Northern Territory Young Achiever Awards

2017 Finalists 

Charles Darwin University Arts Award

Ciella Williams, 26 of RAPID CREEK has since the age of 14, performed with all major Darwin performing arts companies, including Darwin Theatre Company. She has been recognised with awards and received a scholarship from University of Melbourne. She is now creating successful original work, showcasing them at the Darwin Fringe Festival, with an audience of over 4000. Ciella tutors young artists at Corrugated Iron Youth Arts and is a mentor for young people with Autism at Digital Enterprise

Eleanor Dixon, 25 of ELLIOTT is a musician and mentor to indigenous female musicians. She was awarded the Barkly NAIDOC Week Culture Award in recognition for outstanding achievement in Performance, Creative Arts and/or Cultural Endeavours and was invited to perform at the 2016 Nannup Music Festival. Eleanor spoke at the Australians Worldwide Music Expo about the real challenges for Indigenous musicians. Eleanor volunteers and supports local events including the Desert Harmony Festival, Winajikarri Music Centre and Bush Bands Bash and is currently touring with the Violent Femmes

Kristy Rickert, 29 of RAPID CREEK is a professional dancer who has performed nationally and internationally. She is a dedicated performer, choreographer, advocate and educator in Dance. She founded Rix Kix Arts Dance Studio and is the head of dance at Dripstone Middle School. Through Rix Kix Arts, Kristy creates professional opportunities for both experienced and emerging artists. Kristy has performed with local Tracks Dance Company, Ricardo Dance Studio, NT Dance Company and holds youth dance workshops throughout rural Northern Territory

ConocoPhillips Environment Award

Alyson Stobo-Wilson, 27 of DARWIN completed a Bachelor of Science with first-class honours and is now a PhD researcher and lecturer. She co-authored her first scientific paper on the spread of Calotropis procera throughout the Northern Territory. Alyson aims to contribute to the conservation of the northern savanna glider and ran a successful crowdfunding campaign to raise funds for the project. She worked on a documentary called Wonder of Marsupials, where she told the discovery of the savanna glider

Leslie Pyne, 26 of ALYANGULA is a Cultural Anthropologist. Originally from New York, she moved to the Northern Territory in 2013. Leslie currently works as a liaison between Warnindilyakwa Traditional Owners and the local mine for the Anindilyakwa Land Council. She ran a Lajamanu outreach program for Warlpiri Youth Development Aboriginal Corporation and developed the Jaru Pirrjirdi (Strong Voices) program. Leslie produced a book called Milpirri Jarda-Warnpa, a compilation of stories by Lajamanu elders and illustrations by Lajamanu youth

Madeline Goddard, 28 of ALAWA is researching the health of the Darwin Harbour mangroves and has installed devices for measuring their resilience to raised sea levels. Madeline works with government to ensure the ongoing health of Darwin Harbour mangroves are preserved through evidence based policy making. She was awarded an Australian Postgraduate Award and has had multiple media appearances, including ABC radio interviews and articles. Madeline was co-organiser of the 2016 Australian Mangrove and Saltmarsh Network conference


Genesee & Wyoming Australia Indigenous Achievement Award

Celeste Brand, 26 of ALICE SPRINGS recently completed a Bachelor of Social work and has a passion for improving the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait islanders. She is an Indigenous Cadet with the Northern Territory Department of Health, and is Vice-Chair of the Student Representative Council for Indigenous Allied Health Australia. Celeste visits schools to promote education, employment and positive social wellbeing outcomes. Celeste is a role model for other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people

Ineke Wallis, 22 of NHULUNBUY is the Executive Manager for the East Arnhem Regional Council, a Member of the Chief Minister's Round Table for Young Territorians and the Anglicare Youth Advisory Board. She has represented the Australian Government at the Expert of Mechanism for Human Rights of Indigenous Peoples at the United Nations. Ineke won the 2016 Youth Citizen of the Year and she will be the Mentor for NT Youth at the 2017 Nation Indigenous Youth Parliament

Ursula Chubb, 29 of DAGURAGU COMMUNITY has worked with the Murnkurrumurnkurru Gurindji Rangers since 2013, and has been the driving force to increase participation of young women. She is a leader in the Traditional Owners Regional Advisor Committee meetings, and is working with the Traditional Owners to conduct natural resource management project work on several Aboriginal Land Trusts. Ursula is completing a Certificate in Conservation and Land Management, to ensure she can be a part of preserving her country


