NORTHERN TERRITORY

Northern Territory Young Achiever Awards

2021 Winners of the Northern Territory Young Achiever Awards

The 2021 Northern Territory Young Achiever Award Winners: L-R, Sharna Kotz, Jessica Punotriero, Louise Crowe, Emma Warren, Hugh Dawson, Melanie Gunner, Ben Poveda-Alfonso, Marie Cunnington, Sinafoni Naufahu, Kyle Bambra

Overall Winner - 2021 Northern Territory Young Achiever of the Year

Hugh Dawson, 22 of Elliott recognises the opportunities of the cattle industry for young people. While with the North Australian Cattle Industry, he helped develop the Future Northern Territory Cattleman’s Association program, set up for young industry leaders to form connections and begin developing skills to communicate with media. Hugh has worked as NT representative of the Young Livestock Exporters Network, taking part in the first Livestock Leaders’ Workshop. Hugh is an advisor to the working committee for The Livestock Collective. Whilst currently working with Barkly Pastoral Company, he has trained to fly a helicopter and is completing his Certificate IV in Agriculture at CDU.

  The Hon Lauren Moss MLA, Minister for Youth, with Hugh Dawson

 

One Rail Indigenous Achievement Award

Kyle Bambra 19, of Arnhem Land is committed to helping his fellow countrymen. Kyle has worked with Indigenous youth, teaching culture and the choosing the right path in life program through the Boluna Foundation. He mentors young Indigenous people to help give back to his community. Kyle is a client of NDIS and although unable to read or write, he is fully committed to fulfilling his dream of becoming a qualified hairdresser. Kyle has now undertaken a hairdressing traineeship and is one of the best students in his course. He travels to remote communities to cut hair for free and make people feel good about themselves.

 

Shane Hennessy, Operations Manager – One Rail Australia with Kyle Bambra

 

 Minister for Youth Excellence in Youth Leadership Award

Ben Poveda-Alfonso, 28 of Alawa is passionate about youth empowerment. Upon arriving in Australia in April 2015, Ben undertook a Bachelor of Accounting degree in Charles Darwin University. At CDU, he was President of the CDU Students’ Association. Ben founded Kindness Shake, a community and student-led initiative helping migrants, refugees and temporary visa holders experiencing financial difficulties due to Covid-19 pandemic. They have served over 5,000 pre-cooked meals, assisted more than 500 individuals and raised over $60,000. Ben won the 2020 CDU International Alumnus Award and 2018 StudyNT International Student of the Year Award. He plans to commence a Masters of Public Policy in 2021.

 

The Hon Lauren Moss MLA, Minister for Youth, with Ben Poveda-Alfonso

 

Somerville Community Service Award

Marie Cunnington, 26 of Durack is dedicated to serving her community through volunteer work. Marie has been volunteering for the Northern Territory State Emergency Services (NTSES) for five years, providing assistance where needed. She loves being the NTSES mascot, Paddy the Platypus, going to schools and giving information on preparation and the importance of having emergency kits. She has also been with the Virginia Bees Creek Volunteer Fire Brigade for two years, providing assistance at some of the worst bushfires in rural Darwin. Marie was deployed to assist with the Queensland bushfires in 2019. She received the 2020 Chief Minister’s Top End Youth Volunteer of the Year Award.

 

Lawson Broad, CEO of Somerville Community Services Inc. with Marie Cunnington

 

NT Government Small Business Achievement Award

Sharna Jane Kotz 23, of Nightcliff is dedicated to developing her services for local Territorians. Sharna has a Certificate III in Beauty Services and a Diploma in Beauty Therapy. In 2016, she opened her own salon, Pure Skin Face & Body Clinic. From a one-woman therapist, she has grown her salon to employ full-time, casual and contracted specialists, an injectable nurse and dual qualified nutritionist and iridologist. Sharna continues to research the best and safest technology in the industry. She is the first in NT to introduce Plaxplot, a safer device for non-surgical blepharoplasty. Sharna offers work placement opportunities, including an introduction into the beauty therapy workforce.

 

The Hon Eva Lawler MLA, with Sharna Kotz

 

Santos Environment Award

Jessica Puntoriero, 23 of Berry Springs is proud to represent Indigenous female rangers. Jessica was part of the Larrakia Land and Sea Rangers program, where she coordinated the annual Darwin Harbor Clean-Up that collected 1.36 tons of rubbish. She was heavily involved in their collaboration with the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation in monitoring the world’s atmospheric pollution north of Darwin. She helped organise the 2019 NT Women’s Healthy Country Forum Jessica which was attended by over 150 Indigenous elders and local women. Jessica was awarded the 2016 Newmont Tanami Indigenous Scholarship. She will graduate in 2021 from Charles Darwin University with an Environmental Science degree.

