7NEWS Young Achiever Awards - NSW/ACT

Read about the amazing Finalists across the 11 categories, for this year's 7NEWS Young Achiever Awards for NSW and ACT.

Or check out the Finalist announcement on social media here.


2024 Finalists


Spirit Super Connecting Communities Award

Daniya Syed, passionate about robotics and helping others is a Mechatronics Engineering student representing Australia in numerous international Robotics competitions. Her project, MediBot, A personal Health care assistant robot garnered national acclaim for its potential to transform healthcare. Daniya also serves as a Youth Ambassador of an international charity, advocating for STEM education and leading initiatives impacting education, water accessibility, and emergency relief locally and internationally. In 2022, Daniya won the silver medal at the Robotics Olympics – First Global Challenge in Switzerland, the 2022 Community Impact Award from Crescent Awards and was a finalist for the 2023 NSW Young Women of the Year award.

Darian Brooker of Kirrawee is committed to bridging educational disparities. Darian went from foster care to founding We, Future Leaders, an initiative that aims to empower 1 million youths by 2041. Through free tutoring and advocacy, she's impacted 350 local students, employed 35 staff, and collaborated with government and community organisations. Darian also advocates for mental health, domestic violence prevention, and juvenile justice reform. Her personal story reflects her commitment to social change. Despite challenges, including homelessness and miscarriage, Darian's determination remains unwavering. With an upcoming TEDx talk and music album release, she continues to foster hope and opportunity for Australia's future generations.
Maddie Graham of south sydney is creating change one conversation at a time. Maddie is a psychology student minoring in public health at the University of Wollongong and primarily looks into prevention for emerging public health issues. Maddie is currently in a start up program with iAccelerate on a full scholarship to develop a modern community engagement platform called Changing the Conversation. This organisation is focused on engaging people to talk about the things that matter to them by bringing together media, education & engagement. By addressing societal challenges and creating conversations that matter, Changing the Conversation creates an opportunity to see change in the Australian community. Maddie's involvement reflects her commitment to shaping healthier communities, where individuals can develop personal skills to make better decisions to tackle pressing issues.

Sarah Williams of Cookshill has unwavering commitment to combatting sexual violence. A proud Awabakal woman, Sarah founded of WWYW Australia, an organisation that focuses on addressing the pervasive issue of sexual violence, in 2021. Her efforts resulted in amendments to both NSW and ACT RSA laws in January 2024, ensuring mandatory drink spiking training. Sarah's impactful advocacy has earned her prestigious accolades, including the 2023 Newcastle Woman of the Year award. Beyond legislative changes, she has created a supportive community for survivors, educated the public, and facilitated crucial dialogue on sexual violence. Sarah's exemplifies the transformative power of grassroots movements in addressing societal challenges.


Aboriginal Education Council Aboriginal Education Award
Baihe Butcher of Scone is bridging cultural divides and nurturing a sense of belonging for all. A proud Kamilaroi/Wonnarua woman, Baihe is an inspirational Aboriginal Education Teacher. Her dedication to fostering cultural inclusivity and community cohesion has transformed Aberdeen Public School. Baihe's innovative programs and professional learning sessions empower staff to deliver culturally authentic lessons, ensuring all students feel represented and valued. Her impact extends beyond the classroom, with families and the wider community benefiting from her inclusive approach. Baihe's commitment to personal and professional development, evident in her cultural initiatives and projects, exemplifies her role as a leader in Aboriginal education.

Jessie Waratah Simon-Fitzpatrick is a Gamilaraay and Warlpiri woman living on Bidjigal Country. A passionate advocate for First Nations visibility and cultural empowerment, Jessie has transformed education through art and mentorship. Her journey from student advocate to community artist is marked by initiatives like exhibitions, murals, and workshops. By including teachers, parents and Elders, Jessie creates inclusive spaces where young peoples’ voices are heard and celebrated. Jessie’s commitment to truth-telling and cultural exchange enriches students’ sense of connection to Country, school and community; her strengths-based approach inspiring others to embrace their heritage and contribute to a more inclusive society.

