Tasmanian Young Achiever Awards

2016 Finalists

AustralianSuper Career Kick Start Award

Charlotte Hunn, 28 of Kingston founded COMET, or Community Engagement Tasmania. COMET trains law students to provide education for disadvantaged and homeless youth on key aspects of criminal law and the justice system. Charlotte was awarded the Sandy Duncanson Social Justice Bursary for The COMET Project. She received the LexisNexis Prize for achieving the highest mark in Criminology and has accepted a position as research assistant on the National Jury Project with the Tasmanian Law Reform Institution. Charlotte has also volunteered for Colony 47 and the Tasmanian Asylum Seekers Support Network.

Emilie McDonnell, 23 of Battery Point co-founded and set up the Tasmanian Refugee Legal Service to provide free legal assistance to Tasmanian asylum seekers and refugees. She is Vice-President of the Refugee Legal Service Board and won the 2014 Tasmanian Human Rights Youth Award. Emilie was awarded the 2016 Tasmanian Rhodes Scholarship to study postgraduate law at the University of Oxford and has recently been appointed as an Adjunct Researcher to the University of Tasmania Law Faculty. Emilie has also volunteered with disadvantaged young women and the Oaktree Foundation.

Emma Quinn, 28 of Lindisfarne has overcome significant financial obstacles to complete her education including paying her own Year 12 school fees. Working full time to pay for her studies, Emma has completed a Bachelor of Business, a Post-Graduate Diploma and a Master of Business Administration. In 2014, Emma joined the Board of the Drug Education Network and in last year became the Treasurer and Chair of its Finance Committee. Emma currently works for the Department of Education, where she received the 2015 Young Employee of the Year Award.

Heather and Christopher Chong Community Service Award

Eliza Nolan, 22 of Lindisfarne was diagnosed with a grade 2 astrocytoma, a type of low-grade brain tumour in 2013. Involved with the Cure Brain Cancer Foundation, she has recently become the Foundations Ambassador. Last year, Eliza successfully completed 3rd year medicine and volunteered as a Teddy Bear Doctor. As part of a team, Eliza organised and run in the annual 2015 Hobart Walk4BrainCancer, raising over $27,000 for brain cancer research. She continues her work with the Cure Brain Cancer Foundation and volunteered 287 hours at Ronald McDonald House in 2015.

Eva MacKinley, 25 of Sandy Bay founded The Last Straw, a campaign to eliminate the use of plastic straws across Australia, encouraging a plastic free and zero waste life. She is Director of Global Partners for Change, a start-up program supporting young Kenyan people to create social change programs for their communities. Eva was the first Tasmanian Ambassador for the 2014 One Young World Summit in Dublin and Youth delegate to the 2013 Rotary International Peace Conference. She is a member of the Tasmanian Youth Consultative Committee and Youth Council.

Meg Cooper, 24 of Sandy Bay is an advocate for people with disabilities. She has volunteered for five years as a dance teacher for BrightStars, the Southern Dance Group of Down Syndrome Tasmania. Meg choreographs dance moves to suit the different personalities and abilities in her class to enhance the enjoyment of the dancers. She is looking to start a new dance class especially for children under seven. Meg was named The City of Hobart – 2015 Young Citizen of the Year for her volunteer work in Supporting Down Syndrome Tasmania.

Nene Manasseh, 24 of Glenorchy arrived from Kenya in 2005 as a refugee. Knowing first hand the difficulties facing young refugee students, Nene developed a program called SAR, “Students against Racism” and has presented at over 150 workshops to over 10,000 participants. She has also been invited to deliver workshops to Tasmanian Police recruits and develop programs for Tasmanian sporting clubs to combat racism in sport. Nene volunteers with the Hobart Women's Shelter and assists asylum seekers through Anglicare. Nene won The 2016 Australian Human Rights 'Racism - it stops with me' Award.

The Coffee Club Arts and Fashion Award

Benjamin Price, 24 of Rosetta is a saxophonist with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra. He has presented Australian and World premieres of dozens of influential works, including pieces dedicated to and composed for him. Benjamin is the Saxophone Instructor at the annual Hobart City Band Camps, donating his time and skills to people of all ages and skill levels. In 2015 he was invited to undergo an intensive mentorship under the renowned German saxophonist and educator Carina Rascher. Benjamin is only the 3rd Australian to be allowed this great opportunity.

Halina Kaufman, 28 of Lenah Valley has had a successful career in jewellery manufacturing with two regional and a National gold medal for WorldSkills. She received an international team leadership challenge scholarship and an International Specialised Skills Institute fellowship. Halina has been a finalist five times in Australian Design Awards. She trained with master engravers in Florence and Louisiana and a specialist diamond setter in The Netherlands. Halina is a judge and project designer for the WorldSkills jewellery competitions and aims in the future to be the Jewellery Expert.

