WESTERN AUSTRALIA

7NEWS Young Achiever Awards WA

2021 Finalists

Catholic Education Young Leadership Award

 JoFrarn Hunter, 20 of Kununurra is committed to building sustainable programs that will benefit her community. JoFrarn works as Kununurra Development Officer with Garnduwa Amboorny Wirnan, a Kimberley grassroots Aboriginal organisation. Utilising her passion for sports, she runs sports activities for children in remote Aboriginal communities. JoFrarn was a Sports Captain and team captain of the girls’ basketball team, winning MVP overall. She has undergone training in infection control, Covid-19 Indigenous Health and the Liyan Natural Helpers Program, a suicide prevention program. In August 2020, she coordinated the Deadly Diva Day, which aims to connect young girls with local service providers in a culturally safe way.

• Sophie Stewart, 26 of Burswood is the Campaign Director working with guidance from Aboriginal chairpersons for Social Reinvestment WA, a coalition of not-for-profits working to end the over-representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the justice system. They released a podcast amplifying lived experiences and launched an initiative, ‘Olabud Doogethu’, resulting in new jobs and reduced burglaries. During Covid-19, Sophie coordinated 36 organisations to ensure the safety of people inside WA prisons and at-risk young people on the streets. Sophie is also the Founder and Director for Swim for Refugees, a non-profit that teaches people from the refugee and asylum seeker community to swim

• Alex Tang, 29 of Mount Pleasant is a neuroscientist at the University of Western Australia. He leads a team of researchers who investigate methods of promoting healthy brain ageing. Since 2012, Alex has taught over 1,000 undergraduate and postgraduate students in WA and six students in Japan. He provides advanced technical training and advice to young researchers and students. A passionate advocate of STEM, Alex has volunteered his time to promote STEM in many community engagements, such as the Australian Brain Bee. Alex is a member of the Australasian Neuroscience Society’s Early and Mid-Career researcher committees and the Australian Academy of Science’s Brain Science Network Steering Committee

• Eloise McGinnity, 25 of Inglewood was selected to represent the Bachelor of Health Promotion and the School of Health Science student body through committees at The University of Notre Dame. She is also on the Notre Dame Student Association, helping implement health promotion events and attending prospective student events. Eloise has volunteered to become First Deputy Chair on the Notre Dame Welfare Committee. She was a camp counsellor and dorm leader at Camp Kulin, motivating and encouraging at-risk youth to persevere, persist and build confidence. In 2015, Eloise suffered from depression and anorexia that nearly cost her life, inspiring her to pursue a career in health promotion

 

Masonic Care WA/Freemasons WA Community Service and Volunteering Award

• Zahra Al Hilaly, 20 of Mirrabooka has worked at the Youth Affairs Council of Western Australia, helping establish the first Youth Recovery Framework for Covid-19, consulting young people on their thoughts for building a better state post-Covid. A young woman coming from a migrant background, Zahra helped further develop the National Youth Settlement Framework, to educate settlement services on how to work with young people with migrant and refugee backgrounds, and the “100 Cultures, 1 Country” Framework, which trains them to become active citizens and leaders. Zahra is the WA Youth Ambassador for Youth Week 2021. She represents Australia on the United Nations Youth Task Force

• Jack Anderson, 20 of Applecross founded ThrivED, where he brought together talented writers to author Year 12 textbooks. Proceeds from every two sales are used to produce a third textbook for students who would benefit from the same resource. Jack is also the General Manager at Ignite Mentoring. He dedicates his personal time to help run weekly classes to give students the self-confidence to tackle life head-on and develop crucial soft skills. He volunteers with the Rotary of Crawley, leading projects that bring about greater community equity, such as Cans for Christmas, where 60 volunteers collected and donated over 6000kg of food to disadvantaged families

• Layne Dixon, 19 of Hammond Park is passionate about the enhancement of community life. Layne is a marketing student at North Metropolitan TAFE who lives with Cerebral Palsy, but that does not stop her from what she wants to achieve in life. She is a member of Cockburn Youth Advisory Collective, Youth Disability Advocacy Network Inc. and Cerebral Palsy Achieve. Layne has been a volunteer at Gosnells Toy Library and a Peer Mentor at Emmanuel Catholic College. She has been involved in athletics and has been breaking Under-18 and Under-20 Australian records. Layne is now completing a traineeship in communications and marketing at Perth’s Arts Festival

