NEW SOUTH WALES

7NEWS Young Achiever Awards - NSW/ACT

2018 Winners of the NSW/ACT Young Achiever Awards

The 2018 Winners with The Hon John Barilaro MP, NSW Deputy Premier and Michael Usher, 7NEWS Presenter

 

Overall Winner - 2018 NSW/ACT Young Achiever of the Year

 

Michael Bonnici, 20 of Alfords Point contributes over 200 volunteer hours every year. He is Director of Lifesaving, educational speaker and award-winning Patrol Captain at Wanda Surf Club. He also volunteers for Meals on Wheels, Australian Red Cross Blood Service and Salvation Army. Michael raised $3,000 for Samaritans Purse Australia and volunteered time to help build schools in disadvantaged Battambang, Cambodia. He was recently named as the Sydney South Young and Overall Volunteer of the Year.

 

The 2018 NSW/ACT Young Achiever of the Year, Michael Bonnici with The Hon John Barilaro MP, NSW Deputy Premier

 

Aboriginal Education Council Aboriginal Education Award

 

Hailee Provest, 22 of Windradyne is employed as an Aboriginal Family Guide by Centacare Bathurst. She is a strong advocate for ongoing education for Aboriginal people. Hailee completed her Diploma of Community Services, with distinction in 2015 and leads the development and delivery of a wide range of educational activities. A trained facilitator in Sista Speak, Keeping Children Safe and Out of The Dark, she achieves outstanding outcomes for families in her community.

 

Hailee Provest was presented by Beverley Baker, Executive Officer, Aboriginal Education Council

 

First National Real Estate Leadership Award

 

Emma Byrne, 27 of Canberra is a change maker and regional youth ambassador. She worked closely with ACT Police coordinating the Champions ACT campaign, encouraging young people to look after each other when drinking alcohol. Emma has encouraged government agencies to embrace online technology and her NSW National Youth Week work improved information provision and community engagement. Her online engagement strategy for the NSW Corrective Services, Sober Driver Program represented a significant shift in police practice.

 

Emma Byrne was presented by Ray Ellis, CEO, First National Real Estate

 

Freemasons of NSW/ACT Community Service Award

 

Michael Bonnici, 20 of Alfords Point contributes over 200 volunteer hours every year. He is Director of Lifesaving, educational speaker and award-winning Patrol Captain at Wanda Surf Club. He also volunteers for Meals on Wheels, Australian Red Cross Blood Service and Salvation Army. Michael raised $3,000 for Samaritans Purse Australia and volunteered time to help build schools in disadvantaged Battambang, Cambodia. He was recently named as the Sydney South Young and Overall Volunteer of the Year.

 

Michael Bonnici was presented by Kevin McGlinn, Past Grand Secretary, Freemasons NSW & ACT

 

Soroptimist International Women Creating Change Award

 

Anastasia Volkova, 26 of Eveleigh founded FluroSat, which focuses on sustainable technological solutions to overcome food scarcity. Fifty per cent of FluroSat staff are women. In its first 12 months, FluroSat raised $1 million in venture and grant funding and achieved $230,000 in revenue. Anastasia empowers future generations of female STEM professionals with education and opportunities. She received the 2017 Zonta International Amelia Earhart Award and is currently completing her PhD in aeronautical engineering.

 

Anastasia Volkova, represented by Dr Xanthe Coot was presented by Nerida Murray, President, Soroptimist International Region of New South Wales Inc

 

The Coffee Club Arts and Fashion Award

 

Grace Partridge, 25 of Northbridge founded Antidote, a network to champion gender equality and cultivate social change through art. Grace has grown Antidote to have an Instagram following of 12,000 people and has held four annual curated public exhibitions. She was invited to be a permanent co-facilitator of the annual Aspire Me drama program for rural NSW children. Grace also served as both vice-President and President of the Vision Generation society.

