Northern Territory Young Achiever Awards

2016 Finalists 

AustralianSuper Career Kick Start Award 

Jessica Webb, 25 of Coconut Grove was granted a University Postgraduate Research Scholarship to undertake her current PhD research investigating antibiotic resistance and virulence in Burkholderia pseudomallei, the causative agent of melioidosis. Melioidosis is an endemic disease in the Northern Territory adversely affecting mental and physical health. Jessica was awarded an internationally competitive American Society for Microbiology travel grant in 2015, allowing her to present at the 115th Annual General Meeting of the American Society for Microbiology. Jessica volunteers at HealthLAB, a mobile health service educating Territorians about their health.

Jessie Spargo, 23 of Rapid Creek undertook her honours project at Menzies School of Health Research. Her project focused on the emerging zoonotic malaria parasite, Plasmodium knowlesi and its interaction with the human body. She presented a poster of her project at the Australasian Society for Immunology. Jessie has undertaken several internships to research infectious diseases such as Influenza, Hepatitis B and the Melioidosis group. She was approached to assist on a unique study, investigating canine transmissible venereal tumour in dogs, in a hope to combat Tasmanian Devil Facial Tumour disease.

Philadelphia Hughes, 27 of Marrara started working as a Telesales Consultant, was promoted to Business Development Representative and then decided to study. On completion of her Certificate IV in Frontline Management, she was awarded Most Outstanding Student. Philadelphia undertook an Indigenous Cadetship and has completed her first year Bachelor of Psychological Science degree. She won the National Training Awards for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student of the Year and is now the Australian Ambassador. Philadelphia volunteers as a Lifeline Crisis Support Counsellor and the University Aboriginal Student Ambassador.

Taylor Fishlock, 23 of Katherine commenced her Electrical Apprenticeship in 2011. She won the 2014 NECA South Australia/Northern Territory, Industrial Electrician Apprentice of the Year. Last year Taylor won the Northern Territory Training Awards Apprentice of the Year and was Runner up Apprentice of the Year in the National titles. Taylor competes in Judo at both NT and National levels and represented Australia at the Oceania Games. She completed her Certificate III in Electrotechnology in 2015 as a qualified Electrician and has been promoted to Leading Hand.


Charles Darwin University Arts Award 

Eleanor Dixon, 24 of Elliot is a musician. She mentors Indigenous Female musicians, encouraging them to participate in the Desert Divas and Sista Sounds programs run by Music NT. She represented the Northern Territory at the recent Australians Worldwide Music Expo, speaking about the real challenges for Indigenous musicians across Australia. Eleanor volunteers and supports local events including the Desert Harmony Festival, Winajikarri Music Centre and Bush Bands Bash. Eleanor was awarded the 2015 Barkly NAIDOC Week Culture Award in recognition for outstanding achievement in Performance, Creative Arts and/or Cultural Endeavours.

Hayley Kelly, 18 of Anula is the first Northern Territory person to receive a 100% score in the Advanced 1 Ballet examinations and only the 5th in Australasia. She has performed multiple times with The Darwin School of Ballet and The Beat Festival. She performed in two special Darwin productions about the effect bullying, alcohol and drugs has on teenagers. Hayley is currently completing a Diploma in Dance and has just been accepted into the ‘Sydney Dance Company Pre-Professional Year, where she will undergo a year of full time training.

Jeremiah Rasing, 25 of Millner founded “BreakdanceNT” and the Rasing Foundation. BreakdanceNT has organised some of Darwin's largest hip hop festivals, including D-Town Battles and Breaking the Silence. They have partnered with Headspace Darwin and ShoutOut to promote the importance of positive mental health. Jeremiah was awarded the 2013 Darwin’s Young Citizen of the Year for his commitment to mental health and contribution to dance in the Northern Territory. The Rasing Foundation endeavours to end youth suicide in the Northern Territory by using art to promote the importance of positive mental health.

Jonathon Saunders, 29 of Moulden is one of only a few contemporary urban Indigenous artists working in Darwin, where he has exhibited in more than 16 art shows and exhibitions. Using both street art and digital methods Johnathon puts comic superheros in indigenous settings, exploring themes of morality and cultural identity. His current work incorporates stencil and digital techniques. Jonathon works extensively with high school students sharing his knowledge and encouraging their expression through art. He is an active member of the Darwin arts environment and supports other Indigenous Artists and Arts Workers.

