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‘Deadly’ Aaron up for national award

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Hundreds of hours of community work have paid off for Aaron Matthews, Western Australia’s only nomination in the Young Leader of the Year category in the 2008 Deadly Awards.

The Curtin University of Technology’s Centre for Aboriginal Studies (CAS) Associate Lecturer said he was overwhelmed by his nomination.

“I didn’t expect to be nominated for the Deadlys as I don’t seek recognition for my work,” he said.

“Though I didn’t expect to be nominated it is nice to be placed in the same category as a number of other inspirational young people.

“It is great that the Awards focus on the positive things that Indigenous people are doing as there is often a focus on the negative things that are occurring in Indigenous communities.”

The Deadly Awards, also known as the national Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander music, sport, entertainment and community awards, are an annual awards ceremony set up in 1995 which celebrate Indigenous achievement in a number of areas.

Mr Matthews (23), of Maylands, has been involved in a variety of community service projects over several years.

For example, while he was a student at Mt Isa State High School he was involved in an Indigenous Youth Leadership Forum, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Aspirations Program, the Red Cross Red Shield Appeals, Youth Week and NAIDOC Week celebrations.

After high school Aaron was involved in an Indigenous youth health program, an Indigenous drug and alcohol rehabilitation centre and the Mt Isa Centre for Rural and Remote Health.

While continuing his community work Aaron moved to Perth to complete a three-year Indigenous Community Management and Development Program (ICMDP) through CAS and is currently a first year ICMDP Associate Lecturer.

He is also doing honours in the ICMDP course researching on Indigenous gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and intersex students’ experiences at CAS.

To vote for Aaron in the 14th annual Deadly Awards or read more about the awards visit the Deadlys’ website at Voting ends on 30 September 2008 and the winners will be presented with their awards at the Sydney Opera House on 9 October 2008.

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