 

Grace Partridge was presented by Jason Travis, Regional Development Manager NSW, The Coffee Club

 

WFI Insurance Small Business Achiever Award

 

Alix O’Hara, 29 of Deakin has overcome domestic violence and homelessness to successfully found Mashblox. Mashblox consists of hollow silicon building blocks that parents fill with food, allowing infants to learn to feed themselves, eating only until full. Alix was awarded Canberra Women in Business, Young Businesswoman of the Year in 2017, and attained a New Small Business Management Certificate. Her mission is to reduce infant obesity, whilst making nutritional food fun.

 

Alix O’Hara was presented by Rachael Callaghan, Distribution Manager, WFI Insurance

 

Worldwide Sports Award

 

Jemma Smith, 18 of Daleys Point is a Surf Life Saving and Kayaking athlete. Jemma was named the Surf Life Saving Australia Young Athlete of the Year for both 2016 and 2017. She is captain of the Australian Youth Team and is the current World Youth Ironwoman, board and ski champion. At the surf club, Jemma trains, coaches and assist with the nippers when competition and travel schedule permits.

 

Jemma Smith, represented by Bill Cook, was presented by Steve Southwell, Account Manager NSW/VIC/SA, Worldwide

 

 

2017 Winners of the NSW/ACT Young Achiever Awards

The 2017 category winners onstage together at the Gala Presentation Dinner

 

Overall Winner - NSW/ACT Young Achiever of the Year

 

Nat Ware, 28 of WAITARA founded the successful volunteer organisation, “180 Degrees”. “180 Degrees” provides a platform to increase civic engagement and develop future leaders, and has positively impacted 100 million lives worldwide. Nat was selected to represent Australia at the World Economic Forum, and the St Gallen Symposium where he was named a ‘Leader of Tomorrow’. He was also named a ‘Global Leader’ by Goldman Sachs and was invited to New York to receive further leadership training.

 

 

The Hon Ray Williams MP, Minister for Multiculturalism, Minister for Disability Services presented Joseph Ware (representing Nat Ware) with the overall NSW/ACT Young Achiever Award

 

Awards Australia Small Business Achiever Award

 

Cindy Huynh - HSC Hero, 21 of SMITHFIELD co-founded “HSC Hero”, an online educational platform providing free video tutorials for HSC students. Since launching in July 2016, “HSC Hero” has supported over 1,600 students gain confidence in completing their Exams with success.”
Cindy was recently selected for Investible's LAB#5 Accelerator Program and is now mentored by top Global entrepreneurs in the tech industry. “HSC Hero” is currently in conversation with Australian and Asian investors who have expressed interest in working together.

 

Regional Manager – Sydney Metro Sydney Metro, WFI, Carley Byrnes representing Awards Australia presented Cindy Huynh - HSC Hero with the Small Business Achiever Award

 

Aboriginal Education Council Aboriginal Education Award

 

Maeve Thomson, 24 of LILYFIELD is in her second year of teaching at Alexandria Park Community School. She led the reintroduction of the Higher School Certificate course ‘Aboriginal Studies’ and created engaging Aboriginal education programs. Maeve coordinated the ‘Songlines’ collaborative artwork project for NAIDOC and led the inaugural Aboriginal Studies Community Experience Trip. She is an active member of the Aboriginal Studies Association and was praised for her presentation at the 2016 Aboriginal Studies Association Annual Conference.

 

Executive Officer of the Aboriginal Education Council, Beverley Baker presented Maeve Thomson with the Aboriginal Education Award

 

The Coffee Club Arts and Fashion Award

 

Jessica Van, 28 of WATERLOO is a dedicated fashion designer, who draws inspiration from the Australian environment, flora and fauna. Jessica showcased her first collection at Australian Fashion Week in 2016, and the again at the New York Fashion Week. She spotlights the environment when creating her prints and fabrication, and believes in promoting local manufacturing and design. Currently working two jobs, whilst building her business, Jessica is determined to make it as a designer and showcase her creativity.

