NORTHERN TERRITORY

Northern Territory Young Achiever Awards

2020 Finalists

 

NT Government Young Carers Award
Stephengen Magadia, 15 of Zuccoli is committed to his family. Stephengen attends to his mum who has deteriorated eyesight, kidney failure and an amputated leg. After school, he helps his mum prepare for dialysis and gives her medicines. He and his dad take care of household chores. Although he cannot enjoy what other teenagers can because of his responsibilities, his support has helped his mum become stronger. Stephengen attends the NT Carers’ support group activities and was recently accepted into the Northern Territory Police, Fire and Emergency Services Cadets Program. He received an award for outstanding commitment and exceptional achievement in Year 10 Sports Excellence.


Ebony Cubillo, 11 of Woodroffe has unconditional love and concern for her older sister. Ebony dedicates her time and energy in caring for her sister who has Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) that often leads to meltdowns and outbursts. Ebony helps with daily tasks such as her sister’s grooming, preparing meals, administering medicines, and monitoring her health, wellbeing and attitude, amongst others. She sacrifices her personal time to chaperone her sister at social events and advocates for FASD by correcting and informing family, friends and community members who come in contact with her sister. Ebony is a member of CREATE Foundation and Student Voice Positive Choice.


Emma Symonds, 14 of Lyons is a dedicated sister and learner. Emma cares for her three brothers who are diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. She assists them with understanding social roles and interactions and helps with their day-to-day activities. Due to her responsibilities, Emma can only pursue her interests within school time and are often kept simple due to family budget. She has participated in Autism NT and Top End Calisthenics Club Incorporated fundraising activities. Emma received the 2017 Australia Day Student of the Year and 2016 Citizen of the Year for Wagaman Primary. She also won first place in the Territory Young Scientists Awards 2018.

 

Glencore McArthur River Mining Regional and Rural Initiative Award
Melanie Gunner, 21 of Alice Springs is an advocate for youth mental health. Melanie was a Youth Engagement Officer at the Alice Springs Town Council and is currently a Community Engagement Officer at Headspace Alice Springs. She has worked extensively within the community, delivering workshops and presentations to hospitals and schools whilst supporting all diverse community events and groups. Her personal art business, Melanie Rose Gunner Art, allows her to celebrate the lives of young people and expose their artistic talents. Melanie had been a panellist at the NT Youth Health Summit in Darwin and plans to study Psychology or Medicine in the future.


Alexandra Craig, 26 of Gillen is empowering the First Nation’s people. As a community development lawyer at Central Land Council (CLC), Alexandra visits remote communities and empowers the First Nation’s people. She provides legal advice to the CLC Community Development Program and undertakes Aboriginal Land Rights Act and native title legal work. With a strong passion for contract and native title law, she helps build Aboriginal ownership and control and implement community benefit projects. Alexandra has a double degree in law and business. She is vice president of the NT Young Lawyers and a member of the NT Women’s Lawyers Association and Alice Springs Federal Netball Club.

Claire Chandler, 28 of Larapinta has a passion for indigenous health. Claire is a doctor who studied at the Territory’s own medical school. While others have left, Claire decided to stay in Alice Springs, pursue paediatric medicine, and find opportunities to encourage young doctors to become skilled. She works at Alice Springs Hospital, the sole doctor who resuscitates newborn babies and the only paediatric doctor on overnight. Claire conducts free swing dancing lessons and runs mock clinical exams for medical students. She completed her Doctor of Medicine degree from Flinders University NT Campus and has a paper published in the Medical Journal of Australia.

 

NT Government Young Aboriginal Educator Award
Teegan Tyson-Hayes, 26 of Gillen offers invaluable support to vulnerable families. Teegan is a young aboriginal mother who works as a Families as First Teacher’s assistant at Larapinta Child and Family Centre. She works alongside families and children to ensure a safe and welcoming space conducive to learning and development. She uses her understanding of child development and learning needs to enrich early learning experiences. A coach and mentor to young staff members, Teegan is also a spokesperson for many Aboriginal people in Laparinta and the wider Alice Springs. She achieved full accreditation in the 3a Abecedarian Approach and will soon undertake Preparation for Tertiary Success.

