The University of Western Australia has provided law, science and arts student Akram Azimi with a $20,000 grant to recognise his outstanding achievement as 2013 Young Australian of the Year so he can continue his award-winning community social justice work while studying at UWA.
Akram has been involved in student-led social justice initiatives at UWA and spent five years working with True Blue Dreaming to mentor young Indigenous people from WA's Kimberley region.
He has also mentored primary school students in the small WA Wheatbelt farming community of Wyalkatchem and mentored a Special Olympics athlete to help raise community awareness of disability issues.
In 2011, Akram and fellow law students Kelsi Forrest and Dylan Collard, together with medicine student Dwain Burridge, co-founded a student-run initiative I am the Other, which aims to inspire a new generation of students to become aware of the culture, aspirations and perspectives of Indigenous Australians.
UWA Vice-Chancellor Professor Paul Johnson said the University encouraged all students to use their skills and opportunities make a positive difference to the lives of others, whether locally, nationally or internationally.
"Akram is already making a difference to many young people," Professor Johnson said. "We want to support him to continue his valuable volunteer work while he completes his studies."
Akram said he was extremely grateful to the University for its generous support.
"It gives me the chance to help others in ways I could not otherwise achieve and is a great example of how UWA empowers its students to give back meaningfully to the community," he said.
Funds for this grant were made available from donations to UWA's Alumni Annual Fund.