A Gosnells teenager has been named as a finalist in this year’s Fred Awards, run by the Fred Hollows Foundation, for his inspirational environmental work.
Sam Thomas, 19, has been shortlisted as one of three finalists to be voted for in the 2023 Fred Awards.
Sam, who is autistic and has tourette’s syndrome, runs a not-for-profit organisation called Sam Spares, which repairs unwanted electronics destined for landfill and then donates the upcycled IT to vulnerable members of the community.
“Sam’s passion for IT, his drive to help others and his concern for our environment motivates him to refurbish donated IT and redistribute it, free-of-charge, to people who would otherwise not have vital technology for education, work or social connection,” his colleague Alice said.
“Sam believes in a community where everyone can contribute to preserving our environment in a way that promotes diversity, accessibility and inclusivity.”
The young tech talent also trains neurodivergent young people in IT repair, leading to valuable job skills and long-term employment opportunities.
After already being named WA Young Volunteer of the Year, Sam said he felt humbled to be nominated for the Fred Awards.
“I have the awesome job of being able to do what I love every day – combining my passion with service. I am grateful for the recognition and motivation to work even harder to create positive change in our community,” Sam said.
Launched in 2021, the Fred Awards recognise everyday humanitarianism in Australia and celebrate people who care for others in a decent, practical, and no-nonsense way – like Fred did.
Members of the community can vote for the 2023 Humanitarian of the Year at hollows.org/au/fredawards-vote before Friday, 13 October.
NSW Governor Margaret Beazley will host the awards ceremony at Government House in Sydney on Monday November 27, where the Humanitarian of the Year will be named.