Dedication rewarded with OAM

Friday, 27th January, 2012

ORDER OF AUSTRALIA: Hayden Zammit after officially receiving his honour. ORDER OF AUSTRALIA: Hayden Zammit after officially receiving his honour.

By Kurtis Eichler

 Hard-working Hayden Zammit has devoted the best part of his 17 years to his home town.

He’s helped to collect more than $30,000 in funds for both the Cancer Council and Camp Quality, and taken part in the organisation of fundraisers for Australia’s Biggest Morning Tea, and many other charities.

But yesterday his years of hard work were acknowledged when he received one of the country’s top honours, the Order of Australia.

Hayden said he was “surprised” when he first found out that he was to be awarded the honour.

“It definitely came as a huge surprise to receive the award,” the teenager told the BDT after the Australia Day ceremony at the Civic Centre yesterday.

“It’s an honour to receive this award from the Australian Government,” he said.

“It’s pretty exciting to have OAM after my name.”

It was well deserved - after all, he’d won a number of awards for his work in just the last four years.

He was named NSW Youth Ambassador in 2010, Council’s Young Citizen of the Year in 2009, NSW’s Young Volunteer of the Year in 2009 and received a NSW Certificate of Commendation from the Order of Australia Association, and that’s just to name a few.

“I’m passionate not only about giving back to the Broken Hill community but those less fortunate than us,” Hayden said.

Hayden’s leadership has also earned him a place at the Global Youth Leaders Conference in Washington DC two years ago and the YMCA Youth Parliament representing the Committee Investigating Health.

Furthermore, Hayden appeared outside his high school on this year’s edition of the White Pages directory as one of the Australians creating a better future.

But this year, entering into his final year at Willyama High School, he will focus more on himself and his studies.

He admitted the Higher School Certificate would be a “bit of a challenge” and that he would have to scale back on his commitments in his last year of school.