As the Commonwealth celebrates The Queen’s 90th birthday, this year’s Award winner, Nushelle De Silva is being recognised by The Queen for taking the lead in transforming the lives of others and making a lasting difference in her community. As a Queen’s Young Leader, she will be representing Sri Lanka as she joins winners from 45 different Commonwealth countries in London for five days of high-level engagements, all designed to help them further their life-changing work.
Before receiving their Queen’s Young Leaders Award at Buckingham Palace, the winners will visit 10 Downing Street and the UK headquarters of global social networking company Twitter, and meet with senior executives at the BBC World Service. They will also meet the Commonwealth Secretary General, take part in workshops at the University of Cambridge, have meetings with UK business leaders, and visit projects that are changing the lives of vulnerable people in the UK.
Following his meeting with Nushelle British High Commissioner to Sri Lanka and Maldives James Dauris said, “The Queen’s Young Leaders Programme recognises the achievements of exceptional young people who work tirelessly for the betterment of their communities. Nushelle has used her affinity for the creative arts as a platform to encourage reconciliation and to draw attention to the need for understanding and good relations between young people around Sri Lanka. Her work should encourage other young people to look for their own ways to promote and encourage peace-building measures”.
Selected through a competitive process where thousands of young people from all over the Commonwealth applied to be a Queen’s Young Leader, Nushelle said: “I’m incredibly honoured to be named a Queen’s Young Leader for 2016. I look forward to using this award to amplify how the creative and practical arts can be used towards reconciliation in post-war states like Sri Lanka. In particular, I will be working with the Building Bridges team to continue expanding our youth arts offerings, and will be sharing my QYL learnings with my team and community over the course of the year”.
This year’s Award winners are working to support others, raise awareness and inspire change on a variety of issues including education, climate change, gender equality, mental health and improving the lives of people with disabilities.
The application process to become a 2017 Queen’s Young Leader opens on Friday 24 June 2016. The programme is looking for people aged between 18 and 29 who are dedicated to creating positive changes to the lives of people in Sri Lanka.