A grant from the Federal Labor Government is taking a young Ballarat Asperger’s Syndrome sufferer one step closer to a dream trip to Canada to receive an international award.
Federal Member for Ballarat, Catherine King, today announced Thurstin Lakerink is one of 11 local individual winners in the first round of the Government’s new funding program for young artists, Creative Young Stars.
“The Creative Young Stars program provides individual grants of $500 and group grants of $3000 to assist students and young people participate in creative, cultural, academic and community based activities, events or training,” Ms King said.
“In Thurstin’s case the $500 has been provided to assist him with accommodation, equipment and travel so that he can attend the Internationally Natural Autistic Awards Gala/Forum in Canada where he is the recipient of a youth arts award.
“I have heard about what an impressive talent Thurstin is as a young photographer and it will be absolutely fantastic for him to attend this event to collect his award.
“His family has worked hard to assist him and I know they are looking for even more funds. If there is anyone out there who can help I know they will really appreciate it. I am really pleased that our new Creative Young Stars program has been able to assist.
“This is a great demonstration of how important this program can be for our young artists and I appeal to others to apply when future opportunities arise.
“Our community is full of young people like Thurstin with many great talents. The exceptional contribution they make to our community and beyond will only increase with the chance to develop those talents further and receive the recognition to which they are entitled.”
The Creative Young Stars grants help young people to participate in events such as competitions, eisteddfods, public speaking tournaments and other cultural, artistic or academic events.
“We want these gifted young people to feel supported, and to have their talent and hard work recognised so their confidence and creativity develops,” Ms King said.
“These grants do this but also support our young people in a practical way to make achieving their dream a little easier.”
Individual recipients of $500 grants in Ballarat and region are: Thurstin Lakerink, William (Ryan ) Lowe, Sam Brown, Molly Netherway, Imogen Dale, Hana Zreikat, Giarn Carroll, Ellie Carroll, Alison McLaren and two others who elected to remain anonymous.
The $8 million Creative Young Stars program was announced on 13 March 2013 in Creative Australia, the Australian Government’s national cultural policy.
The next funding round of Creative Young Stars will take place in 2014.
For more information on the Creative Young Stars program visit www.youth.gov.au/sites/youth/news/pages/creative-young-stars