Renee Wootton of Rushcutters Bay advocates for inclusivity and diversity in STEM. Renee is an aerospace engineer and pilot hailing from Tharawal Country. Armed with a Bachelor of Aerospace Engineering, Renee engages youth through speaking engagements, supports indigenous students, and pioneers initiatives like the Future You STEM Campaign. Her dedication extends to mentoring and volunteering with organisations like CareerTrackers, CareerSeekers, and the CSIRO, where she empowers students to pursue STEM. Renee's impact shows in her commitment to breaking barriers, providing opportunities, and inspiring the next generation of diverse STEM professionals. Renee has been selected for an internship at the National Indigenous Space Academy in August 2024.

Taylah Gray advocates for Indigenous rights and social justice. A proud Wiradjuri lawyer and educator, Taylah’s journey from academic setbacks to groundbreaking achievements embodies determination. Her initiatives in education integrate Indigenous perspectives, creating inclusive learning environments and empowering students to embrace their cultural heritage and pursue higher education. She challenges systemic biases and fosters equitable representation in the legal profession. Taylah's commitment to personal growth and community empowerment underscores her dedication to effecting positive change. She is currently taking a PhD in Law at the University of Newcastle (UON). She is a sessional academic at UON, where she teaches Aboriginal Tertiary Studies.


Awards Australia Career Achievement Award
Amira Khela of Northmead is enriching the lives of individuals with disabilities and promoting community inclusion. Amira founded Steps2life, an allied health and disability hub that embodies her dedication and innovation in speech therapy and disability care. Her pioneering approach prioritises holistic support, evidenced by the establishment of a unique therapy shop and parent training course. Amira collaborates with healthcare professionals, schools, and community groups, fostering inclusive practices and enhancing client well-being. Her commitment to ongoing research and community engagement ensures the sustainability of Steps2life's impact, bridging gaps in disability care and empowering families. Amira's legacy is one of empathy, education, and transformative change.

Arlian Ecker of Byron Bay is committed to innovation and positive change. Aka 'Plastic Free Boy', Arlian initiated his mission at just 11 years old to combat plastic pollution's impact on marine life. Teaming up with his filmmaker mother, Karin Ecker, they've reached over 300 schools worldwide, empowering students to make eco-conscious choices. Arlian's films spotlight environmental solutions, earning him accolades like Clean Up Australia Day Youth Ambassador and invitations to speak at prestigious events like the Asia Pacific Cities Summit. Through his leadership, Arlian fosters intergenerational collaboration for a sustainable future, emphasising not only ecological stewardship but also the importance of mental health.

Michael Tran of Cabramatta is committed to global collaboration and security. Michael is a trailblazing figure in Defence, Cyber, and National Security. He has dedicated his career to advancing Australia's interests both at home and abroad. With a diverse background spanning political advisory roles to naval service, Michael exemplifies leadership and innovation. His expertise has been instrumental in strengthening the security postures of government entities and critical infrastructure organisations. Equally, Michael’s significant community involvement, notably with the NSW Cancer Council, showcases a grounded approach to leadership. His international engagements include representation at the ASEAN-Australian Young Leaders forum and the US Department of State's International Visitor Leadership Program.

Rachel Charles of Yass Valley is propelling conservation efforts forward. Rachel founded King & Co Detection, a groundbreaking endeavour, to harness the power of detection dogs. Using this innovative and non-invasive approach, she safeguards endangered species and their ecosystems. Her journey from animal shelters to ecological consultancy showcases resilience and entrepreneurial spirit. She mentors aspiring conservationists, instilling values of compassion and integrity. Rachel also empowers her community by volunteering with rescue groups and shaping industry guidelines for canine welfare. She is a member of the ‘Australasian Conservation Dog Network’ Canine Welfare Group, which provides specific guidance for conservation dogs. 


