Northern Territory Young Achiever Awards

2022 Finalists


One Rail Australia Indigenous Achievement Award

Jahdai Vigona, 20 of Driver is passionate about giving back to community and strengthening the social and emotional health and well-being of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. He has worked on several projects related to mental health, youth, gambling and alcohol and other drugs. Jahdai has presented at the International Men’s Day Youth Forum, participated in the Consumer Health Forum and facilitated the 2021 NT Youth Health Summit. Jahdai is an appointed member of the NT Youth Round Table and in 2021 he received the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student of the Year Award.

Kirsten Anderson, 29 of Borroloola is working to bridge the gap. Kirsten is a proud Kija/Gooniyandi/Bunuba woman working as a Remote Family Safety and Support Worker at the Department of Territory Families, Housing and Communities. She is a member of the CARE Champion The CMSA Program; the community child safety network group, MACCST; and the Borroloola Gulf Show Society. Kirsten is currently completing her Diploma of Counselling and runs both a contracting mustering business and mobile food van business.

Patrick Coleman, 21 of Tennant Creek is a community role model. Patrick is a proud Warumungu young man working as a Community Coach with the John Moriarty Foundation Football (soccer) Program. He is a volunteer coach for under-13 and 16 AFL teams and plays AFL for YDU Football Club. As the 2021 Barkly Representative on the NT Youth Round Table, Patrick discussed proactive alternative education, attendance, and engagement strategies.


Somerville Community Service Award

Maythan Long, 26 of Daguragu is encouraging positive changes for his people. Maythan works as a male engagement officer at the Kalkarindji and Daguragu Child and Family Centre. He uses his love of sports to design sports programs for families and children, his passion to design cultural wellbeing workshops and his self-determination towards closing the gap. Maythan currently studies Certificate III in Community Services.

Narpinder Pal Singh, 28 of Wanguri is dedicated to creating happiness in the community. Narpinder has been volunteering with Sikh Family Food Van for two years whilst having full-time studies and a part-time job. The charity distributes fresh homemade food for free to local people in need, including the homeless and Indigenous. He has also been nominated for Study NT International Student Volunteer of the Year Award.

Sunny Liu, 25 of Brinkin passionately serves the local and international communities in Darwin. Sunny is the Vice-Chair of Kindness Shake Inc., a charity that has handed out over 6,000 free meals, assisted 800 individuals and raised more than $200,000 in grants and donations. An international student, she is also a committee member of the Multicultural Council NT and 2022 Youth Advisory Group at Headspace Darwin.


NT Government Small Business Achievement Award

Ebony Anderson, 27 of Palmerston is the owner of Ebony Rose Hair Design, a boutique hair salon that has been operating since 2019. The salon has nine staff members, pays well above award wages and focuses on training and upskilling their employees. They offer a 30-minute hair colouring aftercare education session to new clients, and have a strong repeat customer base and consistently good reviews.

Samantha Price, 25 of Coconut Grove opened Royal Existence Dance Academy in October 2018 and offers seven different styles of dance to children aged 2 to 18 years old. They hold over 55 classes weekly. As of 2021, Royal Existence has 13 staff members who share their passion for dance with over 330 young people. During Covid lockdowns, Samantha navigated the business to ensure her staff could keep their jobs.

Jeremy Lassemillante, 28 of Rosebery founded E3 Productions, a local events management and production company, in 2015. It is now a touring level organisation, dealing with national and international acts. E3 is the official production partner of the Darwin Symphony Orchestra and the in-house audio-visual supplier of DoubleTree Hilton Hotels in NT. They strive to be an employer of choice and provide career pathways to students.


Mindil Beach Travel, Tourism and Hospitality Award

Anneliese Grazioli, 27 of Stuart Park began in the hospitality industry as a food and beverage trainee and progressed to leading teams at Hot Tamale and Snapper Rocks in Darwin. In 2015, she developed a passion for bartending and the bar industry. Anneliese has since taken a leadership role in the Darwin Bartending Group and Territory Bartending in general. She was recently recognised in the Drinks World T25 Bartenders, and has just opened her own cocktail bar, Hanky Panky Lounge.

