Young Bahamian to be awarded by The Queen, and will meet UK's Prime Minister
By Anouska Russell, Comic Relief
Jun 12, 2015 - 2:30:06 PM

Bahamian Alicia Wallace will be the first Bahamian, and be one of the inaugural recipients of the Queen's Young Leaders Awards at a ceremony at Buckingham Palace on June 22nd, 2015

Her Majesty The Queen will present the inaugural Queen’s Young Leaders Awards to Alicia Wallace from the Bahamas at a ceremony at Buckingham Palace on Monday 22nd June.

Alicia Wallace is among 60 exceptional young people from across the Commonwealth who have been recognised by The Queen for taking the lead in transforming the lives of others and make a lasting difference in their communities. The 29-year-old from Nassau has been selected in recognition of her work as director of Hollaback! Bahamas, which works to end street harassment, and also as co-founder of the Coalition to End Gender-based Violence and Discrimination.

Before receiving their Award at Buckingham Palace the winners will meet the UK Prime Minister, David Cameron at 10 Downing Street, visit the headquarters of global social networking company, Twitter and meet with senior executives at the BBC World Service.

Alicia Wallace said,“I am so happy to be one of the first recipients of the Queen’s Young Leaders Award. To be recognised for my work and be presented with an Award by Her Majesty The Queen at Buckingham Palace is such a huge honour. I can’t wait to meet all the other Award winners in London and get involved in all the exciting activities that are taking place throughout the week.”

This year’s Award winners are aged between 18 and 29 and are working to support others, raise awareness and inspire change on a variety of different issues including; education, climate change, gender equality, mental health and disability equality.

Following the ceremony on the 22nd June, Award winners will spend four days in the UK to take part in a residential development programme as part of the Award prize. The programme includes workshops at Cambridge University, meetings with UK businesses leaders, and visits to life changing social action projects.

To see a full list of Award winners and Highly Commended runners up, and read more about their stories please visit

If you or someone you know is doing inspiring work like this year’s Queen's Young Leaders, from 7pm on Monday 22nd June you can apply or nominate someone for a 2016 Award at

Alicia Wallace is the director of Hollaback!, an organisation that works to end street harassment in the Bahamas, and co-founder of the Coalition to End Gender-based Violence and Discrimination. She is also launching a new 16-week programme to provide vital life skills education and mentoring to local high school students. Participants will have the opportunity to hear about and discuss a range of issues from personal finance and relationships to entrepreneurship and health care. The student approach is simple, according to Alicia, “It’s about engaging them with education and empowering them with education.”

Alicia first worked as a volunteer support worker for young women who were at risk of homelessness in Canada whilst studying for her degree. This exposure to homelessness and gender-based inequalities heightened her awareness of the problems for women in her own community upon her return home. These issues play out in everyday life and often go by unnoticed, says Alicia. “Here sexual harassment is only recognised in the work place and even then, only from the top down – so an employer to an employee, but not between two employees.”

As a child, Alicia grew up thinking she did not have a voice. Now she says, “I am no longer a quiet little girl. I am a force. My voice is powerful and I have learned to use it.”

Alicia is also a columnist on

The Queen’s Young Leaders Programme -- The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust, in partnership with Comic Relief and The Royal Commonwealth Society, has established The Queen’s Young Leaders Programme in honour of Her Majesty The Queen’s 60 years of service to the Commonwealth at the time of her Diamond Jubilee. Guided by the values of the Commonwealth Charter, the goal of the Programme is to enable young people to step up as leaders and improve the lives of people across the Commonwealth.


Award details:  Each year from 2014 to 2018, 60 exceptional young people will be selected to receive a Queen’s Young Leaders Award and become ‘Queen’s Young Leaders’ – one for every year that The Queen had served as Head of the Commonwealth at the time of her Diamond Jubilee.

As part of the Award, winners will receive bespoke mentoring and online learning provided by the University of Cambridge. Award winners will attend a week-long residential programme in the UK in June, when they will receive their Award at Buckingham Palace from Her Majesty The Queen.

Criteria to win an award:

** Nominees will have proven experience of working to improve their communities locally, regionally or at a national level and will show evidence of their achievements

** Nominees will be aged between 18 and 29 for the year of the Award and be citizens of a Commonwealth country

** Nominees will demonstrate evidence of their leadership qualities

** Priority will be given to individuals who have overcome challenges to achieve their goals

** All nominees will need to be supported by a suitable referee.


The Partners: 

The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust --- The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust is a charitable foundation, established in 2012, to mark and celebrate Her Majesty The Queen’s 60-year contribution to the Commonwealth. The Trust has received donations from governments, corporate partners, trusts, foundations, community groups and individuals from across the Commonwealth, and its programmes work in alliance towards eliminating avoidable blindness and to empower a new generation of young leaders. With a five-year timeframe in which to deliver successful programmes, the Trust’s aim is to leave a lasting legacy, owned by the whole Commonwealth, to honour Her Majesty The Queen. For more information go to:

Comic Relief --- Established in 1985, Comic Relief is a major UK fundraising and grant making charity which uses the power of entertainment to create long-lasting change. Its vision is a just world, free from poverty. It strives to make this vision a reality by supporting poor, disadvantages and vulnerable people in the UK and across some of the world’s poorest communities to change their own lives for the better. Discover more at:

Royal Commonwealth Society --- The Royal Commonwealth Society (RCS), founded in 1868, is a network of individuals and organisations committed to improving the lives and prospects of Commonwealth citizens across the world. Working through a range of educational, civil society, business and governmental networks, the RCS addresses issues that matter to the Commonwealth citizens. For more information go

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