2023 Corporal Cameron Baird VC MG Memorial Award winners announced
Published on 09 June 2023
Earlier this week, Sam Vowles, Jin Woodman and Mikail Tamoz were recognised by the Mayor of Hume City Joseph Haweil as the winning recipients of the 2023 Corporal Cameron Baird VC MG Memorial Award.
The award celebrates the memory of Gladstone Park local and Australian soldier Corporal Cameron Baird VC MG, by supporting young people in Hume aged 12-25 to pursue their dreams.
Corporal Baird was awarded the country’s highest military award, the Victoria Cross for Australia and was also awarded the Medal for Gallantry for his service in Afghanistan in 2007-08. He was killed in action in 2013 and this year marks the 10-year anniversary of his passing.
In addition to his military service, Corporal Baird is remembered for his selflessness, acts of courage, commitment to community and desire to inspire the next generation.
Up to $5000 was awarded to the three winners, who have demonstrated exceptional dedication and commitment to their chosen pursuits.
The winners were selected for their exemplary achievements aligning closely with spirit and values held by the late Corporal Baird.
The two award categories are:
Gaining ground Encouragement Award – where a commitment to an area of interest is recognised.
Leading from the front Achievement Award – where achievement in sports, community, art, employment or education is recognised.
2023 Gaining Ground Encouragement Award Winner: Sam Vowles
18-year old Sam Vowles is an active member of the Sunbury community and has volunteered with the State Emergency Service (SES) from the age of 15. Sam has shown great dedication to supporting his community during times of emergency and natural disasters.
With the Award, Sam plans to grow and enhance his skills in remote hiking, first aid, survival and rescue skills to develop his own search and rescue capabilities in the State Emergency Service.
2023 Leading from the front Achievement Award Winner: Jin Woodman
The first winner in this category is 13-year-old Jin Woodman, a phenomenal young wheelchair tennis talent from Sunbury.
In 2023, Jin has already represented Australia at the Wheelchair Tennis Junior Masters in France and at the International Tennis Federation World Team Cup in Portugal.
Jin aspires to compete at the 2032 Paralympics in Wheelchair Tennis. The award will contribute towards enhancing Jin's training equipment to help him reach his goals.
2023 Leading from the front Achievement Award Winner: Mikail Tamoz
The second recipient of this award is Mikail Tamoz. 12-year-old Mikail from Dallas is an up-and-coming talent specialising in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and boxing.
He has won a number of awards in Jiu Jitsu and is looking to defend his World Championship title in Abu Dhabi later this year. Mikail’s goals for this year also include becoming the National Champion in his weight class for both boxing and wrestling.
The Award will assist Mikail in covering travel expenses for upcoming competitions.
Honourable mentions go out to: