Tasmanian Young Achiever Awards

2021 Finalists

Spirit Super Create Change Award

Aaron Benham 26 of West Hobart is changing the conversation around meaningful climate action. Aaron is the convenor of Repair Café Hobart (RCH), a community space where members bring broken items from home and repair them with help from volunteers with skills and expertise. Founded in October 2019, RCH aims to develop a self-sufficient and sustainable repair culture that reduces waste and develop community connection. Aaron was instrumental in writing the RCH constitution and incorporating the organisation. Aaron is a member of the nipaluna/Hobart Branch of the Australian Youth Climate Coalition. In 2017, he completed a Bachelor of Applied Science (Environmental Science) with First Class Honours.

Grace Tame 26 of Bellerive was groomed and sexually assaulted at 15 leading her to become an advocate for survivors of child sexual assault and a leader of positive change. Recognising the injustice of Tasmania’s gag order preventing survivors from self-identifying publicly, Grace joined the #LetHerSpeak campaign and in 2019 won the right to speak out under her own name. Grace is now focussed on encouraging survivors to share their stories without shame, education around grooming and helping form a federal system that supports the survivors, not just perpetrators. Grace is the 2021 Australian of the Year.

Madeline Green 29 of Glebe is reshaping how scientists around the world collaborate and communicate. Madeline is the creator of Otlet, a biological sampling platform for research scientists, after noticing that scientists struggle with their research due to a lack of scientific samples. Now available in more than 50 countries, Otlet allows scientists to connect with scientists around the world for biological samples to be transported between institutes. This means global collaborations and connections for Tasmanian scientists and better quality research resulting in ground-breaking discoveries. Madeline created Otlet whilst completing her PhD in Marine Biology and facing adversity as a woman in the STEM field.

The Hive Collective of nipaluna/Hobart is changing the face of career-building in Tasmania. The Hive Collective was founded by Linda Karlsson and Annie Gatenby, seeing the need for women to meet and connect whilst learning from already senior women (and men) in leadership positions across businesses. Run by women for women, The Hive is a community-led networking group targeting mid-level career women aged 25 to 35 and older. They hold events that cover a wide range of topics relevant to different sectors and invite women from all professions. In 2019, The Hive formed a group of volunteers to ensure sustainability.


Motors Tasmania Sports Award

Dalton Stretton 17 of Penguin hopes to support and inspire junior athletes. Dalton is an active member of the City of Burnie Cycling Club. He has won gold and silver at the 2019 Oceania Championships and 5th in the 2020 National Virtual Track National Championships. He has made steady progression after transitioning from the Under-17 age category into a very competitive Under-19 age category at AusCycling. Under normal circumstances, he would have represented Australia at the Junior Track World Championships. Dalton volunteers as a corner marshal and assists officials at club racing. He provides peer support for younger athletes across the cycling program.

Liam Johnston 18 of Underwood is committed to representing Australia. Liam is a National Representative in the sport of Mountain Biking - having been selected twice to represent Australia as a Junior (U19) at the UCI Mountain Bike World Championships (Cross Country). He travelled to Canada and would have gone to Germany in 2020 if not for Covid-19. Liam also won second place at the 2019 Oceania Mountain Bike Champions. He won a Junior World Series race in Malaysia in December 2019. Liam is an active member of the Launceston Mountain Bike Club, where he shares his experiences with up-and-coming junior riders. 

Maximillian Giuliani 17 of Carlton is inspiring younger members of the Tasmanian swimming community by showing what is possible when you train hard and focus on goals. Max made history in March 2020 by becoming the fastest Tasmanian to swim the 100m Freestyle, breaking the 51-second barrier. He made the Swimming Australia’s MLC National Flippers Squad in December 2020 and attended a camp on the Gold Coast. Max is on track to making the Junior World Championships Team in July. He is the only Tasmanian swimmer with a Tasmanian Institute of Sport High Performance Scholarship, with access to a strength and conditioning coach and gym each week.

Samuel Lewis Clifford 18 of Legana is a promising young athlete in a highly competitive sport. Samuel ranked number one in Australia for the U20 5000m in 2020 and would have competed in the Junior World Championships had it not been for Covid-19. In March 2019, Samuel was the fastest Australian in 10 years at the U20 World Cross Country Championships in Denmark. In July 2019 at the Victorian Championships, he broke the Australian U18 record in the 5000m race. In August 2020, he won 1st place in the Tasmanian Cross Country Championships Open in 10km category. Samuel is on track to go to the Junior World Championship in 2021.


