Northern Territory Young Achiever Awards

2019 Finalists

Somerville Community Service Award
Karyna Jansons, 27 of ALICE SPRINGS advocates for disengaged youth in her community. A case worker for Alice Springs Youth Accommodation and Support Services, she attends to young women involved in the youth justice system, who are homeless, or at risk of homelessness. Karyna provides safe and understanding case management services. She also assists youth in accessing education, government services, medical and mental health services.

Nicole Civitarese, 25 of TENNANT CREEK is dedicated to volunteer work. She is volunteer Secretary for the Tennant Creek RSL Sub Branch. Nicole has volunteered for the Country Women’s Association for four years and ten years for St John Ambulance NT. In 2018, Nicole won the “Best Individual in a Government Department” category in the Chamber of Commerce Tennant Creek Customer Service award.

Romany Maunder, 26 of DARWIN is an energetic volunteer and is a coordinator for the Nightcliff Lions Food Van. She volunteers at Don Dale Youth Detention Centre. Romany is also the night manager for the Launch Darwin Basketball program. She also organises weekly cooking activities with the Palmerston YMCA during their Girls Nights, offering good food as well as a safe environment for the girls.


Zip Print Sport Award
Shadeene Evans, 17 of BORROLOOLA is the first from her community to earn a John Moriarty Football scholarship. She was named the MVP at the 2017 Pacific School Girl Games and debuted for the Young Matildas last year. Shadeene trained with the NSW Football Elite Development Squad and has signed a scholarship contract with Sydney FC. She hopes to undertake a degree in nursing in the future.

Dana Carroll, 15 of WOODROFFE holds 30 Australian records in swimming. Despite being a kidney transplant receiver whose training is limited, she continues to strive to improve her personal times. She works to raise funds for her training and volunteers to support those with disabilities. Dana is currently working to earn a Pool Life Guard certification and is planning to study Marine Biology.

Caitlin Jong, 13 of MARLOW LAGOON is helping raise the profile of female participation in the Northern Territory’s BMX community. She placed 5th in the BMX World Championships. Caitlin won 1st place in the 2018 BMX Oceania Championships and 2nd at the BMX Australia National Championships, both in the under 13 Girl Challenge class. She is a positive role model who hopes to mentor young Territorian riders.


NT Government Young Aboriginal Educator Award:
Kiah Fereday, 25 of MALAK is passionate about promoting Indigenous culture to her students at Nightcliff Primary School. She organised the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Colours Day and initiated the Nightcliff to Ngukurr (Nor-Core) Book Drive. The Drive donated 600 books to a remote Ngukurr school. Kiah choreographs contemporary Indigenous themed dances and integrates traditional artefacts and creation stories in her Early Year’s classes.

Matthew Axten, 26 of ALICE SPRINGS makes a real difference in the lives of his students at Gillen School. He is proactive in implementing the key concepts of School Wide Positive Behaviour. Matthew creates innovative literacy and numeracy classes. He utilises value-based practice to cultivate a strong community of students. As a sportsman, he instils a culture of respect and sportsmanship in his students.

Wesley Campbell, 28 of YARRALIN advocates for education as a tool for positive change. He works for the Remote School Attendance Strategy Program. He ensures that children are at school and effectively manages to get students to attend. He speaks with parents of students who are absent and encourages them to see the value of education. Wesley has a Certificate III in Community Night Patrol.


Minister for Territory Families Excellence in Youth Leadership Award:
Dawyte Clancy, 18 of NAULA is a proud Aboriginal youth leader. Having spent around 16 years in Foster Care and Out of Home Care, Dawyte took the opportunity to observe what young people needed. He helped set up Shout Out, Head Space, and the Youth Activity Centre for Kentish Lifelong Learning & Care. Dawyte hopes to earn a Diploma in Mental Health and Community Services.

Alexandra (Sacha) King, 28 of DARWIN is committed to increasing mental health awareness in her community. She has taught over 800 workers, conducted over 50 wellbeing sessions in schools, and talked to 5,000 students. She initiated The Mind Blank, a schools tour that uses theatre to teach students about mental health. Sacha continues to educate herself and wants to develop more future leaders in the Territory.

Philamena McKenzie, 22 of STUART PARK is a Maningrida woman who demonstrates outstanding youth leadership. She works at Great Youths Services, delivering programs on health, education, wellbeing and leadership of young Indigenous people. Philamena is a non-clinical sexual health educator and a coordinator of the Gin-Derta Strong Young Women’s Program and the Youth Leadership Committee. She volunteered at an orphanage in Fiji for 3 months.


Genesee & Wyoming Australia Indigenous Achievement Award:
Celeste Brand, 28 of ALICE SPRINGS has an unwavering commitment to her community. A proud Arrernte (A-ruhn-duh) woman, she works as a P2 Social Worker at the Central Australian Health Service, providing social support and Aboriginal health services. Celeste is a Board member of the Alice Spring’s Women’s Shelter and was Vice President of Indigenous Allied Health Australia. She received the 2017 Indigenous Allied Health Inspiration Award.

