NEW SOUTH WALES

NSW/ACT Young Achiever Awards

2016 Winners of the NSW/ACT Young Achiever Awards

The 2016 category winners onstage together at the Gala Presentation Dinner

 

Overall Winner - NSW/ACT Young Achiever of the Year

Grace Liley, 23 of BLAKEHURST is the NSW Coordinator for the Australian Youth Climate Coalition, volunteering up to three days and two nights each week. During 2015, she coordinated a program called ‘Youth Decide’, facilitating large groups of volunteers to educate 5,000 school students on sustainability and climate change. Grace organised volunteer community groups to advocate against the proposed coal ports on the Great Barrier Reef, culminating in a huge campaign win for the AYCC. Grace was also manager of the youth section for Sydney’s People’s Climate March, constituting a crowd of 45,000.

Director of WHO Printing, Helen Ogle presented Grace Liley with the Environment and Sustainability Award

 

The Aboriginal Education Council Aboriginal Education Award

Joshua Celi, 23 of ESTELLA is a proud Wiradjuri man and an enthusiastic first year teacher at Coolamon Central School. He coached the NAIDOC debating team to state champions and has developed Aboriginal education and cultural initiatives. Joshua led the implementation of the Rural and Remote Literacy Program at his School. He is a founding member of Coolamon Central School’s Multicultural Education Committee and developed a program for disengaged boys and girls with low self-esteem. Joshua is also a member of the Local Aboriginal Education Consultative Group.

Member for Canterbury, Linda Burney MP presented Joshua Celi with the Aboriginal Education Award

 

AustralianSuper Career Kick Start Award

Ashleigh Pengelly, 26 of WAGGA WAGGA has a Bachelor of Arts and Social Work and is currently an Aboriginal Youth and Community Development Officer. She sits on many committees including the Riverina Murray Regional Alliance. Ashleigh is a valued member of the Wagga NAIDOC Committee and was a driving force in creating events such as the 2015 NAIDOC Masquerade Ball and Awards. She has organised Lateral Violence training for her community and coordinated Join the Dots, a professional development program for local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists.

Group Executive - Membership at AustralianSuper, Paul Schrioder presented Ashleigh Pengelly with the Career Kick Start Award

 

First National Real Estate Leadership Award

Tom Perfrement, 22 of HAWKER is the founder and executive director of MentorMe Australia, the first nationwide mentoring program for secondary students to university graduates. A chemical engineering graduate, Tom has presented internationally on climate resilience and was selected in the Top 100 Future Graduates Competition. He developed a composite disaster resilience index, assisting communities to deal with the impacts of natural hazards and climate extremes. Tom has led several fundraising initiatives, raising over $6,000 for Headspace and the establishment of a water filtration unit for a marginalized community in Costa Rica.

CEO, First National Real Estate, Ray Ellis, presented Tom Perfrement with the Leadership Award

 

Santos Indegenous Achievement Award

Danielle Hobday, 22 of MANGROVE MOUNTAIN is a Wiradjuri woman and young mother of two, whose passion lies with Indigenous youth and women within the Criminal Justice System. She is completing a double degree in Law and Criminology and has received several prestigious scholarships. Danielle is undertaking an Australian Federal Police Cadetship and works as a Juvenile Justice Youth Officer. She volunteers with the National Aboriginal Sporting Chance Academy and returns each year to Yuelamu, NT to maintain her relationship with the community, school and most importantly, young people.

General Manager for Santos Energy, Peter Mitchley presented Danielle Hobday with the Indigenous Achievement Award

 

The Coffee Club Arts and Fashion Award

James Farley, 25 of WAGGA WAGGA is a passionate young photographic artist. His PhD research is exploring experimental arts practice in the environment. An exhibiting artist both nationally and internationally, James work has received accolades from Arts NSW, The Contemporary Centre of Photography and the Sony World Photography Organization. James works as a sessional academic tutor in art history, art theory and photo media practice. He was commissioned by Wagga Wagga Hospital and the Council to create an interactive all-ages installation and was also featured in the program of the Fusion Festival.

Genevieve Clay-Smith, 27 of ALEXANDRIA is an award-winning writer and director and is CEO of Bus Stop Films. Bus Stop Films is a voluntarily run, not-for-profit company. It is dedicated to building the confidence, English skills and life ready skills of people with an intellectual disability or those from marginalised communities. Bus Stop Films has won over 50 awards, screened at over 90 international film festivals and can be seen on Qantas in-flight entertainment. Genevieve won the 2015 Women's Weekly Women of the Future Awards.

Director of The Coffee Club, John Lazrou presented joint winners James Farley and Genevieve Clay-Smith with the Arts and Fashion Award

 

Freemasons of NSW/ACT Community Service Award

Kimberly La, 17 of BEECROFT created Cloud 9, an extracurricular group focusing on raising awareness of mental health issues. The group now has over 50 members from years 7 to 12 and the school will continue to run Cloud 9 after Kimberly graduates. Kimberly organises events and activities to tackle issues such as stress, body image, domestic violence and youth homelessness. She gained a scholarship to attend the 2015 Women Leading Change forum and is a member of the R U OK Focus Group. Kimberly also volunteers with the Salvation Army and Parkinson's NSW.

