Northern Territory Community Achievement Awards

2023 Finalists

Awards Australia Charitable Foundation Local Legend Award

  • Ashish Raj Jamarkattel - Ashish Raj Jamarkattel of Coconut Grove has been a transformative force, cultivating unity, respect, and cultural preservation. Ashish is the President of the Nepalese Association in Northern Territory. He's orchestrated a myriad of multicultural events, instilling cultural pride and diversity appreciation. His dedication extends to facilitating language classes and supporting incoming students, ensuring they smoothly integrate into their new environment. Ashish's role in the Minister of Multicultural Affairs' Advisory Council empowers him to advocate for community concerns, making policies more inclusive. Despite language differences to limited resources, Ashish shines through. He's dedicated over 500 volunteer hours annually to create a more harmonious, inclusive, and empowered Nepalese community.


  • Jordon Humphreys - Jordon Humphreys overcame bullying to become a passionate youth and disability advocate. Jordon's journey is one of remarkable transformation. He's instrumental in pushing for change. His efforts have led to significant milestones, such as leading the development of the NT Youth Strategy and organizing the NT All Youth Conference. As a student leader, he empowers peers to reach their full potential, linking their interests to academic pursuits. Jordon's hardships have transformed into a source of inspiration, proving that with resilience and a vision, individuals can defy all odds and create a better future for themselves and their community.


  • Rachel Fosdick - Rachel Fosdick of Bakewell is dedicated to creating a more inclusive and thriving community. Rachel is the force behind the Palmerston and Regional Basketball Association, founded in 2014, which champions inclusive sports and breaks barriers. Fifteen years of commitment to her child's school council demonstrates her unwavering dedication to education and community. Rachel's mentoring role with the Geek Culture Collective exemplifies her passion for fostering diverse communities. Her most significant impact shines through the Youth Drop-in Sports program, where she's volunteered since its inception. Rachel's profound efforts have created a tight-knit community, a positive force for the Palmerston community, encouraging inclusivity and personal development.


  • Rebecca Forrest - Bec Forrest has gone above and beyond in her mission to create a better, more compassionate community. Her achievements include raising over $1 million for charities, initiating programs for health and well-being, and advocating against violence. Despite personal hardships and being a victim of violence, Bec founded "Noone Left Behind," a series of events and workshops that foster connection and offer solutions at the grassroots level. Her dedication extends to supporting men's, women's, LGBTQI, youth, and disability rights. Her relentless commitment earned her recognition as the 2022 Northern Territory Local Hero Australian of the Year, and she continues to inspire positive change, overcoming her challenges and leading by example.


  • Tamika Galea - Tamika Galea is dedicated to improving mental health care in remote communities. Despite personal and community barriers, including a lack of housing and the isolation of Nhulunbuy, she founded Top Corner Psychology in 2022. Her accomplishments include professional endorsement in forensic psychology, clinical leadership, and mentoring future psychologists. Her work not only benefits clients and their families but also the entire Arnhem region. By providing quality mental health services and mentoring the next generation of psychologists, Tamika ensures that remote communities have access to the vital care they need. In 2023, she was recognised as Allied Health Professional of the Year by NTPHN.


 Awards Australia Small Business Award

  • 1800 Mareva Pty Ltd - 1800 Mareva Pty Ltd of East Arnhem Land boasts a journey of perseverance and commitment in making a positive impact. Mareva Pearse founded 1800 Mareva Pty Ltd in 2014. She overcame personal adversity, including a bipolar disorder diagnosis, to build a thriving local enterprise. From starting as a sole trader, her business has rapidly expanded, now encompassing various ventures and employing 17 staff, 10 of which are local. Mareva's commitment to mental health support is evident through the Buff Club Gym, which she established in 2018, fostering well-being in the community. Her dedication to local suppliers, explosive business growth, and ongoing contributions showcase her determination, resilience, and significant community engagement.