ConocoPhillips Environment Award 

Amanda Lilleyman, 28 of Darwin is studying migratory shorebird ecology in Darwin Harbour for her PhD research. Considered a local expert on shorebirds, she is often contacted by the media for opinion pieces and research publications. Amanda coordinated a team of shorebird researchers to help catch, band and track shorebirds in Darwin Harbour for the fieldwork data collection stage of her PhD project. She successfully organised the 9th Australasian Shorebird Conference in Darwin with an attendance of 120 delegates. Amanda was the recipient of the 2013 ANZ Holsworth Wildlife Research Award.

Meg Humphrys, 25 of Alice Springs volunteered for Arid Lands Environment Centre, before working as a District Weeds Officer in Tennant Creek, where she led the NT Rubber Bush Project and conducted on-ground and aerial trials. Meg delivered the Weeds and Biodiversity sections of the Rangeland Management Courses that were given to stations across the Barkly. Meg is now a Rangeland Monitoring Officer in Alice Springs and also runs evening tours at Alice Springs Desert Park, promoting conservation and sharing her knowledge on the amazing inhabitants of central Australia.

Raine Pugh, 28 of Kidman Springs works at Coolibah Crocodile Farm and Kidman Springs Station. Her tasks include weed management, wildfire control, feral animal eradication and wild crocodile management. Raine is completing a Certificate 4 in Agriculture and a Diploma in Equine Tactile Therapy. She volunteers on a project preserving the natural habitat of the endangered Purple Crown fairy wrens and teaches indigenous locals to collect crocodile eggs, creating employment opportunities for them. Raine was 1 of 18 in Australia selected to attend the 2011 Australian Women in Agriculture Leadership Program.


Genesee & Wyoming Australia Indigenous Achievement Award

Benjamin Kenny, 29 of ALICE SPRINGS was a ranger in Watarrka National Park whilst completing Certificate III in Conservation and Land Management. He has just been promoted to Kaltukatjara Ranger Coordinator based at Docker River community. Benjamin is actively engaged with radio and television to promote the Indigenous Protected Areas and the Kaltukatjara rangers. He was appointed as a mentor for young Aboriginal stockmen coming into the cattle industry through stations across central Australia. Benjamin’s aim is to not only progress his career but inspire more young Aboriginal Rangers.

Ethan Satour, 21 of Alice Springs works as a stable hand for Riding for the Disabled Alice Springs. Suffering a stroke at birth has left him with visual impairments and mild right cerebral palsy. Ethan was the first Indigenous para-equestrian rider to represent the Northern Territory in the 2015 Riding for the Disabled National Championships. He has his sights set on the Para-Olympics. Nathan is continuing further education and has been teaching young Indigenous kids to ride horses, becoming a role model and a friend to them.

Jerome Gilbert, 23 of Nauiyu works as an Aboriginal Community Worker at Nauiyu Health Centre and has a Certificate 3 in Community Services. In 2015, at the Chief Ministers Youth Round Table, they discussed Jerome's project for targeting bullying and suicide prevention. Jerome held meetings, brainstorming with young people about bullying and how it can lead to suicide. Working with NT Health Dept, Anglicare, Red Dust and Carers NT, Jerome held a healing camp on Tipperary Station. A Safetalk teaching session about suicide was held and a video was produced.

Quitaysha Thompson, 26 of Muirhead is a mother of two, works full time and has completed a degree in Humanitarian and Community studies. She is passionate about closing the gap around health and education. Quitaysha is currently involved in an Influenza research study at Menzies School of Health Research, investigating how immune T cells in Aboriginal people respond differently to non-Aboriginal people. She won the inaugural George and Robyn Hewitson Top Remote Year 12 Graduate Award and is seen by her Kalkaringi community as a young leader and role model.


Glencore McArthur River Mining Regional and Rural Initiative Award 

Eleanor Dixon, 24 of Elliot was awarded the 2015 Barkly NAIDOC Week Culture Award in recognition for outstanding achievement in Performance, Creative Arts and/or Cultural Endeavours. Eleanor advocates for Indigenous musicians and women living in remote communities and mentors young women in MusicNT's Sista Sounds program. She is spokesperson for women in the Marlinja community on issues such as drugs and alcohol and support services available for young mothers. Eleanor volunteers at local events including the Desert Harmony Festival, Winajikarri Music Centre and Bush Bands Bash.