 

Director of The Coffee Club, John Lazarou presented Jessica Van with the Arts and Fashion Award

 

WHO Printing Environment & Sustainability Award

 

Anika Molesworth, 29 of BROKEN HILL is a founding member of Farmers for Climate Action and creator of Climate Wise Agriculture, a knowledge sharing platform connecting science research to farmers. Anika also founded and manages INTO Sustainable Farms, a program of the International National Trust Organisation which operates in 70 countries, promoting the conservation and preservation of natural resources, heritage breeds and heirloom species as well as the use of traditional farming practices. Anika is also a highly sought after keynote speaker and educator.

 

Director of WHO Printing, Helen Ogle presented Anika Molesworth with the Environment and Sustainability Award

 

First National Real Estate Leadership Award

 

Nat Ware, 28 of WAITARA created the “180 degrees” program in 2007 to help reduce homelessness, improve education and alleviate poverty, whilst also training the next generation of leaders. Nat has successfully trained 12,000 future leaders, helped 1,800 charities improve and expand their services and has provided 2.6 million hours of pro bono consulting. Nat has personally volunteered more than 14,000 hours. 180 Degrees now operates in 33 countries and is the world’s largest volunteer consultancy.

 

CEO of First National Real Estate, Ray Ellis presented Joseph Ware (representing Nat Ware) with the Leadership Award

 

Freemasons of NSW/ACT Community Service Award

 

Ruth Lewis-Jones, 28 of BUNDEENA is the founder and CEO of Esteem Designz, established to empower girls by building self-esteem, and improving mental health through creativity. Esteem Designz has already been implemented in 300 schools and community organisations, equipping 8,000 girls with important skills and resources. Ruth also pioneered the ChooseREAL Campaign, a global movement encouraging females to embrace and celebrate their own identity and value. Ruth volunteers on average 65 hours each week in her advocacy for females.

 

Grand Secretary - Stephen Green of Freemasons NSW & ACT presented Ruth Lewis-Jones with the Community Service Award

 

 

2016 Winners of the NSW/ACT Young Achiever Awards

The 2016 category winners onstage together at the Gala Presentation Dinner

 

Overall Winner - NSW/ACT Young Achiever of the Year

Grace Liley, 23 of BLAKEHURST is the NSW Coordinator for the Australian Youth Climate Coalition, volunteering up to three days and two nights each week. During 2015, she coordinated a program called ‘Youth Decide’, facilitating large groups of volunteers to educate 5,000 school students on sustainability and climate change. Grace organised volunteer community groups to advocate against the proposed coal ports on the Great Barrier Reef, culminating in a huge campaign win for the AYCC. Grace was also manager of the youth section for Sydney’s People’s Climate March, constituting a crowd of 45,000.

Director of WHO Printing, Helen Ogle presented Grace Liley with the Environment and Sustainability Award

 

The Aboriginal Education Council Aboriginal Education Award

Joshua Celi, 23 of ESTELLA is a proud Wiradjuri man and an enthusiastic first year teacher at Coolamon Central School. He coached the NAIDOC debating team to state champions and has developed Aboriginal education and cultural initiatives. Joshua led the implementation of the Rural and Remote Literacy Program at his School. He is a founding member of Coolamon Central School’s Multicultural Education Committee and developed a program for disengaged boys and girls with low self-esteem. Joshua is also a member of the Local Aboriginal Education Consultative Group.

Member for Canterbury, Linda Burney MP presented Joshua Celi with the Aboriginal Education Award

 

AustralianSuper Career Kick Start Award

Ashleigh Pengelly, 26 of WAGGA WAGGA has a Bachelor of Arts and Social Work and is currently an Aboriginal Youth and Community Development Officer. She sits on many committees including the Riverina Murray Regional Alliance. Ashleigh is a valued member of the Wagga NAIDOC Committee and was a driving force in creating events such as the 2015 NAIDOC Masquerade Ball and Awards. She has organised Lateral Violence training for her community and coordinated Join the Dots, a professional development program for local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists.

