Foodmach's Tim Ford, Peter Marks Scholarship recipient Amanda Mitchell and C4EM CEO Chris Janson.
Amanda Mitchell is a future leader in the making.
The 26-year-old Echuca resident will take on this year’s Fairley Leadership Program as the recipient of the Peter Marks Scholarship, provided by Committee for Echuca Moama and Foodmach.
Amanda was diagnosed on the autism spectrum when she was just four years old, however that has not slowed her down despite having to cope with the stigma attached to her condition.
‘I had to prove myself because people assumed less of me,’ she said. ‘Even now I think I haven’t accomplished much.’
Others would disagree.
Since leaving school, Amanda has completed a Bachelor of Creative Arts at Latrobe University, studied for a semester in Tokyo and spent a year in China working as a kindergarten teacher.
The trip to China was cut short due to COVID, with Amanda opting to come home in January 2020 when talk of Australia’s international borders closing began.
‘I realised things were pretty serious when I went to Shanghai for a holiday, and it was a ghost town. People were wearing masks and sunglasses because at that stage we didn’t know if the virus was contagious through the air. Some people were wearing multiple masks. It was a very interesting time.
‘When my school shut and I heard that Australia was shutting its borders, I came home.’
Since then, Amanda has pursued her other interests, screenwriting, Reiki, hypnosis, Tarot and oracle readings, with appearances at alternative expos, as well as work at the Echuca West Woolworths.
If that’s not enough, she also completed the Dare to Dream Project conducted by Committee for Echuca Moama in 2021 which saw five young people join forces to create a video to address the challenges faced by young people in the district.
This led her to being announced the 2023 Peter Marks Scholarship recipient at the launch of this year’s Fairley Leadership program at Rich River Golf Club on March 1.
The Peter Marks Scholarship honours the memory of Peter Marks, a long-time C4EM board member and recognised community leader. C4EM, along with Foodmach, is committed to supporting and growing our future leaders by providing the financial assistance to cover the enrolment costs for completing the Fairley Leadership Program beginning in March each year.
‘Doing the Dare to Dream Project I loved coming up with ideas and issues in the area and finding ways to improve them,’ Amanda said.
‘I see Fairley as a great opportunity to build on my current skills and improve the ones I lack.
‘I’m really looking forward to meeting other people in the program and being able to network with them.’
‘I would really like to thank C4EM for giving me this opportunity.’
The Fairley Leadership Program is specifically designed to develop an individual’s community leadership, with participants engaging with businesses and sectors from across the Goulburn Murray region in a unique professional and personal development program.
For more information about the Peter Marks Scholarship, visit PETER MARKS SCHOLARSHIP | C4EM
For more information about the Fairley Leadership Program, visit OUR PROGRAMS | GMCL (goulburnmurraycommunityleadership.com.au)