Tara McClelland

Advocate for the rights of young people

ACTState RecipientYoung Australian of the Year2021

Tara McClelland works tirelessly to support and advocate for the rights and wellbeing of ACT’s young people.

In her professional role as Youth Worker with the Salvation Army, Tara works with 16-25 year olds experiencing, or at risk of experiencing, homelessness, helping to expand their skills while in crisis accommodation. She is particularly passionate about advocating for young people’s mental health issues, which is the focus of her strength-based empowerment practice.

Tara also dedicates her free time to volunteer work with the Youth Reference Group at Headspace Canberra, where she helps apply for funding, organises events to support mental wellbeing, and holds school information sessions.

Tara is on the Canberra Youth Theatre’s Youth Artists Advisory Panel, and has assisted the Children and Young People Commissioner’s Office with their work on family violence. Her significant contributions have been recognised with a commendation for a  2019 YOGIE Award and a nomination for 2020 Young Canberra Citizen of the Year.