  • Northern Territory Veterinary Services - Northern Territory Veterinary Services of Katherine (NTVS) is a premier regional veterinary care provider, established to cater to the needs of NT’s diverse pet and fauna population. In just a decade, they've undergone remarkable expansion, introducing advanced treatments, rapid diagnostics, same-day lab services, and raising the bar for animal healthcare in the Northern Territory. NTVS not only created a significant number of local employment opportunities but also boosted the regional economy. Their outreach to remote communities exemplifies their dedication to ensuring even the farthest corners have access to quality veterinary services. NTVS's transformative initiatives have a far-reaching positive impact on the well-being of animals and the community.


  • Rod n Rifle - Rod n Rifle of  have expanded its offerings to include grills, apparel, and bikes, serving diverse customer needs. Trent is the dynamic force behind Rod n Rifle. His philanthropic spirit is remarkable. He singlehandedly funds the town's annual Christmas lights and celebration. Trent also opens his store to host local schools and charities regularly. His numerous fundraisers have made a significant impact, raising substantial amounts for various community members in need, from assault victims to children battling cancer. Despite challenges like persistent break-ins, Trent remains resilient and even seeks to offer employment opportunities to youth involved in these incidents, demonstrating his commitment to community welfare.


  • SAMAF Group Pty Ltd - SAMAF Group Pty Ltd of Darwin City is providing support to international students and migrants in the Northern Territory. Founded by two international students from Charles Darwin University, this organisation's impact is profound. Through the CDU Tax Clinic Program, they've provided free taxation services to 1,000 individuals and 50 businesses. SAMAF has guided and assisted the establishment of over 10 businesses operated by international students, thus contributing to the region's economic growth. Their commitment to inclusivity and multiculturalism is evident through multilingual training sessions and partnerships with organisations supporting refugees, education, and health research. SAMAF has been previously recognised as the Study NT Student Employer of the Year.


 Northern Territory PHN Health and Wellbeing Award

  • Bush Steps -Bush Steps of Alice Springs is focusing on enhancing accessibility. Joel, the driving force behind Bush Steps, has revolutionised the delivery of prosthetic and orthotic services in Central Australia. Joel established Bush Steps after recognising the challenges faced by patients forced to travel long distances, Through a mobile van equipped with all necessary equipment, Bush Steps offers on-the-spot prosthetic and orthotic services in remote areas. Furthermore, the acquisition of a clinical location in Alice Springs and the employment of a physiotherapist ensure a comprehensive and seamless approach to patient care. Joel's dedication to reducing health disparities caused by geographical isolation has made a lasting impact.


  • Connected Women - Australian Red Cross NT - Connected Women - Australian Red Cross NT of Casuarina is a groundbreaking program that has been empowering over 500 migrant women from diverse cultural backgrounds across the Northern Territory since 2017. This initiative aims to build a sense of belonging, inclusivity, and economic empowerment. With 3,279 individuals participating in 333 diverse activities in the 2022/2023 financial year, Connected Women made a remarkable impact on 2,585 participants within the program. Its benefits range from reducing social isolation and providing essential knowledge and skills to encouraging economic participation and strengthening the diverse community. The committed volunteers, totalling over 200, dedicated 3,640 hours to create a more inclusive society valued at over $160,000.


  • Palmerston Men's Shed Inc - Palmerston Men's Shed Inc of Yarrawonga is a volunteer-driven haven. They play a crucial role in enhancing the health and well-being of socially isolated and disadvantaged individuals in Palmerston and outer rural areas. As an inclusive space for men and women aged 17 and above, the shed aims to alleviate mental health issues, boost self-confidence, and strengthen self-esteem. Members come together to share their lifelong skills, including woodworking, metalwork, and mechanics, providing a sense of purpose and accomplishment, especially when their works are sold. The shed offers a non-judgmental environment, especially valuable for those grappling with PTSD. The community's mental health has notably benefited from this supportive initiative.


  • Sacha King - Sacha King of Parap is a qualified social worker whose tireless efforts are transforming mental health literacy, boosting confidence, and nurturing a culture of well-being across the Territory. Sach founded Two Two One Mental Health Charity in 2019. Her mission to close gaps in mental health services and education in the Northern Territory has made a profound impact. Under her guidance, the charity has reached over 2700 individuals through programs like Teen Mental Health First Aid and Mental Health Night School. Sacha's extensive credentials and accreditation as a Mental Health First Aid trainer have empowered her to deliver essential mental health education.