Department of Regional NSW Create Change Award
Jayden Delbridge of the Central Coast is an accomplished leader and advocate, filling a crucial gap in wellbeing literacy for regional students. As the Founder of UrVoice Australia, he is particularly passionate about championing the importance of early intervention. He is passionate about ensuring every student has effective resources and feels empowered to use their voice to seek support. His advocacy drives national awareness and policy change, having sat on the headspace National Youth Reference Group and the New South Wales Youth Advisory Council. Despite personal adversity, Jayden’s advocacy redefines youth leadership in mental health, offering hope and support to countless individuals.

Kupakwashe Matangira of Lake Macquarie is a human rights activist committed to youth empowerment. Kupakwashe empowers young people across regional NSW and beyond through amplifying their voices in decision-making processes. Through lobbying and youth empowerment programs, she ensures young people's political participation without discrimination, particularly in post-disaster rebuilding efforts. Kupakwashe's advocacy has resulted in the establishment of youth advisory bodies and has influenced government policies at various levels. From addressing climate change to enhancing mental health support in schools, Kupakwashe's efforts have led to tangible changes, safeguarding the rights and well-being of young people whom she believes are a key driving force of social change.

Matilda Constable-Webb of the Newcastle and Hunter area is combating domestic and sexual violence through innovative initiatives. A survivor herself, Matilda has become a transformative leader at 25. Her survivor support programs and legal reform advocacy have led to addressing gaps in legislation. Despite facing homelessness and abusive relationships, Matilda's determination to create a safer future for her children and others is unwavering. Her role as an author, working mother of two, and advocate exemplifies resilience, impacting survivors' lives and fostering crucial conversations around offender rehabilitation and child abuse prevention. Matilda's journey from adversity to advocacy is a testament to her strength and commitment to creating a better world.

Olivia Grace Lightfoot of Medowie (Liv) is dedicated to creating positive change in the community. A trailblazer in the field of disability support, Liv opened Gracefully Wholesome Pilates in 2021, which offers a unique Reformer Pilates program focused on emotional regulation. With a keen eye for innovation, Liv's therapy has impacted over 800 clients, providing relief from anxiety and physical discomfort. Through her initiative, Liv fosters family involvement, strengthening familial bonds and enriching lives. Despite facing her own health challenges, including Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome and Exercise-Induced Anaphylaxis, Liv has unwavering commitment to her clients and her business. She has overcome obstacles while making significant strides in disability support.


Freemasons of NSW/ACT Community Service Award
Bella Merlino exemplifies compassion and activism. In 2020, Bella became the driving force behind Mind Games for Dementia, a board-playing marathon held for 48 hours. In 2024, she is organising the Walk for a Cause, a relay extending over 12 hours, to raise awareness and funds for charities and causes. Her fundraising efforts have been record breaking and recognised by the Australian Book of Records. Bella has been recognised with accolades such as the 2021 Order of Australia Association Youth Community Award, the 2022 Strathfield Australia Day Young Citizen of the Year. Her documentary, “Dementia,” has won 23 international student film festivals.

Daniel Su of Hurstville is a passionate community leader. Daniel is the Founder of Help Elevate Youth (HEY), a youth-led organisation that provides support and basic living necessities to homeless people. At HEY, he leads 25 volunteers in fundraising $1000+, having distributed 60+ care packages to homeless communities. Daniel was also Chairman of the Sydney Boys Community Services Committee, having organised 15 successful fundraising events and raising $40k in 2023 alone. His commitment to social impact earned him the prestigious Georges River Council 2024 Australia Day Young Citizen of the Year Award. Daniel is uplifting others and fostering engagement through altruism.

