Seven News Young Achiever Awards QLD
The Coffee Club Arts and Fashion Award
Chris Tamwoy, 21 of Daisy Hill is a self-taught guitar player, famous for his guitar-tap style. He made it into the top five for Australia’s Got Talent in 2016. He has toured internationally, supported artists such as Dan Sultan, and performed at many festivals. Releasing his first EP in 2015, he has since performed at the Australian of the Year Awards. Chris gives back to the community by appearing at local schools and community events.
Claudia Moodoonuthi, 22 of Lota is a painter renowned for her bold imagery and vibrant colours. She won the Gold Coast Aboriginal and Torres Straight Island Art Award at the age of 17. Claudia held her first solo exhibition at Wooloongabba Art Gallery and has since sold out another at Alcaston Gallery in Melbourne. She held an exhibition at the National Gallery of Victoria last year, featuring at the Ian Potter Centre.
Madeline Stuart, 21 of Mount Crosby is the world’s most famous super model with Down Syndrome. She went viral after posting before and after photos, from her efforts to lose twenty kilograms and break into the fashion industry. With seven million views, the photo and Madeline hit international headlines. She has featured in Vogue, Woman’s Day and the New York Times among many others. She has appeared at Fashion weeks in New York, Paris, China and Birmingham.
Talia Fidra, 16 of Middle Park began the Dance Ballet Syllabus at the age of five, completing every level at distinction level since. She performed Swan Lake with the Queensland Ballet in 2017. She won silver at the Genée International Ballet Competition the year before. Talia has played Dorothy in the Brisbane City Youth Ballet’s production of Wizard of Oz. She recently appeared as a guest artist at the Queensland POPS New Year’s Eve Gala concert.
The University of Queensland Create Change Award
Alastair Blenkin, 26 of Wilston quit his job as a lawyer to begin his start-up technology company HyraIQ'. HyraIQ' uses software that automates high-volume, high-value contract negotiation for institutional landlords and their lawyers, using artificial intelligence algorithms. The contracting process is accelerated, improving outcomes, reducing costs whilst mitigating risk. Alastair has won many innovation and start-up awards. HyraIQ' is finalising discussions with several major Australian law firms and institutional landlords for its 2018 platform launch.
Charles Rolls, 26 of Mooloolaba created a mental health program for high schools called Y2K. Over 30,000 students are informed about the dangers of illegal substances and encouraged to make healthy choices. They learn how the brain works, then examine 3D brain scans of drug users, to learn about the neurological damage that drugs have on the brain. Charles is an ambassador for Oxfam Australia and was accepted into the Young Social Pioneers program.
Kathryn Lyons, 25 of Loganholme is an award-winning innovator, mentor and advocate for everyone’s Right to Toilet with Dignity. Through her experiences of poor access design of disabled toilets, Kathryn created Accessibili-t. Accessibili-t works with governments and corporations to achieve real access, sanitation and hygiene for the disabled, complex medical conditions and frail aged when toileting. Kathryn delivers motivational talks and workshops and challenged leaders to act when speaking at the World Toilet Summit 2017.
Tasman Bain, 24 of Toowong co-founded ‘Meri Toksave’ a charity for gender-justice and human rights in the Pacific region. Tasman created and distributed over 5,000 directory of services, for survivors of domestic violence in Papua New Guinea. He is the Chair of the Australian Red Cross Queensland Youth Advisory Committee. Tasman mentors school students in debating, is a Fellow of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network, and a World Economic Forum Global Shaper.
BB Print Regional Achiever Award
Jye Leet, 19 of Kepnock has won Gold Cultural awards five years in a row. He has led an Acknowledge to Country dance. Jye advocates against domestic violence and has spoken about the importance of women’s health and safety. He received an award for his indigenous design for the school’s rugby jersey. Jye has visited many schools teaching about indigenous history and culture. He was his school’s indigenous leader three years in a row.
Prudence Melom, 22 of Kearneys Spring fights racism through storytelling with her co-founded project, E-raced. She draws from her time escaping war with her family. E-raced teaches young people the importance of cultural acceptance in Australia. Triple J recognised her in their 2015, 25 under 25 list. She has recruited many refugees and migrants to provide rural school workshops. In 2015 these workshops won a national Human Rights award. Prudence manages the project whilst studying law.
Keely Johnson, 19 of Ayr raised $700,000 for childhood cancer through her charity, The Golden Octopus Foundation. Keely has been a voice for childhood cancer whilst undergoing her own journey. A young girl recently asked to meet Keely through Make a Wish. Keely paid for the flight to Perth to sing for Kyra without her using her Wish. Keely was invited to join the Australian Adolescent Health Organisation’s board after presenting at their 2017 Conference.
