Tasmanian Young Achiever Awards

2023 Finalists



Spirit Super Connecting Communities Award


Isabella Dewar, 16 of Burnie is determined to try and help everyone around her. Isabella received her black belt in karate at the age of 14 in 2021. She went through an instructor’s course and is now a certified karate instructor. Isabella teaches self-defence for free to kids and adults who have been bullied. She also helps run empowerment programs for people who have been bullied.


Monique Maclaine, 24 of North Hobart is a proud trawlwoolway plangermaireener pakana queer woman, who is completing her undergraduate degree in STEM and works at Riawunna (UTAS) to support and promote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander student success in the community. She also volunteers in the State Emergency Service, is an associate with Firesticks Indigenous Alliance Corportation Mentoring Program, and is a member of the Roadmap Project Governance Group with SAHMRI.


The Hive Collective, of Hobart has a mission to inspire women to learn, grow and make a positive impact. The Hive Collective is a not-for-profit that empowers women through connection, support and collaboration. They hold events that bring together 40 to 80 attendees from a diverse range of sectors, with the goal of making Tasmania the best place for women to build quality careers and meaningful connections.


Trenton Hoare, 22 of Hobart is a non-binary Sociology and Politics & Policy student committed to improving student life at UTAS. As TUSA Equity President, they advocate for and represent minority students, and connect them to support services. Trenton campaigns for social justice issues such as LGBTQIA+ rights, housing and climate action. They also volunteer with Landcare Tasmania and sit on the Premier's Youth Advisory Council.

Heather & Christopher Chong Community Service & Volunteering Award


Alia Haider, 19 of Howrah is committed to bettering her community. Alia started by volunteering at the Multicultural Youth Tasmania’s Youth (MYT) Drop-in sessions at the Migrant Resource Centre, designed for individuals with a migrant or refugee background to eat, socialise, and get support for other services. Alia also became Chair of the MYT Youth Advisory Group, representing multicultural young people in youth policy and strategy.


Archie Payne, 13 of Norwood is hoping to improve the lives of people living with Motor Neuron Disease (MND). In the last two years, Archie has held four fundraisers for the charity Fight MND. In 2021, he became the 2021 Fight MND 27 Challenge Tasmanian Ambassador. Archie has raised almost $13,000 for Fight MND, which goes directly to research to find a cure for MND.


Ebony Smith, 22 of Launceston is an active advocate for mental health in her community. Ebony currently studies psychology at UTAS and works as a behaviour support practitioner to support people with disabilities to achieve their full potential and improve quality of life. Over the past 6 years she has volunteered for Lifeline, Headspace, Riding for the Disabled, Special Olympics, as well as a dance teacher for students with Down's Syndrome.


Gavin Yi Feng Quek, 25 of North Hobart is a dentist helping improve oral health awareness among Tasmanians. He volunteers with the Red Cross’s Bicultural Health Program, educating refugees on oral health. He provides pro-bono dental services to the marginalised through the Australian Dental Health Foundation. Gavin is also a Councillor and Secretary for the Australian Dental Association Tasmania and chairs its Oral Health Promotion Committee. He recently discussed oral health on TEDxHobart.


First National Real Estate Leadership Award


Ben Dudman, 25 of Westbury has campaigned to end discrimination against men who have sex with men, which led to the reduction in the donation deferral period from 12 months to three months. In 2022, Ben became the youngest to be elected to the Meander Valley Council. He uses his platform to promote a connected community and improve communication between local government bureaucracy and the public.


Eve Poland, 25 of Geilston Bay founded the University of Tasmania Zero Waste Society and Jane Waste and Sustainability Committee at her student residence to help students lower their waste contribution to landfills. These initiatives hosted events, introduced recycling initiatives, composting facilities and clothes swaps. Eve is also a passionate chemist who has co-authored two peer-reviewed publications, and endeavours to use her career to address climate change.


