Tasmanian Young Achiever Awards


“Winning the TADPAC Print Award for Service to the Disability Sector means a huge amount to me. As a young woman with Autism, I often doubt my ability to make an impact; so receiving an award helps me remember that my work is truly valued in my community. I am truly grateful for the Young achievers Awards in our state. I think they are really valuable for amplifying the contributions of young people in Tasmania.”

Heidi La Paglia
2020 TADPAC Print Service to the Disability Sector Award Winner

"It has been a whirlwind year and to pull off a virtual awards presentation night that went so well is amazing. Congratulations to all involved on such a great night. Thanks so much to all sponsors of the program, it couldn't happen without you all. The work all have put in to make it possible is so very much appreciated! I've loved being part of the program.

I'm absolutely honoured to have won my category and to be alongside many other incredible nominees is so humbling! Honestly I see myself as a small town country girl trying to make a difference the best way I can in a community I love. To be recognised for delivering services to improve health, something I'm incredibly passionate about is amazing. I'm so very lucky to have such great support from family, friends, the wider community in which I live and my employer, The Royal Flying Doctor Service enabling me to help so many.

Thanks again to all involved in making these awards possible. the importance of an event such as the Tasmanian young achievers awards showcasing such amazing individuals developing and implementing services, programs, businesses and ultimately change for a better world is so inspiring and so very needed especially after a year of such devastation and uncertainty world wide. Itt gives everyone hope for a better and brighter future.

Cheers to a healthier, happier and peaceful 2021."

Harriet Beattie
2020 St.LukesHealth Healthier Communities Award Winner


"Winning this award means so much to me. Just being apart of the awards and being nominated as a finalist was a huge honour and it is so inspiring to see what so many amazing young Tasmanians are achieving. The Young Achiever Awards is such a great program bringing people together from so many different backgrounds and experiences. I think the program demonstrates the scope and scale of possibilities that young people can achieve, and it has definitely motivated me to always aim high and make the most of any opportunities that arise. I am always humbled by the support I have received from the Tasmanian community, and I will always be proud to be a Tasmanian, so thank you to everyone who has supported me throughout my career, I am so lucky to be apart of such an amazing community."

Kate Eckhardt

2020 Motors Tasmania Sports Award Winner

“Being named the Tasmanian Young Achiever of the year has been a great honour for me. Not only has it shown a light on me and my work, but numerous other young Tasmanians doing incredible things. As a young Tasmanian we where these imaginary goggles, where we can see an analyse our communities in another sight, and for a lot of young people that is overwhelming. Growing up facing the issues of climate change, inequality, homelessnes and other social issues, these goggles help us find the avenues to make a difference and act to engage our communities. The Tasmanian Young Achiever Awards has provided me with the opportunity to share the vision I see with the whole of Tasmania and I am sure so many others as well. It is that place that recognises the work young people are doing and acknowledges the innovative and problem solving generation that is coming. It has been a place where the goggles that I see through, can be worn and celebrated by everyone.”

Toby Thorpe
2020 Heather & Christopher Chong Community Service & Volunteering Award Winner & Premier’s Young Achiever of the Year


"The Young Achiever Awards are a unique platform to celebrate young Tasmanians making our communities more sustainable, resilient and inclusive. Their stories fill me with hope at a time when we have many intractable issues to overcome as a society. I'm certain each of these young people will inspire many more to contribute their insight and passion to causes they care about.

Receiving the St.LukesHealth Healthier Communities Award and the Premier's Young Achiever of the Year Award was a wonderful surprise and deeply humbling - an affirmation that the work we've been doing is valued and worthwhile. I'm deeply grateful for the opportunity to build relationships with like-minded people and disseminate important messages about mental health, youth engagement and connectedness.

The Awards are also a recognition of those who support and invest in young people, amplifying their voices and the potential of their work. If a young person comes to mind whose dedication or leadership inspires others, and makes a positive impact in your community, I warmly encourage you to nominate them."

Matthew Etherington
2019 Premier’s Young Achiever of the Year
2019 St.LukesHealth Healthier Communities Award


"The Tasmanian Young Achiever awards serve an important role in Tasmania, recognising the high calibre of young people our state has to offer. I was continually impressed as I flicked through the biographies on the night. It is clear that these awards have identified and recognised some truly inspirational young people across all fields, whether it be sports, education, community service or otherwise.

I am very grateful to have awarded the First National Real Estate Leadership Award. This has already provided me with a number of new opportunities and connections along with the financial support to further my endeavours.

I encourage you to look at the amazing young people that surround you and nominate them for the 2020 Tasmanian Young Achiever Awards. It is a truly amazing opportunity."

Samuel Watson
2019 First National Real Estate Leadership Award




"Since being named Premier’s Young Achiever of the Year, I have spent some time visiting the schools of Reggio Emilia Italy to see what aspects of their approach could compliment the amazing work we already do in the birth - 8 sector. I am lucky enough to be leading a team of dedicated early childhood teachers at Windermere’s new Early Learning Centre. I love working with children and families in their very first years at our school. I have also gone back to complete further study through the University of Tasmania which is keeping me busy!

