7NEWS Young Achiever Awards WA

2023 Winners:


Spirit Super Connecting Communities Award:

Pictured: Susan Joyce and Alia Abdi

Neeka Zand of Como, advocates for increasing well-being spaces. After speaking with people at risk, Neeka initiated and led Right By You, a youth peer-to-peer suicide prevention website to help young people develop the skills and confidence to respond and help a friend in need. Neeka developed the “Aftercare Supports Following A Suicide Attempt” booklet. She also led the Cultural Conversations Forum in November 2022.


First National Real Estate Innovation Award:

Swimming on the Spectrum of Oakford, is committed to enhancing the lives of people living with disabilities. Swimming on the Spectrum was launched in July 2020 by providing inclusive aquatic sessions in safe, secure and supportive environments to children and adults with autism spectrum disorder, development details and other abilities. They provide specially tailored sessions and a visual schedule designed with their unique abilities in mind.


Surge Fitness Sports Award:

Cruz Hogan of Osborne Park, is an elite Javelin Thrower. In 2022, Cruz represented Australia at the World Athletics Championships in Oregon, USA. He also won gold at the Oceania Championships with a new personal best and Championship record. Cruz is currently a Western Australian Institute of Sport scholarship athlete. In 2021, he completed his PhD in Sports Science & Exercise Physiology at the University of Western Australia.


Riverbank Estate Restaurant Tourism and Hospitality Award:

Tijuana Rocco of Busselton, strives for a sustainable future. Tijuana is the venue manager at TapHouse, a hospitality venue of Rocky Ridge Brewing Co. She oversees the customer-facing aspect of the business, ensuring that the venue is welcoming, warm and inviting. Tijuana organises charity events and donation drives, team meetings focused on staff well-being, and local musicians’ performances. She promotes recycled packaging and carbon neutrality.


Masonic Care WA/Freemasons WA Community Service and Volunteering Award:

Ben Healy of Wembley, founded Give Write, a charity that takes donations of new and used school stationery to recycle, repackage, and re-gift to kids in need in WA. As of December 2022, they have distributed almost 10,000 Give Write Packs. Ben’s roles include delivering and collecting donations to schools, conducting presentations, and hosting the Free Teachers’ Store for teachers who visit Give Write.


Catholic Education Young Leadership Award:

Drisana Levitzke-Gray of Balga, is a dedicated advocate for Deaf human rights and a strong leader for the community. Serving on the board of Western Australian Association of the Deaf for a decade, she champions accessible information and events in Auslan, always challenging the preconceived misconceptions of Deaf people’s ability to lead independent and successful lives. Her inspiring leadership inspires others to make each day better than the last.


National Indigenous Times Indigenous Community Leadership Award:

Cohen Taylor, is a WA Police Force member. He has organised men’s and women’s basketball teams from Morawa. He is a facilitator of the Youth In Emergency Services Program, where he teaches about emergency services. He is also a facilitator of the Morawa Blue Light Unit, running events for local youth to ensure they remain active and feel valued by the community.


Awards Australia Small Business Achiever Award:

Aroha Care Group of North Perth, is driven by a passion for caring for the community. Aroha Care Group was launched in October 2020 as a staffing agency for the Aged Care Industry. Aroha Care Group connects healthcare professionals, organisations, and people to provide end-to-end recruitment healthcare solutions. They have comprehensive experience in the placement of industry personnel. In 2022, they opened a branch in Sydney, NSW.


Inspirational Australians Podcast Regional Service Award:

Grace Crogan of Maylands, advocates for the value of arts offerings in regional places. Grace is a volunteer Executive Board Director and Secretary for Regional Arts WA and Chair of its Youth Sub Committee. She gathers voices of regional young people around the challenges they experience in their unique communities, access barriers, and their needs that can be addressed through arts and cultural activities.