‘We all possess unique gifts and talents that we can use to create change in the world.’
Celebrating the passion of young people to create positive change
At just 21, Thomas King is considered one of Australia’s most influential young change makers.
He has presented talks at TEDx and worked with the Oaktree Foundation, Jane Goodall Institute Australia and United Nations youth division.
But the former VCE Leader of the Year says his achievements are just a reflection of what young people can do when they commit to their passion.
‘We all possess unique gifts and talents that we can use to create change in the world,’ he says.
‘For students in particular, being of service can offer valuable insights, learning opportunities and connections that school can’t provide.’
Nominations are now open for the 2017 VCE Leadership Awards.
Mr King says it is important that young people be empowered to have a positive impact in their local and global community.
The VCE Leadership Awards recognise the efforts of VCE students in promoting leadership and participation in their school and local community.
Nominees may participate in activities associated with the arts, sport, debating and public speaking. They may campaign for social justice, environmental protection and/or fundraising.
The VCE Leadership Awards are open to government, Catholic and independent school students. Mature age students are also encouraged to apply for these awards.
On a mission
Mr King was named 2014 VCE Leader of the Year for his dedication to animal advocacy and environmental activism.
His journey began eight years ago when he created the website Say No to Palm Oil. The website aims to raise awareness about the impact of unsustainable palm oil production.
The site now attracts more than two million visitors from across every country in the world, enabling a global audience to become ethical consumers.
This year Mr King founded Food Frontier, an organisation dedicated to creating a healthier, humane and sustainable food system by supporting the market growth of new, innovative meat alternatives.
During a trip to Silicon Valley in the US, Mr King met with entrepreneurs and scientists creating ground breaking innovations where meat is recreated using either plant proteins or by growing animal cells in a mineral culture.
His new organisation is working with experts across industry and government to accelerate these products, which require no hormones, antibiotics and 95 per cent less land and water than conventional meat. The goal is to help Australia diversify its protein sector and reduce our reliance on resource-intensive animal agriculture.
Mr King is looking to grow his new initiative across the Asia Pacific region. He is in discussions about aligning his efforts with world-renowned primatologist, conservationist and UN Messenger of Peace, Dr Jane Goodall.
Do you know a VCE student committed to making a change at their school and in their community? To nominate, see: VCE Leadership Awards
Applications close Friday 11 August 2017.