KHAIRUNNISA Ash’ari was yesterday named as one of 60 young people from across the Commonwealth who is being recognised as an exceptional leader in her community. These 60 young people are the first ever to receive a prestigious Queen’s Young Leaders Award.
Khairunnisa hopes to encourage the next generation of eco-conscious adults in Brunei. She is the founder of Green Brunei, an organisation that arranges camps and talks for young people to educate them in conservation, waste management and a green lifestyle.
She is also an active member of the Brunei Youth Council and has engaged local and regional stakeholders – including Asean and the Commonwealth – on areas of youth advocacy and empowerment. She has also taken part in the Green Xchange, a project that enables low-income families to trade recyclable materials for basic commodities.
British High Commissioner to Brunei Darussalam David Campbell said, “I congratulate Khairunnisa on this prestigious award. It is a tribute to the impressive work she has carried out in Brunei. I hope meeting her fellow award winners in London in June will further inspire her efforts.”
The award, which will be presented in London by Her Majesty The Queen in June, and is part of The Queen’s Young Leaders Programme, celebrates the achievements of young people who are taking the lead to transform the lives of others and make a lasting difference in their communities.
This year’s award winners, aged between 18 and 29 and who come from all over the Commonwealth, are working to support others, raise awareness and inspire change on a variety of different issues including education, climate change, gender equality, mental health and disability equality.
Aaron Hape, a member of the Advisory Panel of young people who advise the Queen’s Young Leaders Programme, from New Zealand said, “It was a truly humbling experience to see the kind of work that young people are carrying out across the Commonwealth, and across a diverse range of issues. As a panel member I feel very proud to have been given the opportunity to work with the programme and be part of selecting the very best from an already amazing pool of talented young people.”
The Queen’s Young Leaders Programme is a new initiative established by The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust in partnership with Comic Relief and the Royal Commonwealth Society in recognition of The Queen’s lifetime of service to the Commonwealth.
Over the next four years the programme will support thousands of young people. In addition to the Queen’s Young Leaders Awards, the programme will provide grants to support organisations in selected countries across the Commonwealth that work with young people to transform their lives.
Dr Astrid Bonfield CBE, Chief Executive of The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust said, “The leadership of talented young people in all spheres of life can transform communities and societies for the better. What the 60 young people announced today have achieved is remarkable and their plans for the future are truly inspiring. The Queen’s Young Leaders Programme is poised to unlock the potential of this diverse and talented group of young people and we are delighted to be supporting them to go further and achieve more.”
To see a full list of the award winners and highly commended runners up, and read more about their stories, www.queensyoungleaders.com.