Matilda Constable-Webb of the Newcastle and Hunter area is leveraging her lived experience to champion change in domestic violence and sexual violence prevention. From survivor support programs to legal reform advocacy, she embodies resilience and determination. Matilda wrote “My Super Power,” a children’s book aimed at addressing child abuse at an age-appropriate level. Despite facing significant personal challenges, including homelessness and abuse, Matilda's journey serves as an inspiration to survivors and advocates. Her multifaceted approach to tackling societal issues reflects her unwavering dedication to creating a safer, more just world for all. She currently studies law and social work while working full-time and caring for her two young children.

Yasmin Jimmieson of Muswellbrook and Armidale has unwavering dedication to volunteering. Yasmin is a member of the NSW State Emergency Service (SES), where she has performed leadership roles such as Deputy Unit Commander. She is currently employed as a Flood Rescue Operations Officer with the SES. Yasmin is an instructor with the Australian Air Force Cadets, performing the Training Officer role. Despite encountering ageism and sexism, Yasmin's resilience and determination has seen her rise above challenges, becoming an inspiration to others. Her passion for personal and professional development, positive attitude and her academic pursuits make her a shining example of youth empowerment and community service.


Ministry of Health Achievement in Health Award
Ankita Chaudhary of Garran demonstrates an unwavering commitment to public well-being, marked by impactful contributions and collaborative efforts throughout her journey as a health professional. A passionate advocate for Aboriginal health, Ankita addressed pressing environmental health issues in rural and remote Aboriginal communities as the Public Health Coordinator at the Aboriginal Health Council of South Australia. Her exceptional leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic at Yura Yungi Medical Service Aboriginal Corporation ensured effective response strategies and policy enhancements. Now serving as a Junior Medical Officer at Canberra Hospital, Ankita’s dedication to patient care continues to make a positive difference in the Australian Capital Territory's healthcare landscape.

Dr Ashna Basu of Randwick advocates for gender equity. From Chair of the Young branch of the Medical Women's International Association, President of the Medical Women’s Society of NSW to leading COVID initiatives, Dr Ashna’s contributions are multifaceted. She has received national and international accolades like the Australian Medical Association’s Women’s Health Award and NGO CSW Global Youth Fellow Award. In March, Ashna moderated a panel about the gender gap in education at the United Nations in New York, invited by the President of the General Assembly and UN Women. Ashna has been a doctor with NSW Health since 2020, now training in Psychiatry.

Sonali Varma of Canberra (Ngunnawal and Ngambri Country) is committed to mental health advocacy and community support. As a Lifeline crisis supporter, Sonali dedicates hundreds of hours to aiding vulnerable Australians. Her research on depression and PTSD has earned her recognition, including the prestigious Love Prize for academic excellence and leadership. Sonali's lived experience with mental health challenges drives her passion for user-led research, aiming to improve mental health care and support systems. Through collaborations with Lifeline, academic mentors, and community organisations, she continues to make meaningful contributions, inspiring others with her resilience and dedication to mental health awareness. Sonali is completing Honours at the Australia National University.

Ziyan Tejani of Rouse Hill is a volunteer and advocate who is committed to enhancing community health and wellbeing. From coordinating university grants to leading mental health campaigns, Ziyan’s impactful initiatives have garnered prestigious recognition such as the 2022 Mental Health Youth of the Year Award from the Mental Health Foundation Australia. As a dedicated volunteer and activist, Ziyan's efforts extend beyond his local community, reaching many thousands through diverse platforms and collaborations. Ziyan has worked at four think tanks across Australia and Asia, where he has undertaken policy research and advocacy, and has written for publishers about national and global health issues.


Nura Gili Indigenous Youth Leadership Award
Renee Wootton of Rushcutters Bay champions diversity and inclusion in STEM. Renee is an aerospace engineer and pilot who has led Australian aviation projects in Sydney in the last 10 years. Through speaking engagements and board memberships, she inspires youth and women to pursue careers in aviation and engineering. Renee has empowered students nationwide, particularly indigenous and underrepresented groups, to aspire to careers in STEM. Her dedication to improving female and indigenous representation in the field, evidenced by her participation in the 2021/2022 Superstars of STEM program and board membership with Shalom College, exemplifies her vision for a more inclusive and diverse future in aerospace and aviation.