Georgia Stewart, 25 of Lenah Valley has contributed to the Tasmania Rugby Union for over five years as a State Board Member and Vice President. She helped reintroduce the junior girls’ state rugby program and captained her club and 2022 Tasmania Women's 7s state team. Georgia is also an astrophysics PhD candidate and Secretary of the Tasmanian Branch of the Australian Institute of Physics.


Kate Vosper, 24 of Sandy Bay started This Theatre Company in 2021 to provide young actors and technicians with performance and creative opportunities. The company aims to expose the art of theatrical performance to community groups who may have limited access to live theatre experiences. As its CEO and Director, Kate writes, directs and produces plays for children and recruits casts and technicians from the Tasmanian community.


Ryan Davis, 27 of Devonport is an Intensive Care Paramedic with Ambulance Tasmania. He provides clinical coaching to his peers and high-quality simulation training for interns. Ryan presented at the Australasian College of Paramedicine International Conference in 2021 to discuss the implementation of pre-hospital thrombolysis. Ryan is also part of the Ambulance Tasmania Clinical Advisory Committee, which makes decisions on the evolution of Paramedicine in Tasmania.


Dental South First Nations People Achievement Award


Djuker Hart, 30 has been working as an Indigenous Tour Guide for six years with Wukalina Walk. He helps others understand the Indigenous culture by writing tours, training new guides, and giving educational cultural training talks to kids. Djuker also performs cultural dances and teaches others in the community about dance and cultural knowledge. He is working towards starting his own tourism business in the future.


Jamie Graham-Blair, 28 of Tranmere is motivated to make his people proud. Jamie is a proud Trawlwoolway and Plangermairenner Pakana man. Working as an educator and learning support officer at St. Virgils College, he ensures that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students have a sense of pride and empowerment within their education journey. Jamie also shares their history and culture as a lead guide with Wukalina Walk.


Kitana Mansell, 22 of Risdon Cove is leading young women in entrepreneurship. Kitana is a proud Palawa woman. She works at the Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre, where she manages Palawa kipli, the first Tasmanian Aboriginal food business. With Kitana’s help, Palawa kipli has also moved into tourism and launched kipli takara tours (bush tucker tours). At 18, Kitana created the first public Native edible (bush tucker) garden in Hobart’s CBD.


Naarah, 25 of Glenorchy is full of soul & sunshine and a love for the arts and people. Naarah is a performer and creative originally from the Gija mob from the Kimberley, WA but has spent most of her life in her island home lutruwita/Tasmania. Naarah is a creative and performer intentional in bringing change and empowering communities through the arts.


TADPAC Print Service to the Disability Sector Award


Abbie Walker, 17 of Acton Park advocates for an equitable, inclusive, diverse and accessible future. Abbie participated in the Young Leaders of Tasmania (YLOT) Program while in Year 10. In Year 11, she was employed part-time in the YLOT Social Buddies Program. In 2022, she spoke on behalf of YLOT at a garden party. Abbie is now a relief teacher’s assistant at Southern Support School.


Bethany Reece Yates, 26 of Hobart is passionate about helping reduce barriers preventing people with disabilities from engaging with the arts. Bethany is a Company Coordinator at Second Echo Ensemble, an arts organisation that produces high-quality professional art whilst reducing barriers for people from diverse backgrounds. She is trained as a contemporary dance artist and has performed professionally nationally. Bethany previously worked as a disability support worker.


Maggie Hopster, 14 of Newtown volunteers with the Young Leaders of Tasmania (YLOT), an organisation that changes the perception of disability through peer-to-peer interactions and encourages inclusion and acceptance. She was part of the All-Abilities Program and the YLOT’s Holiday Program. Maggie has also worked with the Disabled Surfers Association of Australia and was part of the first Let’s Go Surfing event in 2021.


Mila Skingle, 16 of Bellerive is advocating for more inclusive learning and accessible facilities. Mila started volunteering with the Young Leaders of Tasmania (YLOT) Buddy Program in 2018. She continued with the YLOT Holiday Program before becoming a Paid Disability Support Worker. Mila is also a Commissioner of Children and Young People ambassador, advocating for her peers with a disability to influence politicians and government decision-makers.