Chloe Quill, 19 of Parap is a guest service agent at the Mercure and Novotel Darwin Airport Resort. She helps guests check in and out and gives tourists directions on where to go and what to do. Chloe is a proud Larrakia young woman with strong knowledge of Darwin and surroundings. She advocates for her culture and is very supportive of initiatives to develop an Indigenous training academy. She has expressed interest in leading cultural tours within the resort, scheduled to begin mid-2022.

Taylah King, 25 of Darwin was a kitchen team member at Phat Mango and is now a chef at the Townsville RAAF Base. In 2020, she started the discussion about Cupcake Day, which resulted in the Darwin Convention Centre donating 200 cupcakes to an RSPCA fundraiser. She has hosted a master cooking class for students. Taylah made the top 10 finalists of the Golden Chefs Awards, representing NT. She was a 2021 International Women’s Day NT representative.


Zip Print Sport Award

Danté Rodrigues, 20 of Driver is an athlete who has been putting NT on the map in the Muay Thai world. Dante is the only Aboriginal athlete to be selected for the national kickboxing team and was also the only athlete to represent NT in the 2018 World Championships in Italy. He is currently ranked as number 2 kickboxer worldwide and uses his large social media following as a voice to raise awareness for mental health in the community.

Emma Stark, 15 of Wagaman plays in the U18 Girls Saint Mary’s football side and umpires at Men’s Premier League level in the NT Football League. She is part of the NT Thunder Academy and 2022 Cazaly’s NTFL representative squad. Emma also plays and officiates netball and AFL. In December 2021, Emma finished Year 10 and received five academic excellence awards and the O’Loughlin Sports Award.

Patrick Coleman, 21 of Tennant Creek is a Warumungu young man who works as a Community Coach with the John Moriarty Foundation Football Program. He plays AFL for YDU Football Club and volunteers as a coach for under-13 and 16 AFL teams. Patrick is the 2021 Barkly Representative on the NT Youth Round Table. He uses his leadership to encourage young people to attend and engage in school.


Spirit Super Create Change Award

Alina Biju, 20 of Berrimah founded the Women’s Collection for Innovation and Change at Charles Darwin University, a student group aimed at empowering women to achieve their dreams. Alina was previously secretary at NT Youth Round Table 2021 and NT delegate at Australian Youth Affairs Coalition. She created “Keep It Lit NT”, a digital platform with content on health issues and resources for young people.

Malia Ford, 28 of Darwin was a founding member and Vice Chair of Two Two One Mental Health Charity. She helped establish the Girls Only Night’s Youth Program, providing vulnerable young women a safe space, created positive relationships, and enhanced health and positive decision-making. This program provides consistent, stable and strong female role models to youth of all backgrounds, this empowerment approach has resulted in positive growth in many of the attendees.

Paige Horrigan, 18 of Palmerston helps plan innovative events, including the first Pride event in Palmerston history. They have also managed spaces dedicated to supporting the youth and LGBTQI+ people. They worked with organisations like Rainbow Territory and helped fight against discriminatory legislation. Paige has taken Stage 2 Legal Studies and has written external inquiry on the rights of LGBTQ+ people in the Australian legal system. They aim to create greater awareness and change surrounding gender and sexual diversity.


NT Government Young Aboriginal Educator Award

Crystal-Rose Furber-Swan, 19 of Alice Springs has been working at Alice Springs Language Centre for three years as an Arrernte teacher. She teaches the Arrernte language, the local Aboriginal Language in Alice Springs, to over 530 children each week. Crystal-Rose also contributed to reviving Pertame, a severely endangered language, in her community. She has been involved with Arrernte workshops with elders and has helped organise NAIDOC celebrations.

Emily Ford, 23 of Darwin is an educator who created posters, learning materials, assisted in developing a dictionary and developed an Instagram account that focuses on her language, Rak Mak Mak Marranunggu. Developing the materials is essential for members of her clan who were affected by systemic issues and as well as the Stolen Generation, enabling them to find connection and learn the language of their family. The content is also effective for young children in her clan as well as other who would like to learn an Indigenous language.

