• The 23 year old is aiming to travel to 20 towns in one month. (Supplied, WA Government)Source: Supplied, WA Government
Matthew Bill, who is WA's Young Person of the Year, is using his prize money to travel around the state.
By
Rangi Hirini

Source:
NITV News
15 Jun 2018 - 3:53 PM  UPDATED 15 Jun 2018 - 3:58 PM

Matthew Bill, who was awarded Western Australia's Young Person of 2017 in October, will spend the next month travelling to regional communities and making a documentary.

The 23-year-old outreach worker is hoping to highlight the issues young Indigenous people face in the state.

“Being WA’s Young Person of the Year, I hear people talking about issues that face young people in those areas, and a lot of the issues are coming up real similar,” Matt told NITV News.

"I was thinking while I have a bit of money and a bit of a pedestal I might as well be productive with it."

Matt leaves from Perth today and has 20 towns he's hoping to visit.

First, he’ll head south to Bunbury, Esperance, and Albany before he travelling inland towards Kalgoorlie and his home town, Leonora.

Matt is particularly keen to visit Kalgoorlie, a town divided after the death of young Elijah Doughty.

“I got family in Kalgoorlie, who are living there now. I was pretty close in Leonara there," he said.

“I want to get back there to see if I can lend a hand. It’s a pretty poxy situation, what’s happened in Kalgoorlie."

He will then travel inland to Meekarrtha and Newman, before going north to Port Hedland, Broome, Fitzroy Crossing, Halls Creek, and to Kununurra.

The plan would see him cover more than 8,500 km across WA.

“I just teed up with people who I know in those areas," he said.

"A lot of people have reached out and asked if I can stop in their town which is really cool, I wasn’t expecting anything like that to come of this."

The young Aboriginal man, who grew up in the Perth suburb of Midland, said he chose to get into youth work to give back to his community.

He says he used to be "a bit of a trouble maker".

“Midland has a bad rep so I thought it would be nice if I could change that. I see a lot of good people in Midland doing good stuff, so I had a lot of good mentors, I was pretty lucky to have people like that to look up to."

After his stay in Kununurra, Matt will then drive back down to Perth along the coast - stopping in Karratha, Carnarvon, Geraldton, and Mullewa.

“I want it to be a celebration of all the awesome things young people are doing. I’ve been getting emails and messages from these young people that are just blowing me away.

“I’m just looking forward to seeing all these wicked young people.”

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