Finding happiness, connection and purpose
Noleen Hoskins won a Betty Makin Youth Award for her contribution to community. Noleen began as a client of Weave Youth & Community Services through the Speak Out Dual Diagnosis Program addressing a number of issues in her personal life. Over the last 12 months Noleen has participated in a number of Weave projects including Bush Circle, Social Group and Yarning Circle. Through her participation in these groups Noleen found her innate leadership and purpose to move forward.
Through opportunities to share her story, connect with others, restore her self-esteem, share vulnerabilities, aspirations, hopes and dreams, Noleen gained new perspective and embraced new possibilities. She initiated a peer leadership network for young people in the Sydney City area experiencing similar issues with mental health, drug and alcohol issues.
Noleen began talking to friends, creating posters, reaching out, and for the first time facilitating group work. Noleen’s passion and willingness to help others was admirable and she was employed as a youth advocate at Weave Youth & Community Services to lead key youth driven initiatives such as Social Group. The social group provides recreational and meaningful afternoon activities to young people experiencing mental health and drug and alcohol issues.
In March 2014, Noleen alongside two key workers on the Speak Out Dual Diagnosis team co-presented at The NSW Aboriginal Mental Health & Wellbeing Forum. The presentation was titled “Traditional Circles in Practice” and Noleen shared her life story and experiences as a young person, a women’s advocate. Through her honest, raw and heartfelt delivery Noleen received a standing ovation from everyone is the room. People were moved to tears and overwhelmed by her ability to rise above adversity. Noleen was approached by many people in the room and was invited to visit other services in the future to tell her story and share her knowledge.
Noleen has also been involved in a forum for the World Parks Congress. This congress takes place every 10 years around the world and will attract delegates and world leaders from 150 Nations. Noleen participated in the forum and shared ideas on how to attract more young people and get them interested in the congress. Noleen will most likely share her story as part of “Inspiring a New Generation” at the World Parks Congress in Sydney later this year, allowing her to connect with other international community organisations and visiting Indigenous communities, but also impact world leaders and policy makers.
Once again, we congratulate Noleen on winning the youth award and encourage her to keep pursuing her dreams.