• Andrew Bannister, 29 of Sorrento was born with rare brain malfunctions, including Periventricular Nodular Heterotopia (PVNH), but these have not stopped him from achieving many things. Inspired by the story of Ella, whose mother organised to light up the Perth Bell Tower in 2018 after Ella died of PVNH, Andrew decided that he would organise to light up more locations to bring awareness to the condition, and later, of all rare diseases. In 2020, Andrew organised 35 landmarks in Australia and around the world to be illuminated for Rare Disease Day in February. He has already organised for 50 landmarks to be illuminated for Rare Disease Day 2021

 

Surge Fitness Sports Award
• Tegan Reder, 17 of Cloverdale is the only swimmer competing in Australia under the S11 category, a classification for blind swimmers. She was born completely blind but has never let this prevent her from achieving her goals. At the Western Australia Championships, she broke eight Australian age and open records. Currently sitting third in the world for the 50-metre breaststroke, she will be trialling for the Tokyo Paralympics in June in Adelaide. Tegan was awarded a scholarship through the WA Institute of Sport and is part of the AIS Para-Development Squad. In December 2020, she was granted early acceptance to study Law at UWA in 2022

• Karen Gregory, 13 of Maylands has been wrestling since the age of 6. She has persisted to become one of the finest young wrestlers in Australia and has trained to become a referee and youth coach. Karen established the BASED Youth Outreach Wrestling Program, growing the sport in WA and expanding into remote regional areas. In her first international competition, Karen won Bronze for Australia. She was awarded “Bravest Wrestler” at the 2019 SEA Games and won Gold and Silver at the New Zealand National Championships, dislocating her shoulder in the process. In 2020, she won Gold at the WA State Championships for Under-13 and Under-15 divisions

• Laura Byrnes, 26 of Myaree is a Late Models Motorsport competitor in Speedway Motorsport (oval track dirt racing) for Red Shamrock Racing. Despite being only in her first season, Laura leads the Rookie of the Year Championship for the Pro Dirt Series after finishing second overall during the Winter Development Series. Laura has been a committee member for the Junior Sedan Racing Association and was a Women of Australian Motorsport Committee member, where she ran the Junior Driver Development Program. Laura received a General Sports Scholarship from the UWA, where she studied Law and Psychology. She has been named a Speedway Australia Rising Star

• Bryony Soden, 20 of Waikiki is a 53-kilogram Muay Thai fighter who has been training in the sport for the past two years whilst working part-time at Woolworths and studying Nutrition at Curtin University. She has had ten fights and has fought older and more experienced opponents. In 2018, she flew to Queensland and won the Australian National title fight for her category. In February 2020, she flew to Thailand for two long and hard weeks of training and gaining valuable experience. In March 2020, sport6s recovery company AXOT began sponsoring Bryony. Apart from training daily at Three Lions Gym, Bryony also trains the local youth in Muay Thai

 

RiverBank Estate and Restaurant Health and Wellbeing Award

• Effrem Garlett Watson, 20 of Swan View is committed to encouraging others to do the right thing and make smart choices. Effie is a proud Indigenous man who works at Swan Active, the City of Swan’s leisure centres, where he started as a keen regular visitor. Wanting to be involved in helping others achieve their goals, Effie has volunteered as a coach and mentor in programs through Koya Aboriginal Corporation and Binar Sports Association. During his AFL traineeship program, he displayed a strong work ethic and a willingness to help and build meaningful connections with people. He has obtained his lifeguard qualification and helps educate users about water safety

 Trevor Menmuir, 25 of Derby works as the Senior Youth Services Team Leader for the Shire of Derby/West Kimberley. He co-ordinates, plans, supports, and organises a range of Youth and Community-related activities and programs, including engaging in sports and delivering healthy food programs for kids and families. Trevor is Chair of the Youth Network Meetings and the Youth Representative in the Derby Interagency Meetings. He is responsible for voicing issues and concerns for the youth and coordinating programs and solutions in the Youth and Community space. Trevor is a founding member of the Derby Basketball Association He previously worked as the Aboriginal and Islander Education Officer at Derby District High School