Sarah Williams of Cookshill is a fierce advocate against sexual violence. Sarah is the CEO and founder of WWYW Australia. Leading a team of over 100 volunteers, she successfully lobbied to amend Responsible Service of Alcohol laws in New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory, introducing mandatory drink spiking prevention training. Her efforts also led to the passage of law reforms mandating licensed premises to have security cameras, enhancing safety. Through Australia's first music festival addressing sexual violence, Sarah fosters community engagement and awareness. She has been recognised as Newcastle Woman of the Year and has won awards, including the Seven News Freemasons Award.

Talara Croaker is committed to breaking barriers of systemic racism. Talara is a young Indigenous leader who educates and unites her community through traditional basket weaving and original songwriting. Her workshops offer valuable insights into Aboriginal culture, while her songs address pressing issues, amplifying Indigenous voices on a national platform. Talara's humility and respect for others shine through. She plans to continue her cultural education efforts to bridge gaps. She is promoting respect and understanding among Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities. Talara won the inaugural Indigenous Music Scholarship with Orange The Music. She is also an active member of the Indigenous dance group.

Taylah Gray champions Indigenous rights and fosters positive change in her community. Taylah is a proud Wiradjuri leader and aspiring lawyer. Her advocacy efforts amplify Indigenous voices, promote equity in education, and inspire collective action towards reconciliation. Taylah's academic achievements, including being the first Aboriginal person to pursue a PhD in Law from the University of Newcastle, reflect her commitment to effecting systemic change and advancing Indigenous rights within legal frameworks. Through empowering Indigenous youth and fostering community resilience, she is helping promoting social justice and reconciliation, envisioning a future where Indigenous peoples thrive and reclaim their rightful place in society.


OSMEN Furniture Creative Design Award
Brittany Benitez of Rouse Hill has unwavering passion to leave a lasting impact on the design and advertising community. In just six years, Brittany has risen to become an Art Director, Podcaster, AWARD School graduate, LIAisons mentee, Industry Speaker, and Mentor. Breaking industry-wide barriers, her podcast, "Beyond the Title," is reshaping the advertising landscape by challenging title stigmas and fostering inclusive conversations with influential figures. With over 3,000 listens and 50 episodes, streamed across 10 countries and featured in renowned media outlets, Brittany's podcast is igniting change in ad-land. In 2022, Brittany was one of 8 Australians selected for a London International Awards Creative mentorship.

Haniya Syed, a resident of Western Sydney passionately advocates for causes through her design endeavors. As a Year 12 student, she shines as both an emerging artist and a tech enthusiast. Recognized with the NSW Women of the Year Award 2023 in the One to Watch category, Haniya serves as a role model for young girls in STEM, actively volunteering for organizations such as the Shahid Afridi Foundation and Meri Pehchan Pakistan. Utilizing her design skills, she supports underprivileged communities. With a fervent dedication to education, she aspires to pursue degrees in Creative, Design & Technologies, embodying a commitment to empowerment and positive change. 

Imogen Hunter is a versatile designer recognised for her commitment to social and environmental causes. With a Dean’s List award and First Class Honours from UNSW, Imogen has built a career focused on using design as a force for good. At Purpose, she led projects for Lifeline, Greening Australia, and Save the Children, applying her skills to address pressing issues. Imogen's proactive approach, resilience, and collaborative spirit shine through her work. She co-founded two social enterprises, championing equitable children's eye health and dementia-friendly initiatives. Despite challenges, Imogen's journey from redundancy to freelance success reflects her dedication to making a positive impact through design.