I would certainly recommend that people nominate for the Young Achiever Awards. Not only is it great to celebrate young people making a difference in our community but it gives people a chance to connect with like-minded people.

Kirby Medcraft
2018 Premier’s Young Achiever of the Year
2018 University of Tasmania, Faculty of Education, Teaching Excellence Award Winner


"The Tasmanian Young Achiever awards is an opportunity to celebrate the local young people making a difference in their field of passion and interest, It was very humbling to be the recipient of the Heather & Christopher Chong Community Service and Volunteering Award. I have had the opportunity to engage with many stakeholders who have provided further support after the conclusion of the awards, which has supported the work of The Little HELP Project in the community."

Olivia Fleming
2018 Heather & Christopher Chong Community Service & Volunteering Award


"My experience as being the young achiever of the year in the service to the disability sector has been crazy. It’s been a roller coaster of emotions that’s for sure. The amount of opportunity it has presented to get the word out about CF is amazing. It is a platform like no other! People are openly starting to talk about CF and I couldn’t be happier. It has been an absolute blessing so far and can only hope there will be further opportunities to get the word out and I thank everyone involved in the awards for making that possible."

Jack Dyson
2018 TADPAC Print Service to the Disability Sector Award Winner


“The dedication, hard work and perseverance that takes place when nobody's watching often goes unnoticed with people just seeing the results of a huge amount of commitment and determination. It's awesome that the Tasmanian Young Achiever Awards recognise the hard work of many deserving young Tasmanians and all that they do out of the spotlight. I felt so humbled to be recognised for my sporting achievements and extremely inspired by all the other award receipients and their amazing endeavours and achievements at the awards night! Receiving the award highlighted to me how fortunate I am to have such an incredible support network of people who thought I was deserving of this award and it was very special to share the awards evening with my family!”

Madeleine Fasnacht
2018 Motors Group Tasmania Sports Award Winner



"It was such a humbling feeling to receive the Premier's Young Achiever of the Year Award 2017. It means a lot when you work hard towards making a difference in your community and profession and when you receive such a prestigious award it is motivating and affirming that all the hard work is making a difference. Since the award evening, I have been busy starting a new dental clinic in Blackmans Bay, have developed with the Royal Flying doctor's Surgery and SETAC (South Eastern Tasmanian Aboriginal Corporation) a scheme to treat indigenous Tasmanian adults with health care cards, and my latest project is developing a community advertisement which is targeted at children to provide them with basic information on how to look after their mouth.

I think the award has been very helpful in opening other opportunities and has already connected me with other people who are making changes in the community. I would definitely recommend that other people nominate for the Young Achiever Awards as it is an opportunity to connect with a lot of other young achievers that are making changes. It is also a great honour to be recognised in such a way by peers and the community."

Dr Jessica Manuela 
2017 Premier's Young Achiever of the Year
2017 St.LukesHealth Healthier Communities Award Winner


"Winning the 2017 Colony 47 Young Indigenous Achievement Award was a wonderful acknowledgement of my achievements. I have received a lot of positive feedback from a wide-variety of people regarding the award. Winning the award was a significant acknowledgement from my peers and fellow Aboriginal community members of the hard-work I have undertaken. Upon reflection, it is nice that Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people are acknowledged independently in their own category. The award goes some way to challenging the negative discourse and stereotypes regarding Indigenous people in Australia.

I would like to thank all the sponsors of the Tasmanian young achievement awards, especially Colony47."

Jacob Prehn
2017 Colony 47 Young Indigenous Achievement Award Winner


"Being recognised as a young achiever is a truly gratifying event for someone such as myself, having worked for so long towards a goal I often viewed as a pipe dream. Through playing music and touring the world I've had the chance to grow and understand myself, and what matters to me. I believe that anyone with any sort of platform big or small has a duty to help others. I'm extremely humbled and grateful to be able to do so, and being recognised as a young achiever only aides this drive."

Tyler Richardson
2017 The Coffee Club Arts and Fashion Award Winner


When I found out that I was nominated for this award I felt so proud. As a young girl I would have never thought I would be nominated, let alone win an award as prestigious as the Tasmanian Young Achiever of the Year. Since relocating to Brisbane to further my swimming career, it makes me feel so special that I still get recognition from Tasmania for my achievements, it is like I’m connected to Tassie even though I don’t live there anymore. Since the awards, I raced at the Australian Swimming Championships where I became national champion for the first time in the 400 and 800 metre freestyles, breaking both national age group records and earnt selection onto the Australian Team for the World Championships. I then travelled overseas to Europe during July and August for seven weeks for the World Championships. I had three training camps across France and The Netherlands, before racing at the main event in Budapest. I came away with 4th in the 400 freestyle and a bronze medal in the 4x200 freestyle relay. I learnt so much and can’t wait to put it into my training and racing prep leading into the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast where I hope to be selected. I wish all the nominees for this year’s awards the best of luck and to enjoy the awards night!"