Andrew Fraser, MP presented Kimberly La with the Community Service Award

 

WHO Printing Environment and sustainability Award

Grace Liley, 23 of BLAKEHURST is the NSW Coordinator for the Australian Youth Climate Coalition, volunteering up to three days and two nights each week. During 2015, she coordinated a program called ‘Youth Decide’, facilitating large groups of volunteers to educate 5,000 school students on sustainability and climate change. Grace organised volunteer community groups to advocate against the proposed coal ports on the Great Barrier Reef, culminating in a huge campaign win for the AYCC. Grace was also manager of the youth section for Sydney’s People’s Climate March, constituting a crowd of 45,000.

Director of WHO Printing, Helen Ogle presented Grace Liley with the Environment and Sustainability Award

 

 

 

2015 Winners of the NSW/ACT Young Achiever Awards


Overall Winner - Premier's Young Achiever of the Year Award

Rhett Burraston


The Freemasons NSW & ACT Community Service Award

Maddison O’Gradey-Lee, 17 of Bateau Bay is an extraordinary Indigenous Australian. She is juggling school, two part time jobs, various fundraising and leadership activities and has also create her own mental health awareness program for high school students called ‘It’s all about MI - mental illness'. After struggling with mental illness herself, Maddi wanted to create awareness and break the stigma surrounding mental health and also use her own story to help others. Maddie was invited to attend The Global Young Leaders Conference in New York and has won many awards including an Australian Youth Excellence and a Black Opal Award.

 

 

 The Australian National University Science Leadership Award

Sarah Verdon, 27 of The Rock is a dynamic speech pathologist and educator who is passionate about creating equality and embracing diversity. A PhD student at Charles Sturt University Sarah’s doctoral research is entitled Embracing Diversity, Creating Equality. The research supports the speech, language and communication of culturally and linguistically diverse children. Her thesis contains five different research projects (both quantitative and qualitative) resulting in nine research papers and multiple oral presentations at international conferences. Sarah also received the 2015 Endeavour Research Fellowship to undertake a project she designed to support the speech, language and literacy development of children in Fiji.  



The Santos Indigenous Achievement Award

Rhett Burraston, 23 of Airds is a dedicated father, leader and role model from the Mandandanji and Ngemba people. He works at a school located within a detention centre as an aboriginal education officer where he implements rehabilitation and leadership programs for incarcerated youth. He volunteers in many programs including Aboriginal Medical Services, and is passionate about breaking barriers of depression, racism and elitism in Aboriginals. Rhett advocates for Aboriginal youth on many committees including the NSW Youth Advisory Council, Oxfam’s Change Course program and National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples Party. He has twice been recognised with the NAIDOC MacArthur Youth of the Year. 

 

The Coffee Club Arts and Fashion Award

Daniel Monks, 26 of Newtown is an Australian Filmmaker, actor and dancer who is passionate about creating art to voice the stories of those underrepresented in society. Despite his physical disability, he received a grant from Accessible Arts to be mentored in his emerging dance practice by Philip Channells & Dance Integrated Australia. He has received numerous awards for his work, including the Young Filmmaker of the Year at the WA Screen Awards, and was honoured with having two short films selected for the Palm Springs International ShortFest 2011, making him one of only three filmmakers worldwide to receive that accolade. 

 

The Who Printing Environment and Sustainability Award

Jaden Harris, 19 of North Curl Curl is a passionate campaigner for Climate Action and at only 14, he co-founded the Sydney Youth Climate Action Network which has grown to more than 500 student members across Sydney. A volunteer with the Australian Youth Climate Coalition, Jaden formally met with the then former opposition leader, Tony Abbott MP and afterwards addressed a press conference, receiving coverage in the print media and on the 7:30 Report. On the board of OzGreen, a leadership and sustainability education organisation, Jaden is currently working on expanding the reach of its youth programs. 

 

The Bartercard Leadership and Innovation Award

Cheryl-Leigh Smith, 21 of Elermore Vale emigrated from South Africa when she was six. She has since overcome homelessness, drug and alcohol addiction, family dislocation and cancer. Through persistence, Cheryl completed her Year 10 equivalent, worked as a group facilitator for the SHINE program at Warners Bay and Cessnock High Schools, mentoring young teens through the program. She is now employed in role focusing on empowering young women back into employment and education. As a mentor and role model for young girls and women, Cheryl-Leigh focuses on building their self-worth, strength and purpose and enabling them to make healthier choices.

 

The AustralianSuper Career Kick Start Award

Troy Tungai, 19 of Barrack Heights is an advocate for indigenous health and has implemented an innovative program called ‘Ngargin Doctors’ to help the disadvantaged. Along with Elders, community health workers and members, the project encourages healthy nutrition, health literacy, environmental health, hygiene and leadership. Troy has trained 30 ‘young doctors’ which has spread and invigorated the wider community, increasing school attendance, and health behaviours. Troy will also travel to South Australia and work in conjunction with Anglicare and the Port Power AFL Team to establish similar initiatives.