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2016 Mary Box Award

The Mary Box Award is an award that supports young people with their education. Four young people from UnitingCare West’s Level Up program were awarded the Mary Box Award this year. Level Up is a work for the dole program supported by Atwork Australia which focuses on supporting Jobseekers holistically with issues that may be preventing them from obtaining employment, as well as providing real work experience to Jobseekers in the areas of reception, administration, project planning and program management through the coordination of a community project.

Ms. Mary Box was a long-time resident of Salter Point, a founding member of the Koonawarra Presbyterian Church in Godwin Avenue Manning. In 1997 this became the Manning Uniting Church. Mary was greatly involved in the YWCA becoming State President in 1965 and holding this position until 1967. Mary died in October 2008.

Mary was concerned for the future of young women and, through various channels, she worked to establish the means whereby young women could achieve their potential in education. At the end of her life, she left a bequest to support young women in education. This bequest has been used every year to award worthy recipients. This year the award has been open to both male and female young people. 2016 has marked the end of this award but definitely not the end of Mary’s legacy. A legacy that has inspired others to become involved and help empower young women, through education, to take their place in the world for the greater good of society.

The four recipients of the 2016 Mary Box Award were participants of Level Up who demonstrated personal and skills improvement through the program which lead them to start studying again. Amy Walters, Bianca Mowet, Ferdinand Torralba and Talicia O’Donnell have all received a cheque of $500 that they can spend towards stationery and books to support their studies. These were awarded by UnitingCareWest’s CEO Sue Ash AO, the Mary Box committee and Mary Box’s son.

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