Jack Gumbula, 25 of Ramingining is spreading his message of hope to Aboriginal youth. Jack is an assistant teacher in the Work Readiness class at Ramingining School. He uses his strong connection to culture and passion for music to engage students in activities relevant to them as young Aboriginals, whilst teaching the importance of regular school attendance. He constructed a Raypirri shelter where students can learn to use hand and power tool and building materials. His class won most improved attendance and was featured on VampTV and NT Education Department’s eNews publication. Jack values Aboriginal culture and encourages students to express themselves in their mother tongue.


Clarissa Carter, 22 of Casuarina is passionate about supporting Aboriginal learners. Clarissa is a lead trainer and assessor of Certificate II in Community Health delivered by Menzies and Charles Darwin University. She uses culturally relevant storytelling techniques and develops locally understood metaphors to explain Western scientific concepts. She adjusts her mentoring style to meet individual and project needs to make learners comfortable. The Certificate II qualification builds the capacity of Aboriginal researchers in remote communities and gives an understanding of the underlying causes of poor health. Clarissa has a Certificate IV in Training and Assessment and is currently completing her Bachelor of Education at CDU.

 

Colemans Contracting & Earthmoving Agriculture Award
Peta Stockwell, 22 of Daly Waters hopes to have a wide-reaching impact on the cattle industry. Peta earned her Bachelor of Agriculture Science degree from University of Queensland in 2019, where she graduated with first class honours and as valedictorian. She has received scholarships and financial support throughout her degree. She received the UQ Honours Scholarship in Animal Science for her honours research project based on a research trial completed at the Katherine Research Station. She has also undertaken agricultural work placements in Central Queensland, Victoria, Tasmania and Vanuatu. A proud Territorian, her long-term goal is to have a positive impact on the northern Australia beef industry.


Maddison Clonan, 27 of Stuart Park is passionate about horticulture development. She has helped strengthen the production, marketability and sustainability of horticultural products. Maddison led the development of the Department of Primary Industry and Resources’ Young Leaders Group. She launched the Researchers in Agriculture for International Development networking group in the NT, to share knowledge and opportunities, build research capacity and communicate the value of agriculture. Maddison received the Crawford Fund Travel Scholarship Award and travelled to Cambodia to conduct agricultural research. She graduated from a Masters of Sustainable Agriculture in 2018. In 2019, she received the Chief Minister’s Top End Youth Volunteer of the Year Award.

 

James Beale, 29 of Katherine has championed initiatives for the agricultural sector. James started as a station hand at the Consolidated Pastoral Company and worked his way to becoming a station manager of Bunda and Kirkimbie stations. He attends and contributes to the Katherine Pastoral Industry Advisory Committee and the Northern Territory Cattlemen’s Association. He helps develop closer cultural relationships between the agricultural and wider communities. He has a passion for encouraging young people to build a career in agriculture and for delivering business improvements through technology. He is a licensed fixed wing and helicopter pilot. James represented NT as a 2017 NAB Agribusiness Rising Champion.

 

Charles Darwin University Innovation Award
Miles McLoughlin, 29 of Fannie Bay aspires to create a culinary identity for the Territory. Miles is a restaurant consultant and executive chef at the Gammon Creations Culinary Design Studio. He works with venue owners, caterers and independent culinary creatives to better present their culinary identity by streamlining menus and kitchen operations, brand design and marketing strategy. When not with clients, Miles conducts independent research and development in his personal kitchen to create products and concepts to involve local creatives. He has developed a range of sparkling sodas, a probiotic cola, an all-natural sports energy drink and an iced coffee. Miles also has a self-published novel.


Joel Benesha, 22 of Driver is passionate about giving back. Joel is the Director of Benesha Robotics and a software engineer at Corrosion Instruments. He has developed a smartwatch prototype that uses the Telstra 4G sim network and several sensors to give feedback for doctors to best aid remote patients. The innovation will help address the Territory’s problem with remote health. He also built a humanoid robot that can pick up objects, talk and walk. Joel gives back to the community by running technology/robotic workshops for remote indigenous communities. An ambassador for Charles Darwin University, he received eight scholarships and will soon undertake his PhD.

