Channel 9 Young Achiever Awards

2016 Finalists

AustralianSuper Career Kick Start Award

Harshani Jayasinghe, 25 of Woodville South is the youngest full time Respiratory Scientist at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital and is also completing her PhD in tobacco prevention initiatives for Indigenous youth. She is responsible for the department’s two biggest randomised controlled studies for emphysema patients. Harshani has contributed to national and international research initiatives and was Associate Investigator on a successful $25,000 grant. She has published four publications, is currently co-authoring a book chapter and has seven in-press publications. Harshani was a finalist for 2016 Australia Day Young Citizen of the Year.

Jasmin Parasiers, 23 of Woodville Park is the founder of Intuition Tutoring Services and has been tutoring students for the past eight years. In addition to running her own business, Jasmin is completing a PhD in History and works full time as a Research Project Co-ordinator. She has been elected the Secretary of the Association of Secondary Research Teachers and works heavily in assessment leadership. In 2014, Jasmine was a winner in the Anthill Magazine’s 2014 Young Entrepreneur 30 Under 30 Award.

Jesse Romeo, 16 of Somerton Park established his own clothing line called Remacy Clothing Company. Jesse used all of his savings to begin the label which has developed into a successful brand. Remacy is now stocked in 10 stores and has been involved in events such as RAW Showcase and Adelaide Fashion Festival. Jesse also collaborated with Precizion Dance to create a merchandise line for them. Remacy Clothing Company released five t-shirts along with head wear pieces for the summer collection.

Jordan Le, 16 of Pennington co-founded an independent film production company, JLe Productions in 2013. JLe Productions won the National Halogen 2014 ATALS Award, Mark Butler’s 2014 Youth Art Prize and the Charles Sturt 2015 Josiah Mitton Award. Now with a team of 12 crew and staff members, JLe Productions has filmed several large projects for clients such as The Australian Refugee Association, Department of Education and Child Services, Office for Youth and Charles Sturt City Council. Jordan and JLe Productions strive to explore, create and inspire through their work.


Flinders Ports Environment Award

Bianca Amato, 29 of Brompton has received several scholarships and highly competitive awards for her academic excellence in environmental science. Her current research is on the benefits of native vegetation to agriculture, particularly sustaining native pollinators. This research has applications in ecological methods and sustainable agricultural practices worldwide. Bianca received the People’s Choice Award at the UniSA 2014 Ecology Seminar Series for her undergraduate research presentation. From implementing recycling processes in her own home, to volunteering for many organisations and projects, Bianca shows a strong concern for environmental sustainability.

Madison Turley, 16 of Port Elliot has created an environmental program called “Don't Waste Our Wave”. She has educated over 400 students and young lifesavers about the environmental impact of rubbish. A member of the EcoSurf group, Maddie spearheaded the “What Lies Beneath” Project, developing education resources for over 3,000 junior surf life savers. She presented the “What Lies Beneath project” at the 2015 SA State Coastal Conference. In 2014 Maddie received the Middle School Mayo Leadership Award and 2015, the Australian Defence Force Long Tan Leadership Award.

Max Worthington, 24 of Glenalta led key experimental work in the development of a new polymer to remove mercury from water and soil. Using industrial waste products sulphur and limonene, Max's polymer changes colour when it binds to mercury. Max and his co-workers at Flinders University are working with a variety of agencies worldwide to remove mercury from contaminated areas, especially at mining sites in developing nations. Max was a lead author on the ground breaking, peer-reviewed published paper and he is an inventor of a patent.


Hostworks Online Achievement Award

Jordan Green, 22 of Hyde Park started programming at 11 and is now Managing Director and Co-founder of Jemsoft, one of Australia's fastest growing software companies. Jemsoft provides proprietary computer vision and Artificial Intelligence software to some of the world’s largest technology and consumer goods companies. Jordan has been widely published for his work in the artificial intelligence space and won the 2014 Venture Catalyst Grant for Jemsoft’s work in computer vision. Jordan was awarded Startup of the Year & Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2015.

Joshua Morony, 23 of Reynella East is a mobile application developer and co-founder of MonkeyDo Studio. His focus is on using innovative technology to create mobile applications and platforms. Over 3,000 people subscribe to his mobile app development newsletter with 30,000 unique visitors every month. Joshua creates both paid and free information products on his website, and free weekly mobile development tutorials to developers. Joshua is currently travelling around Australia, working remotely and taking full advantage of the opportunities the online space creates.

