We are pleased to announce that Angelique Hallett was recently awarded the University of Queensland Create Change award as the 2021 Queensland Young Achiever. The award was announced and presented at a black-tie event dinner in Brisbane on Friday night 7 May and the line-up of finalists for the various categories was very impressive. Out of approximately 300 nominations, the short list of finalists ranged in ages from 13 to 30 and covered a diverse range of achievements from the young Queenslanders. It was an honour to stand in a room with so many young people who are genuinely doing incredible things in communities across this state.
Angelique was recognised for her charity Loving Hope Bears. Founded in 2019, Loving Hope Bears was Angelique’s project and solution to the DeLorean challenge of finding something she loved, something she was good at and something the world needed. An excerpt from a speech that Angelique delivered to a Year 9 student conference on Tuesday summarises her heart behind the project and how the idea came to be.
“As I found out in the DeLorean project, my passion was never obvious to me, I didn’t really have a strong view on things yet. It was through a non-judgement, non-erasable, no silly answers kind of brainstorm activity where I listed the problems in the world that I believed were important and things that I have had personal experiences with. For five minutes I just wrote anything that came into my mind… really big and small problems like world hunger and the whole issue of charging iphones while listening to music. After this brainstorming activity, I wrote down as many ways there were to fix these problems. Some of these were really simple and obvious solutions as well as super creative and ‘crazy’ ways that, to be honest, I knew were never going to happen! But the idea was to write as much as I could without overthinking. From here I was able to narrow down an area of interest that was close to my heart, something about domestic violence.
Being a 15 year old, I knew for a fact that I could not fix ‘domestic violence’ as such, that I couldn’t stop people from mistreating other people, and I wasn’t going to start poking fingers at people who were creating the problems. At my age, that wasn’t my place. It was only after I broke down the aspects of domestic violence that I really connected with the children experiencing these situations. It broke my heart when I started researching and finding the long-lasting effects domestic violence has on children throughout their teenage years and adulthood.
At this point, I knew I had to do something about it. I found that teddy bears have a proven positive developmental impact on the child, they help reduce anxiety and strengthen children’s ability to express themselves and form relationships”.
Loving Hope Bears provides people the opportunity to gift a teddy bear to a child living in a domestic violence situation and share some ‘loving hope’. It’s a simple idea, yet the impact on the lives of vulnerable children is significant.
Angelique, alongside studying for Year 12 and running a social enterprise, has had a very busy year so far. She was named the 2021 Sunshine Coast Young Citizen of the Year, has spoken at many charity events such as Zonta clubs, Quota clubs; sat on interview panels; presented at YLead Sunshine Coast Altitude Day (leadership conference for students); as well as expanding her network to make contacts to set up donations and deliveries. The Federal Member for Fairfax, Ted O’Brien also mentioned Angelique and Loving Hope Bears in federal parliament earlier this year as part of his submission for the commission of domestic violence. It’s exciting to watch this space and I’m sure you will join our College community in congratulating Angelique for the change she is creating through spreading awareness and a little bit of Loving Hope.
If you would like to support Loving Hope Bears, jump onto the following links:
Tanya Cullen, DeLorean Project Coordinator