  • Sikh Family Food Van - Sikh Family Food Van of Malak has become a symbol of hope and sustenance in Darwin. Tejinder Pal Singh, the driving force behind the Sikh Family Food Van, has been providing free vegetarian meals to the hungry and needy, ensuring that no one goes to bed hungry. For over a decade, Tejinder's charitable work has created a strong sense of community and inspired others to join in the mission to help those in need. He contributes a significant portion of his own income to fund these initiatives, addressing immediate health and wellbeing challenges during crises like the COVID-19 pandemic. Tejinder's dedication is enriching the lives of countless individuals.


NT Government Road Safety Award

  • Alice Springs Cycling Club - The Alice Springs Cycling Club (ASCC) has been a pillar of road safety advocacy in Central Australia for over five decades. Since the tragic death of a rider (who was Club Secretary) by a substance-affected driver in 2021, the club has increased its efforts to create a safe haven for cyclists of all levels through events, training, and education. They meet regularly with the local council to ensure cyclists’ needs are included in any road and infrastructure planning. They have introduced bike cameras and provide footage to police, resulting in offending drivers being cautioned.


  • Louise Bilato - Louise Bilato of Winnellie reflects a commitment to lead in safety and efficiency and take proactive climate action. Louise is the CEO of the Northern Territory Road Transport Association, which has significantly elevated road safety and the well-being of the road transport industry in the Northern Territory. Over a decade of dedicated work has led to tangible outcomes, including reduced accident response times, improved awareness of road safety issues, and enhanced mental well-being among truck drivers. Louise's contributions extend to advocating for essential road infrastructure and road safety legislation, creating safer road environments for all. Her leadership is setting an example for the industry.


  • North Australian Motor Sports Club (NAMSC) - North Australian Motor Sports Club (NAMSC) is redefining road safety. Through its motorkhana program at Hidden Valley Raceway, NAMSC provides a vital lifeline for creating safer roads. Participants spanning all age groups receive a unique opportunity to enhance their driving skills and master crash avoidance techniques. In 2021, junior drivers showcased a significant 7% average improvement, a statistic that can mean the difference between safety and peril. Personal accounts of accident situations emphasise the tangible value of this training. NAMSC's program fosters a vibrant community dedicated to road safety, driven by tireless volunteers who've dedicated over 2,000 hours for this cause.


Palmerston GP Super Clinic Improving Health through Connection to Country / Culture Award

  • BushMob Aboriginal Corporation - BushMob Aboriginal Corporation of Alice Springs is empowering individuals to overcome substance misuse and develop healthier, more fulfilling lives. Since its establishment in 1999, BushMob Aboriginal Corporation has been at the forefront of addressing alcohol and drug-related challenges among young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander individuals. Their approach includes a 20-bed residential facility and a community outreach program, creating safe spaces for those aged 12-25 seeking recovery. What sets BushMob apart is their emphasis on cultural sensitivity, connecting participants to their heritage and land. BushMob's ripple effect extends to families, communities, and beyond, fostering personal growth and improved well-being. They enhance self-esteem, confidence, and life skills.


  • Central Australian Aboriginal Alcohol Programmes Unit - Central Australian Aboriginal Alcohol Programmes Unit of Alice Springs (CAAAPU) is a vital institution with a profound impact on the health and well-being of Aboriginal individuals and families. Since 1991, CAAAPU has been at the forefront of culturally appropriate rehabilitation and treatment programs for those affected by alcohol and substance abuse. Operating on the outskirts of Alice Springs, they provide residential treatment programs, counselling, and support services that empower clients to heal and regain control of their lives. By reducing alcohol-related issues, violence, and incarceration, CAAAPU supports the local Aboriginal community and contributes to the broader society's health and resilience. CAAAPU is a place of hope, health and healing.


