Rotary Youth Citizenship Awards in Glen Innes

Awards: Lucy Goldman, Mollie Cave, Serinity Pears, Alex Woods, Taya Heagney, Taneekwa Patterson, Kimberley Gunther and Ryan McAllister.
Awards: Lucy Goldman, Mollie Cave, Serinity Pears, Alex Woods, Taya Heagney, Taneekwa Patterson, Kimberley Gunther and Ryan McAllister.

Students from around the district were recognised for their citizenship work at the annual Rotary Youth Citizenship Awards on Monday.

Eight students were awarded a book prize at the gala dinner and a Rotary Citizenship certificate in recognition of their efforts.

The awards credited their achievements both within school and in the wider community at the event held at the Glen Innes Services Club.

Glen Innes Rotary Youth Director Matt Goldman said he was extremely proud of all recipients and what they had achieved within the community.

“Young people can make a positive contribution to the world,” Mr Goldman said.

“ … Or as Malcolm X put it, ‘if you can not do great things, do small things in a great way’.

“These young people are doing just that.

“All members of the community, not just the students awarded here tonight, including teachers and parents have contributed to the efforts of these students.”

Awardees included Ryan McAllister and Mollie Cave from St Joseph's School, Kimberley Gunther and Taya Heagney from Glen Innes High School, Taneekwa Patterson of Red Range School, Alex Woods and Lucy Goldman from Glen Innes Public School and Serinity Pears from Emmaville Central School.

The annual awards event also coincided with Rotary's Purple Pinkie day.

The day is designed to recognise those who have received the polio vaccination in third world countries and participants paint their pinkie fingers purple to remember polio.

“Painting your pinkie purple reminds us that when people receive the polio vaccination in third world countries, they mark the person with purple ink on their pinkie finger to identify who has received the vaccination”, Mr Goldman said.

The campaign is run by Rotary to raise money for the End Polio Now initiative, one of the world's biggest ever immunisation programmes.

The disease, which is highly infectious and cannot be cured, has decreased by over 99 per cent since 1988, according to the World Health Organisation. 

This reduction is the result of a global effort to eradicate the virus however despite progress, as long as one child remains infected with the poliovirus, children in all countries are at risk of contracting the disease.

The poliovirus can easily be imported into a polio-free country and can spread rapidly.

Failure to eradicate polio could result in as many as 200,000 new cases every year within 10 years.

Purple Pinkie will run through December in Australia with many Glen Innes students involved.