Northern Territory Community Achievement Awards

2022 Finalists
Towards Zero Road Safety Award

In Gear Australia, Palmerston was established in 2013, provide driver training for young Australians. Delivering practical driver training, licence testing, drug and alcohol programs and defensive driver programs. In Gear has since helped approximately 4,000 students. Helping students to become smarter, safer drivers. In Gear Australia are a positive role model and mentor to the community, building strong and lasting connections.

Kidsafe NT, Woolner is a not-for-profit that focuses on preventing unintentional injuries and deaths to children through education, research and advocacy. Its Road Safety section provides information on keeping children safe in the car and on the road. Kidsafe NT also offers child car restraint hire, fit, check, sales and advisory services. Funds raised go into developing programs and materials to create safer environments.

Mums on Bikes, Galiwin'ku, Belinda Morton began the Mums on Bikes Group in Galiwin’ku, initially aimed at helping mothers of babies and young children to get fit, healthy and have fun. Following an expansion, MOB was compelled to get the road safety message into the community. MOB printed and distributed onesies and t-shirts with the slogan, ‘Stay on the left side of the road!’. They ran community announcements and created posters.

Ride Safe NT, Parap is promoting road safety through motorcycle education and training seven days a week. Ride Safe NT strives to make a safer environment on and off the road by delivering the best training methods with both the right roadcraft, hazard perception and the right skills to keep riders alive on the road. Professional motorcycle trainers also coach students to pass competency-based courses.

The P.A.R.T.Y. Program NT, Parap, is an initiative of the National Critical Care and Trauma Response Centre and the Northern Territory Government. Together we are working to minimise alcohol and risk-related trauma in youth. Through hands on activities and vivid emotional experience, students follow the journey of a trauma patient. Medical specialists, emergency services and injury survivors offer real-life stories, exposing teenagers to the tragic consequences of risk taking behaviour.

Department of Industry, Tourism and Trade Small Business Award

Allora Gardens Nursery, Berrimah, Estelle Cornell opened Allora Gardens Nursery after completing her diploma in Horticulture in 2011. The Gardens specialises in gardening products, including a range of edibles, collector’s items, shrubs, palms, water plants and more. Estelle and her team also offer garden advisory services, landscaping, and free workshops, including school holiday workshops. Estelle also opened Estelle’s Café, a mobile coffee shop, in the Gardens.

Deadly Hair Dude, Darwin, Gary Strachan founded Deadly Hair Dude (DHD), a not-for-profit that provides Indigenous and special needs hairdressing training. DHD engages local trainees who become mentors for future trainees, ensuring the long-term sustainability of the DHD model. Since 2020, DHD has undertaken training in 30 communities, engaged 28 trainees, and undertaken 6,000 cuts and 4,000 colours. It also offers business/administrative support to newly established salons.

Katherine Outback Experience, Uralla, Annabel Curtain is the co-owner and operator of Katherine Outback Experience (KOE), a tourist attraction that celebrates life on Northern Territory cattle stations. KOE offers experiences that include a two-hour outback show, a VIP ‘behind the scenes’ called Stockman’s Workshop, horse-riding lessons and experiences, and a Farm Therapy Program. KOE won 2021 Best Tourist Attraction in Australia at the Australian Qantas Tourism Awards.

Selvam Kandasamy, Parap, runs Saffron, an Indian restaurant dedicated to using only local seafood and fresh market produce and native ingredients. He uses biodegradable packaging and tableware and gives customers a 15% discount if they bring their own containers. In 2021, Selvam introduced cooking classes to invite the community into Saffron, strengthen community connections and promote the benefits of sourcing locally and sustainable eating.

Northern Territory PHN Health & Wellbeing Award

Deadly Hair Dude, Darwin, Gary Strachan is the founder and director of Deadly Hair Dude, a not-for-profit Indigenous and special needs hairdressing training provider founded in August 2020. Gary actively trains Indigenous people in 30 remote communities, detention centres, youth suicide prevention centres, and more to help them gain meaningful employment. Having a job improves physical and mental health and boosts a person’s self-esteem and confidence.

Myra Fordham, Nightcliff, is a proud Maljin Gurindji woman. She supports Female entrepreneurs and career-driven women to conquer self-doubt and unleash the leader within by healing the past using the Boss Lady Method ™. Earlier in 2022 Myra was nominated for six awards, including Young Australian of the Year NT 2023. Her mission is to raise the consciousness of humanity by creating impact-driven leaders.

SabrinasReach4Life.Inc, Darwin, Lidia Di Lembo co-founded SabrinasReach4Life Inc (SR4L) with her husband, Michael, following the death by suicide of their 19-year-old daughter in 2017. Lidia and Michael led a community campaign to raise awareness of mental health and suicide, reduce the stigma of suicide and raise funds for mental health research and suicide prevention. They have raised over $100,000 for the Black Dog Institute research program.

Shane Kerinaiua, Wurrumiyanga, is a proud Tiwi man who has worked for the CatholicCare NT (CCNT) for ten years. Shane is instrumental in the successful delivery of the CCNT’s Strong Men’s Group, a program focused on men’s wellbeing. Through weekly educational sessions, the Program helps address issues that include domestic violence, men’s behavioural change, justice issues, financial issues, AOD use, and positive parenting.

Yvonne Peckover, Humpty Doo, is President of the Humpty Doo Community Garden. Seeing the garden was not being utilised, Yvonne contacted Litchfield Council & offered to take on the coordinator role. She promoted the garden through friends & neighbours & ABC Radio. An informal meeting with enthusiastic gardeners led to their incorporation. Yvonne is 81 years old & has lived in NT for 54 years.