Rikki Bruce, 28 of STUART PARK is proud to represent Aboriginal people in engineering. In 2016, Rikki became the NT Indigenous Representative for Young Engineers Australia. She was involved with the CareerTrackers Indigenous Internship Program and the Department of Health and Education’s Young Mothers are Strong Mothers project. She holds a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering and hopes more Indigenous people will consider a career in engineering.

Jasmin Onus, 29 of MILLNER is only the second Aboriginal solicitor to work at the Northern Land Council. She has degrees in Law and Business and was admitted to practice in the Northern Territory Supreme Court. Jasmin was founding director of Winkiku Rrumbangi NT Indigenous Lawyers Aboriginal Corporation. A NAIDOC Youth of the Year awardee, she was recently appointed Senior Advisor in Policy at Indigenous Business Australia


NT Government Small Business Achievement Award:
Nathan Cooper - Penguin Ice, 29 of FANNIE BAY started his career at an early age, working in the family business. In 2017, Nathan saw an opportunity to purchase Darwin Ice Sales, now known as Penguin Ice. He improved the company’s efficiency through cost cutting and capital upgrades. For Nathan, employee loyalty is an asset and has introduced regular meetings to boost staff morale and skills

Eliza McClelland- Pony and Sid Catering Co., 24 of WINNELLIE has a passion for food quality and sustainability. She opened Pony and Sid Catering to give Territorians a modern and memorable food experience. Two years on, she opened a commercial grade kitchen. Eliza is committed to creating food with fresh local produce, supporting local businesses, and practicing ethical kitchen functions. She has a certificate in small business.

Brogan Hanrahan - The Black Russian Caravan Bar, 25 of KATHERINE is a self-taught entrepreneur. Seeing a gap in the Katherine market, she has built a coffee culture and a space where the community can meet and engage. After doing research, she founded The Black Russian Caravan Bar and introduced specialty coffee in Katherine. Following its success, she established Maiden’s Lane. She has created jobs for 20 local workers.

Annabel McLarty - Katherine Outback Experience, 29 of KATHERINE co-owns Katherine’s Outback Experience, which celebrates life on the land through real horse-starting and working dog demonstrations, live music and storytelling. Katherine’s Outback Experience won the 2018 NT Best Tourist Attraction and Best Visitor Experience Awards. Annabel currently sits on the Tourism Top End Board and Katherine Regional Economic Development Committee. Annabel also manages the multi-awarded ‘Tom Curtain Music’.


NT Government Young Carers Award:
Lily Websdale, 15 of PARAP assists her mum in the care of her five siblings on a daily basis. Her mum, a single parent, has experienced trauma through domestic violence and is sometimes unwell. Lily bathes and feeds her siblings and assists her brother Khai who has Autism Spectrum Disorder. Lily is looking to complete Year 11 in 2019 and she is interested in studying design.

Phoebe O'Shea, 16 of WANGURI takes care of her mum who has a mental illness and diabetes. Phoebe helps her Mum with showering, walks her around and cooks for her. She takes her to medical appointments and has learned to inject insulin and administer medicines. Phoebe sometimes goes home during school lunch break to check on her Mum. She also attends the Careers NT meetings weekly.

Emma Symonds, 13 of LYONS cares for her three brothers who are diagnosed with Autistic Spectrum Disorder. She helps them understand social roles and assists them perform daily activities. Emma spends around 12 hours per week and sometimes misses after-school activities. Emma will often sacrifice her needs to help her brothers. She has taken First Aid, Cub Scout Leadership and Young Carers courses


Glencore McArthur River Mining Regional and Rural Initiative Award:
Annabel McLarty, 29 of KATHERINE is committed to showing a positive light on rural life. She left a successful urban planning career, settled in the Territory and built Katherine’s Outback Experience (KOE) with her husband, Tom. An award-winning tourist attraction KOE shows outback life through entertainment, promotes agri-businesses and builds community pride. Annabel sits on the Tourism Top End Region and Katherine Economic Development Committee.

Metui Tongatua, 28 of RAMINGINING has Degrees in Teaching and Applied Science and is a health and physical education teacher in North-East Arnhem Land. He has secured over $300,000 in funding to support remote indigenous students participate in sporting events. Last year 35 students attended State Championships and five were in National Championship Teams. Metui was adopted by the Burarrwanga family from Galinwin’ku Elcho Island

Isabella Leonhardt, 18 of KATHERINE helps break the stigma of mental illnesses in rural communities. Her dinner and auction initiative, ‘Dreaming Under the Stars,’ brought the community together and successfully raised $172,000 for the Dolly’s Dream Foundation. A member of the Katherine Regional Youth Group, she helped organise ‘Blue’, an art exhibition raising mental health awareness. She received an Australian Defence Force Long Tan Award.


