A Mandurah teenager is the youngest student to be nominated for the Western Australia Youth Awards this year.
The awards recognise Western Australians aged 12 to 25 years for their contributions to the community, as well as outstanding youth groups and organisations that serve and support the State’s young people.
John Tonkin College year 9 student Aaron Johnston,14, was nominated by his science teacher and principal for his passion to monitor marine life in the Mandurah Estuary.
Aaron became interested in dolphins and the estuary in year 8 when he enrolled in the Surf Science Specialist program.
The program encourages students to take responsibility for their own learning and become involved in various research projects.
After being inspired by his study of dolphins in the Estuary, Aaron took it upon himself to develop the Dolphin Fin Guide for the Mandurah Dolphins.
The guide is used by the community to identify dolphins and record sightings, with data used by scientists and researchers.
He also coordinated a local forum to share information about the dolphins and to launch the Estuary Guardians group, which he founded.
Aaron said nobody was doing anything about the number of dolphins which were visiting Mandurah shores and he thought they should be.
"People can help us monitor the dolphins by visiting estuaryguardians.weebly.com," he said.
“I was concerned nothing was being recorded and we have four times the amount of river guardian dolphins as Perth and twice as many as the Bunbury dolphins,” he said.
Not only passionate about marine life and the environment, Aaron is also a corporal at 504 Mandurah Army Cadets, represented the school in the State Schools Sailing Championships, is a student councillor and Bush Ranger Cadet.
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