7NEWS Young Achiever Awards - NSW/ACT

I’m Elli, 23 years old and honoured to be named the winner of the 2021 Danmark Health and Wellbeing Award. Just being nominated and then becoming a finalist was humbling, but WINNING this award has motivated me even more to participate in projects and engage in the community wherever I can.

The award has boosted my confidence and was an opportunity to showcase my achievement and I want to thank Danmark for sponsoring this award.

The effort from staff that went into organising the 7 News Young Achiever Awards, made me feel very special and proud to be a finalist. The Awards evening was a chance to connect and interact with fellow nominees and hear about their amazing work.

Unfortunately, due to Covid, not a lot has happened since the Awards Gala in terms of volunteering and community outreach. However, I was able to attend a fundraising event for Triple Care Farm as a guest speaker and help raise over $65, 000 towards their Aftercare Program. This program aims to help young people with transitioning from a drug and alcohol rehabilitation facility, back into the real world.

My passion for raising awareness and knowledge around alcohol and other drug dependencies is a big part of my life, so I feel immensely proud that winning the Danmark Health and Wellbeing Award can help highlight such a worthy cause.

It is really important to recognise the contributions that young people are making to their communities and that’s what I really liked about the 7 News Young Achiever Awards. They highlight how passionate young people are and the different ways they are having positive impacts in the community.

I would hope that awards like these encourage more young people to become socially active and in turn become role models for others.

I really encourage anyone who knows a young person that is making a difference, no matter how big or small, to nominate them.

Elli Reinhard
2021 Danmark Health and Wellbeing Award Winner


It was my absolute honour to be nominated and become the winner of the Early Childhood Educator Award and this would not have been possible without your support. It’s so important to value the young people in the community who are trying to make a difference and give them the appreciation and acknowledgement of their contributions. It’s been a tough two years and being acknowledged for my hard work as an essential worker is an incredible feeling. I would like to pass along my sincerest thanks and appreciation to the sponsors of the Young Achiever Awards for 2021. Thank you to 7NEWS, PRIME7, 2DayFM, The Department of Education and The Hon Gladys Berejiklian MP, Premier of NSW.

Since winning the Award I became a local celebrity for a little while. I was in two local newspapers, my story was shared on social media by my organisation, I was recognised by my local sporting communities and even had congratulations messages from old coaches and school friends in the wider community. It was a wonderful feeling knowing that I was making a positive contribution to my community and being recognised for it. I have since been asked to give welcome speeches for the new trainees at my organisation and have the opportunity to be a face for my organisations promotional materials.

This Award has also encouraged me to go further with my career and I have begun studying my Masters of Child Play Therapy, supported by my organisation, focusing my skills and passion to support the children who need it the most, because children have to come first.
Everyone who won an award this year is paving the way for the next generation and I hope others deserving of these awards get the nominations and support they deserve in the future. If you know someone doing wonderful things, nominate them, we need to celebrate the amazing people in our community who are always there supporting others.

Larissa Moore
2021 NSW Department of Education Early Childhood Educator Award Winner


I was in the supermarket with my little sister when I found out I had been named a finalist for the Freemasons of NSW/ACT Community Service Award and the two of us squealed with delight there in the middle of the aisle.

Later, when I read the profiles of each finalist both in my category and for the other awards, I felt immensely proud and honoured to be recognised alongside such talented and passionate individuals.

The awards celebration night was a representation of the intelligent, innovative and motivated young people who are leaders today and the leaders of tomorrow. The initiatives that were shared and recognised give me hope for our future.

For me, thus award is an encouragement to continue fighting for what I care about. I hope that young people and young women in particular, look at stories told here and can see themselves in them. Because each of us has the ability to use our voice and skills for the betterment of our world.

Lily Harrison
2020 Freemasons of NSW/ACT Community Service Award Winner


"The First National Real Estate Leadership Award has provided the ability to share stories that need attention. From Indigenous issues, to climate change in agriculture, these areas require a national spotlight now to create long-lasting, multi-generational change. The Award has enabled me to tell the stories of my People, sharing the importance of history and culture to modern day decision making. I am honoured to have won this award and thank the sponsors and organisers for their continued contribution to recognising and supporting leaders."