Glencore McArthur River Mining Regional and Rural Initiative Award

Claire Ryan, 25 of ALICE SPRINGS began volunteering with the Finke Desert Race, one of the Territories biggest annual sporting events, at the age of 11. Claire has dedicated long hours with the volunteer organising committee to ensure the event runs smoothly. She is passionate about encouraging and supporting women, and works with the ‘Grid Girl’ project to encourage women to get involved in motorsport. Claire hopes to inspire others to become involved in showcasing and promoting the territory

Neily O’Connell, 26 of ARALUEN is the Youth Engagement Officer at Headspace. She facilitates the Youth Advisory Group to provide mental and physical health services to schools and the community and decrease the stigma around mental health through education. Neily is also the volunteer Director and Company Secretary of Alice Springs Community Financial Services, working with a team to support the Alice Springs community through scholarships and sponsorships. Neily is always looking for opportunities to support and empower young people

Philamena McKenzie, 20 of MANINGRIDA works with the Great Youths Service delivering programs to support the health, education, and leadership skills of remote indigenous youth. She established the Youth Leadership Committee, creating 20 leaders who now drive the program. Philamena coordinated the ‘Yarning Up Strong, Healing Our Youth’ forum, for over 100 remote youth workers, and was Co-Director of the Lurra Festival. Philamena has provided opportunities for remote indigenous youth to develop pride in their communities, and achieve their goals


Minister for Territory Families Excellence in Youth Leadership Award

Mark Munnich, 24 of DRIVER is completing his Bachelor of Law and works as a Community Legal Educator. He’s an ambassador for the Office of Indigenous Student Support and volunteers with the Bilata Indigenous Legal Pathways Program. Mark is a representative of the Winkiku Rrumbangi Indigenous Lawyers Association, and Treasurer of the Northern Territory AIDS and Hepatitis Council. He was appointed as the youngest Board member of Danila Dilba Health Service and is a guest speaker at various events

Sonia Mu, 25 of MUIRHEAD identified the need for a youth forum and established the Young Professionals Network NT in 2013. The only cross-professional networking forum in the Territory, their membership base is now over 100. Sonia committed the Young Professionals Network to fundraise $3,000 for an Orphanage in Nepal. She was selected as the 2016 NT Youth Representative for the St. Vincent de Paul Society NT and has volunteered at the Melaleuca Refugee Centre and Projects Abroad Fiji

Tenneil Ross, 21 of WANGURI is passionate about improving the care system in the Territory and volunteers with the CREATE Foundation. CREATE provides advocacy for young people in the Out of Home Care system, where Tenneil trains case managers and foster carers about supporting young people in care. Tenneil offers a lived experience, having been through the care system herself. At CREATE, she is involved in Child Protection week, the Club CREATE magazine and the CREATE Speak Up program


NT Government Small Business Achievement Award

Avon Collis - Gloria Jean’s Coffees (Mitchell Centre), 29 of DARWIN owns the Darwin Mitchell Centre Gloria Jean’s franchise. He is also owner of a web development and technology consultancy business ‘Relevate’. His dream is to establish an online customisation website business with his wife, where they sew baby wares that the customer designs themselves. His Gloria Jean’s franchise supports local organisations and has implemented ‘Community Sipper’ program, where his franchise donates $5 to participating community organisations for every 10 drinks bought at his store

Jamie Kokles-Ridgway - Travelling Tadpole Swim School, 25 of NHULUNBUY formed Travelling Tadpole Swim School in 2015. The Swim School aims to help prevent unnecessary drowning deaths of children under five, through swim lessons, effective education and focusing on engaging aboriginal children. Jamie’s business has 5 certified instructors and she requires all staff to participate in ongoing training to keep their knowledge up to date. Travelling Tadpole Swim School was recognised as ‘Business of the Year Award 2016’ from the East Arnhem Chamber of Commerce

Jessica Dix - Majestix Media, 29 of BERRIMAH is the Managing Director of Majestix Media, an Audio Visual installation company and Majestix Photography. They employ local people and provide staff with leadership, emotional intelligence and industry related training. Jessica regularly donates photo shoots to local Territory charities and fundraisers. She is in the process of developing software to enable clients to collaborate easily on past and current projects. Jessica was a finalist in two categories at the 2015 Telstra Business Women’s Awards

