Congratulations, yet again, to Kelly Phan who last weekend competed in the state final of the Lions Youth of the Year and won.

Kelly had to overcome some incredibly strong competition, and will now compete in the National final to be held in Echuca on Monday 16 May.

The State final followed the usual Youth of the Year format with a meeting of contestants and judges, followed by interviews in the afternoon, then the public speaking competition followed by a formal evening dinner.

Kelly’s competitors came from Hamilton, Glen Waverley Wangaratta and Maffra. Their speeches referred to the importance of promoting the culture of adoption; whether children are forced into growing up too quickly; and the plight of refugees and the necessity of reform. Kelly spoke about the importance of revolutionising and adapting our education system to the 21st century.

“It means so much to have gotten this far in Lions Youth of the Year,” Kelly said, “mostly because I never thought I could do it.”

“In comparison to the other contestants, I am certainly not the most accomplished or talented, however, I’ve learned to not underestimate my capabilities, and that a leader isn’t just one type of person.

“I’m truly grateful to have the support of the Bendigo Lion’s Club, and my BSSC friends and staff. To be supported and believed in by so many people is truly phenomenal,” she said.

Kelly’s success is a huge achievement and a wonderful recognition of her skills in public speaking and community engagement.  We wish Kelly every success in the National final.