Zoe Bogner, 28 of Seacliff Park is an online developer, using digital tools to improve wellbeing, safety and storytelling. Zoe set up the online platform The Learning Together project; for children and families living with diabetes. The Healthy Kids Check Project was an initiative for the Women’s and Children’s Hospital improving the standard of child health checks. Volunteering with ActNow Theatre, Zoe coordinated social media campaigns, digital media, online presence and advertising. She also developed web applications to be used in theatre performances and workshops.


Multicultural Youth South Australia Spirit of Resilience Award

Aref Ahmadi, 25 of Brooklyn Park was only 14 when his family fled Afghanistan and arrived in Australia as refugees. He graduated in 2013 and works as a full time accountant. Aref has volunteered for 5 years mentoring 'At Risk' young people, assisting them to successfully complete schooling. He has raised over $5,000 for the Grange Lawn Tennis Club, where he is also Treasurer. Aref hosts an annual multicultural tennis tournament, encouraging refugee kids to get involved, breaking down barriers to settlement like racism and social isolation.

Ilyasi Siraji, 27 of Beverley came to Australia in 2007 as a humanitarian refugee. With his father dead and Ilyasi becoming separated from his mother during the Congolese conflict, he was solely responsible for his siblings. Arriving with very limited English, he now has a Bachelor of Teaching and Bachelor of Arts. Ilyasi is a freelance youth worker at the Australian Refugee Association and a Secondary Geography and French teacher. Ilyasi is a charter member of the Rotaract Club for Global Peace Australia, a motivational speaker and advocates for the inclusion and equal opportunities for emerging communities.

Razia Ali, 24 of Parafield Gardens arrived from Afghanistan in 2007 and is an active member of the Adelaide Afghan community and the founder of the Afghan Flinders University Association. Razia is a dedicated volunteer for the Migrant resource Centre and a youth ambassador for, a youth mental health service. She is a human rights activist in the Afghan community and has organised events including a protest against the Hazara genocide in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Razia has a Bachelor of Psychological Sciences and is currently undertaking her postgraduate.


Office for Youth Aboriginal Achievement Award

Kimberley Hunter, 23 of North Plympton is using her skills as an Occupational Therapist to help bring about change to social determinants impacting on the health of Indigenous people. During her studies, Kimberley visited central Australia to promote health careers and volunteered for AIME, mentoring Indigenous High School students. Kimberley is a member of the Indigenous Allied Health Australia Group and presented at the 2015 national conference, also winning the ‘Future Leader in Indigenous Allied Health Award’. She is currently working at the UniSA, Department of Rural Health as an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Allied Health Officer.

Marcellus Enalanga, 19 of Port Pirie has become a role model for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community. As consultant with Country Health SA, Marcellus organised the inaugural South Australian Aboriginal Youth Summit. He has been invited again to MC at Tarpari Wellbeing Day, a large Aboriginal health and cultural event held in Port Pirie. He is a member of the Port Pirie Regional Aboriginal Community Centre and Mid North Aboriginal Health and Community Engagement Committee. Marcellus also won the 2015 South Australian NAIDOC Young Person of the Year Award.

Michael Watkins, 23 of Unley is a youth worker at the Wiltja Residential Program where young people from the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara lands come to Adelaide to receive mainstream secondary schooling. He supports students to ‘walk in two worlds’ while they work towards gaining their Year 12 SACE. Michael has volunteered as a mentor at AIME -Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience, and has undertaken a community development project in remote Vanuatu as part of the 2016 Indigenous Youth Challenge. Michael recently finished a Bachelor degree in Nutrition and Food Sciences and is passionate about nutrition and food security in remote communities.

Zaachariaha Fielding, 24 is an Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara and Torres Strait Islander man from Mimili, remote SA. He shares his culture and language through music - breaking down cultural barriers, and giving inspiration to young Aboriginal people. Chosen by Baz Luhmann, Zaachariaha sang “Somewhere over the Rainbow” in the Yolngu language for the movie “Australia”. A successful entrant in X-Factor in 2011, he went on to the Grand Final of The Voice in 2014 in the duo ‘ZK’. Zaachariaha incorporates traditional language into original music, making songs so irresistible audiences sing along with him in his language.


Rural Doctors Workforce Agency Rural Health Award

Cicy Li, 23 of Rostrevor, is a recent graduate of the Adelaide University medical school and is passionate about rural and Indigenous health. She is part of an Indigenous health program encouraging future doctors to work in Indigenous health. She has presented about Indigenous health at two national conferences and has visited many rural and Indigenous communities. She organised for Adelaide University Rural Health Alliance members to visit Indigenous Festivals in Ceduna, educating students on healthy eating and living habits. Cicy has won several awards including the prestigious 2015 Rural Doctors Association of Australia Medical Student of the Year.

