At just 18 years old, Tiffany Wasnig has achieved more than others do in a lifetime.
The year 12 Heathdale Christian College school captain volunteers with the Salvation Army-Wyndham Rotary food van, has been an ambassador for Brainwave Australia for the past eight years, and has raised money for an orphan in the Philippines to get lifesaving surgery.
Most recently, Tiffany was named winner of the inaugural Neil Vick youth leadership award by Hoppers Crossing Rotary for exemplifying the Rotary motto of service above self.
“I couldn’t believe it was being given to me,” she said.
“I’ve met so many young people who have a love for their community.
“That’s the whole point of what we do – we just want to see our community thrive. It’s not to get awards or be recognised.”
In keeping with her philanthropic nature, Tiffany donated the $300 she received as part of the award to the Benjamin’s Best Friend charity, which helps fund a guide dog for a little boy with autism.
Tiffany, who was diagnosed with hydrocephalus – a cyst on her brain – when she was six months old, has undergone two major surgeries this year to manage her condition.
It was this that has spurred her future ambitions. Tiffany has been accepted into LaTrobe University’s Aspire program, to study a bachelor of allied health sciences, followed by a masters in occupational therapy and another masters in speech pathology.
She would also like to work in developing countries.
“I want to help people that have been through a lot worse than what I’ve been through.”