A youth worker and LGBTI advocate has been announced as one of the winners of Wodonga’s Australia Day awards for this year.

Youth worker Sheridan Williams has been named young citizen of the year for her work supporting LGBTI young people, according to The Border Mail.

A recent Bachelor of Education graduate, Williams is a youth services worker with Wodonga Council in regional Victoria.

Her work with the LGBTI community includes having started the Alphabet Crews Youth Group for teens.

“It’s been a crazy couple of months and this award came as a huge surprise,” said Williams.

Williams said she wanted to be the kind of positive role model for young people that she wished she had when she was growing up, adding that she wanted to help change attitudes about LGBTI people.

Being openly gay and a public advocate for LGBTI rights leaves Williams open to homophobia, but she continues to work supporting the community.

Williams has participated in many groups focusing on LGBTI young people, including the Youth Action Group, Youth Affairs Council of Victoria and local LGBTI community meetings.

Towns and cities around Australia will continue announcing their local Australia Day award winners today and tomorrow.

The National Australia Day Council will announce the Australian of the Year awards in Canberra this evening.

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