Colony 47 Transition to Work Award

Bron Shelverton 26 of Huonville has proudly accepted the challenges of having a disability. Bron started her own business, Que Sera Sera Coffee, with her mum. She strive to complete her Year 12 studies with a Certificate in Hospitality whilst learning new skills and gaining knowledge in different types of coffees, preparing hot drinks, and more. She learned to improve her maths, reading, writing, budgeting, ordering and business management skills. Bron has had work experience and placements at Willie Smiths Apple Shed. She created a Pay It Forward Program, which has donated numerous coffees to the community and raised hundreds of dollars for causes in need.

Bryce Taylor 21 of Railton is not letting his disability get in the way of his success. Bryce has completed Certificate II in Automotive – TAFE 2018, learning loom building, component fabrication for ambulances and more. He has completed WHS induction components and tool maintenance and is able to adapt to different models of vehicles and state requirements. Diagnosed with Autism, Bryce struggled through school, being bullied for most of his school years and was then carried over into the workplace. He was unemployed for a while but has successfully gained employment at Mader International Pty/Ltd, a supportive workplace. Diagnosed with Autism, Bryce has struggled through school, being bullied for most of his school years.

Chloe Hansson 19 of Kingston has undeterred determination. Due to medical reasons involving her mother and brother, Chloe had to care for her younger brother. As a result, she could not finish her Year 12 and had difficulty finding a job or even getting an interview. With determination, she continued to seek employment until the Practice Manager at Crotty Dental employed her after an impressive interview. She passed her probational period with flying colours and was accepted as a trainee undertaking Certificate III in Dental Assisting through TAFE Tasmania. Chloe has learnt dental hygiene, sterilising procedures and infection control and has spent time in reception.

Patrick Rosevear 18 of Rosevears has actively sought employment in the field of Agriculture. He has been successfully enrolled in an Associate Degree in Agribusiness at University of Tasmania. Patrick has completed his Certificates II and III in Agriculture. He has earned a Tasmanian Certificate of Education and Certificate in Animal Welfare from Livestock Production Assurance. He has completed work experience with Nutrien Ag Solutions, which has turned into a casual job as a yard hand with the Tasmanian Livestock Exchange. He has previously completed UTAS’s Emerging Leaders Program. Patrick won West Tamar Council Young Citizen of the Year 2021 for his work in the community.


TADPAC Print Service to the Disability Sector Award

Daniel Jones 21 of Somerset has transitioned from being supported to being a support worker. Daniel is a support worker at Coast Residential Service who works 15.5 hours a week and assists two clients with their daily activities. He has completed a Certificate III in Individual Support (Disability) at TasTAFE. Daniel was accepted for an unpaid job trial at Glenhaven Family Care with the help of Epic Assist, a job agency that supports people with disabilities to find work. After the trial, he was offered a job under the Supported Wage System. Daniel has mild autism and had his own support worker who has inspired him.

Luke Williams 21 of Hobart is committed to improving the lives of children living with autism and accessibility challenges. After his nephew was diagnosed with autism, Luke founded “Lend A Hand To Hugo” to bridge the gap for therapy costs. Luke obtained corporate sponsorship and set up a charity cricket match with donation boxes. The charity began helping other families in need, filling the therapy cost gap or acquiring resources for homes and schools. Lend A Hand To Hugo has distributed more than $100,000 to families across Tasmania, their educators, carers and health professionals. Luke was also nominated TAS Young Australian of the Year in 2021.

Oliver Parnham 19 of Sandy Bay is committed to improving the everyday life of his client. After graduating in 2019, Oliver went into Disability Support Work in 2020. He has since been working for a family with a 19-year-old son diagnosed with Xeroderma Pigmentosa with neurological effects. Oliver provides physical, emotional and social care to the client, who refers to Oliver as his best friend. He is always checking on his client, planning activities for each day and being vital in the coordination of the client’s care. Oliver has his own ABN and works with his client’s family, his client’s support coordinator and relevant allied health services.

Jessica Benge 28 of Port Sorell works with Avidity Training and Development as trainer and assessor in the disability industry. She was previously a workshop facilitator for Autism Tasmania. She has worked at Latrobe High School, where she helped build a program to make transitioning to high school easier for those with a disability. Jessica started her career at Giant Steps Tasmania, a school specialised in working with people on the Autism Spectrum. Most importantly, she launched Racing with Autism Australia, a project that aims to support and share stories of people living on the Autism Spectrum. Jessica was also nominated for Young Australian of the Year 2020.


