Mahia Tarrant-Trevena said it was her passion for volunteering which continued to spur her forward.
The 18-year-old splits her time between Meals on Wheels, Streaky Bay Hospital and Health Services and the local ambulance group.
Starting with Meals on Wheels as a 15-year-old, Ms Tarrant-Trevena has juggled school, paid work and sport with those volunteer roles and her services to the community were recognised earlier this year when she was named the Young Citizen of the Year at the Australia Day awards.
She said it was sport which inadvertently took her down the volunteer path.
“In 2015 I hurt myself playing netball, and it’s a place where you do a lot of socialising and you volunteer with certain jobs around the club, but because I had to stop I didn't have that and so I went to volunteering,” she said.
“I really like helping people in general, it is quite rewarding to help a person and not expect anything in return.”
Ms Tarrant-Trevena is involved with delivering meals to homes for Meals on Wheels and said she had a variety of roles between the hospital and ambulance.
“I could talk to a resident at the hospital or read to them and recently I was involved with helping with a lunch that was put on, and with the ambulance I am on call, I go out to sites and help the sick and injured.”
She said it was “pretty easy” to juggle all her commitments because volunteering can work around her other duties, and she volunteers for about 5-10 hours per week as well as being on call all day as part of an ambulance shift.
Ms Tarrant-Trevena said she had applied for a nursing cadetship and it was the field she hoped to pursue.
She said there was a “sense of pride” in helping out community members.
“It makes me happy to know I have helped somebody and if for example they were an older person they may not remember it but I will know how it felt and how they felt to have help.”
Ms Tarrant-Trevena said it was not her goal to gain recognition for her volunteer roles, but when she was notified of the Australia Day award she was “over the moon”.
“In a way it does make me proud to be an active young person in the community but I don’t do it so everybody knows, I do it because I’ve always been passionate about it,” she said.
“If it encourages other young people to volunteer, then great.
“I was in Canada when I received the news of the award and the only way I could talk to my family was via email and I didn’t really read it properly at first, but then I read it again and it was really exciting news.”
While Ms Tarrant-Trevena said she was not sure if she would stay in Streaky Bay moving forward, one thing would stay with her.
“I don’t know if I see myself living here forever but as long as I’m here I’ll continue volunteering and if I move to Adelaide or another city I will volunteer there too because it is what I am passionate about.”