Group Executive - Membership at AustralianSuper, Paul Schrioder presented Ashleigh Pengelly with the Career Kick Start Award

 

First National Real Estate Leadership Award

Tom Perfrement, 22 of HAWKER is the founder and executive director of MentorMe Australia, the first nationwide mentoring program for secondary students to university graduates. A chemical engineering graduate, Tom has presented internationally on climate resilience and was selected in the Top 100 Future Graduates Competition. He developed a composite disaster resilience index, assisting communities to deal with the impacts of natural hazards and climate extremes. Tom has led several fundraising initiatives, raising over $6,000 for Headspace and the establishment of a water filtration unit for a marginalized community in Costa Rica.

CEO, First National Real Estate, Ray Ellis, presented Tom Perfrement with the Leadership Award

 

Santos Indegenous Achievement Award

Danielle Hobday, 22 of MANGROVE MOUNTAIN is a Wiradjuri woman and young mother of two, whose passion lies with Indigenous youth and women within the Criminal Justice System. She is completing a double degree in Law and Criminology and has received several prestigious scholarships. Danielle is undertaking an Australian Federal Police Cadetship and works as a Juvenile Justice Youth Officer. She volunteers with the National Aboriginal Sporting Chance Academy and returns each year to Yuelamu, NT to maintain her relationship with the community, school and most importantly, young people.

General Manager for Santos Energy, Peter Mitchley presented Danielle Hobday with the Indigenous Achievement Award

 

The Coffee Club Arts and Fashion Award

James Farley, 25 of WAGGA WAGGA is a passionate young photographic artist. His PhD research is exploring experimental arts practice in the environment. An exhibiting artist both nationally and internationally, James work has received accolades from Arts NSW, The Contemporary Centre of Photography and the Sony World Photography Organization. James works as a sessional academic tutor in art history, art theory and photo media practice. He was commissioned by Wagga Wagga Hospital and the Council to create an interactive all-ages installation and was also featured in the program of the Fusion Festival.

Genevieve Clay-Smith, 27 of ALEXANDRIA is an award-winning writer and director and is CEO of Bus Stop Films. Bus Stop Films is a voluntarily run, not-for-profit company. It is dedicated to building the confidence, English skills and life ready skills of people with an intellectual disability or those from marginalised communities. Bus Stop Films has won over 50 awards, screened at over 90 international film festivals and can be seen on Qantas in-flight entertainment. Genevieve won the 2015 Women's Weekly Women of the Future Awards.

Director of The Coffee Club, John Lazrou presented joint winners James Farley and Genevieve Clay-Smith with the Arts and Fashion Award

 

Freemasons of NSW/ACT Community Service Award

Kimberly La, 17 of BEECROFT created Cloud 9, an extracurricular group focusing on raising awareness of mental health issues. The group now has over 50 members from years 7 to 12 and the school will continue to run Cloud 9 after Kimberly graduates. Kimberly organises events and activities to tackle issues such as stress, body image, domestic violence and youth homelessness. She gained a scholarship to attend the 2015 Women Leading Change forum and is a member of the R U OK Focus Group. Kimberly also volunteers with the Salvation Army and Parkinson's NSW.

Andrew Fraser, MP presented Kimberly La with the Community Service Award

 

WHO Printing Environment and sustainability Award

Grace Liley, 23 of BLAKEHURST is the NSW Coordinator for the Australian Youth Climate Coalition, volunteering up to three days and two nights each week. During 2015, she coordinated a program called ‘Youth Decide’, facilitating large groups of volunteers to educate 5,000 school students on sustainability and climate change. Grace organised volunteer community groups to advocate against the proposed coal ports on the Great Barrier Reef, culminating in a huge campaign win for the AYCC. Grace was also manager of the youth section for Sydney’s People’s Climate March, constituting a crowd of 45,000.

