Through youth leadership, fundraising and school initiatives, Caitlin Paul has been heavily involved in development of the Deniliquin community.
The Year 11 Moama Anglican Grammar School student was recognised as Young Citizen of the Year for ‘‘all her achievements, maturity and motivation’’ to help her fellow person.
In Deniliquin, Caitlin has been involved in mentoring students at St Michael’s Primary School and helping to organise youth programs at the Deniliquin Uniting Church, including its recent holiday program.
She is also active in her school community organising various initiatives including RUOK Day, Youth Week, Biggest Morning Tea, Homeless Sleep Out and Reconciliation Week.
Caitlin was also recently involved in a project to raise funds to create a better quality of life for suffering Indian women and children.
With the help of school events Caitlin raised more than $4000 for Mukti Missions and in 2017 she and other students at her school from Years 9 to 11 visited the special needs orphanage in rural North India.
‘‘The orphanage consisted of girls from broken homes from babies to the elderly,’’ she said.
‘‘As volunteers we were able to rebuild their vegetable garden, play with the children and just generally participate in their every day life.’’
In accepting her award at Friday’s ceremony in Waring Gardens, Caitlin acknowledged the new Australian citizens.
‘‘My parents came to Australia about 25 years ago, to a country they didn’t know,’’ she said.
‘‘Even though I have grown up here, I understand what they felt, having lived with them.
‘‘But now especially after visiting India, I can appreciate how lucky we are to be accepted into this welcoming country.’’