Albert Dennison (17) was nominated by Senior Constable Stephen Heyrick, and his application was accepted from hundreds of nominations from Blue Light’s 72 branches across New Zealand.
Mr. Dennison, who is an apprentice electrician, has been a volunteer with Gore Blue Light for approximately three and a half years.
“It will be my first time overseas so it’s very exciting,” he said.
He got involved with the charity which works in partnership with the police after his older brother Tom started volunteering.
”I have helped as a youth leader for the Blue Light camps, which is very rewarding. It’s great fun meeting the kids and seeing the kids step out of their comfort zone and it’s always a fun weekend.”
The Blue Star leadership program is run by Police Citizens Youth Clubs New South Wales (PCYC) in Sydney.
Alongside the New Zealand group, the program will include First Nations and youth representatives from among the PCYC’s 16,000 members and 64 clubs across New South Wales.
Blue Light chief executive Rod Bell said the club was one of Australia’s leading youth organizations.
“It is an incredible opportunity for our young people across the country, many of whom have never been out of New Zealand, to experience leadership training from one of the leading youth charities in New Zealand. ‘Australia,” he said.
”The Blue Star Leadership Program was designed to help ‘create young leaders for tomorrow’ within local communities.”
The program is aimed at young people aged 16 to 18, giving them the tools and helping them develop the attitudes and skills they need to actively engage in their communities as young leaders.
“We hope Albert will continue to use the skills learned and connections made to bring about positive change in communities,” Bell said.
Mr Dennison said he would continue after the trip to be involved with Gore Blue Light, while also working to complete his apprenticeship.
– By Nicola Simpson [email protected]