Tasmanian Young Achiever Awards

2018 Finalists


The Coffee Club Arts and Fashion Award
Alexander Rodrigues, 24 of West Hobart
is an up-and-coming orchestral conductor. He is completing his Masters of Music degree with internationally acclaimed conductor, Johannes Fritzsch. Alexander is the recipient of numerous scholarships to study and conduct orchestras nationally and internationally. He is also a singer and plays the oboe, flute, pipe organ, piano and percussion. Following the completion of his Master’s degree, Alexander will look to Europe for professional conducting opportunities.

Stephanie Eslake, 27 of Sandy Bay has both media and music degrees. She founded ‘CutCommon’, Australia's online publication for young classical musicians and was shortlisted in the 2017 NEXT Innovation Award. Stephanie has written program notes for Symphony Orchestras and hosted radio programs. She is the sub-editor for Warp Magazine and Undertow Magazine and co-editor and publications mentor for Platform Magazine. Stephanie was 2017 Young Citizen of the Year for her artistic contribution

Amber Koroluk-Stephenson, 29 of Mount Stuart is a visual artist. Her practice draws on the intersections between natural and man-made environments to explore complexities surrounding Australian identity and landscape. She has held numerous national solo and group exhibitions. Amber has received many prizes and grants as well as studio residencies including the Cite Internationale des Arts in Paris. As artist in residence Amber is able to role model, mentor and educate the art students.


University of Tasmania, Faculty of Education Teaching Excellence Award
Kirby Medcraft, 29 of Lutana is Assistant Principal at Windermere Primary School where she has brought about significant change, particularly in regards to family engagement. Her K-2 ‘Counting Bags’ take home Maths activities had a 100% involvement from families. And the ‘Bedtime Stories’ afternoon saw over 200 parents attend school to read with their child. In her role, Kirby works closely with early childhood teachers, mentoring them and modelling best practice.

Olivia Newlands, 25 of Howden is an English and Humanities Teacher at Sacred Heart College. In just her second year of teaching, Olivia was made Head of the English Department. Her students benefit hugely from her diligence and exemplary classroom practices. Olivia's teaching is grounded in thorough planning, and she personalises the learning to suit the diverse student needs. In 2017 she organised, fundraised and led the College's Immersion Experience to Timor Leste.

Thomas Coad, 27 of Tranmere is a Maths and Science teacher at Rose Bay High School. Thomas also holds a Masters of Antarctic Science and Bachelor of Marine Science. He uses his experience in Marine and Antarctic Science to instil engagement and motivation in his students. As the newly elected Chair of RoboCup Tasmania, Thomas aims to promote Robotics and STEM and encourage students to participate in RoboCup events their local community.


First National Real Estate Leadership Award
Nene Manasseh, 26 of Glenorchy
came to Australia as a child fleeing civil war. She founded the Students Against Racism group in 2009. Under Nene’s leadership, Students Against Racism has worked with 12,000 participants. They now provide workshops in schools, colleges, universities, TAFE and police recruit courses. Nene has personally presented 150 workshops and mentored 200 young people. She has met with MP’s and written Youth Advocacy Network reports in her advocacy against discrimination.

Samuel Watson, 17 of Ulverstone advocates for LGBTIQ rights, speaks at marriage equality rallies and coordinates voting drives. He has sponsored his peers through leadership programs with funds from his Lions Youth of the Year Award prize. A senior Navy Cadet, Samuel mentored ten refugees through a ten-day youth leadership sailing challenge. He has also patrolled Tasmanian beaches for over 250 hours and has been his club’s Surf Life Saver of the Year.

Grant Milbourne, 28 of Lenah Valley founded I’ME or Insight Mindfulness Education. The not-for-profit organisation supports youth wellbeing and mental health. They provide meditation retreats and professional development programs. Their school based programs develop stress management skills and strategies for teachers and students. Grant has volunteered over 2,000 hours and organised a concert that raised $14,000 for I’ME. The website and Facebook provide resources, tips and strategies for meditation, managing stress and psychological wellbeing.

