7NEWS Young Achiever Awards QLD

2021 Finalists 


Kennelly Constructions Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Achievement Award

• Letitia Smith, 21 of The Range advocates on behalf of people who don’t have a voice for themselves. Letitia is a proud Goreng Goreng /Bunjulung woman. She works with disengaged kids in care to ensure they remain connected to their culture. She has delivered key issues to Director Generals and Ministers and has sat on the Board of the National Healing Foundation and spoken with community members and elders on issues and how to heal as one. In 2018, Letitia entered the Miss NAIDOC Competition, where she mentored other participants and won the Miss Leadership Award. She has attended the Queensland Indigenous Youth Leadership Program

• Ella Ceolin, 22 of Rockhampton is fighting against cultural inequities in the health and education sectors. Ella is a proud Aboriginal woman with cultural connections to the Djabugay and Wulguruka groups. She has been involved in outreach at the University of Queensland (UQ) Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Unit, encouraging young Indigenous students to finish high school and consider tertiary education. She has worked as a tutor, offering free government tutoring for Indigenous university students. Currently a medical student, Ella has served as Indigenous Officer for the UQ Medical Society and as UQ representative on the Australian Indigenous Doctors Association, where she is also a Board Member

• Jed Fraser, 24 of Kelvin Grove is committed to inspiring his people and promoting Indigenous voices. As Student Ambassador with the Oodergoo Unit (Queensland University of Technology’s Indigenous Support Unit), Jed went to communities, schools and events to promote tertiary education for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People. He became a member of Indigenous Allied Health Australia, which worked to build partnerships between universities and Indigenous allied health students and eliminate racism. Jed co-founded Indigoso, QUT’s Indigenous Student Society. He has completed a Masters of Public Health and Bachelor of Exercise Movement Science. Jed hopes to either take Postdoctoral Fellowship or get into Community Control health management

• Kyle Ryan, 21 of Inala has a passion for the Indigenous Community. Kyle is on the Inala Wangarra Board, who support local Indigenous events and people to ensure culture is being practised and oversee programs providing legal support for juvenile offenders. Kyle is an ambassador at Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Foundation, where he shares his story and provides information about life after high school. As part of the ATSI Studies Unit at University of Queensland, Kyle mentors at domestic outreach camps. He is part of the Queensland Australian Indigenous Health Council’s Indigenous Youth Health Committee, which develops the QLD ATSI Health Strategy for 2020-2023


The University of Queensland Create Change Award

• Angelique Hallett, 17 of Sippy Creek is making a change in the lives of children affected by domestic violence. Angelique started Loving Hope Bears, a social enterprise that allows customers the opportunity to support children in local domestic violence shelters by giving them a new teddy bear. Her goal is to dramatically decrease the long-lasting effects of domestic violence on children by providing them with comfort. To develop her entrepreneurial skills, Angelique completed programs for young entrepreneurs and has earned Diplomas in Business and Event Management. Angelique was awarded the 2021 Young Citizen of the Year for the Sunshine Coast

• Ned Heaton, 13 of Sherwood is an advocate for ocean conservation. At age 11, Ned founded The Turtle Tribe, which manufactures bamboo toothbrushes and helps educate and empower Australians to reduce plastic waste and reduce ocean plastics. They have pledged to give away 1 million bamboo toothbrushes. Ned has appeared in media, spoken at public and business events, visited suppliers, participated in beach clean-ups and networked with other ocean conservation organisations. He is currently undertaking International Baccalaureate studies at the Queensland Academy for Science, Math and Technology, graduating Magna Cum Laude in his first year. He aspires to take Marine Science or Engineering at UQ

• Nina Sackprasith, 29 of Holland Park is empowering young girls from impoverished communities. Nina founded Vivre Co Australia, a social enterprise providing education to African girls living in poverty through her beauty and dance initiatives. Nina has partnered with Bikema Academic Centre in Malawi, Africa, to resolve systematic issues around education, poverty and gender equality by funding the tuition fee of girls and placing them into the “Girls Scholarship Program.” She is sponsoring 40 students into school, providing 4300 days of education. Nina studied social entrepreneurship whilst at Business at Queensland University of Technology. She has been awarded the UQ Employability Award and is a UQ Future Leader

• Nathan Kinch, 29 of Burleigh Heads is changing the way people around the world interact with digital services. Nathan is the co-founder and CEO of Greater Than X, data ethics and Trust by Design services. They have helped contribute to more privacy-enhancing, ethical and trustworthy services around the world. Their models and methods have become the foundation of consent-based data sharing in Australia’s Consumer Data Right and the UK’s Open Banking. Nathan also co-founded Greater Than Learning, a dedicated community and social learning platform for ethical change-makers. They help people learn and apply new skills that help them make meaningful change through their work


