Tasmanian Young Achiever Awards

2017 Finalists


Colony 47 Young Indigenous Achievement Award

Jacob Prehn, 29 of Kingston has dedicated six years to improving Tasmanian Aboriginal health outcomes. He is the volunteer Deputy chairman of the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Workers Association. Jacob works part-time in Aboriginal Research and Leadership at the University of Tasmania and his PHD will focus on men’s mental health to improve the health outcomes of Aboriginal people. Jacob is working with the CEO of Karadi to build the state’s first Aboriginal men’s shed.

Madeline Wells, 21 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 part time 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 the UN in Geneva at a forum on human rights.

Sinsa Mansell, 29 of Launceston is a proud Tasmanian Aboriginal woman, creating awareness of her rich cultural heritage. She works with schools facilitating educational dance workshops, creating fun and interactive ways to share her knowledge. Sinsa is the Nayri Niara festival Arts Coordinator, where the community gathers to share stories and practice tradition. She is a founder and performer with the successful Pakana Kanaplila dance troupe and dreams of having a Tasmanian Aboriginal Theatre for cultural arts.


The Coffee Club Arts and Fashion Award

Grace Herbert, 27 of Hobart is a national and international artist. Founder of local art space “Visual Bulk”, Grace supports emerging artists with a space and opportunities to exhibit their art, including music and art performances. Grace is employed at MONA, runs Constance and Visual Bulk galleries, regularly contributes to publications like Island Magazine and participates on various panels and at conferences. She was recently awarded the Rosamond McCulloch studio residence in Paris and the Marie Edwards Travelling Scholarship.

Stephanie Eslake, 26 of Hobart is a freelance journalist, music critic, film maker and blogger. She has media and music degrees, is a woodwind tutor, Marketing and Communications Manager with the Tasmanian Writers’ Centre, and Co-editor and Publications Mentor with Platform Magazine. Stephanie has written program notes for the Queensland and Tasmanian Symphony Orchestras and won the City of Hobart Australia Day 2017 Young Citizen of the Year Award. She also founded ‘CutCommon’ Australia's online publication for young classical musicians.

Tyler Richardson, 29 of Sandy Bay is the self-taught lead singer and songwriter for punk rock band, Luca Brasi. Tyler has 40 songs credited to him over five record releases; the last three charting on the ARIA chart. Luca Brasi have won multiple awards including Best Punk Band in 2016. The band has performed to 40,000 people across Australia, UK and Europe and their upcoming Australian headline tour is sold out. In addition to passionately promoting Tasmania, Tyler fundraises for LGBTIQ youth, refugees and Indigenous causes.


Heather & Christopher Chong Community Service & Volunteering Award

Caitlin Wilkinson, 25 of South Hobart co-founded and volunteers at “Food Not Bombs”. She trains and assists volunteers to feed up to 40 people who are below the poverty line or homeless each week. She volunteers at Source Community Wholefoods, providing free barista training to create employment opportunities for aspiring baristas. Caitlin was one of 20 women to take part in the Women’s Environmental Leadership Australia program and has just been accepted into a Masters of Social Work.

Campbell Remess, 12 of Acton Park has for the last three years, made 365 toys or gifts each year and donated them to the hospital, charities and those in need. First using his own pocket money, Campbell now receives donations of materials and gift cards to purchase items to make his bears. Campbell also sells the bears on e-bay and has so far donated $50,000 to charity. He is also a volunteer for the Lauderdale Fire Brigade.

Mohammad Nourouzi, 23 of South Launceston arrived as a refugee in 2013 with no English. He is a volunteer interpreter and at The Door of Hope and fixes bicycles and cars for those in need. Mohammad is active in his Afghan Hazara community, promoting cultural activities and inclusion. He is a volunteer leader for Tasmania Parks and Wildlife and a Green Army conservation volunteer. Mohammad is also a member of the Migrant Resource Centre’s Youth Advisory Network and worked for Red Cross.

Saraswathy Varatharajullu, 27 of Hobart has completed a Bachelor of Law and Business, and was Secretary for the Student Legal Services whilst at University. Saras volunteered for the Red Cross as a Migrant Division worker, assisting migrants coming into Australia and Tasmania. She also volunteered as a telephone Advisor for the Tenant's Union of Tasmania which services over 150,000 residents. Saras volunteers to organise many cultural festivals and fundraising events and has donated over $15,000 to charities.


St.LukesHealth Healthier Communities Award

Dr Jessica Manuela, 28 of Blackmans Bay is a qualified oral care professional, dedicated to raising awareness of oral health. Opening her own practice two years ago, she already has 3,000 registered patients. Jessica also volunteers 20 to 30 hours each week, speaking with school students about oral hygiene and running community information evenings. She is the chairperson for the Oral Health Promotion Committee of the Tasmanian Dental Association and was awarded the 2012 New Zealand and Australian Society of paediatrics award

Nadine Ozols, 28 of Scottsdale commenced at the age of 19, as the Program Coordinator of “Healthy Together - Bicheno to Buckland” a primary health program working with individuals and the community to essentially ‘drive their own health’. 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.