Maxine Ottowa, 24 of Rural View founded the design studio, ‘Spaces for Maxine’ during her Bachelor of Design and Certificate III in community service studies. Maxine also works part time as a personal carer for spinal injury patients. She relaunched her design business upon moving from Sydney to Mackay. Maxine was diagnosed with ADHD and Dyslexia as a child, and works ten hours a month for the ADHD support group she founded in Mackay.
Kennelly Constructions Aboriginal Achievement Award
Claudia Moodoonuthi, 22 of Lota is a painter renowned for her bold imagery and vibrant colours and she honours her heritage and culture through her art. Claudia received a scholarship to attend Clayfield College and has now completed a Bachelor of Contemporary Australian Indigenous Art. Claudia has won many art prizes and held several exhibitions. She was commissioned to have her painting projected onto the William Jolly Bridge, as part of the 2017 Brisbane Festival.
James Mundy Moreland, 27 of Rockhampton established the ‘Deadly Families Festival’, challenging stereotypes by sharing culture, traditional food, entertainment and indigenous workshops. He organised the ‘Dharumbal Dash’, providing students with an appreciation of culture, healthy eating and education. He secured $24,000 to mentor 29 children of the State throughout a ten-week program. James receives annual funding from the government to deliver Cultural Connection Programs. He coordinated the Warba Wangarunya Rugby League Carnival, attracting 4000 attendees.
Sharee Yamashita, 26 of Nanum was 2017’s National NAIDOC Apprentice of the Year. After completing a four-year Electrical Apprenticeship, Rio Tinto Weipa offered Sharee full-time work. In her final year, she received the Electrical Apprentice of the Year Encouragement Award. She volunteers at a local school, talking to students about her journey to inspire young people about their studies and careers. She raises money for the Cancer Council through community events such as the Relay for Life.
Joshua Loyd, 27 of New Farm is a GradConnection Top 100 Future Leader. Last year he won a Queensland University of Technology Student Leader of the Year award. He has supported students as a Peer Career Ambassador for those at risk of disengaging from their studies. Joshua tutors undergraduate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students and is an Indigenous Student Ambassador. He is an Advisory Board Member for Employability and e-Learning and a CareerTrackers Indigenous Internship alumnus.
iFly Online Achievement Award
Michael Kelly, 23 of Palm beach started his first company at 18. He has since filmed 350 videos for many high profile clients. He has employed ten contractors and is currently building a team as Head of Cinematography for a new videography company. Michael won a Gold Award at the 2017 Australian Video Producer Awards. His YouTube videos have twelve million views and he has collaborated with YouTube personalities, celebrities and over twenty brands.
Samantha Davies, 26 of Southport ‘Unforgettable Proposals’ where packages are tailored to suit individual requests, to provide the type of marriage proposal they dream of! To date, over 500 successful marriage proposals have been created. Using her skills as a marketing consultant, Samantha uses her online space to build a unique brand in a niche market. Samantha wishes to augment her service by providing customers with a virtual reality example of how their experiences will look.
Michelle Barnes, 23 of Carrara founded a YouTube channel that focuses on living intentionally. With almost 200,000 subscribers, her videos have been viewed over 8 million times. Michelle has created a thirty-day challenge for her community and a self-development book club of 3,000 members. She also maintains another channel with 45,000 subscribers. Michelle works full time for the City of Gold Coast where she creates interactive learning solutions for the over 3,000 employees.
Thomas Newby, 24 of Greenslopes is the co-founder of DingoPM, an issue tracking application. DingoPM solved a problem that Thomas had noticed, that clients and project managers lacked the ability to track issues. He taught himself programming at the age of 12 and began his career as a web developer at a digital agency. He works as a Technical Product Manager for the start-up, RedEye. He has launched other projects such as PiggyBike and RedEyeWFM.
LGIAsuper Community Volunteer Award
Emily Ireland, 17 of Robina hiked the Kokoda Track with double the recommended pack weight, to take gifts to locals. She encouraged team mates to bring an additional 300kg of gifts in total. She received a Gold Community Service Award for 1,000 hours of community service in a year. Emily travelled overseas for the Premier’s ANZAC Prize program and for her self-funded volunteer trips. She received the Gold Coast Women in Business Rising Star Award.
Jasraaj Singh, 19 of Diddillibah volunteered in Kenya. He worked in orphanages and taught communities methods to mitigate commonly fatal but easily preventable disease. She regularly volunteers with Rotary, Wishlist and the children’s ward of Nambour Hospital. In 2014 Jasraaj was elected as the Queensland Youth Parliament Member for Nicklin. She made the most of this by consulting local youths and her local parliament member. She is also a UN Youth Ambassador.