Qoin Small Business Achiever Award

• Connor McKay, 23 of Townsville is the Director of the North QLD branch of The Physio Movement (TPM). Born in 2015, TPM has grown from just one Physiotherapist and one Exercise Physiologist to six Physiotherapists, two Chiropractors, an Exercise Physiologist, a Massage Therapist and a Dietician. TPM focuses on each individual patient, devising treatment plans to suit their unique activity. They recorded a first-year revenue totalling over $1 million and financial growth of over 51% from 2020 to 2021. During Covid-19, Connor worked to ensure practitioners were able to continue practising through telehealth appointments and helped manage the mental health of his staff members

• Scott Millar, 20 of Newstead turned a school business project into a thriving education company. Scott co-launched BOP Industries, with a mission to inspire the next generation of digital creators. They deliver programs teaching primary and high school students 21st-century skills around entrepreneurship, innovation and STEM. Their programs were backed by the knowledge and expertise of their educators and industry partners. Since 2018, they have worked with 50,000 students in over 36 locations worldwide. They have received a $30,000 investment from Queensland University of Technology and a $50,000 investment from Rio Tinto. Scott previously founded a holographic entertainment company while he was a Year 12 student

• Tammy Fit, 26 of Robina is inspiring women to be the best versions of themselves mentally and physically. Founded in 2015, Tammy Hembrow Fitness began as Tammy’s personal brand, which evolved to become the product company for the Tammy Fit app’s success. They now have over 12 million fans worldwide. The company is partnering with other fitness brands to create a holistic product offering. Tammy Fit features regular updates to keep content current and relevant, including home workouts for users who found their gyms suddenly closed due to Covid-19. Tammy Fit recently held its first-ever 8-week challenge, allowing them to donate to a chosen charity each week

• Connor Marriott, 25 of Merrimac founded Instinct Education, an online education platform helping business owners develop, implement and optimise business growth principles, including client generation strategies, online advertising, sales and marketing and more. From a Done-For-You marketing company, Instinct Education transitioned to a Done-With-You online education model, to lower cost solutions and reach more people. Connor developed an online course and training program that grew his business from $0 to $1 million in annual revenue. Connor also started Eternum Labs, an online supplement company providing health and nutritional supplements to help entrepreneurs perform at their peak. Connor’s companies employ seven full-time employees and dozens of contractors


Leveraged Solutions Health and Wellbeing Award

• Dr Mikaela Seymour, 28 of Hamilton is committed to rural health outcomes in Papua New Guinea (PNG). Mikaela is a medical doctor who works in Middle Fly, PNG as an Aerial Health Patrol team member, providing essential public and preventative medical care. Dr Seymour founded the Project Yumi Bush Dokta Initiative, after realising many rural health clinics were not receiving essential equipment and supplies. Through the Initiative, Mikaela has assisted rural health care workers on the frontline in supporting their communities. Throughout 2019, she was able to transport donations to hospitals. Mikaela has committed to further study a Masters of Public Health to improve the Initiative’s effectiveness

• Paige Preston, 27 of Fortitude Valley takes an evidence-based approach to keeping Queenslanders safe from skin cancer. Paige is the Chair of Cancer Council’s National Skin Cancer Committee, leading the development of programs, policies and activities in the fight against skin cancer. Some of her work includes coordinating practical programs to protect young people from harmful UV exposure, launching a cancer prevention program specifically targeting educators, using social media to inform the community about the importance of being “SunSmart”, and advocating for the government to invest in mass media skin cancer prevention campaign. Paige is a leading member of the QLD Skin Cancer Prevention Collaborative

• James Gillespie, 23 of Cannon Hill is committed to helping people access affordable healthcare. James founded and singlehandedly built MindTheGap, a healthcare comparison directory in Australia, after seeing firsthand how complex medical accessibility could be. Over the last four years, he has spent hours researching, calling and compiling data on medical and dental practices to upload to MindTheGap. They now list over 8,000 doctors and dentists, making it easier for the community to access critical primary and specialist healthcare. Over 130,000 Australians have now used MindTheGap. This was accomplished whilst studying Commerce/Law full-time, working part-time as teacher aide, and volunteering as rowing and handball coach

• Summer Farrelly, 13 of Kalkie is an autistic advocate, public speaker and innovator. Summer created “Chickens To Love”, a program that helps autistic and neurodivergent people develop their understanding of social dynamics and their own and others’ emotions and perspectives, identifying consent touch, building resilience, fostering self-acceptance and empowering others. She has shared her personal insight and the benefits of animal connection. She has become a recognised and valued contributor within the Animal Assisted Learning and Therapy platforms. As a teen with autism, Summer often steps out of her comfort zone to share vulnerable, raw and real moments of life challenges faced by those with autism


