Kathy Hilton OAM

Through community partnerships, strategic alliances and advocacy, Kathy Hilton is changing community attitudes on youth disadvantage and education.

Honour Roll

Kathy Hilton was a student counselor and teacher at Ardoch High School in 1988 when a homeless 16 year-old approached her about wanting help to stay at school. Realising that there was no government support available, Kathy decided to help the student herself. This initiative saw the beginning of the Ardoch Youth Foundation which supports disadvantaged and homeless young people to access education. The Foundation has since grown to cover four regions in Victoria and three other Australian states.

Kathy's ability to galvanise the community and individuals, and gather together a highly skilled board of directors and dedicated staff have been the cornerstones to the foundation's success. In 2001 the organisation received a Prime Minister's Award for Excellence in Community Business Partnerships for its corporate program that involves 3500 volunteer interactions annually.

Through community partnerships, strategic alliances and advocacy, Kathy is helping to change community attitudes on youth homelessness, disadvantage and education. Her commitment to innovation has seen Ardoch's support projects and programs adopted widely.

It is entirely appropriate that Kathy Hilton's contribution to Australia's young people has been widely recognised. Kathy has been made an Honorary Member of the Golden Key National Honour Society by Monash University. She has also received a number of awards including an Australian Humanitarian Award, a Commonwealth Government Centenary Medal for Services to the Community, the Stonnington Council Citizen of the Year Award and an Order of Australia Medal.