First National Real Estate Leadership Award

Jax Ewin 29 of Goodwood has a passion for engaging with at-risk groups and fighting to end homelessness. Jax is a councillor in nipaluna/Hobart and a small business operator. They had a direct role in removing Tasmania’s historical housing debt, with an additional $5 million in funding to homelessness services; as well as the opening of Tasmania’s first 24-hour drop-in centre for people experiencing homelessness. Jax advocates for data-based policy development in health, housing and welfare, and the reform of drug laws to ensure safety and wellbeing of the community. They also provide business mentorship to young LGBTIQ+ people. Jax has a degree in Social and Political Science and Philosophy.

Phoebe Berwick 22 of Devonport has demonstrated leadership skills from a very young age. Shortly after undergoing treatment for Ovarian Cancer, Phoebe performed at the Zonta International ovarian cancer fundraising event. In her final year of high school, Phoebe was involved in the student leadership group, where she mentored younger year classes. In 2016, Phoebe and friends began the not-for-profit organisation, “Hitting Heart Disease for 6”. They held a Cricket Day and Golf Day to raise money for heart disease research. Phoebe is an active member of the CanTeen Program, having participated in the National Youth Leadership Festival. Phoebe was awarded the Global Leaders Scholarship at UTAS.

Kaytlyn Johnson 19 of Lapoinya hopes to inspire Indigenous Women. Kaytlyn was selected as one of seven Student Ambassadors, as part of the celebration of 150 years of Public Education in Tasmania. She was a key member in “Project O” - a group of young women advocating for those without a voice. They held a ‘Colourathon’, which raised over $12,000 for women and children experiencing family violence. Kaytlyn was co-president of the Student Executive Council in high school and was the 2018 Tasmanian Indigenous Girls AFL Team captain. Receiving an ATAR of 96.4 in Year 12, she was accepted into the University of Melbourne and awarded the Chancellor’s Scholarship.

Rachel Hay 23 of Dodges Ferry led the student movement at the University of Tasmania for carbon neutral certification and divestment from $10 million in fossil fuels - both of which were achieved. She has also led other sustainability efforts at the University of Tasmania, including organising a ‘market day’ on campus aimed at educating students on sustainability. She was a co-coordinator of the International Justice Initiative, where she prepared pro bono legal and policy advice for countries and non-governmental organisations, including at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change’s Conference of the Parties. Rachel also co-established “Hearts of the Island”, which aims to aid Tasmanian social and environmental interest groups in working together to make lutruwita/ Tasmania the place that they envision.


St.LukesHealth Healthier Communities Award

Hannah Godfrey 22 of White Beach has been working alongside Headspace Hobart since 2015. She has been involved in getting out within the Hobart community and school community, to break down the conversational barrier around mental health and encourage the youth to access appropriate support services. Hannah has held a residential leadership position with the University of Tasmania, which allowed her to build strong meaningful connections, influence and remove the stigma around mental health. In 2019, she worked with Headspace National Office, working with other advocates around Australia, to co-design and develop a national initiative. This led to the creation of the Australian Youth Advocates for Mental Health and Visible Australia.

Laura Johnson 21 of Somerset uses her voice to discourage the stigma of crisis, medication and inpatient support for those battling for their mental health - especially during the Covid-19 pandemic. Laura has previously contributed to the making of a documentary - highlighting her hometown’s achievement in overcoming a methamphetamine problem. She has been involved in numerous fundraising projects for organisations such as Cancer Council, Colourathon (raising awareness for family violence), and World’s Greatest Shave. Laura has most notably worked in a petition about improving the mental health sector and facilities, with a goal of sharing awareness and rescue other people from the grasps of mental illness.

Rebecca Foster 29 of Berriedale is advocating for inclusivity in sports. Rebecca worked as Assistant Sports Development Manager for Special Olympics Australia across Tasmania, Victoria and South Australia. She worked with people both with Intellectual Disabilities and other Disabilities to provide them sporting and social opportunities. She has formed partnerships with other sports and has run sports clinics with participants ranging from 7 through 80 years old. Rebecca has previously worked as a Swimming Instructor for children and adults, Physical Education Teacher and Ophthalmic Technician. As a teacher, Rebecca ensures to provide her students with a safe and supportive environment that meets their well-being needs.

Raw Strength Tasmania 29 of Rokeby is providing affordable, top-quality training to athletes, especially the disabled, aged and disadvantaged people. Raw Strength Tasmania has provided the pathway for drug-free strength within Tasmania. They ran a not-for-profit event, where they flew Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA) to test the competitors, and have since run 12 events. They have run the only Para Lifting Competition in TAS history. They recently proposed to start a very low-cost gym in Clarendon Vale neighbourhood centre to provide health, fitness and well-being at hugely discounted prices. During Covid-19 lockdown, they provided free programs designed for home training for the elderly and vulnerable people.