• Crystal-lee Dragicevich, 27 of Quindalup is the co-director of Core of Wellbeing. She coordinates and collaborates with the South West community to run workshops, conferences and programs that uplift the well-being of others. She works with local businesses to make these events accessible to the public. In 2020, Crystal-lee conducted various programs for children and adults to educate them on how to regulate and understand emotions and positive psychology. She also volunteers with numerous committees and events such as the South West Health Symposium and is currently planning a Charity Ball in 2021. She runs a business whilst studying a double degree in psychology and human resources

• Asha Holland, 24 of Halls Head is educating and empowering girls. Asha founded Alternatively Healthy to convey the message that what we see on the outside tells us absolutely nothing about how “healthy” someone is. Asha is an Accredited Exercise Scientist who is teaching young women just how important mental health can be. She combines her knowledge of the female body with her own personal experience when she suffered from an eating disorder, body dysmorphia and extreme perfectionism in her teens. She conducts face-to-face presentations and workshops in schools, clubs and sporting clubs around Western Australia and online to inspire girls to kick-start their mental health and self-love journeys

 

Elders Agricultural Achievement Award
• Hamish McKirdy, 26 of Salter Point is a third-year Agricultural Science PhD student at Murdoch University. He has closely aligned his research to address wine industry needs and identify areas of concern, such as moving away from traditionally used agricultural chemicals. As a result, Hamish co-invented two new pest control technologies. The first involves the application of ethyl formate and nitrogen both as quarantine and post-harvest fumigant. The second is the application of synthetic amorphous silica dust as both a trunk drench and foliage spray. Hamish received the Wine Australia Award from the 2020 Science and Innovation Awards for Young People in Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry

• Ethan Gellatly, 19 of Woodvale works in the shearing industry alongside his father and has developed his own business in sheep shearing and alpaca shearing since leaving school. Coming from a shearing family, he has been lucky to receive training from his Uncle Kevin, who is a trainer with Australian Wool Innovation. Ethan attended Harvey Agricultural College, where he was awarded 2017 Harvey Agricultural College Farmer of the Year. He has been winning in shearing competitions whilst also learning from other youngsters who are dedicating themselves to a higher standard of professionalism through competitions. Ethan has returned to Harvey to help mentor the current students

• Billi Marshall, 24 of Dongara is a cattle breeding technician at BOS Vet and Rural in Dongara. She was pivotal in securing their accreditation as the only Bovine Embryo collection centre qualified for export in WA. Billi is one of the few in WA to hold an accreditation with the Vet Surgeons Board of WA, an accredited Lay pregnancy-tester for cattle. She is the Chairperson of the WA Youth Cattle Handlers Camp, an organisation that trains kids and young adults in the skills of cattle handling and assessment. In 2020, Billi founded AdvocateAG, a networking group for those in agriculture, to connect and socialise with like-minded people

• Evan John, 28 of Nollamara is a molecular plant pathologist currently completing his PhD in a research group at the Centre For Crop and Disease Management at Curtin University. His research is focused on finding out what microorganisms cause crop diseases and formulating strategies to minimise their impact for the benefit of Australian cereal growers. They are trying to understand how a fungal pathogen called Parastagonospora nodorum kills wheat using a large array of toxin-like molecules called necrotrophic effectors. They exploit these genes by turning its product into bio-tool kits that cereal breeders can use to screen wheat varieties

 

First National Real Estate Innovation Award

• Lucy Furfaro, 27 of Hammersley has pioneered the development of alternative approaches to treatment of bacterial infections in the perinatal period. Dr Furfaro is a perinatal microbiologist who has begun to develop an army of phage – natural predator of bacteria – specific for common infections during pregnancy. The innovative approach will equip researchers with an arsenal of options when antibiotic treatments fail. Dr Furfaro was selected as the top applicant in the Raine Priming Grants and was recently named an inaugural Forrest Prospect Fellow to continue the phage research. She is committed to community engagement and contributes to promoting STEM to excite the next generation of scientists