 

Sinead Redmond, 29 of Durack is dedicated to growth and excellence. She is a qualified Civil Engineer who works as Project Management Lead for a Darwin-based engineering consultancy firm where she leads a team of project managers. Sinead is the chairperson of Young Engineers Australia, Learned Society Advisory Committee and FutureNet. She organises community initiatives to promote the positive effect of STEM education for young people. As a member of Women in Engineering, she helps promote diversity and inclusion in the industry. She developed the concept of a ‘STEM Expo’ to bridge the gap between education and industry. Sinead won the 2017 NT Young Technologist of the Year

 

McDonalds NT Career Achievement Award
Olivia Shields, 28 of Alice Springs has achieved her career goals at a young age. She completed her Nursing degree in New Zealand and worked as Registered Nurse for four years, then moved to Alice Springs on a 6-month contract and eventually became a permanent employee. Olivia has climbed her way up from Nurse 2 to Nurse 5. As Clinical Nurse Manager at the Alice Springs Hospital’s Oncology and Day Infusions unit, she continues to seek innovative ideas to improve service. An active volunteer, Olivia hosted the Biggest Morning Tea and raised over $700 for the Cancer Council and is organising a 2020 Relay for Life event.


Manfred Mletsin, 27 of Darwin is dedicated to career growth. Since moving to Australia six years ago, Manfred has obtained a Certificate IV in Small Business Management and Diploma of Leadership Management. He is taking his Bachelor of Accounting at Charles Darwin University and is actively involved in the international sector. He is the current Vice President of the CDU Students’ Association and has been the StudyNT Student Ambassador since 2016 and is also a University Mental Health Framework Advisory Group member. In 2019, Manfred founded Mindful Minder NT, a small business that offers to take care of house and pets while the owners are away.


Joel Benesha, 22 of Driver has a passion for technology and excellence. Joel is the founder and director of Benesha Robotics which runs technology and robotic workshops for remote communities, schools, prisons and more. He has developed a smartwatch prototype that uses the Telstra 4G sim network and sensors to allow doctors to monitor and better aid remote health patients. He has built a humanoid and an obstacle avoidance robot. Joel is also a software engineer at Corrosion Instruments, which supplies tools to help survey pipelines for corrosion. A published journal author, Joel has received eight scholarships through Charles Darwin University, for which he is an Ambassador.

 

ConocoPhillips Environment Award
Meg Parry, 26 of Jingli advocates for mine rehabilitation through revegetation. Meg completed her Bachelor of Environmental Science and Bachelor of Science Honours at Charles Darwin University with a perfect 7.0 GPA and was awarded the CDU Chancellor’s Medal for Most Meritorious Student. She has volunteered at the Australian Mangrove and Saltmarsh Network Conference and the Douglas Daly Research Farm. At the Mahbili Festival in Jabriu, she had the opportunity to talk about native plant species and revegetation. Meg started her research during her Honours degree and has continued working on it whilst at the Rehabilitation and Ecology Department at the Closure Team at Ranger Mine.

 

Juliet Saltmarsh, 28 of Rapid Creek is passionate about raising awareness of environmental issues in the Territory. Juliet works as a Volunteer Engagement Officer and Better Earth team leader at Conservation Volunteers Australia. She conducts information sessions, presentations and speeches to schools, organisations and communities. She has engaged over 500 people in conservation projects around Darwin, including wildlife habitat restoration and invasive species management. Juliet organises community awareness events and has hosted events such as ‘The Secret Life of the Atlas Moth’, Clean-Up Australia Day and Darwin Harbour Clean-up. Juliet was a finalist in the 2016 Territory Natural Resource Management Volunteer Award and the 2015 Premiers Sustainability Award


Roley James, 27 of Katherine is promoting sustainable grazing practices. Roley worked as an assistant manager for five years before becoming the overall manager at Hidden Valley Station (HVS), a local Territory business dedicated to turning grass into protein and providing opportunities for local people and the community. Roley introduced changes in the operation, switching from constant grazing to rotational grazing system to reduce fire hazards and allow the land to recover. HVS is on a mission to demonstrate to the local community, the Australian public and cattle production operators that sustainable grazing practices is the most sensible and environmentally health proposition for the livestock production sector.

 

Somerville Community Service Award
Melanie Gunner, 21 of Alice Springs is committed to helping address youth mental health issues. As the Community Engagement Officer at Headspace Alice Springs, Melanie has taken an interest in youth mental health barriers affecting disadvantaged people or groups in Alice Springs. She hopes to establish a connection with young people and offer a safe environment where they can share their stories and communicate with others. She also aspires to open up the discussion of mental health among students and those disconnected from schools. Melanie worked as Youth Engagement Officer at the Alice Springs Town Council. She has organised several youth events and a youth initiative mural.

