Sarah O'Neill

ACTNomineeYoung Australian of the Year2021

Sarah O’Neill dedicates her free time to providing respite and recreation for children under 12, in her volunteer position with the Vinnies Youth and Young Adults Team.

As Senior Leader of the St Joe’s Youth Programs, Sarah shows incredible commitment to the wellbeing of 300 young people, volunteering over 1,500 hours since 2016 for weekend activities, school holiday camps, monthly leadership meetings and training courses.

Sarah is particularly interested in the wellbeing of volunteers and has used her leadership position to advocate for formal programs and training to promote self-care.

Sarah’s concern for social justice extends to her tireless volunteer work in other sectors, including for the Vinnies Night Patrol Van, offering support to Canberrans experiencing homelessness and poverty, and as part of a team at the Emergency Response Centre in Dickson, providing relief for bushfire victims. When Sarah lost work due to COVID-19 earlier this year, she dedicated her time to volunteering at the Vinnies shops.