Shining examples of Hume’s youth honour our hero

The winners of the 2017 Corporal Cameron Baird VC MG Memorial Awards were officially announced at an opening ceremony held to mark the beginning of National Youth Week on Friday 31 March.

Hume Mayor, Councillor Drew Jessop named Masad Alfayadh and Baan Sako as the recipients of this year’s awards, created to honour Corporal Baird VC MG and help Hume’s young people to pursue their dreams.

Cr Jessop said the recipients were shining examples of Hume’s youth and were chosen as they demonstrated the values of the fallen Australian hero.

“Masad has been recognised under the category of Leading from the Front Achievement Award, for her commitment to support and mentor local young people, and her volunteer contributions.

“Baan has been recognised under the category of Gaining Ground Encouragement Award for her community work to promote gender equality and prevention of violence against women through education programs, forums, videos, performances, presentations and many other community based activities.

“Both recipients are very active members of the Hume community, and they both share a passion to help other young people to be their best through extensive volunteering.

Cr Jessop said the Corporal Cameron Baird VC MG Memorial Awards were established by Hume City Council in 2015 to recognise the legacy of Corporal Cameron Baird VC MG, a Hume local and national hero who passed away in 2013.

“Along with his military skills, Corporal Baird VC MG is remembered for his involvement in the local community and his desire to inspire the next generation,” Cr Jessop said.

“To honour his legacy, Hume City Council established the Corporal Cameron Baird VC MG Memorial Awards, which biennially, allocates up to $5000, across the two categories, to help fulfil his vision.

“I’m proud that Hume City Council has awarded Masad and Baan a total of $5000. They are both worthy recipients of an award in the name of a young man who fought so bravely for his country, and died on the battlefield with extraordinary courage.”

For further information on the awards, click here.

2017 Corporal Cameron Baird VC MG Memorial Award Winners 

Leading from the Front Achievement Award Winner - Masad Alfayadh

Masad launched a local charity, Happy Brain Education, to support and mentor young people. In the first 12 months, Happy Brain helped 350 students in Broadmeadows, Roxburgh Park, Craigieburn and surrounding suburbs. The classes are run at Youth Central on Sundays.

Masad has been extensively involved in other volunteering programs:

  • Mental health retreats for youth
  • Gratitude and positive thinking
  • Sexual health workshops for newly arrived refugees
  • Curriculum development and teaching programs at AustralianMADE
  • Queensland floods and several fundraising events for the East African famine.

    Furthermore, Masad has volunteered internationally in Uganda at a rural clinic in January 2015.

    In January 2017, she volunteered at Al Zaatari refugee camp, a refugee camp for Syrian refugees located in the northern part of Jordan, stating that these experiences were very eye opening

Gaining Ground Encouragement Award Winner - Baan Sako

Baan finds motivation through her love for sport, especially soccer. Baan’s passion led her to undertake a Bachelor of Exercise Science degree.   

  • Studies and personal experiences provided her with the opportunity to work to be a role model for women and girls in Hume. She volunteers at various not-for-profit organisations in Hume.
  • Baan is currently volunteering in a community project – Good People Act Now (GPAN) at Banksia Gardens Community Services. She works to prevent violence against women and promotion of gender equality through education, video production, performances and many other community-based activities.
  • Along with volunteering, Baan works at Kenley Court Community Services/Meadow Heights Primary School as a soccer coach for young school girls.
  • Baan also volunteers as a U11 girls’ soccer coach at Roxburgh Park United and is facilitating workshops for young people in sporting clubs in Hume with the support of Dianella Health and GPAN. The workshops educate boys and girls ages 15-18 to be more inclusive in their clubs through their actions, language and attitudes within and outside their sporting clubs. Educating and guiding 20+ young leaders gave Baan the reassurance of the importance to be persistent with her goals of promoting gender equality and preventing violence against women through sports engagement.
  • Baan ended her application with a quote from Billie Jean King: "Champions keep playing until they get it right."


Posted on 1:00 PM, 5 April 2017

Updated : 5:22 PM, 5 April 2017

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