Vaughn Arambatzis is the 12-year-old Greek Australian boy who has raised thousands of dollars for the Sydney Dogs and Cats Home by collecting cans and bottles and recycling them through the NSW Government’s Return and Earn Scheme.
It’s no surprise then that Vaughn recently won his category of Young Legends for the Keep Australia Beautiful Sustainable Cities Awards.
These awards set out to recognise and celebrate positive actions taken by councils, community groups and individuals in metropolitan areas to protect and enhance their local environments.
Vaughn definitely fits the bill and to celebrate his win, we sat down to speak with him about his passion for sustainability and his future plans.
1. How does it feel to win and be recognised for your work?
I was really shocked and excited to win the Young Legends Award from Keep Australia Beautiful. The award was huge and I got to give a speech about what I’ve been doing.
2. How much did you raise for the Sydney Dogs and Cats Home last year?
I ended up recycling over 12,000 drink containers and I raised $2000 for Sydney Dogs and Cats Home. Lots of generous Greeks helped me after you wrote the last article. My local IGA donated money, The One Sauce, which is run by a Greek lady and a Texan man, donated some of their hot sauce and I was able to use it as a prize. I left a bin at our business, UFC GYM Gregory Hills, and lots of neighbours just kept dropping off drink containers. It was non-stop! Lockdown was a bit tough but I just extended my deadline by a couple of months.
3. What are your future plans?
I want to speak to Council to see if they can help me this year. I definitely need more bins but I also mainly need help with transporting everything to Return and Earn. I also just found out about the Purple Bin service so I need to investigate that too.
4. Is there anything else you’d like to say?
I think that Sydney Dogs and Cats Home is a really important charity. They need all the help they can get because they need to build their new shelter at Kurnell. If more generous Greeks want to help me again this year, that would be great!