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Lara Nakhle will be a familiar face to those who watched Vision Australia's Carols by Candlelight broadcast last year, or anyone who has recently seen ads for AAMI Insurance.

Now, her dedication to advocacy for the blind and low vision community, and disability advocacy, has seen her awarded Vision Australia’s Youth Award for 2023.

Lara first came to the public’s attention as a contestant on reality singing show The Voice in 2017 where she made it to the knockout rounds.

“When I auditioned, I had no idea how far I’d get, I was honestly thinking that I wouldn’t even turn a chair," she said.

Since then, Lara has performed at many events including the 2018 Invictus Games in Sydney and also in the 2021 Flag Raising and Citizenship Ceremony on Australia Day.

Most recently she has been featured in AAMI Insurance ads as a part of the Shift20 initiative which aims to increase the number of people with a disability that is broadcast in mainstream media.

“It’s important to have disability more broadly represented in the media because it shows that people with disability are no different to anyone else.

"We have jobs, we do things differently, but it doesn’t mean that we’re actually different. It will make it less confronting to people when they see someone with a disability.”

Vision Australia CEO Ron Hooton said that Lara’s contributions make her extremely worthy of the Vision Australia Youth Award.

"Lara is a role model for so many young Australians who are blind or have low vision. I've known Lara for seven years and it's been a privilege to see her grow," Ron said.

"Lara is an accomplished performer. Lara and I have had a great relationship over the years as friends and colleagues and I'm delighted she's receiving a Vision Australia Award."

"A young woman and a man in a suit"
Caption: Lara Nakhle received the Vision Australia Youth Award from CEO Ron Hooton. 

Lara is currently in the final stages of studying for a Masters in Creative Music Therapy and can't wait to establish a career that allows her to provide direct support to others who live with disability.

“A lot of people can benefit from music therapy, people with disabilities, people in aged care, it can help with mental health.

"I don’t know what age group I want to work with but would love to use these skills to help those with disabilities.”

The Vision Australia awards were first handed out in 2006 to recognise and celebrate individuals and organisations who contribute their time and resources to support the work of Vision Australia and the wider blind and low vision community.