7NEWS Young Achiever Awards VIC



2023 Winners of the 7NEWS Young Achiever Awards for Victoria 


2023 Overall Victorian Young Achiever of the Year

2023 Overall Victorian Young Achiever of the Year Victor Lin with Belinda Wilson MP - the State Member for Narre Warren North, representing the Hon. Natalie Suleyman MP, The Minister for Youth


Spirit Super Create Change Award

Nathan Lee is passionate about creating equal opportunities for underserved communities. He co-founded Stint, an online community and platform supporting international students in having a fair chance at a future working in Australia. Stint supports over 1,000 international students from over 50 countries and has educated over 260 through career workshops. He is the Director of an NFP, EnAccess Maps, which help users of mobility aids find accessible restaurants.

Winner Nathan Lee (Left) with Tim Lambert, Employer Relationship Manager, Spirit Super (Right)



The Victorian Government Group Achievement in the Community Award

Flourish Girl is helping build self-confidence, self-awareness and social connectedness. Flourish Girl is a preventative mental health and emotional intelligence charity. They deliver rites of passage programs to teenage girls and gender-diverse teens aged 13 to 18 years old. Since 2018, Flourish Girl has worked with over 12,500 teens across 84 schools. They delivered close to 150 workshops in 2022 alone.

Winner Fiona Sanford of Flourish Girl (Left) with Belinda Wilson MP - the State Member for Narre Warren North, representing the Hon. Natalie Suleyman MP, The Minister for Youth (Right)


IKON Services Environmental Sustainability Award

Phoebe Gardner aims to reshape the global food system. Phoebe co-founded Bardee, an industrial insect breeding company that works with Black Soldier Fly Larvae to provide a circular solution for food waste. Her team collects and receives food waste then transforms it into carbon-positive insect protein and certified organic fertiliser. To date, they have offset more than six million tonnes of CO2e emissions.

Winner Phoebe Gardner (Left) with Estelle Lewis, Group EGM and Strategic Partners, IKON Services (Right)


First National Real Estate Leadership Award

Harry Mezger is a neurodiverse athlete and fierce advocate for people living with a disability. His commitment to inclusion and passionate belief in the benefits of sport to disabled Australians has resulted in his appointment to the State Committee and the National Athlete Input Council at Special Olympics Australia. Harry is a popular Athlete Leader and mentor to other intellectually disabled athletes. He has represented Australia in cycling and athletics.

Winner Harry Mezger (Left) with Tom Cao, Director, First National JXRE (Right)


Kangan Institute Inspirational TAFE Student Award

Courtney Hindle completed her Certificate IV in Mental Health in 2022. She had her field placement hours at Gateway Therapeutic Community, where she is an Alcohol and Other Drug (AOD) worker who assists clients with their goals and recovery journey. Courtney had to deal with domestic violence and homelessness and had to teach herself to find a pathway and provide for her family.

Winner Courtney Hindle (Left) with Janelle Arena Chief Industry Engagement and Education Delivery Officer, Kangan Institute (Right)


National Protective Services Safety and Wellbeing in the Workplace Award

Rachel Theobald has worked as Health and Safety Representative at ALDI. She ensured that every employee was aware of procedures relating to security and in case of emergency or threat to the safety and wellbeing of staff and customers. Rachel has also worked at McDonald’s, where she facilitated regular safety meetings to identify potential hazards in the workplace and prevent them from reoccurring.

Winner Rachel Theobald - unable to attend the Gala Presentatin Dinner


Yarn Strong Sista Indigenous Achievement Award

Lauren French is advocating for childhoods free from violence where children enjoy equitable and respectful relationships. As a proud Karajarri woman, Lauren uses every opportunity as Head of Education within Body Safety Australia, to work with community. Lauren works with First Nations educators in regional and rural Victoria and involves community in co-design. Lauren spoke at the 2022 Indigenous Wellbeing conference around First Nations’ strengths within child sexual abuse prevention.

Winner Lauren French (Left) with Bob Williams, Director Yarn Strong Sista (Right)


Strategic Alliance Network Small Business Award

Lindsey Dang founded Lindsey's VCE Tutoring, a boutique tutoring company aimed at unlocking students’ academic potential in English and Humanities. Lindsey bootstrapped the business from $0 in capital to a multiple-six-figure annual revenue within a year while completing her Bachelor of Law (Honours) and Arts at Monash. Many of their high-achieving students and scholarship recipients, inspired by their tutors, become mentors themselves to help the next generation of talents.

Winner Lindsey (Trang Linh) Dang (Left) with David Harris, Co-Founder and Board Member, Strategic Alliance Network (Right)


Sofitel Melbourne On Collins Arts Award

Brodie Murray is a proud Wamba Wamba playwright and performer, writing stories of Victorian Aboriginal survival. He has written three produced plays - Soul of Possum, Billy’s Choice and The Whisper. He has received two Melbourne Fringe Awards and an Australia Council First Nations Arts Award. A graduate in Aboriginal Performance at WAAPA and current VCA theatre student, Brodie is a regular contributor to the MTC First Peoples Young Artists Program.

Winner Brodie Murray (Left) with Josh Griffin, General Manager, Awards Australia (Right)


Saward Dawson Community Service and Social Impact Award

Alex Dekker started Alex Makes Meals as a university student during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic in early 2020. Alex Makes Meals produces high-quality and nutritious meals and delivers them to partner organisations that distribute them to those in need. Since its inception, it has produced and delivered over 500,000 meals to homeless individuals, refugees, individuals facing domestic violence, and other vulnerable communities.

Winner Alex Dekker - Unable to attend the Gala Presentatin Dinner


Josh's Rainbow Eggs Ethical Business Award

Ellie Wynhoven - Swim by Elly hand makes swimwear that is intentionally and responsibly created from regenerated ocean waste that was littering the ocean floor. Swim by Elly is a slow fashion brand, with every swimsuit being custom made in Geelong by Ellie and her team. Ellie is paving the way for a more inclusive, sustainable, and ethical swimwear industry by putting caring for people and the planet first in ever choice she makes.

Winner Ellie Wynhoven (Left) with Josh Murray, Founder, Josh's Rainbow Eggs (Right)


HR Gurus Career Achievement Award

Victor Lin is driven to create a meaningful impact. Victor is a doctor and researcher at the Royal Melbourne Hospital and Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre. He conducts research into novel drugs to treat blood cancer and has presented his works at multiple haematology conferences. Victor is the CEO of Teaching for Impact. He is currently pursuing a Master of Medicine (Critical Care Medicine).

Winner Victor Lin (Left) with Claudine Banal, Surgical Doctor, St Vincent's Hospital 2022 HR Guru's Career Achievement Winner (right)