Emma Kelly, 21 of Walkerville is a fourth year Rural Background Entry Medical student originally from Wudinna, Eyre Peninsula and is passionate about rural health. She is the 2016 Adelaide University Rural Health Alliance President and a member of the Rural Doctors Workforce Agency student advisory group. Since 2013, Emma has been mentoring first year rural background medical students assisting their transition to medical school. She helped initiate the Kidney Health Festival in the indigenous community of Yalata and was placed top three in the 2015 RDAA Medical Student of the Year Award.

Tamra Karolewicz, 23 of Port Lincoln has a Bachelor of Medical Science, Masters of Optometry and in 2014 received the Clinical Excellence Award in Optometry. In addition to her optometry work in Port Lincoln and significant voluntary commitment, she undertakes fortnightly trips to Ceduna to give eye care to Indigenous communities and people living in remote areas. This year, Tamra aims to implement a new culturally safe eye examination procedure to benefit Indigenous communities, and a school policy to protect children’s vision.


Santos Regional Service Award

Jacqueline Foster, 29 of Coonalpyn is a Wool Classer. She has been heavily involved in her community since moving to Coonalpyn six years ago to study Agriculture at the University of Adelaide. A member of the Coonalpyn and District Show since 2010, Jaqueline is currently President and Show Horse Convenor. She is also volunteer, committee member and Vice President of the Coonalpyn War Memorial Swimming Pool and a CFS volunteer. Jacqueline is involved in the Murray Bridge Hunt Club as a rider attending hunts and committee member.

Marcellus Enalanga, 19 of Port Pirie has been a key driver in developing a Youth Engagement Strategy in conjunction with Aboriginal Health Workers. Volunteering with Country Health SA, Marcellus organised a South Australian Aboriginal Youth Summit and Tarpari Wellbeing Day, showcasing Aboriginal health and culture. He is an active member of the SA Youth Parliament and a Taskforce Mentor. This year, Marcellus will travel to Vanuatu for the Australian Volunteers International Indigenous Youth Challenge Program. The skills and knowledge gained will assist Marcellus in his own community.

Pamela Perre, 24 of Loxton started as a cadet journalist at The Murray Pioneer. She completed her Bachelor of Arts Majoring in Literary Studies and Journalism whilst working full time. On graduation, Pamela was promoted at the Murray Pioneer to Online Editor. Awarded the 2015 Country Press SA Young Journalist of the Year, Pamela was again promoted to the role of Editor at The Loxton News. Named 2010 Loxton's Young Citizen of the Year, Pamela also volunteers on committees and has raised $15,000 for community projects and the local football club.

Scouts SA Youth Leadership Award

Arun Thomas, 26 of Enfield completed Degrees in Commerce and Nursing, and as President of the UniSA Student Association, where he has Honorary Life membership, he created 20 new jobs for students, and a new board position in the organization to represent Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students. Arun is the youngest person to earn the title of Adjunct Clinical Associate with the UniSA Division of Health Sciences. Arun has been appointed to the Australian Red Cross SA Advisory Board and Director of Carrington Cottages Management Inc., securing $1.4m in funding to create 10 new beds for homeless persons in Adelaide.

Callum Pope, 18 of Rostrevor was a participant just three years ago with The Operation Flinders Foundation, a wilderness adventure program for young offenders and young people at risk. After successfully completing three training weekends, Callum progressed to become a Peer Group Mentor. Staff at the Foundation describe him as “a great mentor, role model and a leader.” Callum volunteers, assists with school drama productions, and balances his schooling with caring for his father who has Cerebral Palsy. Callum has applied to join the Army to further develop his leadership skills.

Mercedes Page, 25 of Underdale is the founder and CEO of Young Australians in International Affairs. The organisation is a not-for profit think-tank committed to fostering the next generation of Australian leadership in international affairs. Since launching in 2014, they now have 5 branches and 40 volunteers across Australia running 70 events from roundtable discussions, young professionals networking events and skill-building sessions. Mercedes is recognised by the World Economic Forum as a Global Shaper and in 2015 was named one of Australia’s Top 50 Young Social Pioneers.

Nicholas Banks, 22 of Westbourne Park was named one of the three most outstanding Scouts in the Asia-Pacific region and has been a member of the South Australian Youth Parliament. Nicholas was awarded a SACE Commendation by the Governor of South Australia and the Charles Hawker Scholarship with residency at St Mark's College, whilst studying at the University of Adelaide. In 2012, Nicholas returned to Africa supporting The Kalahari Experience, an ongoing project improving education and health in remote southern Africa. He is currently studying a Bachelor of Commerce and International Studies.