 

Phoenix Riggs, 16 of Wanguri is helping every child learn to swim. Phoenix is a Volunteer Lifesaver who has accumulated the second-highest hours of all the male club members by the time he was 14 years old. He has engaged in Water Safety, Education and Training for the Darwin Surf Lifesaving Club and has a Surf Rescue Certificate. He actively assists in the Nipper Program, a highly social physical activity and education program for children 6 to 14 years old. He has volunteered at the Fannie Bay Swim and Seabreeze Festival. In 2019, he helped organise ‘The Big Bike Ride’, a fundraiser for Motor Neurone disease.

 

Siobhan Macushla Evans, 27 of Wulagi is promoting inclusion in sport. A Clinical Psychologist Registrar by profession, Siobhan is a volunteer coach for the Pints Netball Club where she coaches the first ever All Abilities Team. The team welcomes players of all abilities and aims to provide an opportunity for further inclusion in community sport. Prior to this, Siobhan has been coaching junior players for the Pints. In 2018, she became assistant coach of the NT Dragonflies Netball Team and in 2019 became the head coach. The team participates in Marie Little Shield, a national netball competition for women aged 16 and above with an intellectual disability.

 

Zip Print Sport Award
Dana Carroll, 16 of Woodroffe is a gifted athlete and survivor. Dana was 8 years old when she received a kidney transplant. This did not prevent Dana from becoming a multi-class swimmer. She is an Australian representative and previous representative of NT. She holds four World Transplant Records and 41 swimming records in Australia. In 2019, she competed in the World Transplant Games and the Arafura Games. She volunteers as assistant coach for junior squads and has a Pool Life Guard certification. In 2018, Dana represented NT in the Apex Australia National Teen Fashion Awards where she won runner-up in the Formal Wear category.


Gabby Coffey, 19 of Alice Springs is a motivated Indigenous athlete. Gabby won a scholarship to Caufield Grammar School for her netball skills. She left her family to go to boarding school and receive training and coaching. She made the 2019 and 2020 Victorian Fury Squad for the 2020 Australian Netball League and was Vice Captain of the Victoria 19 and Under Nationals Team. She won gold as part of the 2018 Victoria 19 and Under Nationals Team. A talent identified by Netball Australia from 2016 to 2018, Gabby hopes to play in the Super Netball League and someday play for Australia.


Jaime Maglieri, 23 of Tiwi is determined to provide access to recreation and sports. Jaime started competing at a very young age, representing NT in the 2017 National Youth Challenge and awarded the 2018 NT Tenpin Awards Female Bowler of the Year. In 2019, she was selected to represent Australia in the 25th Asian Championships. Jaime was a finalist for the 2019 NT Sportsperson of the Year Award and Darwin Open Ladies Masters Champion. An accredited Level 1 coach for tenpin bowling, Jamie worked as Lane Ranger for the National Bowl Patrol Program before taking the role as coach to the Junior Police Rangers.

 

NT Government Excellence in Youth Leadership Award
Zhengxiong (Sean) Xiao, 18 of Alice Springs is promoting positive engagement. Sean is a student at the Centralian Senior College As a member of the Colleges Student Representative Council, he helped plan the first Alice Springs Government School Student Leadership Forum. As member of the 2019 NT Youth Round Table and Southern Vice Chair, he co-hosted with the Alice Springs Town Council for the 2019 Youth Art Music Festival. Sean is a member of Headspace Alice Springs - Youth Advisory Group and Youth Research Council. He won the 2019 NT Youth Volunteer of the Year Award and was a panel speaker at the 2019 Youth Health Summit.


Sinead Redmond, 29 of Durack is determined to motivate and empower and actively volunteers for various organisations. Sinead is a fully qualified Civil Engineer who currently works as a Project Manager Team Lead for an international engineering consultancy based in Darwin. She is chairperson of Young Engineers Australia, Learned Society Advisory Committee, and FutureNet. She is deputy chair of Engineers Australia’s Northern Committee, and a member of Consult Australia. Sinead developed the very first Family Fun Day for people in the built industry and their families. In 2017 and 2018, Sinead successfully coordinated the International Women’s Day Breakfast, featuring female leaders and male champions for change.


Ashlee Coleman, 25 of Zuccoli has a passion for youth work. Ashlee works at the Palmerston Youth Space, coordinating one of Darwin’s only alternative education support programs for disengaged youth. She uses a holistic approach to create a flexible learning environment to meet individual needs. Ashlee sits on many committees such as the Palmerston Youth Action Plan Implementation Group. After submitting a comprehensive report to the Youth Round Table 2018 on the state of Youth-at-Risk in Palmerston, she was approached by the Department of Health to be a Youth Representative for the implementation of their 10-year plan. Ashlee is also a coordinator and leader at Katherine YMCA.


