Northern Territory Community Achievement Awards

2020 Finalists 


AANT Road Safety Award
DRV4LYF Driving School of Katherine started in 2007 to help reduce injuries and deaths on the roads, specifically focused on the dangers of drinking, drugs and fatigue. They conduct training and testing for C class licences in automatic and manual cars and METAL courses for motorcyclists. They deliver the Drivesafe NT program, both theory and practical and visit Indigenous communities for driver training and alcohol and drug awareness. Advise has been provided to the Rotary Club about re-establishing the Katherine Road Safety Centre and DRV4LYF purchased a $20,000 driving simulator which is on loan to the Katherine High School Flexible Learning Centre.

Kidsafe NT is a charity dedicated to the prevention of unintentional childhood accidents, injuries and deaths in the Territory. They provide a fitting and checking service to ensure child car restraints are fitted correctly. They also conduct workshops for organisations that travel with children under seven in their vehicles, and hold road safety talks at new parenting groups. Their ‘Car Seats for Kids’ program is delivered in remote aboriginal communities, designed to provide free child car restraints and safety workshops to all families and carers with children under seven. They also work closely with Road Safety NT at events to serve the local community.

Mel Roomes is dedicated to providing road safety education. Mel is one of the Community Engagement Officers with the Department of Infrastructure, Planning and Logistics’ Road Safety Team. She is a former police officer from Victoria and now travels across the Territory to speak to as many as she can through education sessions. At school assemblies, she shares the importance of wearing a seatbelt, bike helmet and how to cross the road safely. She also conducts practical bicycle safety and road rule sessions at the Parap Road Safety Centre and holds toolbox talks with community organisations, businesses and local government workplaces.

"Who's your sober Bob?" is a campaign that encourages Territorians not to drink and drive but plan ahead to have a designated sober driver to get home safely. Delivered since 1997, it is part of the Road Safety NT team of the Department of Infrastructure, Planning and Logistics. The campaign aims to change behaviour and reduce and prevent alcohol-related road trauma on Territory roads. The “Sober Bob” or designated driver can be a mate, or a bus driver, taxi driver, rideshare, parent, sibling or partner. The campaign particularly targets young males aged 18 to 40 and is promoted year-round via television, radio, social media and print advertising.


Awards Australia Health & Wellbeing Award
Noeletta McKenzie of the Balunu Foundation works with young people aged 12 to 25 who may be experiencing trauma or who are survivors of intergenerational trauma. The Program leads them to better lives. Balunu’s staff are 90% Indigenous. They run in-house programs ‘Young Tiddas’ and ‘Young Warriors’ throughout the school term and Healing and Wellbeing Camps On Country for young women and men. Noeletta is the driver of all that Balunu does, making herself available 24/7 to respond to the needs of young First Nations people. She counsels, conducts debriefing sessions and provides problem-solving and more. She has trained many Youth Workers who have gone on to build terrific careers.


“Ask the Specialist: Larrakia, Tiwi and Yolngu stories to inspire better healthcare” is a podcast by the Menzies School of Health Research, which aims to improve health outcomes for Aboriginal people. Menzies’ PhD student Vicki Kerrigan created the podcast series with Aboriginal community leaders and Royal Darwin Hospital staff. They share their personal experiences as patients and professional health workers and impart their cultural knowledge to enhance the health workers’ ability to deliver culturally safe care to Aboriginal people across the Top End of the NT. The podcasts have been downloaded 6,000 times globally and have been endorsed by the Top End Health Service. The creators are working to embed it into cultural education delivered to all staff

Play Therapy NT delivers quality therapeutic service to empower vulnerable children on the ground in remote communities. Led by Director Josephine Martin, they have partnered with many Department of Education Northern Territory remote schools to allow families to access service provision without having to leave their homes and communities to travel to urban areas. To serve children whose English is not the first language, they use the language of “play” rather than requiring intense understanding and mastery of a second language. Play Therapy brings passionate therapists to places deemed too far, too hard and too costly to get to and provide a service.

Wagait Beach Runners and Walkers offers an encouraging and supporting community to promote increased social connections and improved physical fitness and well-being. Wagait Shire Council’s Sport and Recreation Officer, Beckie Taylor, is a keen advocate for active health and healthy lifestyle for all. She is mindful that every individual is a whole individual, and all programs are customised to ensure maximum participation from multiple levels of involvement. The Wagait Beach Runners and Walkers program has helped in engaging, challenging, encouraging, supporting and growing the number of active, healthy residents. The Program is inclusive of all ages, genders, fitness levels, spiritual beliefs and socio-economic levels.