 Tara Lord, 22 of Carlisle is empowering people to journey into a better quality of life. After a long battle with mental illness, Tara has created a project initiative that uses Animal Assisted Therapy. She adopted a dog (Loki) from a rescue shelter. Tara and Loki travelled to Melbourne to be certified as an accredited therapy team, one of the first of its kind in WA. They regularly visit mental health facilities, disability group homes, homeless housing, shelters, schools and more. Tara plans to turn the Program into a fully established therapy ranch with rescue animals. She was recently nominated for Youth Citizen of the Year

• Eldin Rostom, 26 of Salter Point is passionately empowering the next generation of medical entrepreneurs. After receiving a scholarship with Accelerating Australia to participate in the Perth Biodesign Project Hospital to generate insights about clinically unmet needs, Eldin was first placed in the Burns Unit of Fiona Stanley. He then attended a short intensive bootcamp in Eyes, Ears, Nose, Throat medical innovation at Stanford University. In 2019, Eldin spun out both ideas from his experience, co-founding two start-ups: Calor Medical, which aims to standardise first aid methods for burn injuries, and Diag-Nose Medical, which aims to combat antibiotic resistance by reducing antibiotics over-prescription for common respiratory diseases

• Alexis McDonald, 18 of South Bunbury is providing a shoulder for women to lean on. After struggling throughout her school life with bullying, self-confidence and fitting in, Lexy realised that she was not alone and many young girls have similar issues. She learned and created her self-funded app called HerHelp, to encourage, guide and support girls through daily challenges. The community has grown by the thousands, with many girls messaging to tell Lexy how the app saved them in their darkest moments. The app allows women to share and read inspirational stories and offers a personal journal feature where girls can reflect on their day

 

Woolworths Youth Group Achievement Award

• Tom Price Emergency Services Cadet Corps of Tom Price has had approximately 1600 students go through the Cadet Program, which has been running since 2000. The Cadet Program was developed by CadetsWA and has benefited the youth communities of Tom Price, Paraburdoo and Wakathuni Aboriginal Community. The Program aims to encourage the youth to transition into Volunteer Emergency Services in the future. Students who have attended the Program have become leaders of their communities or volunteers in emergency services such as St John Ambulance, Bush Fire Brigade, Tom Price Fire and Rescue and more. Over the past five years, the Cadet Unit has completed over 14,000 hours of community service

• MAN UP of Wembley Downs hopes to create emotionally capable, purpose-driven young men. Founded in 2019, MAN UP is an organisation run by young Perth men, for other young men. They aim to redefine what it means to ‘man up’ by providing small, workshop-style sessions with groups of young men. They hope to change the attitude, approach and language around modern masculinity and allow high school boys to embrace positive ideals over toxic ones at an early stage. MAN UP’s main target audience is middle-high school age young men in years 9-12 but they run sessions at residential colleges in addition. They also run community check-in sessions

 Stryka Fight Team of Northam teaches young people the value of giving freely to make their communities a better place. Stryke Fight Team is a not-for-profit incorporated sporting association based in the Wheatbelt region and coached by dedicated duo Guy and Fi Mead. They provide local at-risk youth with the free opportunity to compete in their chosen combat sport whilst also raising their self-esteem and improving their social skills by getting them involved in community support programs. During Covid-19, they provided over 30 tonnes of free firewood cut and delivered and some 40 odd care packages to the most vulnerable members of the community

• Sparkles and Twinkles Goldfields Incorporated of Kalgoorlie is encouraging the community to embrace diversity and inclusion. Sparkles and Twinkles is a not-for-profit organisation, initially created as a youth project in 2012 by sisters Paige and Maddison Chinnery, when they dressed as fairy princesses at events to raise funds for charities. They now focus on hosting fun, tech free events for young people with special needs and intellectual disabilities. From providing free party assistance services designed for children with special needs to fundraising and assisting local groups like the Goldfields Disabled Sports through advocating, they also supported the petition for a fully funded MRI machine for Kalgoorlie

 

Qoin Small Business Achiever Award

• Siquoia Olman, 25 of Geraldton has a passion for visually capturing the intentions of her clients. Siquoia is the founder and CEO of Sikoya Design, a freelance graphic designer and photographer specialising in customised logos and branding, print, web and digital design and social media advertising. She has helped develop the face of several small businesses and community organisations in the Geraldton region. Siquoia has also offered her services to charity events through designing posters and maps, along with ongoing brand support and photography. Siquoia studied Bachelor of Arts ( Graphic Design and Advertising) at Curtin University. She has designed a photography book, an example that was kept to be used for future students