Woolworths Community Group of the Year Award

Bereaved Parent Support NT Inc, Tiwi, was founded in 1985. They provide support to parents, families, and communities who have experienced the loss of a child up to 18 years due to miscarriage, termination or sudden infant death syndrome. It holds two Community Reflection Events yearly: ‘A Walk to Remember’ and ‘Light the Lagoon’. It also provides training to first responders and frontline personnel on providing initial support.

GO! Nights - Girls Drop In Safe Space, Parap, is a safe space that using positive relationships to enhance healthy and positive decision making and preventing anti-social behaviours. Developed by 2-2-1 Mental Health Charity identifying the lack of connected spaces for female teenagers. GO! Nights runs every Friday night, engaging up to 35 youth weekly, with a total of more than 750 engagements with youth.

Remote Laundries Project, Casuarina is an Aboriginal owned project that improves health and quality of life in remote communities through free access to purpose-built laundromats. Each laundry also creates 5 local employment opportunities. Remote Laundries operates in 4 NT communities with 4 more launching next year. To date, the project employs 20 Aboriginal staff and has completed over 25,000 cycles of laundry.

The Youth Mill Pty ltd, Larrakeyah Darwin, is a program development service that supports young First Nations people to explore their cultural and linguistic heritage by telling their stories through contemporary music and art forms. Performances are presented to vast audiences throughout the Northern Territory, nationally and internationally, creating opportunities for young emerging artists to showcase their talents and educate people of the importance to maintaining the world’s oldest culture by supporting the continuance of the Indigenous cultural artistic movement.

Zip Print Sports in the Community Award

Borroloola Amateur Race Club, Borroloola, was formed in 1967. The Club holds a family-oriented outback sporting weekend of Campdraft, Rodeo and Gymkhana annually every August. Competitors and spectators from all over the Northern Territory attend the four-day event where children as young as five and up to their grandparents compete in over 22 individual events. The Club endeavours to keep the bush and rural communities alive.

Clubhouse Territory Inc, Nightcliff, is a not-for-profit community organisation dedicated to providing opportunities for all abilities, ages, and backgrounds. The organisation is known for The Clubhouse Project. The Project is composed of three programs: the Be-Inclusive Games, ‘A Day in the Life’ inclusivity awareness and capacity building workshops, and the six-week ‘All Ability Come-n-Try’ sessions. Around 4,000 attendees participate in Clubhouse Territory events annually.

Progressive Combat Centre, Pinelands, is a gym owned by Sam Gould, an ex-defence member, and Ben Coleman, a police officer. While working in their professions and experiencing trauma-related mental health issues themselves, Sam and Ben noticed the lack of support. They launched the Boxing Project, providing past and present police, military, firefighter, ambulance officers and prison guards with free one-hour boxing class weekly.

Royal Existence Dance Academy, Coconut Grove, impacts the lives of over 350 children and their families. The Academy recently collaborated with the Maningrida Dance Team from Arnhem Land to help them build their skills and confidence. Last year, their teams represented Darwin on the Gold Coast and won first place at a National Competition, and they will represent Darwin again in January.

Awards Australia Local Legend Award

Andrew Barrett | Central Australian Show Society, Braitling, Andrew Barrett is the acting president of the Central Australian Show Society. He previously served on the Show council for four years as a representative for its cattle section. In 2022, Andrew led the committee and administration to raise funds, apply for grants, seek assistance from local and Territory governments, and invest in new technologies and successfully held the Alice Springs Show.

Dylan Bennett, Darwin, is empowering the local videogame industry. In 2022, Dylan ran three gamejams and produced The Finke Desert Race Game. He is an advisor to the NT Government Department of Innovation and mentors emerging videogame professionals. Dylan founded NT Game Designers, co-founded the Geek Culture Collective, co-produced TROPiCON, and is currently developing Diets and Deities, a music/cooking game.

Liz Bird, Alice Springs, is a community leader with extensive involvement in the pastoral industry in the Central Australian region. She currently holds key positions in the Centralian Land Management Association, Harts Range Amateur Race Club, the Centralian Beef Breeders Association, the Connellan Airways Trust and Landcare NT. Liz has gained life memberships of the Isolated Children’s Parents’ Association Alice Springs branch and the NT State Council.

Yvonne Peckover, Humpty Doo, is President of the Humpty Doo Community Garden. Seeing the garden was not being utilised, Yvonne contacted Litchfield Council & offered to take on the coordinator role. She promoted the garden through friends & neighbours & ABC Radio. An informal meeting with enthusiastic gardeners led to their incorporation. Yvonne is 81 years old & has lived in NT for 54 years.







2021 Finalists


AANT Road Safety Award
• DriveAbout
• Passport to Drive
• Central Desert Regional Council
• Train Safe NT


Zip Print Sports in the Community Award
• Darwin Gymnastic Club
• Football Without Borders Darwin
• MASH Netball Club
• Swampdogs Rugby Union Club


Awards Australia Small Business Achiever Award
• Buku-Larrnggay Mulka Centre
• Bush Medijina
• Ikuntji Artists Aboriginal Corporation
• PAWS Darwin Community Vet Clinic


Northern Territory PHN Health & Wellbeing Award
• Fiona Gordon
• Jintangka
• Play Therapy Northern Territory
• ShoutOut!


Woolworths Community Group of the Year Award
• Corrugated Iron Youth Arts
• Launch Night Series
• Kalano Community Association Inc
• Remote Laundries


Inspirational.Australians Podcast Local Legend Award
• Dianne Tynan
• Nicole Brown
• Kathryn Chandler
• Liza Metcalfe



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.