Three enterprising young women were awarded 2021 Philip Leong Youth Programme bursaries to assist them to further develop their talents at a presentation on Monday evening.
Auspiced by Townsville City Council and the Philip Leong Family, the Philip Leong Youth Programme (PLYP) was created to offer financial support to young people who exhibit the potential and desire to further their talents, and benefit the Townsville community. In addition to the financial grant support, recipients each receive valuable mentoring from the PLYP Directors and Advisory Committee members.
Philip Leong was a Chinese immigrant who arrived in Townsville in 1936 and was among the early Australian pioneers of self-service supermarkets and made a major contribution to the commercial and economic development of Townsville over 60 years.
Since its inception in 2001, the PLYP has awarded almost $315,000 in bursaries to 40 of recipients, who in turn have gone on to employ over 120 locals in the Townsville region.
The three 2021 recipients were:
Keziah Furnell, 19
Having identified a major disparity of females entering STEM fields, Keziah started STEM Sisterhood with the aim of fostering greater participation in STEM for girls and women. She has initiated school holiday and after school workshops for females to give exposure to different STEM areas as well as encourage collaboration and group problem solving skills. She also has plans to host quarterly mixers and functions.
By fostering an early love in STEM and forging greater connections of university students with women in STEM fields, Keziah believes STEM Sisterhood can help attract a greater number of females entering STEM fields and retain talent in Townsville.
Georgie Desailly, 19
The School of The New York Times Gap Year Program
After being accepted into a three-month Gap Year Journalism Program with The School of The New York Times in 2020, Georgie will finally be heading over to New York in September 2022, where she will learn from some of the world’s leading journalists and educators.
Upon her return, Georgie will continue to tell the stories of the business community through BDmag and use her newfound skills to implement BDmag’s first internship program for final year media students at James Cook University. Georgie hopes the internship program will help emerging graduates gain critical work experience within the industry and inspire journalists to continue living and working in the North Queensland region.
Madison Smith, 14
Mad About Dye
Madison received funding to purchase a new laptop to help grow her creative business, Mad About Dye.
After receiving a tie dye kit for her 13th birthday, she began creating tie dye clothing to sell at local markets. Her creations were extremely popular, particularly with kids, and she began receiving customised orders. The business has continued to grow and her products are now stocked in Handmade By Heart in the Hermit Park Shopping Centre.
Born prematurely at 26 weeks and weighing just 470 grams, Madison wanted to give back to the Townsville Hospital Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and donated 25 custom made baby outfits, baby wraps and beanies. Madison now has plans to set up an online store and to run Tie Dye Workshops for kids in the school holidays.
Applications for the 2022 Philip Leong Youth Program will open in September with grants between $500 to $10,000 available to people who are 27 years or younger. Applicants are assessed on their individual talent and applications, regardless of their personal or family’s financial standing or background, so all young people are encouraged to apply.