Sally Anne Illingworth - Crust Gourmet Pizza Parap, 29 of PARAP worked at Crust after school and is the Youngest Franchise Partner, opening Crust Parap at the age of 18. Sally raised $4399.50 for the Make A Wish Foundation and Crust Parap boasts Australia’s record for the Largest Pizza, measuring at 11.4m’s. Sally provides upskilling training for her staff and oversees the management of 15 other Franchises. She was a Finalist in the 2016 Franchise Woman of the Year


NT Government Young Carers Award

Eloy Mason, 15 of ALAWA Eloy Mason, 15 of ALAWA cares for his 16 year old brother Igen, who has severe autism. He also supports his other brother Omri, who has learning and communication difficulties. Eloy is an active member of the Young Carers Program, mentoring young musicians with a disability. He is a member of CemeNTstars and Singchronicity and formed a band, which performed at the Deckchair Cinema for Carers Week. Eloy has helped to break down barriers relating to intellectual disability

Kyaw Naing John Yusuf, 24 of THE GARDEN has cared for his mother who suffers with mental illness, providing up to 18 hours of care a day. Kyaw has undergone SafeTalk training to further support his mother, and attends the Young Carer Peer Support Program. After being housebound for years, his mother is now attending social events thanks to Kyaw’s ongoing support. He is an active ambassador for multiculturalism, and is a positive role model for young carers

Siwa Boonmanee, 25 of JINGILI is the primary carer for Sitorn, his severely autistic twin brother. Siwa has had to make personal sacrifices whilst working full time and providing constant care for his brother. By caring for Sitorn at home, Siwa hopes to provide a stable environment for his brother, and has noticed an increase in Sitorn’s confidence and his desire to attend more activities. Siwa hopes to use his experience to advocate for young carers


NT Government Young Indigenous Educator Award

Bruno Wilson, 29 of YUENDUMU is a support staff member of the Yuendumu Sports Academy, which encourages student engagement through sport. Bruno embodies the Two Ways teaching approach, linking both western education and local Indigenous culture. Bruno is a role model for his students, and has been instrumental in their continued rise in attendance and literacy. Bruno is currently studying a Certificate III in Education Studies and a Certificate IV in Training and Assessing and hopes to become a teacher

Delsey Ah Wang, 29 of JOHNSTON is a first year teacher at Wulagi Primary School. Delsey’s dedication and enthusiasm has seen her fast become a well-respected teacher. She builds strong relationships with her students, and uses their love of games to increase their fitness and stimulate their brains. Delsey is always willing to implement new strategies, and embraces professional learning opportunities. She engages in innovative technology practices and her students have made significant progress in their learning

Jade Sharp, 25 of LEANYER began her teaching career in 2016 at Stuart Park Primary School. She incorporates her knowledge of particular Visible Learning Techniques in her classroom. She is actively involved in school activities, and her students performed in NAIDOC week activities. Jade is committed to ongoing personal development, and applies new ideas to her teaching practice. Recognised for her energy and commitment, Jade has established an encouraging learning environment, allowing her students to achieve their full potential

Yilki Guyula, 22 of YIRRKALA has taken on the challenging role as team classroom teacher for Yolngu Matha and English as a Second Language. She plans, implements and assesses two different age groups in two teams. Through her tuition, all students have made progress in numeracy and literacy. Yilki is committed to her personal development and professional learning. She is currently completing a Certificate IV in Education Support and hopes to become a fully qualified teacher

PTTEP Australasia Health and Wellbeing Award

Brittany Ward, 26 of BEES CREEK is the founder and Coordinator of Rising Stars Basketball, a program for young people with Intellectual Disabilities. Brittany has for the last five years advocated for higher participation levels and equal opportunity to sporting resources in the Territory. She raised over $2,000 for the Life Education Northern Territory, with a Throw-Athon at the YMCA. Brittany is an Aussie Hoops Coordinator, Midnight Basketball Tournament manager and has won many awards for her service

Lucas de Toca, 29 of NHULUNBUY completed a Medical Degree and went on to study Public Health at Harvard. Lucas relocated from Spain to the remote community of East Arnhem Land for a ten-day volunteer program, where he has remained and now calls home. At 26, Lucas became the Chief Health Officer at Miwatj Health, the largest remote Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Service in Australia. Lucas also designed a GP training program, which was awarded Training Post of the Year by the Northern Territory General Practice Education