Spirit of Tasmania Tourism and Hospitality Award

Courtney Hill 25 of Riverside loves to put Tasmania on a pedestal. Courtney is the Executive Chef at The Metz restaurant, an iconic venue in the community. She is responsible for menu planning, seasonal costing and extensive staff training to support TASTAFE. She works closely with the Launceston Health Department to ensure awareness and compliance with the latest codes of practice. Courtney maintains their kitchen’s identity whilst helping staff on their journey to find theirs. During Covid-19 lockdown, Courtney faced the challenge with a new menu, new stock, a multi-faceted crew and a new normal, assuring suppliers and staff of the restaurant’s commitment to them.

Hamish Cunningham 25 of Hobart, is a proud advocate for regional tourism operators and has spent considerable amounts of his own time and resources during COVID-19 shutdown to establish new and develop existing relationships with small tourism operators all around Tasmania, including King Island. This enables Hamish, as a senior member of The Henry Jones Art Hotel Concierge team, to design and personally recommend bespoke travel itineraries for hotel guests, far beyond the generic level available in guidebooks or online. The enduring memories of travellers, and their praise for Hamish's care and attention, appear regularly in reviews received by The Henry Jones.

Holly Bowden 28 of Sandy Bay has promoted Tasmanian businesses in a very tough time. When Covid-19 hit, Holly grabbed the opportunity to pursue a childhood dream and started her own show called “Take on Tassie”. She mapped out and chose numerous regions around Tasmania, with the idea to present an ‘eat, play and stay’ element in each place. She would contact the business owners and write a script along with interviews of the owners. Her innovation allowed her to promote all of Tasmania’s hidden gems to Tasmanians and the rest of Australia, showing off the wonderful Tasmanian places whilst showcasing Tasmanian businesses and business owners.

Rebecca Goodman 23 of Newtown is passionate about showcasing what Tasmania has to offer. Rebecca started as a casual waitress at MACq 01 Hotel’s Old Wharf Restaurant whilst completing her Bachelor in Business Administration (Hospitality Management). After obtaining promotions, she is now the Bar Manager of MACq 01 Hotel’s Evolve Spirits Bar. She has since earned WSET Level 2 Award in Wines and Spirits and Drysdale’s Bar Essentials. Rebecca spearheaded an initiative that saw her implement a portfolio consisting of tasting notes – allowing her team to confidently pair wines for customers. During Covid-19, she showed support by visiting local suppliers and promoting their products.


Heather & Christopher Chong Community Service & Volunteering Award

Francis Pascal 27 of Acton Park is passionate about young people and contributing to his community. Francis is the youth pastor of Grace Church Rokeby. He runs a program every Friday night, aimed at showing the young people of Tasmania that they matter and are loved. There are creative games and events tailored to youth, focusing on providing a safe space to connect and grow relationships. Francis runs connect groups where there is a more intricate opportunity for young people to be supported in their life journey. Francis contributes his time, personal funds and energy whilst maintaining a full-time teaching job and being a father of two.

Jordon King 18 of Bridgewater is making a huge impact on children in the hospital to keep going and never give up. Jordon has been organising charity events to raise funds for unwell children at the Royal Hobart Hospital Children’s Ward. He has raised over $40,000, helping purchase equipment and entertainment for children. He visits the hospital every Christmas Eve and delivers presents to children to spread joy and hope. Jordan also volunteers for local non-profit organisations, performing for families for free. He has been awarded Young Citizen of the Year 2019 for Brighton and was nominated for Young Australian of the Year 2020.

Josh Walsh 27 of New Norfolk has made sure to put his community’s youth first. For over ten years, Josh has mentored local children through cricket, football and teaching; making an incredible contribution to kids’ sport in the Derwent Valley Community. He volunteers as coach/team coordinator for the New Norfolk Junior Cricket Club and the New Norfolk Junior Football Club. He attends trainings and games, coordinates teams, mentors young players, and supports families to be a part of the club. Josh goes out of his way to make sports as affordable as possible and supports families to understand the rules and be engaged in their child’s sport.

Lara Emmett 21 of Ulverstone is helping save lives, create great Australians and build better communities. In early 2020, Lara represented Tasmania at Surf Life Saving Australia’s National Leadership College - an annual leadership program recognising young leaders in SLS aged 20-30. She has been appointed Youth Representative on Life Saving Tasmania’s Lifesaving Executive Committee. Lara has also earned a place in the National Women’s Mentoring Program. She is the Founder and Chair of the Surf Life Saving Tasmania (SLST) Youth Committee and has become Deputy Coordinator for SLST’s Development Camp. Lara does all her volunteer work whilst being a full-time medical student in North Queensland.


