Oxley College year 11 student and Australian Formula Ford Championship competitor, Lachlan Mineeff was recognised for his on and off-track achievements at the Southern Highlands Australia Day awards on Saturday.
Mineeff was one of five nominees for the Southern Highlands Young Citizen of the Year Award, an acknowledgement of his accomplishments over the last 12 months.
Behind the wheel of his race car, Mineeff achieved an impressive result of fifth overall in his rookie Australian Formula Ford Championship campaign. But while the 16-year-old proved to be a focused and determined competitor on the track, it was his off-track community work that earned him the Australia Day accolade.
Mineeff has recently become an ambassador for ReFrame, a youth mental health service that provides support for young people and their families.
The organisation assists individuals and communities, providing them with services that can sometimes be difficult to access in regional areas such as the Southern Highlands.
According to ReFrame co-ordinator Martin Lumetzberger, Mineeff’s achievements as an athlete make him an ideal ambassador and a role model for other young individuals.
“Lachlan’s achievements demonstrate that young people with big dreams can achieve anything, and he is a fine role model for everything we represent,” Lumetzberger said.
“Lachlan is a model for strength, empathy and ultimately leadership within the local peer population making him a beacon for others; his profile as a racing driver also allows him and his team to offer unique experiences, such as attending race events – these are ideal motivational exercises.
“With the rise of regional youth mental health issues, it is timely Lachlan and his team are providing support to their community – their generosity will have widespread benefits.”
Mineeff is delighted to be an ambassador for ReFrame.
“I’m passionate about people my age having the inspiration and motivation to chase their dreams; racing a car is a huge privilege, so to be representing an organisation like ReFrame and being recognised in the Australia Day awards is very humbling.
“It’s satisfying to be able to give something back to the community, and I look forward to spending time with other young Highlands people through my association with ReFrame.”
Mineeff and his team will announce their 2019 racing plans shortly.