Rian Smit, 26 of LYONS is a mental health advocate, helping to reduce the stigma by sharing her own story. Rian has worked with the Foundation of Young Australian's Social Pioneers Program, and on the ‘Live it - Speak it’ program, through the National Centre for Excellence in Youth Mental Health. She co-designed Darwin’s first youth specific LGBTIQ group and is currently creating a one-on-one Peer Support consultancy business. Rian will also soon commence studying psychology


Somerville Community Service Award

Aditi Srinivas, 28 of DARWIN has been an advocate for marginalised groups in the Territory for ten years. She is the co-founder of the volunteer organisation WHAT RU4 NT?, a group dedicated to reforming NT law. She is a passionate advocate for LGBTIQ and women’s rights, serving on committees and through paid work as a Legal Aid solicitor. She has raised awareness and appreciation of Indian culture and Aditi was recently nominated in the NT Human Rights Awards

Ashlee Coleman, 22 of FARRAR has volunteered for over 10 years to programs including the RSPCA and the Sony Foundation Children’s Holiday Camp. Ashlee completed her Certificate in Community Service working with women and children at risk and those affected by alcohol and drugs. Ashlee won NT’s Vocational Student of the Year in 2016, and became a Territory Ambassador. She is studying a Diploma of Psychology and hopes to use her knowledge and passion to make a difference

Olivia Purdue, 18 of HUMPTY DOO is a regular volunteer with RSPCA Darwin. Olivia, who has special needs, is supported by a carer, and helps with the cats and puppies, playing an important role in enriching their lives by play, pats and cuddles. Olivia completes tasks to the highest quality, whilst maintaining safe work practices. Olivia is known for her positive and friendly attitude and is a passionate animal welfare advocate and an important volunteer at the shelter

The Coffee Club Fashion Award

Clair Parker, 25 of WANGURI graduated with a Bachelor of Fashion Design, receiving the 2016 Student of the Year Award for her impressive draping skills. Clair has now been accepted to undertake an internship in New York. Clair’s collection aims to empower Indigenous communities through ethical sourcing of recycled and locally designed and sourced Tiwi fabrics. Clair hopes to create her own fashion label, working with local Tiwi groups to increase Indigenous employment, economics and preserve traditional practices

Jayhannah Nampijinpa Trindorfer, 15 of ALICE SPRINGS was selected as the first Aboriginal Teenage Fashion Designer from Alice Springs in the 2016 NTeen Fashion Festival. Her statement formal piece was awarded runner up in the Apex Australia Teenage Fashion Awards. Jayhannah is a Fashion Stylist and mentor to other designers, for the annual Yapa Styles Fashion Festival. Jayhannah is currently working on designs for future shows and hopes to continue encouraging others to express their creativity through design

Matilda Alegria, 27 of PARAP launched her first theatrical collection showcase ‘A Minute’s Warning’ in 2012, the first high fashion showcase ever to be produced in the Territory. She has launched a further two collections, and established her own fashion and event business, focusing on large scale events, custom made wedding dresses and special event attire. Matilda has been a mentor for the NTeen Fashion Festival, and is passionate about the growth of the fashion industry in the Territory

Zip Print Sports Award

Brooke Peris, 23 of TIWI has competed in hockey since she was six. She represented Australia at the 2014 Commonwealth Games and made her Olympic debut in Rio as a Hockeyroo. Brooke holds AIS training camps for students and coaching clinics for local Territorian children. Her aim is to make the 2018 Commonwealth and 2020 Olympic Games. Brooke is currently studying to become a teacher, and hopes to return to the Territory once she completes her course

Bryce Fullwood, 18 of WINNELLIE is the youngest Territorian to race a V8 Supercar. Bryce trains over 5 times a week, sometimes in a barometric chamber and racing simulators. Originally racing Go Karts, Bryce represented Australia at the 2014 World Championships and has 8 State Titles. He is passionate about giving back to the Darwin Karting Association and is a great Club ambassador. Bryce hopes to become the first Territorian driver in the main Supercar Series

Jasmine Anderson, 25 of KARAMA was one of the first Indigenous women and the first mother to be selected to play in the Women’s National AFL competition. She is now a member of the Adelaide Crows Women’s AFL Team. Jasmine is currently studying a Bachelor of Education Primary Teaching, and hopes to become a role model and inspire Indigenous youth to achieve their goals. She also wants to educate young children on the benefits of education, health and nutrition