 

 

Peter Kirkpatrick, Productions Manager, Santos, with Jessica Puntoriero

 

Zip Print Sports Award
Jaimie Bryant, 17 of Katherine strives to reach the highest level in everything she does. As a young Indigenous female, Jaimie understands she has to work harder to find academic and high-level sporting opportunities. Between juggling school, sports and work, she has managed to represent Big Rivers and Northern Territory in netball, soccer and AFL. She has also represented Australia as part of the 2019 Wanderers Australia Netball team. Jaimie drives for 3 hours for an opportunity to improve her skills in AFL as a utility in the Saint Mary’s Women’s Premier League side. Jaimie currently works part-time to fund most of her sporting activities.

 

 

Sean Cooke – Expert Judge, Manager Coaching and Officiating, NT Institute of Sport with Sizol Fuyana on behalf of Jaimie Bryant

 

 NT Government Young Aboriginal Educator Award 

Louise Crowe, 27 of Eaton is a proud Wiradjuri woman who teaches art and design woodwork to Year 11 and 12 students at Palmerston College. She has developed and sustained a viable curriculum for Creative Arts and Design and Engineering. She helped re-open a workshop that hads been shut down for seven years and developed policies on how to safely use machinery for the students. She improved the intake and popularity of the Arts and Design areas and encourages students to express themselves and their culture through their art. Louise has a Bachelor Honours in Industrial Design and a Graduate Diploma in Secondary Education.

 

 

The Hon Lauren Moss MLA, Miinister for Youth with Louise Crowe

 

Colemans Contracting & Earthmoving Agriculture Award

Hugh Dawson, 22 of Elliott recognises the opportunities of the cattle industry for young people. While with the North Australian Cattle Industry, he helped develop the Future Northern Territory Cattleman’s Association program, set up for young industry leaders to form connections and begin developing skills to communicate with media. Hugh has worked as NT representative of the Young Livestock Exporters Network, taking part in the first Livestock Leaders’ Workshop. Hugh is an advisor to the working committee for The Livestock Collective. Whilst currently working with Barkly Pastoral Company, he has trained to fly a helicopter and is completing his Certificate IV in Agriculture at CDU.

 

Lloyd Coleman, Managing Director, Colemans Contracting & Earthmoving with Hugh Dawson

 

NT Government Young Carers Award

Sinafoni Naufahu, 18 of Alice Springs has unconditional love and support. Sinafoni is a Teacher Aide who cares for her 4-year-old brother, Edward, who has a rare condition called Goldenhar Syndrome, autism, eczema and food allergies. Edward is unable to walk, crawl or stand and uses a specialised walker, stroller and hoist. Sinafoni cares for her brother for 8 to 10 hours a day. Sinafoni also helps care for her 8-year-old and 6-year-old siblings as her mother has Type 2 diabetes and hypertension and her dad works long night shifts. In 2019, Sinafoni took eight weeks off school to care for Edward through his Cochlear Implant Surgery.

 

Sinafoni Naufahu after being presented by the Hon Lauren Moss MLA, Minister for Youth

 

 Glencore McArthur River Mining Regional and Rural Initiative Award

 Melanie Gunner, 22 of Gillen is an advocate for youth mental wellbeing. Melanie is the Chair of the NT Youth Round Table where mentors educate each other on how life is in the different regional and rural communities and pitch solutions to the Chief Minister’s team. Melanie is a Youth Engagement Officer at the Alice Springs Town Council and Community Engagement Officer at Headspace Alice Springs. She delivers workshops and presentations and organises community events such as FABAlice, an LGBTQIA+ event, and Sun’s Out Heads Out Day, which was attended by over 400 students. Melanie won the 2020 Young Person Award for Mental Health Week.

 

Tracey Jones, Community and Corporate Affairs Superintendent, McArthur River Mining with Melanie Gunner

 

Charles Darwin University Innovation Award 

Emma Warren, 24 of Anula is empowering young people to feel confident. Emma is a Young Female Empowerment Coach who founded She Flourishes, a company dedicated to empowering and helping young women reach their full potential and strive to accomplish their goals. She launched a website and gave away a free e-book on “How to Have Fun Gaining Self Confidence”. Emma organised her first Mother Daughter Self-Love Lunch, which had over 100 attendees. She launched her Flourish in Life Program, a six-week program with modules, toolkits and more. Prior to her life coach journey, Emma founded Social Splash, a social media advertising, strategic management, photography and consultancy business.

 

 

Professor Scott Bowman AO, Vice-Chancellor and President - Charles Darwin University with Emma Warren

 

McDonalds NT Career Achievement Award 

Alexandra Craig, 27 of Gillen earned her double degree in Law and Business in February 2019 and completed her placement at the Legal Aid Commission of Tasmania. She moved to Central Australia and accepted a casual contract with the Central Australian Women’s Legal Service whilst completing her Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice. Alexandra currently works at the Central Land Council (CLC) after successful admission as an officer of the Supreme Court of the NT and the High Court of Australia. At CLC, she drafts Community Development agreements, provides legal advice to the Community Development section, and undertakes Aboriginal Land Rights Act and native title legal work.

 

Vicki-Leigh Lettice, McDonalds Licensee in Darwin and Katherine, anbnouncing Alexandra Craig