Ashlee uses platform for youth advocacy
IN between putting the final touches on the first zero2hero fundraiser in more than two years, Ashlee Harrison went up against friend Nick Maisey in the Youth Award category for West Australian of the Year.
“I was sitting on the same table as Nick and we were writing a potential acceptance speech together… bouncing ideas off each other,” Ms Harrison, of Churchlands, said.
But it did not prepare the zero2hero founder for when her name was called as the winner.
“I don’t think I’ve ever been so anxious,” she said.
Ms Harrison said she wanted to use the opportunity to tell the room “of so many important people” why zero2hero existed.
“We need to talk about mental illness and youth suicide and reduce the stigma around it,” she said.
The award will enable Ms Harrison to educate young leaders in rural communities.
“The award was sponsored by BHP, which is very exciting because we want to move our programs and promote them rurally,” she said.
“We want to launch our camp programs into Aboriginal communities for young leaders… this partnership will make that possible.”
zero2hero Day is Friday, June 24, and promotes awareness of mental health by encouraging schools to start a conversation about it.
Zero2hero’s inaugural gala fundraiser at Government House on Saturday raised $39,000 to support youth mental health and suicide prevention programs.
WA Youth Award winner Ashlee Harrison.