Jordon Briston, 26 of Wulagi started his teaching career in the community of Naiyu and worked across all year levels. In 2021, Jordon was proactive in reopening the remote outstation school in Woodycuplidya. He became a joint teacher between SFX and Woodycuplidya School. Jordon aspires to establish a full-time school at Woodycuplidya Outstation to ensure children in remote, isolated outstations have access to mainstream education.


Colemans Contracting & Earthmoving Agriculture Award

Eleanor Fordyce, 24 of Katherine is a Livestock Extension Officer within the Agricultural Branch of the NT Department of Industry, Tourism and Trade. She helps provide support to pastoralists through research, extension, advice and providing opportunities to build capacity with their business. Eleanor recently took the roles of Chair of the NT Government Young Leaders Group and Secretary of the Katherine Pastoral Industry Advisory Committee.

Amy Kirke, 28 of Lyons is a marine biologist. Amy moved from Perth to NT to continue her PhD, studying the biology and ecology of sharks caught in commercial fisheries. She developed “Let’s Go Fishing”, a game that simulates fishing and fishing management. The program has been trialled and run at several Darwin schools. In 2020, Amy won the Agrifutures Rural Women Award for NT.

Kari Moffat, 27 of Woolner is an Animal Welfare Assurance Manager for AUSTREX. She is a founding member and Chair of the Young Livestock Exporters Network. She is an Executive with the Queensland Livestock Exporters Association. In 2014, Kari became Head Stockwomen aboard a live export vessel destined for Indonesia, overseeing 15 voyages. In 2021, Kari was named ‘Nutrien Livestock Exporter Young Achiever of the Year’.


NT Government Young Carers Award

Natasha Evans, 25 of Gunn is a full-time family carer and believes if young people are given a safe creative space to be themselves, then anything is possible. She is an advocate for challenging youth issues in her community, and has been involved in starting a youth leadership group, running youth arts camps, was a youth ambassador for the Barkly region in 2016 and participated in the 2017 National Indigenous Youth Parliament in Canberra.

Paige Laker, 15 of Humpty Doo cares for her dad who suffered a cardiac arrest and resulted in an acquired brain Injury in January 2018 at home. Paige’s role is secondary to her mum. It involves prompting of medication and preparing food, helping around the house, distracting him with puzzles, games and encouragement to try new things and get out and enjoy life. Paige is an Ambassador for Little Dreamers, an advocate for young carers around Australian and NT youth carers.

Khalehla Cartwright, 18 of Herbert cares for her younger sister, who requires 24/7 supervision and is diagnosed with Dup15q, a rare chromosomal condition that leads to developmental and behavioural challenges. Khalehla ensures her sister uses hygienic products such as soap, shampoo and toothpaste. She washes her sister’s hair and makes sure she takes her medication. Khalehla dedicates her free time to her sister and three other younger siblings, averaging 35 hours per week of caring. In addition, she completed year 12 in 2021 and now works full-time.


Glencore McArthur River Mining Regional and Rural Initiative Award

Alfred Farrell, 23 of Rockhole is a Regional Support Officer at the Department of the Chief Minister and Cabinet. He is also a qualified interpreter. He played a key role in the Covid-19 response in Katherine by engaging with Aboriginal Territorians and interpreting key Covid-19 messaging throughout the year. He undertook training to be eligible to support testing and worked in the Binjari and Rockhole communities.

Kari Moffat, 27 of Woolner is the Animal Welfare Assurance Manager for AUSTREX, where she regularly initiates and leads industry initiatives. She has contributed to animal welfare initiatives in destination markets like Indonesia and Vietnam. Kari was also part of the inaugural Young Livestock Exporters Network (YLEN) committee. As YLEN Chair, Kari is driven to seek opportunities for YLEN members to expand their careers.

Kirsten Anderson, 29 of Borroloola works as a Remote Family Safety and Support worker at the Department of Territory Families, Housing and Communities. A proud Kija/Gooniyandi/bunuba woman, Kirsten has been working to bridge the gap. She is a member of the Borroloola Gulf Show Society and CARE Champion The CMSA Program. In 2018, she helped organise the School Ball, which improved overall attendance for Borrooloola School.