Erica Hamilton, 18 of Alice Springs volunteers with the National Pioneer Women’s Hall of Fame and their weekly community radio program ‘Ordinary Women with Extraordinary Lives’. She volunteers with annual events such as King of the Mountain and the Rotary Henley on Todd Regatta, and teaches at the local YMCA. Erica received an honourable mention in the Melaluca Awards for her proposal for recycling the water at local sewage ponds. She is passionate about her work and making the Northern Territory a better place for the future.

Ryan Gaskon, 18 of Alice Springs is a YMCA climbing instructor and enjoys passing on his knowledge, passion and enthusiasm to younger climbers. Ryan co-ordinates and participates in recreational climbing events with his local climbing club. He was involved in the initial developments of the Red Centre Nats, now a fixed annual event increasing tourism to the community and boosting the economy. After completing tertiary studies, Ryan hopes to return to Alice Springs and work in the Adventure Tourism industry showcasing the Northern Territory to national and international tourists.


Minister for Young Territorians Excellence in Youth Leadership Award 

Brittany Ward, 25 of Bees Creek has, over the last ten years, led initiatives using sport as a tool to tackle adversity experienced by young people living in urban and remote communities. Brittany is Tournament Manager of Midnight Basketball Darwin and is working to create a stand-alone Basketball Tournament in the East Arnhem Region. She is Founder and Coordinator of Rising Stars Basketball, a program for young people with Intellectual Disabilities. Brittany has raised over $2,000 for the Life Education Northern Territory through a public Free Throw-Athon at the Palmerston YMCA.

Ira Racines, 27 of Rosebery is a dedicated local leader of YEAH Darwin. Ira has hosted a YEAH Stall at Summer Sessions, organised attendance and support for the Australia’s World AIDS Day and Northern Territory’s World Hepatitis Day. Ira provides peer education sessions to Palmerston Senior College Students and has established and facilitated a support group for LGBTIQ & Gender diverse youth. Ira strives to do the best he can to support YEAH and forge long lasting partnerships with the local and wider community.

Sarah McLaughlin, 21, Durak has been a member of St John Ambulance NT for the past thirteen years. She creates a full training program and social calendar each year for the Casuarina Cadet Division. Sarah led a St John Ambulance team on a health care and first-aid project in East Timor in 2015, and was the youngest team member. Sarah has a passion to improve health and wellbeing in Aboriginal Communities, and is currently researching and planning a proposal to put to the St John Board.


PTTEP Australasia Health and Wellbeing Award 

Carly Clyant, 26 of Alice Springs is an experienced dietitian dedicated to improving the nutritional status in remote Indigenous communities. Carly has developed and been involved in a number of nutritional programs in the NT and the UK. Carly has worked with many NT remote community stores to develop store strategies to promote and encourage healthy eating e.g. providing “shelf talker” labels to stores and developing store nutrition policies. Carly is studying towards a Masters in Public Health Nutrition to further her ambitions of improving existing health-promoting environments.

Jessica Webb, 25 of Coconut Grove is currently undertaking a PhD on Melioidosis, an endemic disease that affects many Territorians each year. Jessica volunteers with HealthLAB, as well as the Burns course at the Royal Darwin Hospital. She has also educated the Indigenous patients at the Nightcliff Renal Unit about bacterial infections common with dialysis treatment. Jessica was awarded an American Society travel grant, where she presented a poster about her work on antibiotic resistance mechanisms in B. pseudomallei, at the 115th Annual General Meeting.

Rebecca Ellison, 27 of Alawa studied Sport and Exercise Science while competing in cycling and triathlons, but turned to women's health after the birth of her son. She has since studied teaching and nutrition and is currently studying Herbal Medicine. Rebecca is President of the Childbirth Education Association where she aims to improve the confidence of pregnant women and mothers. Rebecca started a business, 'Nourished Strong', a holistic women's and infant's health consultancy, focusing on a natural approach to fertility, pregnancy and infancy through nutrition, body awareness and gentle parenting


Somerville Community Service Award

Alicia Kent, 22 of Karama volunteers roles with Headspace, ShoutOut, YEAH and City of Darwin Youth Advisory Group, where she participated in the CEO Sleepout raising money for homelessness. Alicia initiated a Midnight Basketball donation drive, collecting brand new socks, drink bottles and second hand shoes for young people who couldn’t afford them. She was successful asked Coles to donate fruit for 80 people every Saturday for 7 weeks. She is passionate about youth and mental health work and is currently undertaking a Diploma of Youth Work.