Mykeala Campanini, 21 of Indooroopilly founded the animal rescue charity ‘Happy Tails’ to re-house pets that would otherwise be impounded and euthanised. Mykeala manages 170 volunteers and has saved 200 animals in her first six months of operation. She volunteers several hours each day managing and fundraising to save animals from rural pounds. Mykeala has secured government funding to deliver Queensland's first purpose-built facility to provide safety for pets when families flee domestic violence.
Madison Birtchnell, 17 of Willow Vale has been volunteering for eleven years. She raised $1,000 for Ovarian Cancer Australia by organising an International Women’s Week Conference for 150 people. She sourced thousands of dollars to organise a youth mental health day for 500 students at her school. Each student received a show bag worth $50, and the event raised $1,200 for Headspace and Beyond Blue. She volunteers at Ormiston House and supports many social justice initiatives.
WFI Insurance Small Business Achiever Award
Nicole Manns - The Empire Post, 28 of Fortitude Valley provides post production services to high profile clients including Ebay and MTV. The Empire now employs twenty staff and at any given time provides three internships. Nicole studied a Bachelor of Film and Screen Media, teaching herself the skills required for business. The Empire donates $100 from every project to various charities, totalling $5,400 so far. They have donated $70,000 worth of production to The Cerebral Palsy League.
Daniel Proctor - Student Wow Deals, 23 of Sippy Downs saves the money of 60,000 students and provides local businesses with direct access to young customers. The Student Wow Card is available to any student and provides weekly offers. Daniel has eight employees and has worked with 300 clients, including Grill’d, and Subway. These clients praise the businesses multi-platform advertising and the business it attracts. Daniel was named the 2016 Sunshine Coast Business Young Entrepreneur of the Year.
Jordan Mcgregor - Bare and Boho, 26 of Riverview operates a modern cloth nappy business. Founded with money from paper-deliveries, the business generated $75,000 revenue in its first seven months. Jordan designed the nappies using organic hemp and bamboo inserts, saving parents thousands of dollars and reducing the environmental impact of disposables. Jordan was named PETA's 2017 Vegan Next Door. Jordan exhibits alongside leading brands at baby and natural health shows. International investors have requested partnerships with Bare and Boho.
Nick and Anita Blanch - NB Inspirations Department Store & Jacaranda Tearooms, 28 of Proston provide their community with a wide-range of products. The business won regional council awards and supports local groups including the Car Rally Club and Lions. Visitors to Proston reduced when its bakery closed, so Nick and Anita opened Jacaranda Team Rooms, increasing traffic and local business. NB Inspirations works with large companies such as Pacific Brands and RipCurl. The business recently gained government funding to employ and train a school-leaver.
First National Real Estate Leadership Award
Gabrielle Hunt, 23 of Nudgee Beach has represented Queensland in many sports but captained the Queensland Indoor Hockey Team. Gabrielle was born severely deaf and uses sport to connect with her community. She achieved Second Class Honours in her Bachelor of Medical Engineering. She has spoken at Mater Hospital events and volunteered for years at Meals on Wheels. Gabrielle recently raised $24,000 for a men’s health charity. She tutors across many subjects and coached hockey.
Ruby Sethi, 21 of Biggera Waters founded the Griffith University A Cappella Choir. The once small group of amateur singers has since won the Australian National Championships and performed at Carnegie Hall in New York. Ruby captains 20 choir members, manages training, music arrangement and funding. The choir volunteers at many charity events. Her grades place her in the top 5% at Griffith. Ruby represented Australia in Bangkok at the Chartered Financial Analyst Institute Research Competition.
Keely Johnson, 19 of Ayr has raised $700,000 for childhood cancer through her charity, The Golden Octopus Foundation. Undergoing her own journey she wants to raise awareness and funding for childhood cancer. The Foundation aims to upgrade Paediatric Oncology facilities and implement childhood cancer nurses in regional areas. Keely has received many awards for her work. She aims to make the country recognise gold like we do pink and gain increased funding.
Tasman Bain, 24 of Toowong co-founded Meri Toksave, a Women’s rights NGO. Tasman created the first directory of services for survivors of domestic violence in Papua New Guinea, distributing 11,000 copies. UN Women, Oxfam and the Australian Government praised the publication. He reached 25,000 people with the “They Say We Say” campaign, raising awareness about domestic violence in PNG. Tasman is Chair of the Queensland Youth Advisory Committee of the Australian Red Cross.