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Cody Schaeffer OAM

“Being a part of the change that we are seeing in the support of young people, and particularly their mental health, has been rewarding and life changing for me,” says Cody Schaeffer OAM, who has been awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia for service to youth and the community of Queensland.  

“It’s a change that is so desperately needed. It also shakes the ground a little bit which encourages others to do the same.”  

Headshot of Cody Shaeffer, smiling, wearing white shirt

After dealing with his own need for mental health support when a teenager, Mr Schaeffer says he always had a vision to help other young people who may have felt the same as he did. He has since established a charity that offers young people a safe place to build life skills and support networks.   

“Seeing thousands of teenagers benefit from my passion and hard work through these programs has truly given me a feeling in my heart and soul that words will never be able to explain. It's unmeasurable to anything I have experienced before.”  

“Of course, I cannot do what I do without the countless volunteers who have joined me along the past 15 years of doing youth work. We don’t do this to be paid; we do this to make a difference. These volunteers impact so many lives and I'm constantly overcome with emotion thinking about just how much they have helped to guide me and shape me into the person I am today too.”  

“I was shocked, moved and overwhelmed in the best way possible by the nomination for the Order of Australia. It recognises the hard work that I have done and will continue to do."

I feel truly seen, heard and loved.”