Home' The Chronicle : Canberra Chronicle 27-01-2015 Contents 9 - Tuesday, January 27, 2015
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Young writer finally gets her voice heard
Ingrid Brett, 17, will put forward
policy ideas for changes she wants
to see for young people at the
Heywire Regional Youth Summit in
Canberra next month.
Photo: Matt Bedford
Ingrid Brett is one of 41 young
Australians who will busily pitch their
ideas about youth-directed policies
and projects to politicians, policy
makers and funding bodies next
The 17-year-old Flynn resident said
she was astounded to be named a
winner of the ABC s 2014 Heywire
Winners, aged between 16 and 22
years old picked from regional and
remote Australia, will have their
stories featured on ABC and vie for a
share in $100,000 worth of funding to
implement their ideas about improving
"I am going to raise issues about the
mental health of youth," Ingrid said.
"There is not enough attention paid
Ingrid said chatting to a friend
online about the difficulty associated
with transgender identity issues
sparked her interest to do something to
tackle youth mental illness,
particularly for those who identify as
lesbian, gay, transgender, bisexual,
intersexed and queer.
"My story was about meeting this
boy online who is transgender," she
"He faces a lot of adversity and is
very upset a lot of the time.
I wrote about how being his friend
opened my eyes to how terrible some
communities are about providing
The University of Canberra
undergraduate student has a passion
for the written word and last year
penned her first book, The Undead,
which was published as an e-book.
"I pay attention to writing
competitions online and found
Heywire that way," she said.
The young Canberran entered
despite discovering the drawcard
competition prize was an all expenses
paid trip to Canberra.
"I thought about it and decided I did
want to have my voice heard so I put
in an entry anyway," Ingrid said.
She said the competition provided
young Australians from all
perspectives a springboard to leverage
fresh ideas -- a rare opportunity.
"I skipped ahead two years of
school so having my voice heard was
always difficult being the young one,"
"It s incredible what the ABC is
doing and I hope the community really
picks up on some of the ideas."
CAPTAIN BEDE TONGS
War hero's passing
loss to community
Last week Canberra lost one of its great
community and war heroes, Captain Bede Tongs.
I had the privilege of knowing him through his
passionate work with the Oaks Estate
Association and the ongoing contributions that
he made to his community.
Captain Tongs was a man of great honour. He
served in the Kokoda and Aitape Wewak
campaign in World War II as a soldier of the third
His dedication and commitment to his service
saw him awarded with the Military Medal for
bravery after destroying a machinegun position
allowing his men to take the Japanese position at
Eora Creek -- Templeton s Crossing.
Upon his return from war, Bede helped to
establish Oaks Estate.
In 1952, he donated land for the development
of the Oaks Estate community hall and the
children s playground.
It continued his lifelong tradition of giving
back to the community and making a positive
difference through everything that he did.
As ambassador for the Kokoda Track
Foundation in Papua New Guinea, Captain
Tongs helped to keep the spirit of Kokoda alive
in Australia and PNG.
The foundation will name a wing of the
Kokoda College Teaching College after him,
showing the outstanding rapport he had with the
people of PNG, and Kokoda.
Captain Tongs service to the Canberra and
Kokoda community is admirable.
He will continue to inspire us all to show
leadership and community spirit in our own
Vale Captain Bede Tongs.
GROUPS LOSE CHARITY STATUS
AS REGULATOR CLEANS UP
An Asperger syndrome support network, a bunch
of keen naval historians and the parents and
citizens group linked to a Canberra school which
closed nearly five years ago.
Those are among 17 ACT groups set to have
their charity status revoked as the federal
regulator cleans-up the national charities
register. The Australian Charities and Not-for-
profits Commission announced last week it
would remove 392 groups from its register.
Among the ACT groups to be stripped of their
status are several groups associated with schools
and pre-schools, including the Charnwood
Preschool Parent Association and the McKellar
Pre-school Parent Association.
The Urambi Primary SchoolP&C
Association, connected to the former Kambah
school that closed in 2009, is also on the list.
Also in the regulator s sights are faith-based
organisations such as Gungahlin Community
Church and the Canberra Forum for Faith and
Other organisations to make the list are the
National Association for Prevention of Child
Abuse and Neglect ACT, the Naval Historical
Society of Australia ACT Chapter and the
Asperger Syndrome Support Network ACT.
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