MERINDA Ramage, from Upper Lansdowne, has always been artistic and decided to take that talent and passion to a TAFE diploma and then on to university, with plans for a bachelor of Graphic Design.
The 20 year old is currently doing her diploma through Port Macquarie TAFE and it was through her teacher there that she first learned of the competition to design the poster for this year's Youth Week.
The competition was run state wide and Merinda admits to entering "just for some design experience".
However her design fit the brief perfectly and now she will see her work across a range of promotional materials for Youth Week 2014, which will run from April 4 to 13.
"I couldn't believe it when I found out I'd been successful," explained Merinda.
"I was so surprised because I'd entered thinking it would be a fun thing to do and good experience for me.
"My design seeks to show the strength and diversity of youth in NSW and features a collection of hands reaching out together; they represent a positive collaboration of cultures, beliefs and attitudes amongst Australia's youth," she said.
As her first involvement in youth week, Merinda said she was surprised to see the many great events and activities being organised and was proud to see her work benefitting such a worthwhile initiative.
Minister for citizenship and communities Victor Dominello congratulated Merinda as the winner of the Youth Week 2014 Design Competition.
Mr Dominello said Youth Week, April 4-13, would celebrate young people's achievements, aspirations and ability to be leaders in the community, with hundreds of local events planned across NSW.
"The design competition encourages young artists to challenge themselves by devising artwork which captures the essence of youth week.
"Merinda was chosen as the winner by the Youth Week Young People's Advisory Committee for her thought provoking artwork featuring a multicultural display of hands, a megaphone and words including create, unite, passion and inspire," Mr Dominello said.
Merinda has also had the pleasure of working with other graphic designers who helped her to tweak her work so that it can be used across a range of platforms.
"That experience has been invaluable," she said.