Joshua Gilbe
2019 First National Real Estate Leadership Award Winner


"Receiving the 2017 NSW/ACT Young Achiever of the Year was a great honour. But more than that, it was a great motivator. Social entrepreneurship can be a lonely journey. I’ve spent thousands of hours over the past decade working unpaid in ways that nobody sees or knows. Receiving the Young Achiever of the Year has motivated me to work even harder, to raise the bar, and to never stop striving for the change I seek. In the past year, 180 Degrees Consulting has provided 720,000 hours of volunteer services and has expanded to 35 countries. I am also starting a new social venture that I believe can revolutionize the way services, such as vocational retraining, are financed for disadvantaged individuals, including those who will become unemployed due to automation and deindustrialisation. The Young Achiever Awards are not ends in themselves, but means to ends. It is my hope that all of those recognised in 2018 will be equally motivated to continue their great work, and that those that hear their stories are likewise motivated and inspired."

Nat Ware
2017 NSW/ACT Young Achiever of the Year


"It is very humbling to win this award, but also very exciting that award shines a spotlight on farming, the environment and climate change. I am fortunate to work with farmers and agricultural researchers around the world – who spend their days working on issues pertaining to food security, environmental conservation and climate change adaptation. These people are making a meaningful contribution to a vibrant and resilient future – and this award gives recognition to all people working on these issues of our time."

Anika Molesworth
2017 Environment & Sustainability Award Winner


"The NSW/ACT Young Achiever Awards is an amazing event that highlights the achievements of young people. If you're someone or if you know someone who's running a business, opening a social enterprise, helping out in the community or pursuing your dreams, I definitely recommend that you enter. As the 2017 winner of the Small business category, I was able to open up new connections and networks and meet other young people who are equally as passionate and ambitious. Nominations are now open so I recommend you hop on it because it's such a great opportunity to celebrate your achievements and advance your career."

Cindy Huynh
2017 WFI Insurance Small Business Achiever Award Winner


"Winning the arts and fashion award was a huge encouragement for me, voluntarily running a not for profit organisation is hard work, so being told that people think I'm doing a good job for the community means a great deal to me. It puts wind in my sails to continue advocating for our creative industries to be more inclusive."

Genevieve Clay-Smith
2016 The Coffee Clubs Arts and Fashion Award Winner 


"It was a tremendous honour to be recognized with the First National Real Estate award for the leadership category of the 2016 NSW/ACT Young Achiever Awards. Considering the phenomenal achievements of Australia’s youth across incredibly diverse fields, this award was an extremely humbling honour, but also more importantly a call to action.

I am currently undertaking an honours research project at the University of New South Wales on the topic of CO2 conversion via photocatalysis to a solar fuel. Outside of my studies, I have developed an internationally applied innovation focused on climate resilience and am the founder and executive director of a nationwide mentoring program, MentorMe Australia. My decision to tackle a chemical engineering degree was grounded in the notion of contributing to the grand challenges of the 21st century: food security, energy, water and health. Yet more recently, my attention has shifted to how these concerns can be addressed via social entrepreneurship and within the business community. I am particularly interested in the intersection of business strategy and sustainability.

In my eyes, leadership is most clearly defined as the capacity to translate vision into reality, whilst simultaneously growing others around you. You don’t need a title to be a leader and it seems evident that leaders emerge in all levels of a community. Douglas MacArthur states that “a true leader has the confidence to stand alone, the courage to make tough decisions, and the compassion to listen to the needs of others. He or she does not set out to be a leader, but becomes one by the equality of his actions and the integrity of his intent.”

At the awards night the atmosphere was electric. Sitting amongst the state’s young leaders I felt an energy and dynamism which was both captivating and inspiring. These were the leaders of the future, in government, in industry and in academia and given their talents and passions, there appears every reason to be optimistic. We have a responsibility to continue to use our opportunities to make ethical, informed and courageous decisions as Australia’s future leaders.

My vision with MentorMe Australia, the nation’s first mentoring initiative from secondary school to university graduates is to develop the leaders of tomorrow. We focus on assisting individuals within their early career stages via the power of mentoring. But not only does mentoring impact the mentor and the mentee, it strengthens ties between communities, institutions and organizations. Our next phase of expansion is a unique program aimed at supporting high school students from refugee backgrounds.

To be associated with the awards and the category sponsor First National Real Estate is an incredible opportunity and privilege. First National is a centre for excellence in the real estate community in terms of its people, work, ethos and culture and I am very proud to be associated with the sponsors who have made these awards possible.

Ultimately, I hope that through my leadership and drive in the fields of climate resilience, sustainability and mentorship I have paved the way for others to follow. Indeed, the real test of leadership is the function to engage and develop more leaders, not followers. Thus, I encourage you to nominate an individual for the 2017 NSW/ACT Young Achiever Awards – it is an experience that they will not forget."

Tom Perfrement
2016 First National Real Estate Leadership Award Winner