• Blake McFarlane, 15 of Forest Hill is providing ethical, sustainable and environmentally friendly chickens and eggs to the Great Southern. In 2019, Blake’s Chooks and Eggs went from being a hobby to a fully operational business. Within 18 months, he has gone from having 20 chooks to over 1,000 chooks and from producing 70 dozen eggs per week to over 300 dozen eggs. Blake has donated eggs to local sporting clubs and the local school to support the wider community. Blake is a member of the Albany and Districts Poultry Club and helps out with judging chooks at local shows. He also uses social media to educate the public on all aspects of chook farming and is looking at sustainable and environmentally friendly options to raising his chooks, such as regenerative farming methods

• Rebecca Brennan of Ocean and Paddock, of Middleton Beach is putting focus on buying local. In 2016, Rebecca and her husband, Trenton, built Ocean and Paddock Albany, with the idea of creating a unique food-based business that is sustainable, ethical, positively cultural, family-focused and profitable. Understanding that consumers no longer want imported and mass-produced products, they reinvented the genre and redefined what takeaway could be. Ocean and Paddock has been awarded 2018 Western Australia’s Best Fish and Chip Shop by the Fisheries Industry Council. They rank number one in Albany on TripAdvisor. They quickly adapted to the Covid-19 pandemic, leading to an increase of 23% in sales

• Kiya Watt Aboriginal Art of Albany is creating art that is reflective of her people and their creation stories, and that strengthens cultural connections in her community. Kiya is a proud Menang Gnudju Noongar artist who specialises in murals, corporate commissions and cultural art workshops. She launched her artistic journey after her twin sons had a NAIDOC event that required them to work on a project together. Kiya’s work has since included the first Indigenous doll to appear on Playschool and a line of earrings that feature animals belonging to the Menang Boodjah land. Kiya Watt Aboriginal Art has been featured in New York Fashion Week

 

Awards Australia Regional Service Award

• Bridget Mason, 19 of Albany volunteers as a team leader at Disabled Surfers Association of Australia, Great Southern Branch Albany. She teaches and assists people with disabilities how to surf and cooks them a hot lunch afterwards. Bridget also volunteers with the Climate Change Action Group. She was part of the organising committee for the Albany Climate Rally, which led to a Climate Change declaration being signed by the City of Albany. During Covid-19 lockdown, she worked with Albany Regional Volunteer Service, making food and distributing meals for the underprivileged, homeless and anyone doing it tough. Bridget is currently mentoring students at Great Southern Grammar

Joseph Bin Omar, 25 of West Perth is leading the youth through positive lifestyle choices and mental health educational awareness. Joseph is a young Aboriginal man who has worked in various roles that include Health and Safety at Rio Tinto, Youth Support Worker at Broome Youth Centre (Broome Youth and Families Hub), Peer Educator for Alive and Kicking Goals, a youth suicide prevention project, and Case Manager for Nyamba Buru Yawuru: Transition to Work. He previously worked as Team Leader for Life Without Barriers, a disability service provider, and is currently undertaking a Masters of Public Health at UWA.

• Kohbi Barrow, 11 of Port Hedland has been volunteering since he was 6. He has volunteered to referee soccer matches, coach an Under-7 soccer team and set up hockey games. He has volunteered at FeNaCLe Festival and did a talk at Rio Tinto’s RUOK Day. He has helped out at soccer BBQs and commits to training and playing Futsal and Water Polo for the community. He has handed out lollies at Christmastime and assisted with clean-up at Sam’s Island. At school, he has volunteered with the School Banking, Ukulele and Beat Buster clubs. Kohbi won first place in a City of Karratha competition for photography and story writing

• Tom Wheeler, 25 of Newman is the Manager of Waste Services at the Shire of East Pilbara. He and his team have made significant changes to the treatment process of the Newman Wastewater Treatment Plant after its operations were suspended. Tom identified the source of the issue through data analysis, conducted a water balance model and identified the best method for a clean-out. Tom and his team received the Waste Authorities Waste Sorted Grant, which will engage community members in adopting better waste management practices through tools translated into Martu Wangka, the language spoken by the Custodians of Newman. They also received e-waste collection infrastructure funding