Heather & Christopher Chong Community Service & Volunteering Award

Olivia Fleming, 21 of Rosny Park founded The Little Help Project during her first year studying medicine. The Project tackles mental health issue and empowers young people. The not-for-profit has 25 volunteers and has helped 8,000 Tasmanians build resilience and self-esteem. Olivia oversees self-defence and development classes and an outreach program educating women about confidence, consent and boundaries. She has volunteered in over 30, week long programs, facilitated camps and many community programs.

Grace Hills, 21 of Hayes has been rescuing animals for a decade. In 2016 she founded the not-for-profit Illoura Animal Refuge. Illoura tackles Tasmania’s feral cat issue by promoting responsible pet ownership and the importance of desexing. Volunteering 30 hours a week, Grace cares for stray, mistreated and abandoned animals. To cover the refuge’s costs, she works three jobs, one of them full-time. Her efforts have significantly reduced Derwent Valley’s stray cat population.

Nathan Morey, 27 of Hobart is the Chairman for Selectors Athletics Tasmania and has been the OVA Athletics Committee President for four years. He is highly active in the Athletics community in competitions such as ATLAS and Race to the Taste Fun Run. Nathan often takes annual leave to volunteer as Team Manager for National Junior interstate competitions. Nathan is a role model and training partner for many state level young junior athletes.

TADPAC Print Service to the Disability Sector Award

Luke Williams, 18 of Newtown is the Founder and President of Lend a Hand to Hugo. The not-for-profit charity raises awareness and funds for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Luke undertakes public speaking sessions at schools and sporting clubs, and has raised tens of thousands of dollars through fundraising events. He is also a talented state cricketer and trains 6 days a week. Luke won the 2015 Pride of Australia Young Leader Award.

Matthew Etherington, 22 of Taroona has contributed to social inclusion, mental health and community resilience as volunteer and paid coach of the Big Issue Community Street Soccer Program. The program uses sport to improve the lives of those experiencing disadvantage, especially intellectual disabilities and homelessness. He has volunteered over 1215 hours to sports and arts events. Matthew voluntarily organised subsidised Mental Health First Aid training to university students, contributing $1,500 of his own money.

Jack Dyson, 20 of Rokeby has made a significant contribution to Cystic Fibrosis Tasmania raising awareness and funds. In his many media appearances he talks openly about his personal challenges with CF. Jack’s first You Tube video, “Iron Lungs” has nearly 3,500 views, was filmed from his hospital bed. Using Social Media, he has become an inspirational role model, motivating others with his body building to improve his CF and talking honestly about mental health.

St.LukesHealth Healthier Communities Award

Cara Shearer, 27 of Latrobe is the Director of Nursing and Manager of Residential Aged Care at Baptcare Karingal. She confidently manages the team where 120 staff care for their 112 Residents. Cara has an open-door policy including Residents, Families and Staff and always makes time to listen. She is passionate about improving the lifestyle for younger adults living in aged care. Cara is also currently undertaking a Diploma in Leadership and Management.

Nadine Ozols, 29 of Bicheno has worked in the health and aged care sector for 10 years and is currently the Public Relations and Development Manager working across May Shaw Health Centre and Aged Care Deloraine. She has facilitated health and wellbeing programs such as Guided Relaxation Sessions, Women’s Health Days and Youth Health Days. Nadine is a graduate of the Tasmanian Leaders Program for high potential leaders and has volunteered an estimated 800 hours.

Matthew Etherington, 22 of Taroona has promoted social and physical health outcomes through the Big Issue Community Street Soccer Program. The program uses sport to improve the lives of those experiencing disadvantage, intellectual disabilities and homelessness. Matthew offered free Mental Health First Aid Training to UTAS students, liaising with Red Cross, Headspace and Lifeline. He has volunteered as a Football and Tennis coach, referee and facilitated club events, encouraging healthy outcomes for young people.

