Golden Key (Issue 34, 2010)


Lauryn with one of the locals during her Ghana trip

Bachelor of International Development student Lauryn Yeo-Woon Brokate impressed the Golden Key jury with her passion for helping people and list of volunteer activities she has been involved in. The Golden Key New Member Award was the perfect way to reward her.

Since 2009, Lauryn has been working as a volunteer for the Darfur Australia Network assisting the organisation with community engagement and fundraising events programs. She is currently their Events Coordinator. As part of her role there, she facilitated a field trip for Darfuri children to a Collingwood Football Clinic, assisted Darfuri women with cooking classes and helped organise community forums.

‘I am passionate about helping others both here and abroad – for me a community has no boundaries and it is important to assist those overseas, but not forget those in need here in Australia,’ says Lauryn.

For eight months in 2009 Lauryn worked with the Preston Uniting Church distributing soup and sandwiches to those in need and for two months in 2007 she travelled to Ghana with the HIV/AIDS Outreach Program of the Alliance for Youth Development, as part of a prevention education campaign and advocacy for those affected by the disease.

‘I think my earliest ‘volunteer work’ experience was delivering Easter eggs to people in nursing homes when I was in grade 1. Apathy is one of the greatest obstacles to make a positive difference in the world. I strongly believe that issues such as inequality, poverty and disadvantage concern us all, whether we are willing to acknowledge them or not. We shouldn't just leave it up to other people to 'make the change', because the chances are that they are thinking the same thing. There are so many different types of volunteering activities you can do - there is bound to be something that you will find fulfilling,’ says Lauryn.

Apart from a passion to help people, Lauryn is also a very good student, collecting several awards, such as the First Year Sociology Prize (awarded for the highest grade in any first year sociology/anthropology subject); the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences Award (awarded for the commencing students with the top 10 enter scores); and the Dean’s honours list in 2008 and 2009. No wonder La Trobe Golden Key was honoured to have Lauryn among their new members.

‘It’s a great personal honour to be awarded the Golden Key prize. It is fantastic to be part of an organisation such as Golden Key that values community service as well as academic excellence’ she adds.