Director of WHO Printing, Helen Ogle presented Grace Liley with the Environment and Sustainability Award

 

 

 

2015 Winners of the NSW/ACT Young Achiever Awards


Overall Winner - Premier's Young Achiever of the Year Award

Rhett Burraston


The Freemasons NSW & ACT Community Service Award

Maddison O’Gradey-Lee, 17 of Bateau Bay is an extraordinary Indigenous Australian. She is juggling school, two part time jobs, various fundraising and leadership activities and has also create her own mental health awareness program for high school students called ‘It’s all about MI - mental illness'. After struggling with mental illness herself, Maddi wanted to create awareness and break the stigma surrounding mental health and also use her own story to help others. Maddie was invited to attend The Global Young Leaders Conference in New York and has won many awards including an Australian Youth Excellence and a Black Opal Award.

 

 

 The Australian National University Science Leadership Award

Sarah Verdon, 27 of The Rock is a dynamic speech pathologist and educator who is passionate about creating equality and embracing diversity. A PhD student at Charles Sturt University Sarah’s doctoral research is entitled Embracing Diversity, Creating Equality. The research supports the speech, language and communication of culturally and linguistically diverse children. Her thesis contains five different research projects (both quantitative and qualitative) resulting in nine research papers and multiple oral presentations at international conferences. Sarah also received the 2015 Endeavour Research Fellowship to undertake a project she designed to support the speech, language and literacy development of children in Fiji.  



The Santos Indigenous Achievement Award

Rhett Burraston, 23 of Airds is a dedicated father, leader and role model from the Mandandanji and Ngemba people. He works at a school located within a detention centre as an aboriginal education officer where he implements rehabilitation and leadership programs for incarcerated youth. He volunteers in many programs including Aboriginal Medical Services, and is passionate about breaking barriers of depression, racism and elitism in Aboriginals. Rhett advocates for Aboriginal youth on many committees including the NSW Youth Advisory Council, Oxfam’s Change Course program and National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples Party. He has twice been recognised with the NAIDOC MacArthur Youth of the Year. 

 

The Coffee Club Arts and Fashion Award

Daniel Monks, 26 of Newtown is an Australian Filmmaker, actor and dancer who is passionate about creating art to voice the stories of those underrepresented in society. Despite his physical disability, he received a grant from Accessible Arts to be mentored in his emerging dance practice by Philip Channells & Dance Integrated Australia. He has received numerous awards for his work, including the Young Filmmaker of the Year at the WA Screen Awards, and was honoured with having two short films selected for the Palm Springs International ShortFest 2011, making him one of only three filmmakers worldwide to receive that accolade. 

 

The Who Printing Environment and Sustainability Award

Jaden Harris, 19 of North Curl Curl is a passionate campaigner for Climate Action and at only 14, he co-founded the Sydney Youth Climate Action Network which has grown to more than 500 student members across Sydney. A volunteer with the Australian Youth Climate Coalition, Jaden formally met with the then former opposition leader, Tony Abbott MP and afterwards addressed a press conference, receiving coverage in the print media and on the 7:30 Report. On the board of OzGreen, a leadership and sustainability education organisation, Jaden is currently working on expanding the reach of its youth programs. 

 

The Bartercard Leadership and Innovation Award

Cheryl-Leigh Smith, 21 of Elermore Vale emigrated from South Africa when she was six. She has since overcome homelessness, drug and alcohol addiction, family dislocation and cancer. Through persistence, Cheryl completed her Year 10 equivalent, worked as a group facilitator for the SHINE program at Warners Bay and Cessnock High Schools, mentoring young teens through the program. She is now employed in role focusing on empowering young women back into employment and education. As a mentor and role model for young girls and women, Cheryl-Leigh focuses on building their self-worth, strength and purpose and enabling them to make healthier choices.

 

The AustralianSuper Career Kick Start Award

Troy Tungai, 19 of Barrack Heights is an advocate for indigenous health and has implemented an innovative program called ‘Ngargin Doctors’ to help the disadvantaged. Along with Elders, community health workers and members, the project encourages healthy nutrition, health literacy, environmental health, hygiene and leadership. Troy has trained 30 ‘young doctors’ which has spread and invigorated the wider community, increasing school attendance, and health behaviours. Troy will also travel to South Australia and work in conjunction with Anglicare and the Port Power AFL Team to establish similar initiatives.