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Kat Reed named 2021 Young Canberra Citizen of the Year

Six individuals and one group were celebrated for their efforts to make Canberra a better place at the Young Canberra Citizen of the Year Awards on Thursday, 1 April.

ACT Minister for Education and Youth Affairs, Yvette Berry, announced Women with Disabilities ACT (WWDACT) CEO Kat Reed the overall winner for their work across community services and the arts, and their distinguished service to the LGBTIQ+ community.

Ms Berry said Mx Reed’s success at WWDACT demonstrated that young people can shine in high level executive roles in the community sector.

“Mx Reed’s openness regarding their disability, being part of the LGBTIQ+ community and their background as a biracial person has created positive representation and shown that other young people like them can excel in leadership roles,” she said.

Mx Reed was appointed leader of the local advocacy and peer support organisation for women, girls, feminine identifying and non-binary people with disability in November 2020.

In January, Mx Reed told Canberra Weekly their lived experience with mental health led to their involvement in disability advocacy.

“At the moment, people who are disabled aren’t seen as people who can lead,” Mx Reed said.

“It’s one of those weird dichotomies where we’re seen as inspirational but also not qualified to be in positions of leadership in conventional ways.”

At WWDACT, Mx Reed works to create a supportive community and develop policy to end systemic disadvantage caused by discrimination based on gender and disability.

The Young Canberra Citizen of the Year Awards acknowledge people aged between 12 and 25 who make a significant contribution to their communities.

The full list of 2021 winners is as follows:

  • Young Canberra Citizen of the Year: Mx Kat Reed;
  • Young Achiever Award: Miss Skyler Pope;
  • Personal Achievement Award: Mr Jacob Norris;
  • Individual Community Service Award: Mr Jahin Tanvir;
  • Environment and Sustainability Award: Mr Ngalan Gilbert;
  • Arts and Multimedia Award: Mr Alexander Ding Wang; and
  • Group Achievement Award Kingsford Smith School Imaging Team

    Ms Berry thanked the winners and nominees for their commitment, hard work and generosity in helping others.

“They are role models, not only to other young people, but to us all.”

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