Often we hear of our Gold Award recipients going on to achieve some pretty fascinating things, using the skills and talents they have developed through the Award to take action and make a positive difference in the world.
After completing his Bronze, Silver and Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Award at Trinity College, Robbie Gillies is no exception. With a passion for creating social change, Robbie has gone on to devote himself to social enterprises that make a difference to some of our most vulnerable citizens.
A Co-founder of Homeless of Melbourne, Robbie is determined to challenge negative attitudes towards homelessness through his charity clothing store ‘HoMie’. Robbie is also working on setting up a new non-for-profit organisation, Charity Tap whose mission is to alleviate poverty through innovative social enterprise, awareness raising, and fundraising for grassroots charities.
Robbie’s achievements are no doubt admirable and have lead him to be recognised as a State Finalist for the 2016 Victorian Young Australian of the Year Award.
“The Australian of the Year finalists represent our country at its best.” Said The Hon Tony Abbott MP, former Prime Minister of Australia.
National Australia Day Council CEO, Mr Jeremy Lasek, said the “The Victorian finalists are an inspirational group of Australians driven by their passions to make the world a better place for all.”
When we last caught up with Robbie, he told us one of the key experiences that shaped his focus on social entrepreneurship was participating in The Duke of Ed.
“Duke of Ed was part of the fixture at my high school and everyone was strongly encouraged to do it.” Said Robbie.
“It taught me to structure time, realise important priorities and get physically fit – all great things to learn at a young age. This is in addition to the social aspects, like breeding compassion and fostering community outreach.”
CEO of Duke of Ed Victoria Anoushka Gungadin says “through The Duke of Ed Award we see our Awardees build confidence, self-esteem, maturity, leadership and resilience. Young people develop skills for life and work, fulfil their potential and have a brighter future.”
On behalf of the team at Duke of Ed Victoria, we would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Robbie on his exemplary achievements and we are so proud to have helped played a part in his journey.
The Victorian Australian of the Year Award recipients will be announced on Wednesday 28 October and will then join recipients from all other States and Territories as finalists for the national Awards, which will be held in Canberra on 25 January 2016.