Lucy Hay of Maroubra is committed to creativity and industry betterment. Lucy’s journey in advertising spans seven years, marked by impactful contributions to global brands like U by Kotex and KFC. As a Senior Copywriter at Leo Burnett Australia, she's earned accolades for her creative prowess, including being a B&T 30 Under 30 finalist. Lucy's entrepreneurial spirit shines as the Creative Director of CLUTCH Glue, a brand advocating for fashion inclusivity. Beyond her roles, she mentors at AWARD School and D&AD Shift, nurturing emerging talent. Lucy's dedication to pushing boundaries extends to her viral TikTok small business and rug tufting hobby, defining her multifaceted career.


The Fullerton Hotel Sydney Travel, Tourism and Hospitality Award
Bronte Williams of Crows Nest exemplifies excellence in the hospitality industry. Bronte is a Venue Manager & Licensee at Crows Nest Hotel, where she has shaped memorable guest experiences. With academic credentials from William Blue College and Torrens University Australia, Bronte's impact extends beyond her managerial role. She also collaborates with local businesses, elevating NSW's hospitality landscape. Bronte's volunteer work, including cooking instruction at Phoenix House and advocacy for health causes, highlights her dedication to community service. Through her global perspective gained at Club Med in Japan and roles at iconic NSW venues, Bronte enriches the local and wider community, making NSW a premier destination.

Dyan Suaco is shaping the future of NSW's tourism and hospitality landscape. Her journey from The Langham, Sydney to starting her own company D&P Events two years ago showcases her prowess in hospitality. At The Langham, she rose to the position of Catering Sales and Conference Services Executive and and was recognised with two Langham Legend Awards. Dyan's innovative approach, evident in bespoke wedding services, supports local suppliers and cultural integration. As a mentor, Dyan is nurturing young talent and fostering industry growth. Dyan's dedication has earned her recognition as Accommodation Australia's Rising Star for both NSW and in all of Australia.

Indigo Penn of Terrey Hills is uplifting NSW's tourism sector through innovative leadership and community engagement. Indigo is the Managing Director of On Course Tours & Travel, a tour operator dedicated to providing diverse travel experiences. By crafting unique travel experiences and fostering partnerships with local businesses, artisans, and communities, she promotes the state's rich heritage and natural beauty. Indigo's commitment to sustainable tourism practices benefits both the environment and regional economies, generating employment opportunities and economic growth across NSW. Through her initiatives, she not only showcases NSW as a premier destination but also enriches the lives of residents and visitors, leaving a lasting positive impact.

Sharni Aird of Darlinghurst epitomises transformative leadership and unwavering dedication to hospitality. Sharni is the General Manager of Verandah Precinct. Rising from bartender to GM in four years, her journey reflects her passion for nurturing talent and delivering extraordinary guest experiences. Sharni's strategic innovations, from pioneering QR-code ordering systems to fostering community partnerships, have propelled Verandah to local prominence. Her commitment to sustainability and staff development resonates deeply, creating a vibrant workplace culture admired across Tilley & Wills Hotels. Sharni's boundless enthusiasm and personal touch ensure every guest receives a memorable experience, reinforcing Verandah's position as a beloved destination in NSW's vibrant hospitality scene.


Transgrid Indigenous Achievement Award
Chelsie Smith of Port Macquarie exemplifies resilience and dedication. Currently, Chelsie works for the Justice Health Network with a passion to drive and make a change in the secure setting. Despite facing barriers like racism and family challenges, Chelsie's achievements include, but not limited to, being nominated for prestigious awards like Aboriginal Health Worker of the Year 2023. Her ongoing education in Aboriginal health fuels her mission to Close the Gap in health for Indigenous Australians. With unwavering commitment, Chelsie strives to ensure fair and culturally safe care, empowering her community's voices to be heard and valued for years to come.

Emma Johnston of Hay embodies leadership and community spirit. A proud Wiradjuri woman, Emma's impact extends to art workshops, sports coaching, and cultural celebrations, enriching the lives of her peers. Her role in the Hay Youth Taskforce (YT), advocacy for youth mental health, and coaching endeavours showcase her dedication to empowering young people. Through her initiatives, she addresses critical issues like mental health support and social inclusion, Emma was a key contributor the YT’s grant project, “Empowering Hay’s Youth.” Her commitment to service and leadership sets an example for youth involvement and community engagement. In 2023, Emma was named Hay's Young Citizen of the Year.