Sacha King, 29 of Darwin is devoted to creating positive change. Sacha is the founder and director of Two Two One, a not-for-profit organisation providing innovative mental health training, workshops and talks across the Territory. Sacha is a social worker who has been raising awareness and starting honest conversations around mental health through organising Mental Health First Aid Trainings, SafeTALK Suicide Awareness, Drumming for Wellness program, Youth Diversion programs and women’s empowerment events. Sacha is a member of the Australian Association of Social Workers and Nightcliff Lions Club, Lions Food Van committee. In 2020, Sacha will conduct Teen Mental Health First Aid trainings to high school students.

 

One Rail Australia Indigenous Achievement Award
Michelle Kukla, 25 of Gillen is an advocate for the homeless and the vulnerable. Michelle is a Central Arrente woman who works for the Alice Springs Youth and Accommodation Support Service as a Youth Worker and Residential Support Worker. She is instrumental in directly linking indigenous youth to client services, supporting the current manager in establishing holiday engagement programs, and upholding a healthy eating attitude at the youth resource hub. Michelle is assigned at the Ampeke Akweke Place where she assists vulnerable pregnant teenagers aged 14 to 23 who come from regional indigenous communities or who are homeless. She hopes to complete further study in social work.


Lauren Fyfe, 24 of Alice Springs is a modest but accomplished achiever. Lauren is a young Indigenous woman who works as an accounts person, financial administration worker and emergency relief worker at Waltja, an organisation that serves remote communities across the central desert region. As the first point of contact for clients, Lauren provides a safe and reassuring space for people avoiding shame and unease, regardless of their attire, ability to speak English or circumstances. Despite the demands of her roles, Lauren remains calm and approachable and demonstrates her ability, reliability and willingness to mentor others. Lauren is currently studying to complete her Certificate III in Business.


Eytahnyia Scott, 20 of Moil aspires to develop positive outcomes for Aboriginal youth and families. Eytahnyia is a proud Aboriginal woman who works as Project Development Officer & Social & Emotional Wellbeing Team Leader at Larrakia Nation. She oversees the planning and structuring of activities in partnerships with funding providers and schools. She has delivered community youth and family focused activities for Aboriginal children and families programs. Eytahnyia is a member of the Palmerston Youth Action Group as part of the Grow Well Live Well Youth Action Plan for 2020 and has been nominated to be the Female Youth Ambassador 2020 for the top end.

 

NT Government Small Business Achievement Award
Sharna Kotz, 22 of Nightcliff upholds excellence in beauty therapy and innovation. Sharna opened PureSkin Face & Body Clinic in 2016 and has since developed and broadened her range of services to rival interstate beauty salons. From a one-woman salon, she now employs one fulltime qualified therapist, one casual therapist and two contract specialists. Sharna has a Certificate III in Beauty Services and a Diploma in Beauty Therapy from Charles Darwin University and has been further introduced to specialised advanced treatments. Sharna has collaborated with local nutritionists and iridologists to develop the local industry. She is also the first in NT to introduce the Plaxplot device.


Sacha King, 29 of Darwin is raising mental health awareness. Sacha founded Two Two One Training, a not for profit mental health specialist service that provides wellbeing, mental health and positive engagement in the Territory. From a small sole trader, they have so far delivered over 20 mental health first aid accreditation courses, 30 youth-focused programs and 10 wellbeing workshops. Sacha is a counsellor, trainer and accredited social worker with the Australian Association of Social Workers. She previously worked for non-government and government organisations. Sacha has upskilled to deliver Acceptance and Commitment therapy, and Teen Mental Health First Aid Training for high school students.


Jazz Walia, 28 of Lyons is committed to offering quality food. Jazz owns three restaurants, Fresh Point Co Café, Palates of India and Flank Bar & Grill, which employ 20 local staff. He opened Fresh Point Co Café and Supermarket in 2017 but while the café was successful, the supermarket struggled. It forced Jazz to convert the market to Palates of India, which became a huge success. As an Indian-born immigrant, Jazz is committed to giving back. He sponsors a range of multicultural activities, local athletes, clubs and musicians. Jazz helps the community by using local produce and hiring local businesses and tradespeople for repair.