Civic Award renamed to honour Social Warrior Les Twentyman

Published on 24 April 2024

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The Youth Leadership Award – presented as part of Council’s Annual Civic Awards ceremony – will be renamed ‘The Les Twentyman Youth Leadership Award’ in honour of his lifelong advocacy for Victoria’s most vulnerable people, particularly in the space of youth justice.

Raised in Braybrook, Leslie ‘Les’ Twentyman OAM was a prominent youth outreach worker and community activist credited with changing the lives of thousands through his advocacy on issues ranging from homelessness and drug abuse to prison reform and social welfare.

His rise to prominence as a social campaigner began in 1989, the same year he founded the Les Twentyman Foundation, which helped nearly 17,000 students stay in education, as of 2024.

Les’ experience serving disadvantaged communities and developing life-changing initiatives earnt state and nationwide recognition. He was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia in 1994, a finalist for Australian of the Year in 2004, and Victorian of the Year for his outreach work in 2006.

As the annual Civic Awards celebrate individuals who generously contribute their time and effort to uplift those in need within our municipality, Mayor, Cr Cuc Lam, said renaming the Youth Leadership Award is a fitting tribute to the highly regarded warrior of the west.

“Les was a true champion for the young people in our community, and his passion for helping others was unmatched. Renaming the award in his honour is a meaningful tribute to his extraordinary legacy, a way to commemorate his dedication and inspire future generations to follow in his footsteps, and symbolise his enduring impact on our community,” Mayor Lam said.

The Les Twentyman Youth Leadership Award will continue to recognise and celebrate outstanding young leaders who demonstrate exceptional commitment to serving their community and making a positive difference in the lives of others.

Les Twentyman passed away 30 March 2024 at the age of 76. A state funeral was held on 16 April 2024.

Maribyrnong News

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