A science student from The University of Western Australia who has volunteered more than 250 hours teaching people with disability how to surf has taken out the Young Legends category of this year’s Tidy Towns Sustainable Communities 2020 Awards.
Bridget Mason, 19, is studying botany and conservation biology at UWA in Albany and Perth and hopes to work on regenerating forests and bushland areas.
She volunteers as team leader for the Disabled Surfing Association, Great Southern, where she teaches people with disabilities how to surf and also helps out Albany’s Breakfast in the Park, volunteering on a weekly basis.
“Seeing people’s reactions to being helped and knowing how much this benefits them is very special for me, and I am so grateful to be a part of it,” Bridget said.
In addition to her volunteer work, Bridget is living a sustainable lifestyle – shopping in bulk food shops where she can, making her own toiletries, and purchasing ethical and environmental products from Eco House in Albany. She also rides her bike instead of driving as much as possible.
Bridget organised a school climate change demonstration and was part of the organising committee for the Albany Climate Strike. Bridget was invited to attend the Global Young Leaders Conference in Washington, US, in 2020.
There were eight categories in the Tidy Towns Sustainable Communities 2020 Awards, including a new Community Action COVID Award to recognise initiatives taken to care for and connect community members during the COVID-19 pandemic.