A Cardup woman, who is passionate about helping the young to reach their full potential, has been recognised at a state level for her leadership at school and not-for-profit organisations.
Courtney Gratteri has recently been nominated for the 2020 Young Achiever Awards in the Catholic Education Western Australia Young Leadership Award category.
The accolade is yet another achievement the 28-year-old can add to her growing list, which also includes Anglicare WA’s 2019 Most Professional Youth Worker of the Year, a finalist for the 2018 City of Armadale’s Community Citizen of the Year Award and the 2017 Commissioner for Young People’s Most Outstanding Youth Worker Award, just to name a few.
Mrs Gratteri said she has always understood the importance of having a great role model in your life.
“I grew up in what was seen as a low socio-economic background, my mum went to rehabilitation, my dad went bankrupt and I had family members and friends around me that were seen as at risk,” she said.
“I was sort of seen in school as that no-hoper who probably wouldn’t get far and I actually brought myself up through high school.
“I’ve always aspired to be a positive female role model in my community and truly see the positive impact it can have on someone’s life by connecting to their community.”
Mrs Gratteri has spent countless years volunteering to help young people find the life they want to live.
She started volunteering seven years ago with Save the Children in Armadale and is currently working as a youth worker at St Francis School in Maddington as well as studying a double degree in psychology and counselling at Edith Cowan University.
Mrs Gratteri said she would love to see more support programs in primary education and believes youth justice isn’t the responsibility of one person or one agency.
“I truly believe 100 per cent in my heart that my purpose in life is to walk alongside and serve young people,” she said.
“We need to remember that they are just kids and they need people who believe in them.
“They could be our next university graduate or football star – it is all possible with the right support.”
Mrs Gratteri’s father Mark Fare nominated her for the award, describing his daughter as a positive female role model who sees all young people as leaders and drivers of change.
“Courtney has always been an advocate of the importance of education for our young people, dreaming of a future were her qualifications and passion would eventually allow her the chance to be a part of a combination of youth support and education support,” he said.
“She is very passionate and believes in the ‘power of education’ and social change and believes this can make a difference to people’s lives.”
Judging for the 2020 Young Achiever Awards will take place on March 18 next year and the winners will be announced at a gala presentation dinner on June 5.