Awards Australia Small Business Achiever Award
Cross Cultural Consultants International is an Aboriginal owned and managed business operating throughout NT, nationally and internationally. They deliver training solutions, cross-cultural consultancy and community and stakeholder engagement services, with a commitment to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, communities and organisations. Director Jason Elsegood has set a clear partnership mandate within the business to support local capacity and delivery of projects, resulting in employment opportunities and more cost-effective services. A Learning Management System is used to track and record training activities. During COVID-19, they managed to restructure and change the way they operate and were able to reopen stronger than ever.

Ikuntji Artists Aboriginal Corporation is a member-based Aboriginal art centre and is the first art centre established by women of the Western Desert Art Movement. Ikuntji Artists aim to make art in order to keep Anangu culture strong through intergenerational teaching, learning and telling stories. They have a board of seven Indigenous directors and a member base of 85 artists. They facilitate the production of contemporary and authentic Aboriginal art, ethical sale of artworks and investment in cultural projects and activities. They achieved $1.2m in profits in the 2019/2020 financial year, 100 per cent of which is fed back into the community.

Khayla Lee Photography is educating young people on the importance of empowering themselves. In the last four years, Khayla and her team have contributed educational sessions for young people, volunteering their time for those in need. They offer photography educational services for people aged 10 to 25 to help grow visual communications, transferrable skills and creativity. They have been involved with assisting many organisations including the Office of Youth Affairs, NT Health, Top End Health Services, Royal Darwin Hospital and the NT Office of the Children’s Commissioner. In 2019, they raised almost $1,300,000 million for the Queensland bushfires through mini photography sessions.

Outlook Psychology – Nhulunbuy was established in 2016 in an attempt to meet the extreme mental health needs of East Arnhem communities. Outreach Psychology services help improve accessibility, and social and emotional wellbeing groups have been created for young Indigenous men. They contract with local stakeholders to provide Employee Assistance Programs, allowing staff to access counselling sessions for free. They conduct the annual RU ok awareness and community event. Outlook Psychology is an NDIS provider and has accessed Government funding for Access To Allied Psychological Service (ATAPS). They have four full-time psychologists and two admin staff, servicing a region of 16,000 people.


Inspirational.Australians Podcast Local Legend Award
Alexandra Craig empowers others, especially First Nations people, and makes a positive impact. Alexandra is a community development lawyer in Central Australia who has been elected Vice President of the NT Young Lawyers Association. She is a committee member of the Federal Netball Club, NT Women Lawyers Association and NT Law Society’s Legal Education Committee. Alexandra is a sports medicine trainer with AFLNT, facilitating their remote community footy program. She also volunteers as casual residential support worker in the Ampe Akweke House with Alice Springs Youth Accommodation Support Service. She was selected to represent Alice Springs in the Territories Golden Gavel competition.

David Ninan is committed to improving his community in every engagement. As Vice Chair of the NT Youth Round Table, he helps manage the team of northern NT members. As part of the City of Darwin Youth Advisory Committee, he actively engages with the community. He is President of the Charles Darwin Law Students’ Society, helping organise meetings and run basic events. David volunteers at the Darwin Community Legal Service, helping community members who generally are unable to afford private legal help. He has taken part in the inaugural Australian Crisis Simulation Summit and started a successful tutoring program for law students at CDU.

Leith Waterbury is a passionate and dedicated community member. He is a volunteer firefighter with the rural brigade of Virginia/Bees Creek, giving the community assurance that they are in safe hands during the fire season. As part of a bigger team of NT firefighters, Leith helped assist with the NSW bushfire emergency in Nowra in January 2020. He volunteers with the Southern Districts Football Club as a coach for Under 18 Girls, helping upskill young ladies in the rural community. He is also the team manager of the Premier League team. In 2019, Leith was named Citizen of the Year in Jabiru NT.

Simon Casey is a baseball umpire in Alice Springs with a huge commitment to the sport and his community. He starts every season by ordering equipment and spends the off-season staying on top of rule changes. Simon umpires 90 per cent of the games in a season, mentors, and encourages everyone to volunteer. Simon is also a volunteer coach with the NT Academy and a reliable support for the NT Head Coach, attending meetings and supporting good causes. In 2017/2018, Simon received a Good Sports Award, a Life Membership award at the 2018 AGM, and the 2020 Alice Springs Volunteer of the Year Award for his voluntary firefighter services.