Spirit of Tasmania Tourism and Hospitality Award


Djuker Hart, 30 is passionate about educational cultural training. Djuker does a lot of tourism work as an Indigenous tour guide with Wukalina Walk. He teaches other young people about different cultural aspects, about the land, and how to deliver service in a professional manner. He also sometimes provides free cultural education in schools. Djuker has a Certificate III in Tour Guiding.


Kitana Mansell - Palawa Kipli, 22 of Risdon Cove is strengthening her community by sharing cultural knowledge. A proud Palawa woman, Kitana works is responsible for managing Palawa Kipli, the first Tasmanian Aboriginal food business. The business catered for over 200 events from 2020 to 2021. They recently launched Kipli Takara Tours (bush tucker tours). Kitana has a Certificate III in Business and previously worked as an Aboriginal Business Trainee.


Kylie Bell - Compass Hut, 28 of Forthside is an advocate for ecotourism and agritourism, co-founding and managing Compass Hut, an off-grid eco tiny house accommodation in Tasmania. She promotes the north-west region and Tasmania through Compass Hut and her new project, Lost Oar. Kylie founded and coordinates the Mersey Valley Tourism Group, and chairs the Tourism Subcommittee of the Devonport Chamber of Commerce as an elected Executive Committee Member.


Sarah Wells, 29 of Launceston is the Marketing Manager of Tasmanian Walking Company, developing innovative strategies that encourages thousands of guests each year to visit Tasmania and ultimately develop a deeper connection with nature. An adventure seeker at heart and a natural storyteller, Sarah proudly works alongside an incredible team who wholeheartedly commit to protecting the natural environment, and educate their guests on how to walk respectfully through our wild places.


St.LukesHealth Healthier Communities Award


Catelyn Richards, 30 of Sheffield is a proud Registered Nurse and co-founding director of Climate Action Nurses. She has been a co-contributor to 12 peer-reviewed publications through her work in the Monash University Wound Research Team and the Climate and Health Alliance. As a 2022 Westpac Future Leader’s scholar, Catelyn is passionate about delivering sustainable and equitable healthcare for all Tasmanians.


Gavin Yi Feng Quek, 25 of North Hobart is a dentist helping improve oral health awareness among Tasmanians. He volunteers with the Red Cross’s Bicultural Health Program, educating refugees on oral health. He provides pro-bono dental services to the marginalised through the Australian Dental Health Foundation. Gavin is also a Councillor and Secretary for the Australian Dental Association Tasmania and chairs its Oral Health Promotion Committee. He recently discussed oral health on TEDxHobart.


Liz van Dongen, 25 of West Hobart is assisting people towards optimal health. Liz is a musculoskeletal physiotherapist who has Cystic Fibrosis (CF). She delivers "Running with CF'' programs, presents at international webinars, and participates in a podcast series. In March 2022, Liz successfully assisted CF Australia’s campaign to have Trifakta, a drug that treats the underlying conditions of CF, be put on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.


Ryan Davis, 27 of Devonport is an Intensive Care Paramedic at Ambulance Tasmania who has been involved in the care of thousands in the North-West community. He has an extended scope of practice to treat the most critically ill patients in the community. Ryan mentors junior paramedics in their new career. He helps his colleagues progress to independent practice and establishes high-quality simulation training for interns.


Motors Tasmania Sports Award


Amber French, 19 of Tinderbox is passionate about coaching the new generation. Amber is a trampolinist. She won gold in the Junior U17 Individual trampoline at the National Championships and the National Clubs in 2019. Amber has represented Australia at three World Age Trampolining Championships. In 2022, she was named co-captain of the World Age Australian team. Amber is an advanced coach and coaches thrice weekly.


Hamish McKenzie, 18 of Newstead is determined to grow as a person and cycler. Hamish is a cyclist who won in the Under 19 Time Trial Championship in January 2022. He represented the Australian U19 Road Team in the Wollongong World Championships in September 2022. Hamish recently completed his Level 1 cycling coaching course so he can work with junior athletes in his club.