ConocoPhillips Environment Award:
Larissa Potter, 24 of RAPID CREEK has a passion for ecology and wildlife conservation. Her Honours research involved investigating methods to detect and identify Butler’s dunnart, a threatened small marsupial. The results had important implications for conservation and management of the Butler’s dunnart. Larissa presented her research at the 12th International Mammalogical Congress. She is working on a second scientific paper and to undertake a PhD.

Hugh Davies, 29 of RAPID CREEK is dedicated to conserving NT’s vanishing native mammals. For his PhD thesis, he conducted research on the Tiwi Islands, in collaboration with Traditional Owners and Tiwi Land Rangers. Hugh was able to successfully secure funding to continue his work on Tiwi and turn his findings into management outcomes. Hugh’s work helps educate the younger generation about the threats to biodiversity.

Georgia Koch, 18 of BAKEWELL is an advocate for the environment. As environmental minister of her school, Good Shepherd Lutheran College, she initiated rubbish clean-up programs to help educate the community on issues involving single-use plastics. She also started the College’s first recycling program. In 2018, she was selected to go to the United Nations Youth National Conference and the UN National Evatt competition


Colemans Contracting & Earthmoving Agriculture Award:
Roley James, 26 of KATHERINE combines his passion for the agricultural industry, love for aviation, and keen interest in business management. Roley holds a Private Pilot’s License and a Diploma of Agribusiness Management. He brought ultralight aviation to the NT cattle industry, reducing the cost of management and mustering livestock. Roley was the first Territory station assistant manager to build his own plane.

Grayson Webster, 23 of ZUCCOLI encourages the youth to be part of the agricultural industry. She has explored agribusiness banking, livestock procurement, quality assurance, and exporting. Grayson worked with NT Cattlemen’s Association on the “Future NTCA” Program, and with Meat and Livestock Australia on the “A Leg Up” program. She obtained a scholarship from Women and Leadership Australia to undertake a 5-month leadership development course.

Maddison Clonan, 26 of STUART PARK is a passionate horticulturalist. She conducted scientific research on new mango cultivars, to improve the market opportunities and sustainability. Maddison supported the adoption of the Felix Quality Meter, which measures fruit maturity instantly. Maddison established youth support networks within the Department of Primary Industry and formed a networking group of Territory agricultural researchers. She also led student agricultural research tours.


Charles Darwin University Arts Award:
Archer Bryett, 14 of WOODROFFE is strongly committed to youth music-making. An outstanding trombonist, he participates in the Northern Territory Music School programs and community ensembles including the Arafura Wind Ensemble, and Hot & Cold Big Band. He learns from professional trombonists through regular Skype lessons. In 2018, Archer became the first non-string player from Darwin to be accepted into the Australian Youth Orchestra’s program.

Maneeza Rahmany, 16 of DARWIN is a remarkable young fashion designer. She runs Maneeza Rahmany (Roo-Ma-Knee) Designs, producing handmade, and locally produced clothing. She has been part of NTeen Fashion Festival and supports the Darwin Community Arts and Our Common Threads program. Maneeza was awarded NT’s Young Designer of the Year and at the Apex Australia Teenage Fashion Awards, Australia’s Young Designer of the Year.

Dylan River, 26 of ALICE SPRINGS is a filmmaker whose stories resonate with the land, peoples and culture of the Territory. Despite not having access to a film school, he travelled extensively to learn and bring back his learnings to share with peers. His works have been screened in film fests like the Darwin International Film Festival. His work, “Nulla Nulla,” was screened in Germany and Canada.


McDonalds NT Career Achievement Award:
Ben Christie, 28 of MUIRHEAD hopes to improve the health and wealth being of Territorians. A project officer at Menzies School of Health Research, he handles projects on health literacy, indigenous health, alcohol, drugs, and social wellbeing. He is the NT coordinator for Shout Out, and the Australian Health Promotion Association’s NT Branch President. Ben previously worked at the Council for Aboriginal Alcohol Program Services.

Nikita Rose Baker, 24 of BORROLOOLA Baker is dedicated to her indigenous community. She is the EA to the Chair of the Mabunji Aboriginal Resource Indigenous Corp. She collaborated with local school children to paint the new water treatment plant and designed posters for community events. Nikita helped organise NAIDOC Celebrations, the Aboriginal Art Fair and Carnival Day. She received the 2017 Australia Day Young Person Award.

Tierneigh Parnell, 25 of GILLEN provides advice, representation and legal education to women experiencing domestic violence. She works with the Alice Springs Women’s Shelter and assists young persons on bail and young mothers. She sits on the NT Government Youth Justice Advisory Board, Alice Springs Town Council Environmental Advisory Committee, and Arid Lands Environmental Centre Board. She is Secretary for the NT Young Lawyers Committee.