Lua Pellegrini of Toongabbie embodies academic excellence, artistic talent, and youth advocacy. A trailblazer in Indigenous education, Lua is a proud Wiradjuri Woman who uses her art to promote cultural understanding and raise over $35,000 for educational initiatives. As Chairperson of the NSW Youth Advisory Council and Young Carer Representative, Lua champions Aboriginal rights and mental health awareness, engaging with government bodies and community organisations. Her passion for education extends to her role as the youngest Board Member of Murray Toola Damana, fostering a brighter future for Aboriginal youth. A Dean’s Lister, Lua is committed to cultural preservation and social change inspires and empowers.

Zoe Allan of Quirindi is empowering the First Nations people to embrace their heritage and excel in education. A passionate Kamilaroi woman, Zoe works as an Aboriginal Education Officer with the Department of Education. She has helped revive the Gamilaraay language, promoted cultural pride, and spearheaded educational initiatives in the community of Walhallow. Overcoming barriers like trust-building and cultural preservation, Zoe fosters relationships with parents and students, ensuring holistic support. She is committed to lifelong learning, inspiring the next generation of First Nations children. Zoe’s accolades include the 2022 Young Achiever Aboriginal Education Award and making the NSW Grow Your Own Teacher Training Program.


Western Sydney University Academic Achievement Award
Ciara Wallis of Dunlop has demonstrated excellence in scientific inquiry. At age 21, Ciara is pursuing her PhD in Biology at Australian National University after receiving First Class Honours in Science at just 20. A rising star in malaria research, she is delving into novel approaches for treating the disease. Her groundbreaking work has earned her four conference prizes and scholarships, showcasing her exceptional talent and dedication. Despite struggling with anxiety, Ciara's resilience and leadership shine through. She fosters collaboration and inspires her peers. Ciara's journey exemplifies triumph over adversity and offers hope for global health advancement.

Derick Luong is committed to social justice. Derick is a litigator at MinterEllison, holds a First-Class Honours Bachelor of Laws from UTS, and teaches law at leading universities. His exceptional academic achievements, including topping six law subjects, underscore his dedication to legal education and empowerment. Derick also founded the transformative Senses Awakened project with NSW Health, revolutionising healthcare services for vulnerable populations. Derick champions public policy and legal advocacy, earning recognition as a finalist for the Australian Law Awards' Law Student of the Year and NSW Volunteer of the Year. His multifaceted contributions exemplify a tireless pursuit of justice and community welfare.

Heimy Molina of Castle Hill is dedicated to social impact and empowerment. Heimy is a graduate in Civil Engineering from Western Sydney University, boasts First Class Honours and a prestigious University Medal. Currently employed as a Graduate Engineer at Gamuda, she's also a committee member of Young Engineers Australia. Heimy's journey as an immigrant woman in engineering fuels her mission to break gender barriers and foster inclusivity in STEM. Beyond her professional pursuits, Heimy founded Build Your Brand, a coaching business aimed at empowering individuals in their career journeys. She also established the Hiraya Manawari Mental Health Club, supporting international students, demonstrating her advocacy and mentorship.

Palvi Bothra of Sydney is a Women in Engineering and IT Co-operative Scholar at University of Technology Sydney, with a remarkable 6.84 GPA and consecutive Dean's List recognition. Her data science expertise has already made waves, with over 200 dashboards produced for major state government transport bodies, leading to significant road safety upgrades nationwide. At just 22, she's already actively contributing to shaping better cities through her data-driven insights. Palvi's involvement in the Lucy Mentoring Program underscores her commitment to professional growth and development in STEM. As an emerging leader in data engineering, she represents the future of impactful and inclusive innovation in the field.