Izzy Flint, 20 of Summerhill is empowering young aspiring athletes. Izzy is a cyclist. She has been Oceania Champion multiple times and is the current U23 XCC and XCO National Champion. Izzy has competed in a full season of World Cups and UCI-level international races across Europe, representing Australia. Having suffered a cycling-related concussion before, Izzy has worked with Brain Injury Tasmania to promote awareness of sports-related concussions and their impacts.


Kate Oliver, 21 of West Hobart & Sophie Robinson, 20 of Lauderdale aim to be positive role models for others. Kate and Sophie competed in Italy at the 2022 U23 World Rowing Championships, representing Australia in the Women’s U23 Lightweight Pair. They placed 2nd in the B final and 8th overall. They overcame the gruelling selection process to represent Australia, where they competed at the State Championships and National Rowing Championships in 2022.


Strategic Alliance Small Business Achiever Award


Courtney Hill - Dare Darlin, 27 of Riverside has a people-over-profit mentality. Courtney runs Dare Darlin, a restaurant located on the Tamar River of Launceston, known for creating exceptional experiences with Tasmania’s best produce and producers. Courtney pays her full-time staff a level above and constantly talks to the team about everything, all the time. She seeks out the community in every possible way to stay relevant and needed.


Grace Chia - CHIA Studios, 24 of Claremont is passionate about working with emerging, homegrown artists. In 2015, Grace founded CHIA Studios, a digital media and performing arts production house focused on spoken word, hip-hop and electronic music artists. Originally focused on photography, the business has branched out widely to include videography, graphic design, illustration, and music events. They have worked with many emerging Tasmanian artists to kick start their career.


Lam Tran Phuong Vo - Mekong Vietnamese Restaurant, 24 of Launceston has a passion for showcasing Vietnamese cuisine. Mekong is a 38-seat restaurant located in Yorktown Square. It aims to bring the quintessence of Vietnamese cuisine through locally sourced produce and quality service. Lam Tran has worked alongside the Australian Good Food & Travel Guide and has partnered with Entertainment Publications Pty Ltd to offer 25% off vouchers to reach more customers.


Ruthy Hernandez - Healthfulness by Ruthy, 29 of Launceston is devoted to oral health awareness and education. Dr Ruthy is a facial aesthetic dentist who runs a private dental and aesthetic practice in Launceston. She uses high-quality, state-of-the-art treatments to deliver personalised and complete dental and skin health services. In 12 months, her clinic has grown to a team of six. They run an informative website and offer online booking.


Colony 47 Courage to Grow Award


Jesse Murray, 26 of West Hobart has a passion for helping others. Whilst pursuing a career in science, he had to overcome physical and mental health challenges to complete a Cert IV in Mental Health Peer Work in 2022. Now working full-time at The Salvation Army as an Emergency Relief Assessor, Jesse is passionate about helping others and making a positive difference in their lives.


Jessica Clark, 23 of Hobart has used the depths of struggle to emerge a great passion for life. Jessica came to Reclink through Velocity Transformations where she has become the first female graduate of the Hobart residential addiction recovery program. She has since taken on a role of supporting women in their recovery journey whilst also pursuing her love for sports through hiking and swimming.


Paige Salter, 19 of Goodwood sacrificed her identity to follow her dreams. Paige overcame housing instability, mental health challenges and past trauma to pursue a dream career in hospitality. She completed a Certificate III in Tourism and Hospitality and undertook a work placement at Government House. Paige started an apprenticeship in December last year and in 2021, she obtained a house and has since lived independently.


Sean O'Sullivan, 22 of Glebe has regained hope and confidence through commitment and determination. Sean transformed his caring responsibilities and short-term memory issues into a full-time role at a leading hotel. He completed the 10-week kitchen program with Hamlet Café and went on to complete his Youth Employment Pathway Program in Hospitality and Tourism in 2021. Sean now works full-time as a kitchenhand for Crowne Plaza.