Dental South First Nations People Achievement Award

Bianca Templar 26 of Ravenswood is enhancing the voice of grassroots Tasmanian aboriginal voices. Bianca is a young Aboriginal woman who has worked to co-facilitate Come Walk With Us sessions as well as coordinate and execute the Launceston Black Lives Matter Vigil. Bianca has spoken on radio for the wide community to be further educated about issues Tasmanian Aboriginal People face and the politics involved. She has worked with the Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre and the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Alliance. Bianca completed a Bachelor of Social Work. She was named the Tasmanian Aboriginal Youth of the Year at the 2020 NAIDOC awards.

Hollie French 21 of Rosetta is committed to improving the health outcomes of the Indigenous community. Hollie is a proud Palawa woman who runs Deadly Choices, an initiative set out by Urban Indigenous Health that aims to empower Tasmanian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to make healthy choices for themselves and their families. Through their Healthy Lifestyles Program, Hollie educates high school students on various aspects of health and culture. Deadly Choices encourages the wider community to get their Aboriginal Health Checks completed, helping reduce risks of chronic diseases. Hollie is currently studying a Certificate IV in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Primary Healthcare.

Jony Berry 26 of Opossum Bay was named Mr Universal Australia 2020, becoming the first Aboriginal person to represent Australia in an internationally recognised pageant and win a Miss/Mr World title and the first Tasmanian. He has used the platform to raise awareness for LGBTI youth and fund-raise for Black Rainbow Foundation. He has been involved in many causes, beginning with youth homelessness and youth suicide prevention at the age of 15 while he himself was a homeless youth. He has worked with asylum seekers held in detention centre in Broadmeadows, Victoria, helping with education and support. He was appointed Youth Mentor for the Ballawinnie Aboriginal Corporation.

Naarah 23 of Glenorchy is a proud Aboriginal woman from the Gija Tribe in The Kimberley Region, Western Australia and the first in her family to attend university. She is currently touring around Australia with the musical “The Sapphires” as Cynthia. Naarah has trained in voice and music at University of Tasmania, the University of Southampton and the Los Angeles College of Music. She has appeared as a soloist and performer in various musical productions, including Legally Blonde, Mary Poppins and more. She has won the Ossa Musical Performance Prize. Naarah works with The Salvation Army and Communities for Children.


Qoin Small Business Achiever Award

BeaDoughs Donuts of Emu Heights is an inspiration to other young people who would like to do something great. BeaDoughs Donut was founded by 16-year-old Sunny Beatson during the Covid-19 lockdown. Sunny started making doughnuts from his mother’s kitchen to supplement his family’s income. BeaDoughs Donuts has expanded to a shopfront and commercial kitchen within six months, selling 500 donuts per day and hiring employees. Sunny has sought help from mentors and other businesses for marketing and sales advice. He used his own cash flow to bootstrap the business and takes no wage. Sunny also received the Young Citizen of the Year award in Burnie, Tasmania.

Kobi Colman 21 of Moonah co-founded Sarox, a web and software development and consultancy firm, while still in high school. Sarox has supported over 90 Tasmanian businesses by deploying software development and web services with a pragmatic approach that creates measurable, real-world outcomes. They help create access to funding opportunities, start-up resources, mentorship support, networking opportunities and more. Kobi oversaw Sarox’s response to Covid-19, retaining all staff and supporting clients during a dark time. Kobi leads day-by-day activities as Sarox’s Operations Manager and Chair of the Board and is responsible for the strategic direction of the business. Sarox employs six people, each owning significant business shares.

Molly Clark 21 of Riverside is proud to carry the motto “Tasmanian Made” in her business. Molly started Molly’s Creations while still a student, where she created timber cheese boards and chopping boards for a school project. The business has since expanded to offering larger serving platters, bar tops, coat racks and tables in over two years. Molly supplies to Tasmanian galleries and businesses, utilising unique Tasmanian timber. She collaborates with other locally-owned businesses in Launceston and has attended The April Niche Market and Tasmanian Craft Fair. Molly self-funded her business through casual hospitality work. She currently holds a full-time role in Management and metalwork design.

Sarah Macrae 21 of Kingston has gone above and beyond to pursue her dream of owning her own Tasmanian small business. Sarah established her start-up business called “plnt.interior”, where she creates and sells homewares and jewellery. From just an idea, a logo and a brand name, Sarah worked hard and long hours, quitting her work to spend every day working on her dream. She has been able to stock her creations in different shops across Australia and creates launches for every season to ensure her brand is always moving forward. Sarah saved every dollar she had from her local job to go towards her business.