  • Galiwinku Womens Space Aboriginal Corporation - Galiwin’ku Women’s Space Aboriginal Corporation of Elcho Island (GWS) is a powerful force against domestic violence. Led by Yolŋu values, GWS bridges Yolŋu and Balanda systems, intervening early, offering crisis support, and promoting culturally rooted healing. This Yolŋu-led organisation has made an indelible impact, fostering empowerment, safety, and unity in Galiwin'ku and surrounding areas. GWS's crisis accommodation offers secure spaces for up to 16 individuals, providing rest, meals and facilities. Their case management and community education initiatives are instrumental in disrupting the cycle of violence, safeguarding women, children, and families. By advocating for and supporting survivors, they shine a light on a brighter, violence-free future and stronger community cohesion.


  • Natasha McCormack - Natasha McCormack of Alice Springs is a formidable Arrernte, Warrumungu, Kija and Alawa woman. She brings over two decades of experience in social justice, community engagement, and organisational change. She is committed to advocating for positive change, particularly in remote Australian Indigenous communities, where she has lived and experienced the challenges and resilience firsthand. A mother of five, Natasha balances family life with her impactful career. Her brainchild, Solid Spirit Consultancy, offers culturally sensitive training and consultancy, and she is celebrated for her work's ability to bridge cultural divides and bring about meaningful change. Natasha is a change-maker and a community champion for those she serves.


  • Stronger Together Support Services -Stronger Together Support Services is removing barriers and promoting inclusion and well-being through personalised support, including day trips and respite care. The visionary behind Stronger Together Support Services is Rodney Fejo, a proud Larrakia and Warumungu man. His dedication to uplifting individuals from diverse backgrounds drives the creation of culturally appropriate initiatives. These programs, tailored to enhance the health outcomes of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, emphasise the significance of connection to Country and Culture. The impact of Stronger Together Support Services extends to a broader audience, benefitting those with disabilities. Rodney's cultural sensitivity and unwavering commitment to individualised care gives participants control of their lives.


Woolworths Community Group of the Year Award

  • Connected Women - Australian Red Cross NT - Connected Women - Australian Red Cross NT of Casuarina has empowered over 500 women who are migrants, asylum seekers and refugees across the Northern Territory. Since its inception in 2017, it has fostered an inclusive environment, bridging cultural divides, and empowering women economically. Despite funding constraints, the program showcases remarkable resourcefulness, adaptability, and strategic partnerships. Challenges like membership retention and facilitator shortages are addressed through creative solutions and training opportunities. By organising workshops and nurturing innovative leadership, Connected Women not only transforms individual lives but also enriches the tapestry of the community, promoting inclusivity and unity. Their profound impact on hundreds of lives builds a more harmonious and integrated society.


  • Bereaved Parent Support NT Inc t/as Amber NT - Bereaved Parent Support NT Inc t/as Amber NT of Tiwi has been offering hope and support for anyone grappling with the profound grief of child loss for nearly four decades. Amber NT (previously SIDS and Kids NT) is an initiative born from the experiences of two bereaved mothers, determined to ensure no one endures this tragedy alone. Their multifaceted approach includes personalised assistance, monthly group sessions, and poignant community reflection events. They provide essential training to first responders, helping them understand the unique needs of grieving parents. With dedication and empathy, they continue to be a lifeline for those facing unimaginable loss, easing their journey to healing and hope.


  • Friends of Araluen - Friends of Araluen of Alice Springs (FOA) continues to be a driving force for arts and culture in the region. FOA stands as a dedicated community organisation committed to enhancing Alice Springs' cultural vibrancy through its partnership with the Araluen Arts Centre. They emerged as a grassroots campaign in the 1970s to secure the Araluen Cultural Precinct. Their recent achievement involves successfully rallying the community to acquire a much-needed grand piano for Araluen through strategic fundraising. Beyond this, FOA supports an inclusive and creative environment, engaging people of all ages, cultures, and backgrounds, fostering innovation and ensuring the arts are accessible to everyone in Alice Springs.


  • Rotary Club of Litchfield/Palmerston Inc -Rotary Club of Litchfield/Palmerston is ensuring no child goes to school hungry. Despite having just ten active members, the Rotary Club of Litchfield/Palmerston champions the "Eat Up" project, in partnership with Eat Up Australia. Since the project began in 2021, it diligently prepares and delivers over 1,130 cheese sandwiches to 10 local schools every three weeks. These sandwiches are a lifeline for children who often come to school hungry, help combat fatigue, enhance concentration, and promote better learning outcomes. This Club has become a powerful force in the community, providing support to students and families facing financial hardship.


