Branxton sisters Sophie and Georgia Cunningham have taken out two prestigious youth awards within the space of four days.
Sophie, 15 and Georgia, 16, jointly received the Youth of the Year award at Black Creek Aboriginal Corporation’s NAIDOC Week Awards at East Cessnock Bowling Club on June 24.
The sisters shared the Young Person of the Year for the Cessnock area award at the Regional Youth Service Awards, presented at Merewether Surfhouse on June 27.
Proud Indigenous young people, the sisters are passionate about many social issues in the community.
They have pulled together through the adversity of a life-threatening condition that struck their mother and bonded together to ensure the family remained tight and supported.
They also volunteer their time with the Cessnock Youth Entertainment Committee, and perform as a duo at many local events.
“Music is a big and easy way for the youth to connect,” Sophie said.
The girls were recognised at the awards for their outstanding contribution to the ‘Drop the Beat’ project – a youth-led awareness project with a focus on domestic and family violence and how it affects young people.
They were involved in Drop the Beat’s songwriting and recording workshop during Youth Week in Cessnock in April.
The sisters said they were were honoured to receive these awards.
“It’s awesome; we feel so privileged to be a voice for the youth of Cessnock,” Georgia said.
Meeting other like-minded youth at the RYSA presentation was a highlight.
“It was cool to hear their stories and how they have made an impact,” Sophie said.
A St Mary’s Maitland student, Georgia has been playing guitar and singing most of her life while Sophie, who attends St Joseph’s Lochinvar, took up the bass guitar more recently.
Last year they took part in Hunter Schools Rock Off, and won the encouragement award.
This year the sisters have performed at several events, including Cessnock’s Take the Stage (in which they placed second) and YouthFest and Maitland’s Sun Street Festival.
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