Tristan Duggie is an advocate of good quality education for his people. Tristan is a local Aboriginal male leader of the Barkly Region. As full-time Student Engagement Officer, he works with community principals, teachers and families targeting school student attendance, travelling four days a week to Epenarra, Canteen Creek and Ali Curung. He is a newly elected volunteer Director at the Barkly Regional Arts Organisation and a member of the Celebrating Aboriginal Culture, an Australia Day Grant of the Consultative Committee under the Office of Aboriginal Affairs. Tristan also represents the Barkly people as an Aboriginal Advisor to the Chief Minister of the NT Government.


Woolworths Community Group of the Year
Bawinanga Aboriginal Corporation aims to build financial independence through diverse and sustainable business enterprises whilst protecting and honouring the environment, traditional culture and languages. BAC is a not-for-profit, membership-based organisation, governed by a board of predominantly Indigenous Directors. Their program, “Tucker Run,” is a weekly mobile shopping service provided to the 32 homelands in the Maningrida region. They have been operating the program for twenty years. This is in response to inadequate access to food and living equipment supplies due to poor road conditions and distance to the supermarket. During the wet season, BAC’s retail supermarket delivers by boat or aircraft to areas that are inaccessible.

Katherine Isolated Children's Service is a registered charity and Federal Government-funded association that provides a mobile playgroup and parent information service to socially and geographically isolated children and families. KICS travels to pastoral stations and Indigenous communities during school term to bring the joy of play-based learning to those living remotely. They have 30 years of experience delivering outdoor, culturally appropriate playgroups to NT kids. In June 2020, KICS organised the KICS Literary Festival in partnership with Katherine Regional Arts. It was attended by 199 children, 109 adults, and 19 other service providers, and promoted Indigenous authors, translators and local authors.

Kindness Shake Incorporated showcases the importance of international students in the NT while portraying boundless ways the community can get together. KS is an initiative devised and overseen by the International Student Services team at Charles Darwin University Global. Launched during the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, it aims to provide a weekly meal to individuals experiencing financial hardship. KS runs two programs, “KS Friday Free Food” services, and the “Skill up 2 Scape up”, 10 week Employability Program. They have served over 4,000 meals, assisted 500 individuals, partnered with 30 organisations and local businesses, recruited 50 volunteers and raised over $40,000.

Royal Life Saving Society (Australia) NT Branch has a proud history of serving communities and individuals. Formed in 1965, Royal Life Saving NT is a water safety education and training provider in the Northern Territory and plays a critical role in reducing drowning deaths, particularly among those aged under five. They have had active involvement in 69 community and major NT events such as Water Safety Week, Teddy Bears Picnic, Children’s Week and the Defence Expo. They have attended the Australia Family Fun Day and the Seniors Expo. During the pandemic, they developed a free 10-week online Water Wellbeing program and Zoom First Aid and CPR assessments.


Zip Print Sports in the Community Award
The Litchfield Rugby League Club, a rural club whihch was established in 1990. Entering teams from Under 6 to Senior Men and Women in under 15, 17 and Senior Women in the NRL NT Rugby League competition. The Club’s focus is on its community, members, and volunteers. The Club is an advocate of the ‘No More Campaign’. The Club has a level 3 accreditation of the Good Sports Program for embracing good values and providing a positive, healthy, and family experience for all in its community.

Royal Existence Dance Academy is known for family culture and excellence in teaching dance technique. Royal Existence Dance Academy is a local dance studio offering classes for young people aged two to 18. Apart from competitive and recreational dancing streams, they mentor young people in their self-worth and identity, encouraging them to dream big and unlock their greatest potential. During the COVID-19 pandemic, they transitioned to dance classes online and ran competitions, dance parties and invited guest speakers to keep the spirits high. With 230 young people and their families, they plan to host an End of Year Concert at Darwin Entertainment Centre.


Watarrka Foundation - Annual Sports & Story Telling Festival aims to bring together distant communities, generate excitement around education and promote good health habits. The Festival is organised by Wattarka Foundation, a not-for-profit founded by Reg Ramsden and supported by his company Remote Educational Tours. The organisation is focused on young people, delivering programs that support a sustainable organisation, education, healthy lifestyles and independent livelihoods for Aboriginal communities in the region. During the Festival, there are drama performances and sport and exercise. The Festival is attended by over 40 children from remote communities, as well as their teachers, community elders and volunteers. They hope to create leaders of tomorrow.