Jarrod John Rollo, 15 of Karama is passionate about spreading cancer awareness throughout the local and wider Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community. Jarrod successfully organised his third Pink Rugby Game and with the assistance of generous companies and the National Rugby League Northern Territory they raised over $3,000 for the Royal Darwin Hospital Hospice. He is now looking to host a ‘Blue Game’, for Beyond Blue Depression & Anxiety and a ‘Closing the Gap’ Game for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders. Jarrod hopes these will become a regular fixture.

Nicole Richards, 24 of Larapinta volunteers at the Alice Springs Hospital, Anglicare NT, Tourism Central Australia and Volunteering SA&NT. She also volunteers at community events such as the Finke Desert Race, YMCA King of the Mountain Race, and the RSL Anzac Day Service. Nicole works as a Reservations Manager at Lasseter’s Hotel, where she organised a Relay for Life team to raise funds for the Cancer Council. Nicole conducted a sales trip to Sydney and hosted site inspections leading to a conference conversion, bringing over 15,000 visitors to the area.

Tristan Perriam, 20 of Bellamack is a dedicated young leader in the Palmerston community. He volunteers his time with the Salvation Army, Army Cadets and the ‘Youth Inspiring Palmerston’, youth advisory group. For the Salvation Army, he helps put together and distribute hampers to those in need at Christmas time. In Army Cadets he has attained the rank of Cadet Corporal, and leads a group of 11 younger cadets on weekly training nights. Tristan was heavily involved in the event planning for activities run in Youth Week 2015.


NT Government Small Business Achievement Award

Avon Collis, 28 of Darwin owns a Gloria Jean’s franchise and supports local organisations at sporting events by donating labour and materials and allowing them to retain the profits made. He has taken on many work experience candidates from schools to assist them with their future careers. Avon started the ‘Community Sipper’ program, where his business donates $5 to participating community organisations for every 10 drinks bought at his store. Avon is currently studying a Bachelor of Commerce majoring in Entrepreneurship and Innovation to further his business knowledge.

Brooke Ottley, 26 of Millner is a young, creative and socially conscious entrepreneur. Brooke runs her own Airbnb, a website for people to list, find, and rent lodgings since 2012. She also runs a freelance design consultancy, offering graphic design and photography services, whilst being a full-time leader in the creative design team at Batchelor Institute. Through Brooke’s innovation with Airbnb, she has contributed to the local and wider community by providing sustainable tourism. Brooke has recruited four other Darwin Airbnb hosts who are now running their own successful businesses.

Brooke Summers, 27 of Darwin, is one of the Territory’s most exciting up-and-coming entrepreneurs. Brooke launched Studio B Designs in 2012 and in a short time has already made her mark in the graphic design industry, providing designs for some of the Territory's most high profile organisations and continuing to push the boundaries. Studio B Designs work with local suppliers and supports community activities by providing pro bono work to numerous not-for-profit organisations. Brooke has also started Brooke Lee Co to showcase stationery, gifts and homewares that she has designed and which are Australian made.

Trevor Oliver, 28 of Ludmilla launched Territory Laundry Services in 2014, providing commercial laundering for hotels and restaurants. Trevor supports and sponsors various not for profit organisations, such as the ‘Taminmin Fishos’. This program encourages “at risk” youth or those who have experienced alcohol or drug misuse to get outdoors and experience nature. His business also sponsors the Starlight Children’s Foundation and Young Diggers. In twelve months Trevor’s business has grown from two staff members, to twelve during the peak season. Trevor is studying to be a Certified Practicing Accountant.


NT Government Young Carer's Award

Bethany Bre-Ann O'Shea, 17 of Driver has, for several years been a carer for her Mum who suffers from mental illness and diabetes. Bethany has taken full responsibility to give her mother the best care possible. She cares for her little sister, who also has diabetes. Bethany is the current Northern Territory Representative for ‘Young Carers’, and the 2016 recipient of the NT Division of the Young Carer Award. During school holidays, Bethany assists Carers NT by taking young carers on outings to provide some respite from their caring role.

Eloy Mason, 14 of Alawa cares for his 15 year old brother, Igen, who has severe autism and limited communication skills. Eloy assists his brother with public outings and joins him in activities such as drama, athletics and singing. Eloy is a member of the Darwin Young Carers Program and has participated in Drumbeat, mentoring young people with disabilities. He is also a member of the CemeNTstars, a drama group for people with intellectual disabilities. Eloy also helps with his brother Omri who has learning and communication difficulties.