Charles Darwin University Innovation Award

Alina Biju, 20 of Berrimah founded the Women’s Collective for Innovation and Change (WCIC), a student group at CDU aimed at empowering women to achieve their dreams. As its President in 2021, she managed events with a focus on gender equity in employment and leadership. Events she helped organise include Career Pathways to STEM, Women’s Health Week, Mental Health Fun Day and the inaugural WCIC Ball.

Level Up Esports of Palmerston is a social enterprise formed in response to Covid restrictions. A group of young people in Palmerston began online gaming meetups to maintain their relationships and sense of inclusion. After the restrictions were lifted, they received a grant that allowed them to purchase second-hand gaming equipment. They now host gaming sessions and run Youth Drop In Gaming for young disadvantaged people.

Tisha Tejaya, 25 of Stuart Park founded Cultivation, an initiative that uses art, stories and technology to bridge cultural, language and generational gaps. Since 2020, Tisha has self-published the ‘Parap & Rapid Creek Market Pocketbook’ along with its second edition. The pocketbook contains botanical illustrations, produce profiles, migrant and refugee anecdotes and recipe ideas. Tisha received funding from the NT Regional Arts Funds and is donating 500 copies of the pocketbook to the Territory community.


McDonalds NT Career Achievement Award

Erika Mae Lu, 24 of Karama completed her Bachelor of Business with CDU and won the 2019 Business Student of the Year Award. She joined the public sector after gaining a competitive graduate position. Most recently, she has been promoted as a Business Analyst within Department of Industry, Tourism and Trade. Erika also enjoys supporting her local church community and organisations to empower low-income families and communities through education.

Max Stretton, 25 of Rapid Creek started his career straight out of High School as a law clerk at Ward Keller, the largest firm in the Territory, whilst studying a Bachelor of Law full-time. In 2016, he studied in China followed by a semester in Indonesia in 2017. He came back to Darwin and worked as an Associate in the Supreme Court NT. Max graduated and was employed as a litigation lawyer in Alice Springs and in mid-2021, Max started as an Associate at Bespoke Territory, where he now works with former Chief Minister of the NT, Paul Henderson AO and Mike Burgess AM providing strategy advice to companies with operations in the NT.

Tamika Galea, 28 of Nhulunbuy is a forensic psychologist who works as general manager of Outlook Psychology Practice. She started in 2019 as a general psychologist/forensic registrar and was promoted to Clinical Lead before becoming the General Manager in August 2021. Tamika previously worked at Brisbane Youth Detention Centre, providing psychological services to vulnerable young people. She has completed Psychology Honours and Masters of Psychology (Forensic).


Minister for Youth Excellence in Youth Leadership Award
Malia Ford, 28 of Darwin is finding what empowers and inspires people. She strives for empowerment of others, through establishing the Charles Darwin University Allied Health Collective. Being a founding member and previous Vice Chair of Two Two One Mental Health Charity, Volunteering for the Nightcliff Lions Food Van and The Katherine Salvation Army Christmas Lunches, among others. She is currently completing her last year of Master’s in Occupational Therapy.

Paige Horrigan, 18 of Palmerston is creating greater acceptance and awareness for the LGBTIQ+ community. They planned and managed the first Pride event in Palmerston history. Paige was previously Campus Captain and College Captain at Palmerston College. In 2019, they shaved their hair for cancer and strongly advocate for charities like Shave for the Cure. Paige was part of the NT Youth Round Table in 2020 and has worked with organisations like Rainbow Territory to help fight against discriminatory legislation.

Sizol Fuyana, 21 of Palmerston overcame her own adversities and mental health issues, and founded Fuyana Support, a youth-oriented consultancy firm that provides social and emotional wellbeing to young people through building connections. She has successfully designed and rolled out programs across the territory to support young people coming out of the justice system. Sizol was Chair of the 2021 NT Youth Round Table, helped launch the NT Education Engagement Strategy and sat on the Expert Advisory Panel. She currently studies Law and Psychology at Charles Darwin University and was named the 2022 NT Young Australian of the Year.