Ariarne Titmus
2017 Motors Group Tasmania Sports Award Winner


"Being a-part of the Tasmanian Young Achievers Awards was an extremely rewarding and humbling experience. Attending the Tasmanian Young Achiever Gala Dinner, was a night that I will not forget. Being announced the winner of the University of Tasmania, Faculty of Education Teaching Excellence Award and having the opportunity to speak and share my passion and advocacy for at-risk and disengaged children and young people with other inspiring young Tasmanians, established guests and my own family and friends was one that will be hard to beat. The award was fantastic recognition of not only myself but the schools and individuals that I work with and the students that make all of the tireless work worth it."

Caitlin Cashion
2017 UTAS Faculty of Education Teaching Excellence Award Winner



"Winning the 2016 Premiers Young Achiever of the Year Award was for me, amazing, yet sad at the same time. I have been fortunate enough to have been recognised a couple times now in regards to my work with SPEAK UP! Stay ChatTY. And each time this happens, I am left with both excitement, but also with great sadness.

I love being recognised, and it is the greatest feeling to know that all of the hard work over the years has been noticed, and that you are making a difference. But when the dust settles, comes the realisation of why I have been handed such special award. I realise that I lost my younger brother to suicide and that I have a huge hole in my heart because of that. But life will sadly, always now be like that. So, therefore, I will take amazing awards such as this, and power forward with them to continue raising awareness.
This award has put our charity in the minds of many more Tasmanians. And if this is helping and encouraging more of us to speak when we are going through a difficult time, then that is an outcome that I am truly grateful for.
I would encourage people to nominate those making a positive difference in your community. Because for people to be recognised for hard work just like I was, is one of the greatest motivators out there."

Mitch McPherson
2016 Premier's Young Achiever of the Year
2016 St.LukesHealth Healthier Communities Award Winner


"Winning a Tasmanian Young Achievers award was a huge honour. When working towards any goal, so much of the hard work goes unnoticed so it is really nice to have the opportunity to be recognized at these awards for everything that has helped you achieve your goals. I got a huge boost of confidence and motivation after finding out I had won the award last year, knowing that I had all these people supporting me was a great feeling. A feeling that I can take with me into the future and grow on as I continue my journey in my sport."
Jacob Birtwhistle
2016 Motors Tasmania Sports Award Winner


"I feel incredibly honoured to receive the 2016 Tasmanian Young Achiever Award for Service to the Disability Sector. Meeting so many inspiring people and hearing their stories on the awards night was truly amazing.

Whilst the voluntary work I have done for Cystic Fibrosis Tasmania was never done in the hope of recognition, receiving this award has enabled me to raise even more awareness and funds. I have since completed numerous media interviews and have recently been appointed Ambassador of Cystic Fibrosis Tasmania. I am really excited to continue supporting the Tasmanian cystic fibrosis community and do everything I can to improve the quality of life for people living with cystic fibrosis including my daughter"

Carrie Leppard
2016 TADPAC Print Service to the Disability Sector Award Winner


"I found the experience of being part of the awards incredibly rewarding. It was a great privilege to be recognised for the arts amongst such a talented and hard working group of young people. Being recognised in this way affirms that you are on the right path and the years of hard work are appreciated. The awards also created an opportunity to meet contacts both within my field and many others. This experience has confirmed in my mind that the pursuit of creating training opportunities for jewellers and in specialist areas of jewellery manufacturing is the right path for me and will help create positive change in the industry."

Halina Kaufman
2016 The Coffee Club Arts and Fashion Award Winner


"Participating in the Tasmanian Young Achiever Awards program was an amazing journey. Being mentioned in the same breath as the other category winners was a truly humbling experience. Receiving this award was fantastic recognition for the St.Paul's, St.Therese's and Tasmanian Track and Field communities that I am so lucky to be a part of. This award has given me the opportunity to work with early career teachers and mentor undergraduate students from the education faculty at the University of Tasmania."

Samuel Morey
2016 UTAS Faculty of Education Teaching Excellence Award Winner


“It was surreal having a whole room of people clapping for the things you do. For most of us I think our work is just what we do out of love every day and it's a wonderful feeling for that to be acknowledged. It makes it all feel real. You can really look back and see how far you have come until that moment. For me it was an affirmation of what I do. Some days you get stuck filling out forms or doing parts of the job that seem like you're getting nowhere. The awards helped me to step back and see the entire picture, where we have come from, where we are now but also where we're going. I hope other young people see the category finalists and winners and that it will inspire them to put themselves forward or to start pursuing something they are passionate about. Since the awards I have held launch events for my two initiatives, been invited to speak both here and interstate and have just been put on the speaker line up for a conference at the end of the year. I have also continued to plug away at the projects and push though some big wine and pieces of work. It's been an incredible time! My plans are to set some bolder goals for The Last Straw and Global Partners for Change, do really well in study this semester and just spend the next couple of years kicking some real goals.”

Eva MacKinley
2016 Heather & Christopher Chong Community Service Award Winner