Southern River College student councillor Katie Russell is a mentor for local youth, leader of the College’s Activist’s Club and has shaved her head twice to raise month for cancer research.
Now the 15-year-old can add award-winning artist to her resume, named runner-up in the Yolande Frank Art Awards for her work A Symphony of Variety.
The Award, established in 2010 in honour of Holocaust survivor Yolande Frank, promotes human rights education in WA schools.
Students were asked to visually convey their understanding of the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights (UNDHR) Article 1: “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights”.
Ms Russell said she was encouraged to pursue the competition by her arts teacher.
“When I learned it was about human rights, I wanted to create a piece that highlighted diversity in our community,” she said.
“My artwork is about conveying the idea that we are complex beings: we are all different – a “symphony of variety,” but no matter what ethnicity, age, gender or social class, we as humans all have the same needs, such as the need for community, to be able to grow, the need for acceptance, love and respect, also basics such as sanitation, healthcare, food and shelter.
“We are all different, but similar.”
“The origin and the essence of the Yolande Frank Art Awards is deeply moving and I feel absolutely privileged to have been able to participate in such an important competition.
“To have been selected as a prize winner is an honour.”
In the future, Ms Russell is intent on having a positive influence on the world, be it through art or actions.
“I am extremely passionate about justice and everyone having access to equity and freedom.
“I thoroughly enjoy learning and am hoping to pursue a career in law or medical science.”