Maeve Mhairi MacGregor, 26 of West Hobart is an actor, director and theatre-maker. She is a graduate of the National Institute of Dramatic Arts and has performed in productions directed by leading Australian artists and teachers. Maeve co-founded Hobart’s Loud Mouth Theatre in 2014. As Artistic Director she has developed the Theatre into a significant contributor to Tasmanian theatre, encouraging innovative work, emerging artists and technicians, and new audiences. Maeve recently spent six weeks in Africa on a self-funded volunteer placement teaching English to children and adults in development programs.


University of Tasmania, Faculty of Education, Teaching Excellence Award

Jordana Schmidt, 28 of Margate is a teacher at St James Catholic College, a small K to 10 school in Cygnet. She was awarded a 2015 Australian Council of Educational Leaders ‘Growing in Leadership’ in recognition of her exceptional practice and leadership skills. Jordana presented a workshop at the 2015 History Teachers’ Association of Victoria conference. Every year, she takes students on an excursion to the State Library and Art Gallery. Jordana does this outside of school hours, driving students back to their rural homes, some more than 100 kilometres away.

Kate Merry, 27 of Riverside is the Head of the History and Geography Faculty at St Brendan-Shaw College, Devonport. A scholarship to study at the International School for Holocaust Studies in Israel has given Kate invaluable experience which she now shares with her students. She has taken prac teachers under her wing and guides them through the early part of their teaching careers. Kate willingly takes on extra-curricular roles throughout the College, such as coaching basketball teams and as coach and manager of the school's girl's AFL football team.

Samuel Morey, 28 of Berriedale began teaching at St Therese’s Catholic Primary school as the PE teacher and in 2014 was appointed Assistant Principal of St Paul's Catholic Primary School in Bridgewater. Sam implemented the extra-curricular ‘Kickstart’ and ‘Accelerator’ sessions, for students who have anxiety towards learning and providing acceleration opportunities for capable students. He was awarded a “Growing in Leadership: Emerging Leaders Award” by the Australian Council of Educational Leaders. Sam volunteers his time coaching and facilitating St Therese’s soccer, basketball, athletics and Cross Country Teams, and has been appointed mentor and talent development coach with Athletics Tasmania.

Skye Tisdell, 28 of Lower Snug has a passion to create positive change for her students at Dover District High School. Skye has initiated many new strategies and approaches that are now embedded throughout the school. She implemented a weekly wellbeing lesson with meditation and yoga to improve the emotional health of the students. After attending a workshop on Childhood Trauma, Skye held in-service classes and supported teachers in planning and implementing new class strategies. She has been a voice for many students and persists to ensure their success is a priority.


St.LukesHealth Healthier Communities Award

Alice McGushin, 25 of New Town is passionately involved in environmental issues impacting on health. Her roles involve writing policy, governmental submissions, coordinating projects and campaigns and workshops. Alice ran a three day workshop on climate change and health in Istanbul with the International Federation of Medical Students' Associations. She also undertook a seven week internship with the climate change team at the World Health Organization Head Quarters in Geneva. Alice has completed 750 volunteer hours and was one of the lead authors of a climate change and health training manual.

Brent Cashion, 27 of Montrose has volunteered since the age of 11 with St John Ambulance Tasmania, initially as a first aider and now as a paramedic with Ambulance Tasmania. Brent received a 'save a life award' for his care of a patient who suffered a severe anaphylactic reaction at a Festival. He co-authored a paper on 'recognising the deteriorating patient' and 'drug related emergencies at major events'. This year Brent was admitted as a member to the Order of St John, for his contribution and advancement to the work and ethos of St John Ambulance.

Mitch McPherson, 28 of Tranmere established “SPEAK UP! Stay ChatTY” after his younger brother Ty took his own life in 2013. The charity aims to prevent suicide by spreading the message that nothing is so bad that you can’t talk about it. Mitch has presented to more than 150 schools and sporting clubs and will roll out a school program this year. The Tasmanian State Football League dedicated one round to raise funds and awareness. Mitch has raised over $120,000 in funds and Speak Up Stay ChatTY has almost 11,000 Facebook followers.


Motors Group Tasmania Sports Award

Jacob Birtwhistle, 20 of Launceston won the 2015 under-23 Triathlon World Championship. One of the top men on each leg of the triathlon, he separated himself from a five-man front pack to ultimately win the race and take home the World Champion honour. He was the 2014 world junior duathlon and junior world championship silver medallist. Jacob took 1st and 2nd places in four out of seven triathlons last year. Jacob will now challenge for a spot in the Olympic team for Rio.

James Robinson, 18 of Prospect won gold in the U19 4,000m Team Pursuit and silver in the U19 Oceania Individual Pursuit at the 2015 UCI Junior Cycling Track World Championships. He played a key role in the team winning the gold medal. In 2014, James won as part of the Mens Endurance Team in the Australian Junior World Championships. He rides in the National Road Series for the TIS Racing team. James is a TIS scholarship holder and strong ambassador for his sport.