Awards Australia Community Volunteer Award

• Aimee Segal, 15 of Townsville is committed to helping MS sufferers live independent and fulfilling lives. Aimee has raised $30,000 for Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Queensland in the last seven years. Despite having been diagnosed with MS on Christmas Eve 2020, Aimee has accepted the challenge head-on. She is working with MS Queensland to develop some information services and work through ways to help young people try and navigate school and teenage life. As Covid-19 cancelled MS swimathons, Aimee organised a personal fundraiser, contacted local politicians and friends and organised a flash mob with the school dance team. She raised over $2,100 during the lockdown

• Manny Findlay, 19 of Algester is a community crusader in waste management, known as “Manny the Bin Man”. As a community volunteer, he cleans the community, recycles thousands of bottles and cans yearly and offers a professional wheelie bin cleaning service. As a young man growing up with autism, Manny has been bullied and ridiculed. Raised to be kind, with good values and a love of nature, he works hard to ignore those who disrespect him. He actively promotes recycling and green waste on his social media page. Manny has received the Spirit of Brisbane Award and the Local Legends Award

• Clancy and Harry Taske, 10 and 13 of Redland Bay are committed to making life-long impacts on people. Each year, the brothers choose an organisation who help people in need and organise a donation to help that group. They put the call out to their schools, friends, family members and extra-curricular groups. They collect the items such as blankets for the homeless, food hampers, backpacks for children who are victims of domestic violence and second-hand sporting goods for drought-affected areas of outback Queensland. They most recently collected items for RizeUp, an organisation that rehomes women and families who fled domestic violence situations. The boys set themselves a goal every year

• Layne Utz, 17 of Thornlands has a passion for the environment. Layne started Litter Legends, a volunteer organisation that conducts weekly clean-ups and remove litter and illegal dumping from roadsides and bushland in Redland City. Layne posts on social media to raise awareness and inspire others. Litter Legends has hosted a total of 77 volunteer clean-ups, removed 324 bags of litter and encouraged 69 community members to volunteer. Layne also volunteers with Ocean Crusaders, Redlands Rugby League Club, Foodbank Queensland, Sea Shepherd: marine debris clean-ups, and Keep Queensland Beautiful clean-ups. He was a finalist for the Redlands Coast Australia Day Awards in 2019 and 2020


First National Real Estate Leadership Award

• Letitia Smith, 21 of The Range is a proud Goreng Goreng/ Bunjulung woman and domestic violence survivor. Letitia has sat on the Board of the National Healing Foundation and spoken with community members and elders on key issues and how to heal as one. She has taken key issues from communities and delivered them to Director Generals and Ministers. She has worked with Deadly Choices to help Indigenous People maintain a healthy lifestyle and ran programs to keep children in school. At the 2018 Miss NAIDOC competition, she proactively mentored participants and engaged with younger youth. Letitia has attended the Queensland Indigenous Youth Leadership Program three times

• Majella Ritchie, 28 of Aspley is working towards supporting disengaged youth and closing the gap in Indigenous Education. In 2017, Majella became the youngest principal in Australia and helped increase her school’s average attendance rate to 98%. She mentors beginning teachers on the importance of understanding Aboriginal and Torres Islander cultural links and embedding them in the classroom. Majella led a petition and contacted Unilever to discuss issues associated with young people using Rexona cans as inhalant. She communicated with Queensland Police to strategize ways to prevent children from chroming. Majella has a Post Graduate in Special Needs Education and Diploma of Criminal Psychology and Justice

• Liam Millward, 17 of Victoria Point has a passion for improving the world for all. Liam successfully helped set up a youth council after noticing that decisions about kids were being made without actually talking to the kids. He became Chair of the Youth Council for the Redlands in 2019. Liam set up his first business at age 13, which evolved and led to creating an online e-magazine called Navigate Australia. The magazine highlights places to visit and promoted tourism within Australia. Liam has completed a Double Diploma in Business/Communication and Marketing. He is currently formulating a new business direction, with support from investors and qualified people

• Ella Ceolin, 22 of Rockhampton is championing the fight against cultural inequities in the health and education sectors. A proud Aboriginal woman, Ella has been involved in the outreach as the University of Queensland’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Unit, where she encourages Indigenous students to pursue education – finish high school and consider tertiary education – and offers free government tutoring for Indigenous university students. Ella is a medical student who is currently a Board Member and Student Director at the Australian Indigenous Doctors Association. She was the 2020 Indigenous Officer within the UQ Medical Society. Ella aspires to be an Indigenous doctor for Indigenous People


