Elka Devney named Moree's Young Citizen of the Year at 2020 Australia Day ceremony

Australia Day ambassador Clyde Campbell and Moree mayor Katrina Humphries with Young Citizen of the Year Elka Devney (centre).
Australia Day ambassador Clyde Campbell and Moree mayor Katrina Humphries with Young Citizen of the Year Elka Devney (centre).

Moree Secondary College student Elka Devney was recognised for her contribution to the Moree community during Moree's Australia Day celebrations on Sunday.

The year 12 student was named Moree's Young Citizen of the Year during the Australia Day awards ceremony.

"I'm really excited and really honoured," Elka said.

"It's just the recognition of the support that the community has given me since moving back home."

Since returning to Moree for her schooling in 2018, after being away at boarding school, Elka has not only represented Moree Secondary College through various extra-curricular activities, but has been an active member of the wider Moree community.

Elka Devney accepts the Young Person of the Year award from Australia Day ambassador Clyde Campbell.

Elka Devney accepts the Young Person of the Year award from Australia Day ambassador Clyde Campbell.

She has volunteered at Moree on a Plate in 2018 and 2019, Graffiti Removal Day in 2018 and 2019, and Fairview Fete in 2018, and also helped with the 2019 Christmas pantomime.

In 2018, Elka won the ABC New England North West Heywire competition, and in 2019 attended the ABC Heywire National Youth Summit in Canberra, where she worked with other winners to develop a project called 'Our Place'. When she returned to Moree, she worked with Miyay Birray to apply for a grant to integrate a youth safe space in the Moree community.

Elka has also represented Moree on Gwydir Rotary Club in 2018 and 2019, winning the overall District 9650 Rotary Public Speaking Competition in 2019. As the winner, Elka will this year travel to New Zealand, where she will represent Rotary District 9650, Moree on Gwydir Rotary Club and the Moree community.

She was also named the Non-Aboriginal Youth of the Year (13-18 years) at the 2019 Moree Reconciliation Awards and the 2019 Moree Lions Youth of the Year.

In 2019 Elka was selected to attend the UNICEF NSW Drought Summit, with fellow classmate Brennan Cumberland, who was also a nominee for the Young Citizen of the Year award.

She was also selected to attend the NSW Department of Education's Secretary for a Day program in 2019, won Moree Secondary College's NAIDOC award in 2019 and the Eyra Medical Clinic sponsored award for student achievement and encouragement in 2018.

Elka was Dux of her year in year 10 and 11, and last year was an assistant dance teacher at Club 2400 Moree Physie and Dance.

Elka Devney thanked the Moree community for her award.

Elka Devney thanked the Moree community for her award.

Elka credited the Moree community for her Australia Day award.

"Everything that I've done within the community, I've done for the community," she said.

"Being involved within a small rural community is such an amazing opportunity."