Spirit of Tasmania Tourism and Hospitality Award

Emily Briffa, 29 of West Hobart runs Hamlet Inc., a social enterprise café. Hamlet provides five work experience placements each week to people who face employment barriers such as limited English, or physical or intellectual disabilities. Over 7,000 hours of work experience has been completed and one third have found paid employment. Hamlet purchases local produce and has started industry visits to small scale farms to show where food comes from and how it is grown.

Nikia Shaw, 20 of Sandy Bay has worked for Conference Design for two years, delivering 40 conferences. She receives frequent praise from delegates and staff. Nikia provides excellent customer service as the first point of contact for clients. She has worked with CPA and raised funds for the Cancer Council through the Tuxedo Junction Charity Ball. She undertook a volunteer internship at Business Events Tasmania, utilising her Certificate II in Tourism and Diploma in Events.

Tara Howell, 27 of Launceston founded Blue Derby Pods Ride a three-day, soft-adventure mountain biking experience in Derby. The guests indulge in Tasmanian food and wine, and stay in unique, architecturally designed accommodation pods. Tara created a tourism development plan and received a $500,000 grant. She has a 50-year lease on land in Derby Regional Reserve where the infrastructure has been built. Blue Derby is in its third year of operation, with four employees.


Motors Tasmania Sports Award
Madeleine Fasnacht, 18 of Blackmans Bay was the 2017 Commonwealth Youth Games Closing Ceremony Flag Bearer and named the 2017 Australian Junior Cyclist. She was placed first at the Commonwealth Youth Games in the Individual Time Trial and 3rd at the World Junior Road Championship. She won the 2017 Junior Oceania Road Championships and was 3rd at the Commonwealth Youth Games. Madeleine recently achieved bronze for the under-19s women’s time trial at the World Championships.

Jasmin Galbraith & Chloe Fisher, 18 of Sandy Bay are representing Australia in sailing at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. Last year they won bronze in the 29er category at the Youth Sailing World Championship. This was their first international competition, in a boat they had practised with for 7 days, due to the original team withdrawing. Jasmin and Chloe mentor and inspire junior sailors at their club, contributing to its recent growth.

Sam Walker, 15 of Bridgewater will be the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games youngest Australian male athletics competitor. A Para-Athlete with Cerebral Palsy, he represented Australia in Switzerland during the Athletics Junior Championships, achieving silver in the Under 18 Jump, and Bronze in the 100-meter race. Sam placed first in the under 16 Para 100 and 200-meter races at the 2017 National Championships. He inspires junior athletes and supports the ATLAS program.

Colony 47 Young Indigenous Achievement Award

Bianca Templar, 22 of Newham is a proud Aboriginal who is a great role model for her community. Bianca has a genetic bone disorder and spent much of her childhood in and out of hospital, missing out on school. She completed the Aboriginal Community Pathways Program and a Bachelor of Social Work. Bianca is employed as a Community Pathways Planner and is a member of the Northern Youth headspace team as the Aboriginal Advocate.

Madelena Andersen-Ward, 26 of Margate has a Bachelor of Music and is a singer and songwriter. She is actively engaged in the indigenous community through community performances and festivals. She is promotes education to Indigenous youth and has spoken on radio and at schools. Madelena mentored young musicians in the Indigenous Tutorial Assistance Scheme. She is currently of one of the seven contemporary voice roles in a new musical and visual project called A Tasmanian Requiem.

Madeline Wells, 22 of Wynyard is a trawlwoolway and Wemba Wemba woman, who is committed to changing the stigmas around Aboriginal youth. She volunteers with SEED, Australia's Indigenous youth climate network, Amnesty International and local Landcare groups. Madeline works with Big hART Inc, Australia's leading arts for social change company as a mentor and community producer. She has won the Tasmanian NAIDOC Youth Award and represented Australia at an international forum on human rights.