BB Print Regional Achiever Award

• Allycia Staples, 25 of Glasshouse Mountains is an artist and disability advocate. She was a member of the Co-Design Committee for Australia’s first National Youth Disability Summit. Conducted entirely online, the Summit was attended by over 250 young people and 400 guests, providing a platform for young people under 30 with a disability to come together, connect and talk about their lived experience and ideas in a safe environment. Allycia has also created a video for The Women of the World Festival, sharing her story as a young performing artist with disability. She works for Bush Kids, a disability service organisation supporting children under six years old

• Brody Allison, 17 of Meadowvale is a regional cyclist and role model. Brody has competed in his first state Track Championships at Anna Mears Velodrome, picking up one gold, two silver and three bronze medals. He has been selected in the Queensland Junior Track Team to compete at the National Track Cycling and National Road Cycling Championships. He was crowned Bundaberg Junior Road Cyclist of the Year and competed at the Bundaberg International Track Carnival, getting seven first-prize wins. Brody is a member of the Bundaberg Cycling Club, where he helps other junior riders get warmed up and organised, and provides encouragement and advice

• Aimee Segal, 15 of Townsville is community-focused. Aimee has been a major supporter and fundraiser for Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Queensland, raising over $30,000 alone. Her passion started when she swam in her first MS Swimathon at age seven years old and has since made it her mission to work hard to raise funds to enable those with MS to have the most independent and fulfilling life possible. She holds speeches at school assemblies, speaks to the local newspaper, and has gone to visit a new MS Wellbeing Centre in Brisbane. In December 2020, Aimee was diagnosed with MS and has only recently regained her full speech

• Carla Schesser, 26 of Gold Coast has worked hard to overcome incredible odds. Carla worked her way up to become CEO of Five By Five, a $3 million revenue digital agency. Despite Covid-19, she was able to keep all of their staff employed and steered the company to a 48% profit growth. Carla published her first book, “#Success: Mastering the Basics to a Happy, Healthy and Wealthy Life”, at age 19. Carla is a Rare Disease Day Ambassador, having first-hand experience of being born with a rare and undiagnosed disease that has left her physically weak and told she would never walk – something that she has proven wrong. Carla won the 2017 Cairns Regional Council Young Women of the Year


Soroptimist International Women Empowering Others Award

• Amelia Ayris, 14 of Greenbank uses her platform to give voice to those who have none. Amelia has worked in theatre, film and television and sings professionally. Amelia started AHA Pictures Pty. Ltd., a production company where Amelia writes and produces films to educate, empower and encourage her peers. Her short film, “Short Sleeves”, is about self-harm and mental health issues in teens and won Best Student Film at a film festival in the United States. Amelia is a junior ambassador for Bravehearts, a child protection organisation; Restitch, an organisation promoting clothes recycling and; Blue Hope, a charity tackling mental health issues

• Summer Farrelly, 13 of Kalkie is promoting the benefits of human and animal connection. Summer has created “Chickens To Love”, a program designed to help autistic and neurodivergent people develop their understanding of social dynamics and their own emotions, build resilience and empower others. The program is written in a way that it gives neurotypicals a bird’s eye view from an autistic perspective. As a teen with autism, Summer faces daily challenges of self-regulation of emotions in a rational way, heightened anxiety and depression, self-harm and more. Summer is a public speaker, consultant and Animal Therapies LTD ambassador. She has over 17,000 followers on Facebook

• Katie Norbury, 25 of Newmarket is ending the stigma around vaginal health. Katie runs an Instagram called Get Papped, aiming to normalise women’s health and make people accountable for getting a pap smear. Katie has cards for 25th birthdays to be gifted to friends which come with a promise that the giver would attend the pap smear if the recipient is scared to go alone. She has done podcasts to promote women’s health, answer questions and recommend friendly, approachable doctors. She encourages other women to get their pap smear and stop it from being taboo subject. Katie has a degree in Communication and Marketing

• Katura Halleday, 16 of Tallai advocates for educational equality both locally and internationally. Katura has travelled to Mozambique to feature, in a documentary called “Katura’s Story”, the importance of education in the developing world. She presented her documentary to the United Nations in New York in February 2020 after it was awarded Best Documentary of Social Impact at the International LAMPA Film Festival. Katura started 8X8 to Educate, a social enterprise where they raise funds through sales of a published novel, annual Art Competition, sponsorships and speaking engagements, donating all profits to education in the developing world. Currently a Year 10 student, Katura obtained academic honours in 2020