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Brett Hatfield Nominated for WA Youth Award

The New Norm
Brett Hatfield (front, center), with the team behind his Facebook campaign, The New Norm.

22 year old Brett Hatfield has been named as a finalist for the WA Youth Awards.

WA Youth Minister Tony Simpson last week announced the 26 finalists, stating that they had all triumphed, many in difficult circumstances.

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“Whether they live in a remote area, have a disability or have suffered prejudice at school, these young people are proof that future leaders can find tenacity and strength in adversity.

Each of these finalists is making their mark in Western Australia by contributing selflessly to the lives of others. They are amazing role models and mentors.”

There are 6 categories of award, with the winners being announced on November 20th.

Brett Hatfield has been nominated for the ECU Community Leadership Award. Hatfield travelled to Malaysia during year 12 to help educate underprivileged children, and as a trainee nurse volunteered in Tanzania. He is now a registered nurse at Royal Perth Hospital and volunteers at the Starlight Express Room at Princess Margaret Hospital. His social media campaign, ‘The New Norm’ is also a noted accomplishment. The campaign aims to raise awareness of the lack of support for lesbian, gay bisexual, transgender and intersex students.

Hatfield spoke to OUTinPerth about the campaign in August, saying he also wanted to provide information and resources to schools and communities through the campaign.

“It could be a relay station to people can go to there to get the facts and the knowledge and they can also download the booklets which the Equal Schools Coalition in Victoria created. And they provided light and guidelines in how to create your own school community group which supports the LGBTQI students. So we also provide a bit of information on where to go from there so the schools themselves, we’re really trying to direct them towards the Freedom Centre who will then sign them up to the Equal Schools Coalition of Australia which will guide them more specifically and directly in making their school more supportive in that area.” he said.

Also nominated for the ECU Community Leadership Award is Sacha King, who works as a student assist officer at the Edith Cowan University Guild in Bunbury and has worked to connect the guild with mental health organisations and contribute to LGBTI issues.

Nominated for the The Commissioner for Children and Young People Participate Award is 17 year old James Clarke, who is a year 12 student at Lockridge Senior high school who has displayed leadership and courage as a gay Aboriginal youth. He has been elected vice-captain of his school and has been an active contributor to the Follow the Dream: Partnerships for Success Program.

21 year old Golda Signal has been nominated for the Cultural Endeavors Award. She has used her passion for the performing arts to raises awareness of the isolation and stigmatisation faced by refugees and those who are HIV positive. She mentored a group of girls in performing arts, and the group was invited to perform their play, ‘Let’s Talk’ at a World AIDS Day event.

Youth worker Matthew Bartlett has been nominated for the Minister for Youth’s Outstanding Youth Worker Award. He has developed an extensive career in youth work and and now lectures in the subject, as well as working at Ocean Reef High School and advocating for the rights of LGBTI youth and their families. He works hard to combat issues surrounding suicide.

Read our interview with Brett Hatfield here. Find out more about the WA Youth Awards here.

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