Thomas Cole, 27 of South Launceston is a support worker at City Mission’s crisis accommodation and Orana House. Homeless at 16, he has for the past 10 years volunteered and worked with at-risk youth and homeless men. Tom believes that every person deserves the best. He goes above the call of duty, cutting their hair, organising clothing and taking them to doctor’s appointments. Tom also supports young people in Child Protection residential care, on holiday camps and weekend adventure day trips.


TADPAC Print Service to the Disability Sector Award

Katherine Elliston, 24 of South Hobart is a Disability Support Worker for the Parkside Foundation, providing one-on-one support for clients with physical and/or intellectual disabilities. She has volunteered for Lifeline Tasmania and Riding for the Disabled Tasmania. For the last three years, Katherine has volunteered with the Cancer Council Tasmania as a co-facilitator for a monthly support group for young adults affected by cancer. Katherine’s aim is to develop better community support for people with disabilities and their families.

Luke Williams, 17 of Hobart is the founder and president of “Lend a Hand to Hugo”, a not-for-profit charity spreading awareness and support to families affected by Autism Spectrum Disorder. Luke organises numerous fundraising events including the annual Lend a Hand to Hugo cricket match and has raised thousands of dollars in the last three years. Luke is also a talented state cricketer, was announced as 2017 College Captain and won the 2015 Pride of Australia Young Leader Award.

Shai Denny, 22 of Ridgely was born with Downs Syndrome and is a tireless ambassador for people with a disability. Employed with Family Based Care Association, she worked as Co-Director of "PULSE", a project for people with a disability to become involved in arts based performances. Shai created and taught most of the choreography and assisted in all production decisions including the costuming and presentation of acts. Shai volunteers at countless organisations and is currently studying child care.


Motors Tasmania Sports Award

Anna Walls, 16 of Taroona is a recurve archer who holds 30 Tasmanian archery records. Last year Anna won the Under 20 National Indoor event. In 2016 Anna competed at the World Championships in Ankara Turkey and the Oceania Championships in Tonga and New Zealand, winning three gold, silver and a bronze medal. Anna has been selected for the 2017 State Team and will also coach and mentor a junior archer’s team at their first National event.

Ariarne Titmus, 16 of Launceston is an Australian swimming star. In 2016, she was selected as the youngest team member of the Australian Dolphins World Short Course Swimming team to compete in Canada. She made the finals in three divisions of the World Open Short Course Championships, finishing 4th in two races and 6th in another. She is also ranked 1st in Australia for the short course open 400m freestyle and 8th internationally for the short course 800m freestyle.

Henry Youl, 21 of Hadspen is Tamar Rowing Club rising star. Henry was selected for the 2015 and 2016 Australian U21 Trans-Tasman team and U23 Rowing teams respectively. He won a Bronze medal with the Men’s Coxed Four at the 2016 World Rowing Championships, and received the Rowing Tasmania’s, Open Oarsman of the Year. Henry volunteers, speaking to young athletes at Rowing Tasmania development camps and has his sights set on the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.


University of Tasmania, Faculty of Education Teaching Excellence Award

Caitlin Cashion, 27 of Huntingfield is an Advanced Skills Teacher at Fairview Primary School and is passionate about helping ‘at-risk’ and ‘dis-engaged’ students. She is currently studying a Masters of Education and uses her research to implement programs to engage students. In collaboration with Beacon Foundation, Caitlin led an Alternative Learning Day for year 7 to 10 students providing hands-on, real world relevance and problem solving sessions. Caitlin has been Acting Principal and mentors colleagues through modelling, research and leading professional development sessions.

Dannica Green, 26 of Bridgewater teaches at Jordan River Learning Federation Senior School. She has an immense capacity to work with disengaged youth, building meaningful and personalised relationships, often leading to their success. Dannica undertook a Certificate IV in Training and Assessment to enable her to teach vocational education and training. She achieved the highest certificate completion rate in Tasmania for the Certificate II in Skills for Work and Vocational Teaching subject, with 23 of her students achieving the full certificate.

Nathan Mills, 28 of Dodges Ferry has been teaching at Dodges Ferry Primary School for six years. Through his teaching and learning curriculum, he provides leadership and innovation to students. Nathan has a well-developed skill base in information and communications technology and will be implementing a Digital Citizenship Framework into the school. He has been instrumental in the facilitation of student enrichment programs such as the “Speak Up, Stay ChatTY Cup” and the “Shave for a Cure” fundraiser.