7NEWS Young Achiever Awards VIC
2020 Overall Victorian Young Achiever of the Year - Wallace Jin
Yarn Strong Sista Indigenous Achievement Award
Sianna Catullo, 25 of Northcote seeks to educate and raise awareness of the Indigenous culture. A proud Narungga woman, Sianna co-founded Clothing the Gap, a clothing label meant to provide a space for people to come together, celebrate Aboriginal culture and design, and talk about Aboriginal history and social issues. Sianna took part in the Indigenous Marathon Project and trained for six months to finish the marathon in New York. She helped start a national campaign called ‘Free the Flag’ to raise awareness on licensing agreement issues with the Aboriginal flag. Sianna has also helped establish a junior’s side for the Fitzroy Stars, an Aboriginal football club.
First National Real Estate Leadership Award
Wallace Jin, 23 of Parkville is passionate about empowering the disadvantaged. Wallace is the CEO at Community Health Advancement and Student Engagement (CHASE), a youth-led organisation dedicated to engaging, educating and empowering disadvantaged Victorians aged 16 to 18 through health education and personal mentorship. As CEO and leader of the CHASE Management Team, he is responsible for the delivery and direction of the program. He has since introduced a new organisational structure to minimise communication bottlenecks and improve opportunities for volunteer’s professional development. Besides being a full-time medical student, Wallace also volunteers with 180 Degrees Consulting, International House Graduate Student Association, Parity Education and Teach for Australia… Congratulations Wallace.
Saward Dawson Community Service and Social Impact Award
Madeline Long, 22 of Moorabbin is creating positive impact through education. Madeline is the co-founder of STEMSparX, an EdTech start-up that focuses on delivering immersive STEM learning experience to students in regional Australia through a unique technology-backed approach. STEMSparX has so far assisted more than 500 students to discover the joy of learning and with five-day workshops for high school students. Madeline has been recognised as the 2019 Young Social Pioneer in Education by the Foundation for Young Australians and was a 2018 Melbourne Accelerator Program Velocity Program Innovation Prize awardee. She has a Certificate in New Ventures Leadership, Entrepreneurship and Innovation from Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
IKON Services Environmental Sustainability Award
Serena Lee, 24 of Alphington chases opportunities that will make a difference. Serena co-founded Farmwall, an AgTech social enterprise on a mission to transform cities into food producing ecosystems. Farmwall creates small scale indoor vertical farms that grows microgreens with zero packaging waste or food miles, allowing fresh produce to be grown in under-utilised areas. Serena led the crowdfunding campaign that raised $30,000 to kickstart Farmwall. As Company Director, Chief Operating Officer and Manager of the Sydney team, Serena leads urban planning employees and oversees all operational activities. She handles corporate relationships and works closely with Mirvac’s internal innovation team on urban planning projects.
The Victorian Government Group Achievement in the Community Award
CHASE of Melbourne advocates for better health and wellbeing for young people. Adopting the “youths mentoring youths” model, Community Health Advancement and Student Engagement (CHASE) is a not-for-profit run entirely by volunteers. They engage, educate and empower disadvantaged young people through health-related workshops and personal mentorship. The program reaches over 300 disadvantaged Year 11 Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning students annually. Founded in 2013, CHASE has over 110 volunteers from different ethnicities, socioeconomic backgrounds and academic disciplines. They have collaborated with Headspace, Western Bulldogs Community Foundation and Smiling Seeds. CHASE received the 2018 Brimbank City Council’s We Are Brimbank Awards for Learning Excellence.
Kangan Institute Inspirational TAFE Student Award
Heidi Rasmussen, 18 of Point Cook has a passion to improve the lives of animals. After completing a Year 10 work experience at a local veterinary clinic, it became clear for Heidi that she wanted to be a veterinarian. After overcoming declining mental health, she completed a Certificate III in Companion Animal Services through G-Force and The Gordon whilst undertaking Year 11 VCE Studies. She completed practical placement at Direct Vet Services where she now works as a veterinary nurse. Heidi has been named Victorian School-Based Trainee of the Year and runner-up Australian School-Based Trainee of the Year. She is currently studying Veterinary Nursing at La Trobe University.
Luminary Tech Visionary Award
Alexandra Irwin Liu, 25 of Macleod advocates for social inclusion. Alexandra is the founder of Accessibly.com.au, an online social network for people with a disability, helping them find and share accessible bars, restaurants and cafes tailored to their individual needs. Users of the platform can discover, filter, rate and review local places and take part in community life through social engagement and connection. After finding out that the Federal Government had similar initiatives, Alexandra pivoted Accessibly into a location discovery app to help users discover new social spaces. She hopes to transform the hospitality sector so that people with a disability can have thriving social lives.
Generation Us Small Business Achiever Award
Chalerm Tuantab, 26 of Kew demonstrates hard work, passion and commitment. Chalerm started his first podiatry business at age 22. He now has nine staff members, two physiotherapy and podiatry clinics and a specialist footwear store. He just started his fourth business, selling an Allied Health-endorsed massage gun. He is the president of Footscape, a not-for-profit that provides services for the disadvantaged communities across the greater Melbourne region. Chalerm is Head of Medical for numerous National Premier League teams. In 2019, he was a finalist for leadership in management in Allied Health, Allied Health Podiatrist of the Year finalist and an Australasian Most Outstanding Podiatry Services winner.
Budget Car and Truck Rentals Online Achievement Award
Angelo Giuffrida, 28 of Narre Warren is committed to enhancing efficiency. Angelo runs three web hosting and online services, namely, VentraIP Australia, Zuver and Synergy Wholesale. Angelo helped build VentraIP in 2008 and became its CEO in 2013. The company has grown from four to 60 staff in ten years and in 2019, they won Employer of Choice in the Australian Business Awards. Angelo has been elected as a Director on the .au Domain Administrator Ltd. board, giving him hands-on involvement with the policies and guidelines that govern the domain name industry whilst utilising his over 10 years of experience in the online services industry.
The Bridge Create Change Award
Harriet O'Shea Carré, 15 of Castlemaine is a fervent human rights advocate. Seeing as her moral duty, Harriet co-initiated the #schoolsstrike4climate movement in Australia to demand real climate action from political, corporate and social leaders. Harriet, with co-founders Milou and Callum, led students at Castlemaine in September 2018 to strike outside the local politician’s offices and demand fast and big systematic policy change to create a better future. Harriet is a co-winner of the Bob Brown Foundation 2019 Young Environment of the Year Award and the Mount Alexander Shire Youth Leadership Award in Environment. She represented Australia at the United Nations Youth Climate Summit in New York.