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The Citizen Award was renamed to honor Social Warrior Les Twentyman

The Citizen Award was renamed to honor Social Warrior Les Twentyman


Published on April 24, 2024

Les Twentyman.jpg

The Youth Leadership Award – presented as part of the Council's Annual Civic Awards ceremony – will be renamed the Les Twentyman Youth Leadership Award in honor of his lifelong advocacy for Victoria's most vulnerable people, particularly in the space of justice for young people.

Raised in Braybrook, Leslie 'Les' Twentyman OAM was an outstanding youth worker and community activist who was credited with changing the lives of thousands of people through his advocacy on issues ranging from homelessness and drug abuse to prison reform and social welfare.

His rise to fame as a social activist began in 1989, the same year he founded the Les Twentyman Foundation, which has helped nearly 17,000 students stay in education by 2024.

Les's experience serving disadvantaged communities and developing life-changing initiatives earned state and national recognition. He was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia in 1994, a finalist for Australian of the Year in 2004 and Victorian of the Year for his field work in 2006.

As the annual Civic Awards celebrate individuals who generously contribute their time and efforts to uplift those in need within our municipality, Mayor Cr Cuc Lam said the renaming of the Youth Leadership Award is a fitting tribute to the very warrior appreciated of the west.

“Les was a true champion for the youth in our community and his passion for helping others was unmatched. Renaming the award in his honor is a meaningful tribute to his extraordinary legacy, a way to commemorate his dedication and inspire future generations to follow in his footsteps, and to symbolize his lasting impact on our community ,” Mayor Lam said.

The Les Twentyman Youth Leadership Award will continue to recognize and celebrate outstanding young leaders who demonstrate exceptional commitment to serving their community and making a positive difference in the lives of others.

Les Twentyman passed away on March 30, 2024 at the age of 76. A state funeral was held on 16 April 2024.

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