Twins pick up twin awards

DOUBLE: Twins Cyanne (left) and Zia Westerman took out the Websters Lawyers Service to the Community Award and the Santos Regional Service Award respectively.
DOUBLE: Twins Cyanne (left) and Zia Westerman took out the Websters Lawyers Service to the Community Award and the Santos Regional Service Award respectively.

It was a twin win for Zia and Cyanne Westerman on Friday, with the sisters taking out two awards at the Channel 7 Young Achiever Awards.

Cyanne received the Websters Lawyers Service to the Community Award while Zia won the Santos Regional Service Award, which were presented at a Gala Presentation Dinner held in the Hilton Adelaide.

The Websters Lawyers Service to the Community Award recognises young people who go the extra mile in their volunteering activities, promote community spirit, put the needs of others before their own, and make important contributions to the communities they live.

The Santos: Proudly Australian Regional Service Award recognises regional and rural young achievers and community contributors, acknowledging those who are helping to reshape and inspire their local communities.

Both girls live with limb-girdle Muscular Dystrophy, but have proved that their disability won't stop them from achieving great things in the community.

Zia and Cyanne were founding members of the Whyalla Youth Advisory Council (YAC), which ensures people in the community have a voice and provides events catered towards them.

Cyanne is a member of the Whyalla Beach Access Group and has been actively pushing for an accessible beach for all people, fundraising for Beach Wheelchairs, and educating locals on the shift to accessible beaches.

Zia has been advocating for those with disabilities as an elected member on the Whyalla City Council, and has campaigned to secure a Changing Places toilet system for the foreshore to give disabled people the dignity they deserve.

The twins are both members of Whyalla's local disability advisory group through which they helped develop Whyalla's Masterplan for Disability & Ageing.

They traveled down to Adelaide together in their new van, which was recently purchased through a huge fundraising effort by them and the community. While in attendance, the twins both admitted to being nervous.

"I was very shocked when I heard my name called," Zia said.

"Mum was very happy...she couldn't make it but I was keeping her informed throughout the night."

Cyanne said she didn't expect to win, but said the result proved that those living with a disability could take out prestigious awards.

"It's recognition for all the hard work we have done...it's very rewarding," she said.

Whyalla Mayor Clare McLaughlin said Zia and Cyanne represent everything the two awards stand for and more.

"When you look at the criteria for these awards, Zia and Cyanne go above and beyond these requirements," she said.

"A couple of the qualities particularly stand out for me when we talk about these amazing girls and they are 'going the extra mile, putting the needs of others before their own and inspiring their local communities'.

"Zia and Cyanne display these qualities every day and in every community endeavour they put their mind to."

The twins received a $1000 award prize courtesy of Axsys, along with a $1000 Bartercard account and a trophy.