Jessica Puetz, 20 of Wanguri cares for her mother who has recently been diagnosed with metastatic terminal lung cancer. Jessica schedules and drives her mother to appointments, and assists her with walking. She has three part time jobs, one of which is working with special needs children at the Nemarluk School. Jessica is currently studying to become a teacher and hopes to become a special needs teacher in the future. She will study online so as to continue taking care of her mother as her cancer progresses.

Kyaw Naing, 23 of The Garden has cared for his mother who suffers with mental illness since 2007. His mother sometimes needs 18 hours of care a day and Kyaw is responsible for her psychological and emotional wellbeing. Since arriving from Indonesia in 2011, Kyaw has completed a Certificate IV in English and is completing a Bachelor of Commerce. He is active in his local community and volunteers as Imam of the Islamic Society of Palmerstone and is member of the Australian National Imams Consultative Forum.


NT Government Young Indigenous Educator Award 

Anjelica Durrurrnga of Ramingining, is the Families as First Teachers, Family Liaison Officer at Ramingining School. Angelica works with families to develop their understanding of the Yolngu and Balanda culture. She trains them in conversational learning and the Abcedarian approach. Angelica participated in the production of a Visible Learning video and presented to her peers at a professional development session. She has been a guest presenter at two Families as First Teachers conferences. Angelica created the ‘Mother’s Garden’, where families can come to sit and work.

Kate Axten, 26 of Alice Springs joined Centralian Middle School in 2014 as a graduate Year 7 teacher. She has coached the local and school basketball teams and is currently player and assistant coach of the Yirara girls’ soccer team. Kate was selected among 10 other Indigenous Australians for the Classic Wallabies Exchange to South Africa, a volunteer leadership program for Indigenous youth. Kate received a 2015 NAIDOC Award for Female 25 and over and she plans to undertake a Master’s Degree in Education. 

Lisa Kunoth, 28 of Utopia is an Assistant Teacher at Apungalindum Homeland Learning Centre. Lisa makes use of her local language knowledge blended with appropriate English to ensure that all students understand the lessons. She has integrated a new Activeboard into the literacy block, effectively using it for the delivery of the Jolly Phonics Program and the PM Reading Program. She uses Nelsons Maths and Rainforest Maths activities to support maths concepts. Lisa has introduced the Accelerated Literacy Program into her classroom, with successful outcomes for her students.


Zip Print Sports Award 

Abby Cubillo, 16 of Karama started playing basketball in 2007 and has since played in 5 National Championships and captained the Under 18 team in 2015. Abby was selected as the only Northern Territory representative in the Australian National U17 Sapphires Team, competing in the 2016 FIBA Oceania Qualifying Tournament. Her short term goal is to settle into the AIS and gain selection in the Australian U17 Sapphires Team to compete in the 2016 World Championships in Spain. Her long term goal is to advance to the WNBL.

Bryce Fullwood, 17 of Winnellie is the first Territorian to race in the National Series of the 2015 V8 Supercars Dunlop Series. Originally racing Go Karts, Bryce represented Australia at the 2014 World Championships and has 8 State Titles, numerous wins and top 5 podiums. He is passionate about giving back to the Darwin Karting Association and is a great Ambassador for his Club. Bryce aims to finish top 10 in the 2016 V8 championships and become the first full time V8 Supercar driver from the Northern Territory

Jacob Moore, 16 of Alice Springs has been in the Australian National Table Tennis Squad for three years. In the last 12 months he has won Bronze in both the U21 doubles at the ITTF Oceania Cup and the U18 Pacific School Games. Jacob volunteered to coach table tennis players from Katherine Special School at the International Pacific School Games. He hopes to continue to work for Table Tennis NT and accomplish his goals to be the top U18 player in Australia and represent Australia in the Olympic Games

Katelyn Simpson, 13, Palmerston joined the Noonamah Horse and Pony Club when she was 6. She competes in the Rodeo sports of Barrel Racing, Break Away Roping and Pole Bending. Katelyn was the first Northern Territorian to win a National Rodeo Council Australian Title for Barrel Racing. She is driven to represent Australia and put a spotlight on rodeo sports. Katelyn won the 2016 Australian High School Rodeo Association title for Junior Pole Bending and will travel to America for the 2016 US National High School Rodeo Association competition.