By Mitchell Clarke
Cockatoo’s Jayden Kruzicevic-King has been crowned as Cardinia Shire Council’s young citizen of the year.
Described as a dedicated community volunteer, Jayden has a simple desire to help people.
“I just like to help people in general, there’s something in me where I want to help them out,” he said.
“I don’t need anything back, I just want to be able to give something to the community.”
A youth helper with the 1st Cockatoo Scout Group, the 12-year-old assists program leaders with the Joeys program.
He also collects plastic bottle tops for Envision Hands, which creates prosthetics from recycled materials.
But his community service doesn’t stop there, Jayden helps with garden maintenance at the Cockatoo Scout Hall, helps to set up stalls at the Cockatoo Market, is involved with Cockatoo Primary School’s bike education program and assists in training the younger teams at Monbulk Cricket Club.
He didn’t expect his volunteering would see him recognised with such an accolade.
“I didn’t realise I was getting watched in the community, people actually talk about me so when I got selected, it was an amazing feeling,” Jayden said.
Mother Kirra Kruzicevic said she was shocked when she heard of her son’s newfound title but acknowledged he was very deserving.
“I was very surprised, I nearly fell out of my seat, I wasn’t expecting it,” she laughed.
“It’s very well deserved though and it shows that if he keeps his head up high, he can achieve anything.”
Jayden is expected to begin high school at Emerald Secondary College and hopes his future career will continue to serve the broader community.
“I’m thinking of joining the airforce,” he said.
“I just want to continue helping out people where I can.”