Youth of the Year Quest:
The Lions Youth of the Year Quest is designed to encourage, foster and develop leadership in conjunction with other citizenship qualities in our youth, at the age when they are about to enter the fields of employment or higher education, and provides students with the incentive to pay greater attention to the general qualities, so vital in developing our youths into first class citizens. The qualities sought; apart from academic attainments are those of leadership, personality, sportsmanship, public speaking and good citizenship.
The students, drawn from Years 11 and 12, meet in fellowship and have the opportunity of open discussion, exchange of ideas and meet professional people of a community service Club organisation.
Ballina Lions conducted its first Youth of the Year Quest in 1969. It has supported the project continuously since that time giving in excess of 200 students the opportunity to gain experience and go onto higher levels.
At that time there was only one secondary school in Ballina, Ballina High School. This school has always been supportive of this project. Later three further high schools opened, Southern Cross K-12, Emmanuel Anglican College and Xavier Catholic College. With the formation of Ballina East and Lennox Head Lions Clubs, Ballina Lions Club assisted them to join the project and the three clubs now draw contestants from the four schools, sharing the contestants between them. The 2010 year saw a record number of students taking part in the Quest, each club being allocated eight contestants.
Winners of the Ballina Lions Club Youth of the Year Quest since 1990:
Year Overall Winner Public Speaking Winner
2010 Tiare Broadhead Ballina High
2009 Ianna Murray Ballina High Emma Barnett Xavier Catholic
2008 Joshua Pearce Emmanuel Anglican Rachel Foley Ballina High
2007 Tim Green Ballina High Matin Dean Ballina High
2006 Craig Somerville Ballina High
2005 Craig Somerville Ballina High
2004 Sally Hunt Ballina High
2003 Tegan Van Nispen Ballina High Jonathan Russell Emmanuel
2002 Luke Halverson St Johnís College
2001 Shelley Bambrook Ballina High Jacqui Hunt Ballina High
Mark Engel Southern Cross
2000 Emily Ryan Southern Cross
1999 Heidi Gleeson (also State Finalist) Ballina High
1998 Heidi Gleeson Ballina High
1997 Jesse Gleeson (also State Finalist) Ballina High
1996 Anna Bilston (also District Finalist) Ballina High
1994 Calen Cullinane St Johnís College
1993 Kellie Wiggens Ballina High
1992 Andrew Wheaton (also District Finalist) St Johnís College
1991 Lisa McCoy Ballina High
1990 Alex Cowdery St Johnís College