La Trobe occupational therapy lecturer Dylan Langley has been announced as a nominee for the prestigious Victoria Young Australian of the Year award.

“At first I was quite shocked. It’s amazing to be nominated,” said Mr Langley. “In the middle of Melbourne’s lockdown, it’s one piece of good news.”

Mr Langley lived in Victoria’s out-of-home-care system for many years, until he was 18. Upon leaving, he became homeless and experienced mental illness. With support and treatment, he gradually learnt how to manage his mental health and live independently.

Now, as an advocate for systemic change, Mr Langley uses his story and compassion to help ensure others do not have to endure what he went through.

“I hope my nomination highlights the issues I’m trying to raise and shows just how much help people need. And, while it’s great to be nominated and for people to hear about the issues, we also need action. So, I hope this nomination gets things moving,” Mr Langley said.

La Trobe Vice-Chancellor Professor John Dewar AO extended his congratulations to Mr Langley.

“This honour is well deserved and we congratulate Dylan on this distinguished nomination. Our students and staff are fortunate to benefit from Dylan’s wisdom and experience. Certainly, he is an inspiration to many,” Professor Dewar said.

Mr Langley was nominated for the Young Australian of the Year award by La Trobe Occupational Therapy Programs course coordinator Siann Bowman.

Ms Bowman said Mr Langley shared he experiences with students in a gentle matter-of fact manner.  “His incredible determination and caring nature drive him to do everything he can to make sure this experience doesn’t happen to anyone else,” Ms Bowman said.

Mr Langley is one of four shortlisted nominees for the prestigious 2021 Victoria Young Australian of the Year Award, which is part of the annual Australian of the Year awards.

Victorian award recipients will be announced by the Governor of Victoria, Her Excellency The Honourable Linda Dessau AM, in a livestreamed ceremony on Tuesday 27 October. Victorian award recipients will join other state and territory recipients as national finalists for the national Australian of the Year awards announcement on 25 January 2021.

Australian of the Year Awards

Each year, Australia celebrates the achievements and contributions of eminent Australians through the Australian of the Year Awards by profiling leading citizens who are role models for us all. They inspire us through their achievements and challenge us to make our own contribution to creating a better Australia. The Awards honour an exceptional group of highly-respected Australians who ignite discussion and change on issues of national importance.