Hobsons Bay mental health advocate Nikolina Mabic has collected the Community Service and Social Impact Award at the 2018 Victorian Young Achiever Awards, which was held at The Atrium in Flemington on May 18.
The 23-year-old from Williamstown is the brain behind Spare Capacity, a project that uses online resources and workshops to equip young women with holistic self-care tools to combat mental illness.
Mabic is also a graduate filmmaker and has already produced a documentary series that captured stories from Australians and their journeys with mental illness. The project also attracted accolades for advocacy on mental health awareness, prevention and treatment.
The young achiever made the Foundation for Young Australians Young Social Pioneers 2016 Cohort in the Youth Mental Health stream and was also awarded Hobsons Bay Young Citizen of the Year 2017.
On collecting another trophy for the cabinet, Mabic told Willy and Hobby she felt shocked and never thought about getting past the semi finals process, let alone being announced as the winner of the award.
“You never go into creating change, especially in youth mental health, with the intention to win awards. So winning this award meant that my journey with mental ill health was being recognised and it made all the hard times worth it,” said Ms Mabic.
“I would tell any young person who may be going through a difficult time that they can still achieve despite their mental illness. It doesn’t define you. Everyone’s journey is unique and everyone’s treatment will be different. You need to go out and find what works for you.”
Minister for Youth Affairs Jenny Mikakos said the Victorian Young Achiever Awards recognises the work of young people across the areas of community service, small business, rural and regional health, arts, fashion and education.
“Every young person and organisation recognised have given their time and energy to create positive, youth-led change in the local community – I thank them for it,” said Ms Mikakos.
Labor Candidate for Williamstown Melissa Horne said that continuing to acknowledge achievements around mental health is important for breaking down barriers and stigma, so that everyone feels part of our community.
“It’s inspiring to see a young woman from our community help others get their lives back on track. I’m proud to be part of a Labor team that has made one of the largest ever investments in mental health,” said Ms Horne.
Hobsons Bay Mayor Angela Altair congratulated Nikolina Mabic on behalf of the community, noting the 2018 Victorian Young Achiever award will be in good company next to the 2017 Hobsons Bay Young Citizen of the Year award.
“This is great news and I’m sure the whole city will be delighted and proud with Nikolina’s deserved win. The world needs more Nikolinas – clever generous hearted young people dedicated to helping others and making a real difference,” said Cr Altair.
The Victorian Young Achiever Awards began in 2012 to acknowledge, encourage and promote the achievements of all young people, and pay tribute to their vision, innovation and contribution to their community.
For more information on the Victorian Young Achiever Awards, including the full list of finalists and winners, you can visit the program’s website. You can also follow them on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.