Bundaberg's very own chicken whisperer Summer Farrelly has been announced as this year's Junior Hinkler Innovation Award winner for her autism advocacy role in the region and beyond.
The Hinkler Innovation Award honours the spirit and legacy of Bert Hinkler by recognising an Australian whose pioneering spirit has contributed both locally and globally to innovation and entrepreneurship.
The 14-year-old has established a range of programs and initiatives to help people through their own personal challenges and provide support and guidance to those with autism.
Summer began creating her Chickens to Love program after realising animals were a big part of her healing process.
Since then, the junior entrepreneur has gone on to collaborate with professionals from across the world to expand on her autism awareness and support initiatives.
In receiving her Hinkler Innovation Award yesterday Summer said she felt proud to be recognised for her work.
“It was really exciting to be able to know that I am recognised for what I am doing and the goals I am working towards,” she said.
“I created an inclusive program called Chickens to Love which is a therapeutic program.
“It's about doing usual therapeutic things but with chickens involved in order to help understand yourself and the people around you better.”
Bundaberg Mayor Jack Dempsey congratulated Summer on her latest achievement and said her passion and drive to create more understanding and support around autism was admirable.
“The aim of the Hinkler Innovation Series is to inspire future generations of innovators, scientists and entrepreneurs,” he said.
“At just 14 years old and through her drive and passion to help others, Summer has forged her own path and has brought to life her vision to expand on support and education services and programs.
“Now that is true inspiration, congratulations Summer.”
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