Home » St Augustine’s student wins Young Citizen of the Year award

St Augustine’s student wins Young Citizen of the Year award

Daniel Bouwmeester    January 29, 2024    5 min read   

Louie Galman, a Year 12 student at St Augustine’s College, won the prestigious Young Citizen of the Year award at the 2024 Ipswich Australia Day Awards last week.

Louie, 17, was recognised for his many achievements last year, particularly his participation in the 2023 Ipswich Youth Advisory Council (IYAC) and role as Youth Member for Bundamba in the 2023 YMCA Queensland Youth Parliament (QYP).

He accepted the award at a special winners’ presentation ceremony held in Ipswich on January 17.

“This award is not only a testament to my efforts, but also the enduring support of my family,” Louie said.

“I aspire to be a role model and a source of inspiration for our youth, encouraging them to achieve greatness.”

St Augustine’s College senior student Louie Galman won Young Citizen of the Year at the 2024 Ipswich Australia Day Awards.

Empowering young people

Louie is actively involved in volunteering within his local church and at various community events.

In October, he served as convener, program coordinator, emcee, and speaker for the Filipino Australian Foundation of Queensland (FAFQ) Youth Leadership Training Program.

This initiative empowered 20 young people from across Queensland, fostering their development as community advocates and future change-makers.

Louie was the proud recipient of the Tolle Lege Award at St Augustine’s College, the highest academic honour for Year 10 and 11 students.

During his tenure in the model state parliament, Louie successfully passed a Bill titled “Nurturing our Nutrition” that promoted healthier eating options for students and young people.

Louie also represented Australia at the 2022 Children’s General Assembly, a remarkable opportunity to engage in global dialogue and represent the nation’s youth perspectives.

His passion for music also leads him to play the saxophone at different multicultural events, celebrating and promoting cultural diversity through music.

“Inspired by my fellow finalists, we collectively represent the positive change we wish to see in our community. Let’s continue making a difference, united and strong.”

Fellow Springfield finalists

Louie beat out three other finalists in the Young Citizen of the Year category, all of whom are either present or past students of Springfield schools or universities.

Maynah Borja-Erece, a 22-year-old University of Southern Queensland honours graduate and historical fiction author, was doubly honoured as a finalist for both Young Citizen of the Year and the Cultural Award.

Maynah served as program director for the Philippines-Australia Autumn Festival 2022 and the Grand Autumn Festival in Springfield 2023, where she debuted her first musical production “Our World.”

Her 27-year-old brother Jozef was a finalist in the Citizen of the Year category and received special recognition for his career accomplishments including passing the bar and becoming a barrister at a prodigiously young age.

Adam Varghese, also a Young Citizen of the Year finalist, is a 17-year-old St Peter’s Lutheran College Springfield graduate and last year’s college captain who recently completed a tenure as Ipswich Youth Advisory Council (IYAC) member.

And fellow St Augustine’s College senior student Ryan Zimmerman was also announced as finalist for Young Citizen of the Year for his role in youth dance competitions and for his passionate work teaching ballroom dancing to younger children with additional needs.

Other winners

During the winners’ presentation ceremony, Ipswich Mayor Teresa Harding recognised the dedication and service to the community of all the finalists and winners.

“Whether helping others for decades, or just starting out in their journey of service, each of the finalists are a shining example of the kind of community we all aspire to be,” Mayor Harding said.

“From Amanda and Fay to Louie, Jenny and David, their many acts of service help to connect, inspire, and sustain our city.

“They are the fabric that holds us together. And Ipswich, quite simply, would not be the same without them.”

Citizen of the Year went to Amanda Draheim (president of Riverview Neighbourhood Watch, which also won Community Group of the Year), Senior Citizen of the Year Award was awarded to Fay Ison (a long-time Meals on Wheels and sports club volunteer), Jenny Stubbs (StoryArts Festival Ipswich director for nearly 30 years) won the Cultural Award, and David Reid won the Sport and Recreation Award (for his volunteer work at Willowbank Raceway and with Lisa’s Lunch).

Finalists and winners in each category were selected by a five-person judging panel.

Louie (front row, second from right) poses with fellow 2024 Ipswich Australia Day Award winners (front row, from left) Riverview Neighbourhood Watch, Fay Ison, Amanda Draheim, Jenny Stubbs, and David Reid, standing in front of Ipswich City Council representatives (back row, from left) Division 2 Councillor Paul Tully, Div 3 Cr Andrew Fechner, Div 1 Cr Jacob Madsen, Div 3 Cr Marnie Doyle, Ipswich Mayor Teresa Harding, Div 2 Cr Nicole Jonic, Div 1 Councillor Sheila Ireland, and Deputy Mayor Russell Milligan.

For more information including a full list of finalists, past winners, and nominations and judging procedure, visit ipswich.qld.gov.au and search “Ipswich Australia Day Awards” or click here.

See also: Five young Springfielders receive Australia Day recognition

Five young Springfielders receive Australia Day recognition

Daniel Bouwmeester

Daniel was born in a mining town in New South Wales to Dutch and Welsh immigrants, before relocating to Logan City, where he attended Canterbury College for twelve years. He pursued his passion for music by completing a first-class honours degree at the University of Queensland (UQ), and later signed with a local record label. He has travelled the world from a young age, including a student exchange in rural France, a job working the ski lifts in Colorado, and visits to the islands of the South Pacific. After a six-year career in market research, Daniel returned to UQ to complete a Bachelor of Journalism and Arts dual degree, majoring in political science. His varied experiences at home and abroad have contributed to a passion for spreading good news while defending the truth buried inside complex societal paradigms.