The Coffee Club Arts and Fashion Award

Coby Edgar, 25 of Unley is the Assistant Curator of TARNANTHI, the Festival of Contemporary Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art. She has a Bachelor of Visual Arts and was a Tutor in Indigenous Art, Culture and Design. Coby provides her expertise as Independent Curator of Contemporary Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Arts. She works on independent projects with a range of galleries and is passionate about mentoring emerging artists. She advocates for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists for greater opportunities in the arts sector.

Donovan Christie, 26 of Goodwood is an established visual artist specialising in urban landscapes and streetscapes. He has had 13 solo exhibitions, been a part of over 100 group exhibitions, ran his own art gallery and curated over 30 exhibitions. Donovan works with HYPA to hold workshops for at risk teens in the community and has donated several art pieces to charity auctions, including painting live in front of 300 guests at the Sight for All charity fundraiser. Donovan has won many awards and prizes and was recently featured in the Wonderwalls Exhibition.

Tkay Maidza, 20 of Mansfield Park is one of the most energetic rappers and singers on the live circuit. She has performed at Falls Festival, Southbound, Beat the Drum, St Jerome’s Laneway Festival and more. Having toured with Mark Ronson, Charli XCX, Troye Sivan and Rita Ora, Tkay is one of the most sought after young artists on the planet. She has signed record deals with Dew Process (AUS), Downtown (US) and Kitsune (UK/Europe) and was named Best New Talent in the 2015 Rolling Stone Awards. Tkay is set to release her debut album in 2016.

The University of Adelaide Faculty of Sciences - Science and Technology Award

Hannah Wardill, 25 of Adelaide is currently completing her PhD in Medicine, focusing on some of the most debilitating side effects associated with anti-cancer treatment. She has been invited to visit international research laboratories and present her work at international cancer research symposiums. Hannah was invited to the University of California, San Diego to present her most recent research at the Biomedical Research Facility. She has published extensively and has received extensive media exposure. Hannah’s research has the real potential to positively impact the clinical outcomes for cancer patients.

Katharina Richter, 28 of Semaphore Park moved to Australia in 2013 as a pharmacist, to follow her dream of completing a PhD. Her research investigates novel treatment strategies against antibiotic-resistant superbugs causing persistent and life-threatening infections. Katharina has won several awards, scholarships and fellowships. Last year she travelled for a research visit to the world’s number one biofilm institute, The Costerton Biofilm Centre in Denmark. Katharina has developed and patented a promising antibiotic-free treatment on superbugs offering hope for those most vulnerable – the children and the elderly.

Susan Christo, 26 of Greenwith is a passionate and enthusiastic scientist dedicated to immunological research. Completing her PhD in 2015, Susan has published 10 journal papers and a patent cooperation treaty. She has presented at 18 conferences including two internationally, and won the three Minute Thesis competition in the Division of Health Sciences at UniSA. Susan is involved in many committees including the Australasian Society of Medical Research and the Australasian Society for Immunology. She co-founded the Tri-University Evening and created the ‘Q&Immunology’ forum on Twitter.

Worldwide Printing Solutions Sports Award

Alexander Hill, 22 of Loxton North trains 25 to 30 hours each week and has deferred his studies to concentrate on the Rio Olympics. Alexander has an Associate Scholarship with SASI as part of the Rowing Australia’s High Performance Program. Alexander won gold in the 2014 and 2015 World Rowing Cup. At the 2015 World Rowing Championships he won silver in the men's coxless fours. He is also a rowing coach at St Peters' College where he shares his knowledge and experiences with the next generation of young athletes.

Renae Ingles, 29 moved from Melbourne to play netball for the Adelaide Thunderbirds in 2012, winning the Premiership in 2013. She has played 67 Tests for Australia and her 2015 Netball World Cup gold medal was her second major tournament win in two years after the 2014 Commonwealth Games team won gold in Glasgow. Renae has a Bachelor's degree in Communications and is currently completing her Master Trainer as well as a certificate of nutrition. Renae was captain of the Thunderbirds the last two seasons, but is facing a new challenge this year as she is pregnant with twins.

Rohan Dennis, 25 of Vale Park was the first yellow jersey wearer in the 2015 Tour de France and established a new record average speed for an individual time trial. He was a silver medal winner in the team pursuit at the 2012 Olympic Games and was second in the 2014 Commonwealth Games time trial. He won the 2015 USA Pro Challenge leading both the sprint and mountain classifications after four stages. In an epic battle, Rohan took out the overall victory in the 2015 Santos Tour Down Under.