Nowra Anglican College student Olivia Alldrick has a passion for peace and unity.
Her leadership on these two issues recently saw her awarded with a Dame Marie Bashir Peace Prize.
The year 12 student has experienced racial discrimination and she does not want others to go through the same experience.
As a young Australian who was adopted from South Korea, I am passionate about multiculturalism in Australia,” she said.
“I strongly support the motion of Australia being a mosaic society where our country is built on individuals bringing their own unique cultures to create a harmonious and equal nation for all people regardless of family background.”
She wants all cultures to live together in peace and unity.
Olivia said taking in this year’s ABC Heywire competition was the most significant and influential event of her life.
She had to write about her community, ideas and personal experiences about living in a regional area.
“The feeling was unimaginable when I found out I was chosen along with 44 other young people across Australia, including Christmas Island to participate in the 2016 Heywire Youth Summit in Canberra,” she said.
“From there the whole experience was phenomenal and I collaborated with federal MP’s, government officials and corporate workers at Parliament House for the purposes of creating and developing and implementing changes into rural and regional Australia with grants of up to $10 000.”
She was involved in developing Cooking for Cohesion – let’s combat racism, one recipe at a time.
The Cooking for Cohesion premise is that cultural differences can be overcome through the sharing of food, both the creating and the eating.
“The aim was to foster personal connections and encourage younger generations to reflect on cultural diversity in the context of their own communities,” she said.
“It was an incredible feeling to discover in August, four community organisations across Australia successful applied and implemented our program.
“Influenced by my Heywire experience I was able to pass my idea on to my school community and with an eager response, my school granted an International Food Fair where parents, friends and teachers cooked and baked their cultural recipes and with over 10 different ethnic foods, each student that day got a taste of a new culture.”
Executive Principal of Nowra Anglican College Lorrae Sampson attended the recent award ceremony at Government House in Sydney with Olivia.
There were only six winners and six highly commended recipients across the state.
“Olivia was the first to address the gathering and she was terrific and a very worthy winner,” Mrs Sampson said.
Olivia said she felt privileged to have been able to share her story.