my time at Mercy Place, the Salvation Army Op Shop and am a keen volunteer as part of the Aussie Action Abroad program”, she said.

“This overseas program involves fundraising, organisation and development strategies to help those living in remote villages in the third-world country Nepal.  Being a part of this team motivated me to travel and volunteer in Nepal in 2019.”

The Helen Handbury Leadership award marks the outstanding contribution that the late Mrs Helen Handbury has made to community development in rural and regional Australia.  The Awards recognise Year 12 students in rural & regional Australia who have shown outstanding community leadership.

“I was very excited to receive this award, it brought me much happiness and joy but also my success made me feel deep pride.  My hard work and dedication to my role as a student leader has shaped the person I have become, and to be formally recognised for this, is wonderful.”

As part of the award, Maya will receive $5,000 towards an international trip to experience community development in another culture.

“At university I plan to continue to work in countries that need our help.  As soon as the borders open up and I have a COVID vaccine, I am grabbing my things and flying back over to my community in Nepal.”

“My dream is to lead an expedition team through helping Nepali families, working with Nepali school children and providing access to healthcare for those that need it.  I believe this award will enable me to pursue this dream.”