Young Buderim speech pathologist wins volunteering award

Buderim speech pathologist Ria Ferris is one of 20 inspirational young people from around the state to be named an award-winning volunteer today.
At a ceremony in Brisbane, Community Services Minister Karen Struthers presented the winners with their Queensland Young Volunteer certificates and $500 in prize money.
Ria was recognised for her volunteering work within the Community Service category.
Ms Struthers said Ria formed the Sunshine Coast branch of the not-for-profit Australian Speak Easy Association after identifying a need in the community to network and support adults and adolescents with a stutter.
“The winners were selected from 150 nominations – young people aged between 12 and 25 who make a positive contribution to the community by willingly volunteering their time,” Ms Struthers said.
“This year Queenslanders have been truly inspiring in coming to the aid of friends, neighbours and complete strangers during and after the sum mer of disasters.
“The spirit of volunteering is clearly thriving and the efforts of these young people show that it will continue into the future.”
The winners received their awards at a half-day professional development workshop in Brisbane where they were introduced to innovative volunteering practices and learnt presentation and public speaking skills.
The Queensland Young Volunteer Awards were presented in two age groups, 12 to 17 and 18 to 25, in seven categories. Other winners include:

  •  Art and culture – William Haupt, 17, of Oakey; Latonya Wigginton,17, of Boonah and Rachael Watson, 19, of Manly, Brisbane
  • Community service – Amy Dowie, 17, of Blackwater; Nathan Williams, 19, of Bundaberg and Ria Ferris, 24, of Buderim.
  • Green – Kieran Smith, 15, of Maryborough; Stephanie Freeman, 15, of Eatons Hill, Brisbane.
  • School action – Sarina State High School
  • Social innovation – Jessica Lawson, 16, of Cairns; Dane Moores, 23, of Robina and Gabrijela Palavra, 21, of Arundel
  • Sport and recreation volunteers – Travis Tran, 15, of Inala and Marcus Ellison, 24, of Gladstone.