  • Sikh Family Food Van -Sikh Family Food Van of Malak is committed to touching and nourishing lives. Tejinder Pal Singh is the heart behind the Sikh Family Food Van. He embarked on a remarkable journey in 2010 with a mission to provide free vegetarian meals to the hungry and needy in Darwin. Tejinder operates the food van, funding it from his own pocket and earning the title of Australia's Food Van Founder. Over the years, he has also raised $250,000 in donations for a Sikh temple, serving to unite the community. Tejinder's work has inspired others to join his cause, leading to free food distribution for the homeless every Sunday.


Zip Print Sports in the Community Award

  • Football Without Borders - Football Without Borders of Karama (FWB) is as an extraordinary sports initiative in Darwin. Since its establishment in 2014, FWB has used soccer as a powerful tool to empower asylum seekers, refugees, and migrants, promoting their integration into the community. With both male and female teams, FWB provides a welcoming environment for participants, fostering a sense of belonging. Through the practice of football, they've delivered psychological, social, and physical benefits, improving self-esteem and mental alertness, and reducing isolation. Despite limited funding and numerous challenges, FWB's volunteer-driven approach continues to transform lives, enriching the Northern Territory's multicultural fabric and contributing to stronger, more vibrant, and healthier communities.


  • Jingili BMX Club Incorporated - Jingili BMX Club Incorporated at Marrara Sporting Complex has unwavering commitment to an all-inclusive sporting community, with a journey that spans 45 years. The club has been nurturing riders from age 2 to 60+, offering a safe, well-maintained track where lumps, bumps, corners, and smiles come together. They've contributed to building vibrant, healthier communities by creating opportunities for people of diverse backgrounds to learn essential life skills through bike riding. From social gatherings to competitive races, adaptable coaching sessions to inclusivity of non-riders, this club has been a beacon of unity. With a strong volunteer base, their vision continues to thrive, enriching lives through the joy of BMX.


  • Palmerston and Regional Basketball Association - Palmerston and Regional Basketball Association of Palmerston (PaRBA) has been a catalyst for community engagement since 2014. Their innovative Youth Drop-in Sports program, in partnership with the City of Palmerston and impacting over 23,000 young lives annually, is a testament to PaRBA's dedication. By creating a safe and inclusive space, they've fostered leadership, inclusivity, and community bonds. The program's resilience during the COVID-19 pandemic demonstrated adaptability and a commitment to community service. They've successfully addressed barriers by prioritising community consultation and the voices of the young people. PaRBA has not only empowered youth but has also laid the foundation for positive, long-lasting change in the Palmerston community.


  • Southern Districts Crocs Netball Club - Southern Districts Crocs Netball Club of Humpty Doo is committed to inclusive netball, reaching communities from Bayview to Charlotte Creek and beyond. Despite their relatively short five-year history, Southern Districts Crocs Netball Club has made a significant impact in the Northern Territory. As the second-largest club in the region, they've extended their influence to both Palmerston and Darwin associations, providing vital netball opportunities for rural children. Their welcoming approach has resulted in 226 players across 23 teams, supported by a committed group of coaches, managers, umpires, and committee members. They've set long-term goals of establishing a dedicated home base, centralising training for players who currently cover vast distances.


  • St Mary's Football Club - St Mary's Football Club of Marrara has been a trailblazer with its ten-year reign of the AFL Auskick program in Darwin. This program introduces children aged 5-12 to the world of Aussie Rules Football in a fun, inclusive environment. The heart of this success is a group of dedicated volunteers, exemplifying the essence of community spirit. Founded in 1952, St. Mary's Football Club has consistently broken racial and social barriers in sports, embodying the motto, "From Little Saints, Big Saints Grow." Their legacy includes nurturing players who've risen to the highest levels of the game, contributing to their recognition as Australia's most successful senior football club.