Kate Eckhardt, 18 of West Hobart won a bronze medal for the Junior C1 at the 2015 Canoe Slalom Junior World Championships held in Brazil. At the same event Kate finished 3rd in both the K1 and C1 Team finals. One of four members of the 2015 Australia’s junior canoe slalom team, she was the standout, winning the women’s U18 K1 final at the first European Cup in Slovakia. Kate was the 2nd placed Junior K1 and 3rd placed Junior C1 at the 2015 ECA Junior Cup in Germany.

Wilson Mure, 22 of Tinderbox is a key member of The Huon Rowing Club. He was awarded The President's Cup in 2015 in recognition of his rowing achievements and his contribution and involvement with the Club and State crews. Wilson was the only Tasmanian selected in the Australian Team, winning Bronze in the Men's Quad at the U23 World Rowing Championships. In 2013, he won the Gold medal in the Men's Quad at the U21 Trans Tasman Rowing Championships. Wilson also coaches and mentors young athletes and is a great role model.


Tadpac Print Service to the Disability Sector Award

Carrie Leppard,  26 of Glenorchy has raised over $17,000 for Cystic Fibrosis Tasmania. When her daughter Charlotte was born with CF, Carrie wanted to create community awareness. She has spoken publicly about the importance of undertaking testing for carrying the CF gene, and about the challenges of parenting a child with Cystic Fibrosis. Carrie set up the ‘Cystic Fibrosis Support Group and Advice Australia’, Facebook page which now has 400 active members. The group allows parents and carers to discuss issues around their child's CF in a supportive environment.

Jessica Briers, 25 of New Norfolk works for STAR/Cosmos where she supports five individuals with disabilities and their complex needs in supported accommodation. Jessica has completed her Certificate III and IV in Disability and recently enrolled for a Diploma in Disability. Jessica worked with the Disability Assessment and Advisory team designing and implementing a Whole of Site behaviour support project and was one of three members to present the project to the 2013 Support Workers Conference. Jessica volunteers with fundraising events including the STAR/Cosmos Quiz and the “STAR UR-Connected” art project.

Joshua Hicks, 22 of Burnie is a support worker and Field Service Coordinator for Family Based Care. He is a "can do" individual which makes him an ideal provider of complex care services to the variety of disabled and frail aged clients in his care. Josh has completed a Certificate IV in Community Services. He easily overcomes age related communication barriers and his ability to connect with people who have a disability is one of his key strengths. Josh also volunteers within his community and assists with his Church’s youth activities.


Colony 47 Young Aboriginal Achievement Award

Bianca Templar, 21 of Rocherlea is a proud Aboriginal who is a great role model for her community. She was born with a genetic bone disorder, osteogenesis imperfecta and spent much of her childhood in and out of hospital. Bianca applied for, and was awarded the first Tasmania University’s Campus Community Scholarship to study Social Work. She participated in the 2015 Tasmanian Youth Conference and has volunteered for the Heart Kids Foundation since 2011. Bianca works with Northern Youth Headspace, providing leadership and is an adviser on Aboriginal matters.

David Bailey, 25 of South Hobart was in 2015 admitted to the Tasmanian Legal Roll as one of only a few Indigenous Tasmanian Legal practitioners and has been admitted to practice in the High Court of Australia. David was awarded the 2014 Vice Chancellor Teamwork and Leadership Award and was selected as a Tasmanian representative to attend the Indigenous Constitutional Recognition Forum. He is an ambassador for the Tasmanian Road Runners and Volunteers for “Smokes Won't Crush Us Anti-Smoking Campaign”, a community initiative seeking to reduce smoking rates particularly among Indigenous people.

Jacob Prehn, 28 of Glenorchy is an Aboriginal Health Worker and Mental Health Worker at Karadi Aboriginal Corporation. Graduating in 2015 with a Masters of Social Work, Jacob wants his PHD research to centre around the mental health of Aboriginal men. He runs an Aboriginal men’s program working with the men identifying goals and connecting them to culture. He runs a regular weight gym group, encouraging men to improve their health and create and strengthen friendships. Jacob is assisting in the process of building the state’s first Aboriginal men’s shed.

Teangi Brown, 21 of Bellerive works at the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, running educational programs and guided tours on Tasmanian Aboriginal culture and history. He is often requested to speak at functions on the history of Tasmanian Aboriginal people. Teangi also successfully operates his own business as an Aboriginal Interpretation guide for schools on cultural camps. He has participated in the Tasmanian Youth Forum and the National Indigenous Youth Parliament. He volunteers for Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre's Land care with Parks and Wildlife and regularly performs Welcome to Country at community events.