General News

7 March, 2024

Youngster continues to take world by storm

Chelsea Elliott loves the Harry Potter stories immensely because the books have "magic that feels real".

By Caitlin Menadue

Chelsea Elliott.
Chelsea Elliott.

Chelsea Elliott loves the Harry Potter stories immensely because the books have "magic that feels real".

Now she's planning to weave even more magic of her own after becoming Hindmarsh Australia Day Young Citizen of the Year in recognition of her efforts with the Christmas Tree Giving Appeal.

The 11-year-old has already kick-started another year of charity fundraisers, and the reward for her award is a position on the Hindmarsh Shire Youth Council.

It all began in 2020 when Chelsea realised she loved helping people and organising events and turned to fundraising to do that.

She said she liked creating plans, charts and lists for fundraising ideas to keep herself busy and loved the organising side most of all.

In 2023 Chelsea established St Peter's Lutheran School Dimboola's fundraising group.

"There were four of us to start with and then two lost interest and left," she said.

"It's easier to have two at a time otherwise there's too many opinions."

Chelsea is working alongside Grade 4 student Milla Bartlett, who she hopes will take over when she graduates.

The two are busy planning their end-of-term fundraising event.

"We normally just do one each term," Chelsea said.

"It's always on the last day of each term.

"It's just fun for the last day."

The theme is "dress up as what you want to be when you're older", with everyone donating a gold coin to participate.

The money raised will support the Good Friday Appeal.

Chelsea said she would dress up as either the head of the shire, a non-profit CEO or a "party dog person".

Her first fundraising event this year has been the Starlight Foundation's super swim for sick kids, in which she set herself a goal of raising $500.

She said she saw it advertised on Sunrise one morning and immediately wanted to know how to get into it.

"I love swimming and fundraising," Chelsea said.

She reached the 5km goal on Wednesday February 21 but aimed to swim further by the end of the month.

So far she has raised $320 for the charity, although she hopes to raise more.

"We kept going to the pool every day for the rest of the month," Chelsea said.

For the second year in a row Chelsea will collect gifts for the Christmas Tree Giving Appeal.

Last year she received 190 gifts, of which just over 100 were from the Dimboola community alone.

A new goal of receiving 200 gifts has been set and Chelsea will start collecting in mid November to allow more time for delivery.

"Happy", "excited", "suprised" were the emotions Chelsea felt after winning the Hindmarsh Young Citizen of the Year award.

"Everyone knew except me," Chelsea said.

"I really wanted the award but I had no idea I was nominated."

For the past four years she has part participated in the MS Readerthon, raising more than $1000.

As a result to being awarded Young Citizen of the Year, Chelsea earned an honorary position on the Hindmarsh Shire Youth Council.

Chelsea's mother Vicki Elliott said the council contacted her, explaining there was a position open for Chelsea if she wanted it.

"I thought she would um and ah about it but she said yes straight away," Ms Elliott said.

"I've always wanted to be a part of it," Chelsea said.

Chelsea was too young by five months to apply for a position and was waiting until next year.

She said she wanted to join the youth council to help plan more things and to help other people in the shire that were around her age.

Chelsea gave a small insight into what the youth council was currently planning.

"We've started to plan the next community big issue," Chelsea said.

"We were split into two groups to come up with a big issue."

The dream cause she would like to fundraise for is myotonic dystrophy as her grandfather died from the genetic condition.

Luckily for Chelsea, she is living that dream, as she is collecting 10-cent bottles and donating the money raised towards myotonic dystrophy.

Aside from all of her fundraising efforts and achievements, Chelsea has played hockey for the past three seasons, having begun at Warracknabeal before transferring to Dimboola.

Chelsea has a strong passion for reading and is always found with her head in a book if she's not planning fundraisers.

"I've read the Harry Potter series twice," she said.

Facing one day at a time, Chelsea has a lot she wants to accomplish in life to help those less fortunate than her in any way she can.


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