Mickey, Obsa and Ahmed are three teenagers who have just been selected as finalists in the Tasmanian Volunteering Awards. The winners of the awards is announced in late 2020 at Government House in Hobart.

Most teenagers don’t understand how taxes work. But 15-year-old Ahmed Omer knows taxes are the reason he and his two mates Mickey Imran and Obsa Shafee are able to have a happy and safe life in Tasmania.

The loveable trio were recently awarded the ‘TrailBlazer Award’ as Youth Leaders going above and beyond in our state in 2020. This award followed a program the three boys created titled ‘Give Back’ which they have used to show their gratitude and appreciation to the Tasmanian Community.

During 2019 and some of 2020 the three boys have travelled around the state. They visited farms on the North-West Coast, worked in a kitchen for the homeless in Devonport, spent the day learning about Aboriginal culture and have donated clothes and housing supplies to those in need. In addition to this the trio raised $50,000 for people in need. They have mentored other at-risk and vunerable youth across the state and have also delivered leadership content to over 1,000 students in the north of the state.

JCP director Will Smith was overseas when the boys came up with the idea, but soon assisted the boys with their plans when he returned in 2019.

The boys, who are all refugees, were saddened when they heard the discontent surrounding alleged African youth gangs on the mainland and that some people were scared of people with different ethnic backgrounds because they “weren’t doing good things in Australia”.

“We want to do a good thing to change people’s minds,” Ahmed said.

“We want to help people as well, such as homeless people and old people who living in aged care because sometime they don’t have visitors. We want to share their stories and talk with them and make them feel happy.”

The aim of the program was to meet as many people as possible and thank them.

“Everyone pays taxes. And when they did that, the government let us come over as refugees, so we would like to thank every Australian. We want to meet more Australian people and thank them,” Ahmed said.

“We want to grow up and work and pay taxes so we can do something good for Australia as well.”

Obsa Shafee, the youngest of the trio at just 13, said he hoped the program would change perceptions.

“Will always asks us how we’re going to change the world. We’re going to change the world by helping one person, and they’ll go and help another person and they go and help another person and it’ll keep going and the world will change.”

Mr Smith said JCP was just providing the logistics to make the tour happen, with the trio organising the rest.

“Everywhere the boys go they’re inspiring people,” Mr Smith said.

“I am in shock and awe of their program … they’re putting themselves out there doing things that other kids wouldn’t normally do purely because they want to change people’s perception, not only of young refugees and African males which they speak well about, but also because they want to give back to Australia and say thank you for having the opportunity to live here.”