VICTORIA

Victorian Young Achiever Awards

2016 Winners of the Victorian Young Achiever Awards

The 2016 winners with Minister for Families & Children, Minister for Youth Affairs, Jenny Mikakos at the Gala Presentation Dinner held at The Atlantic Group, Docklands

 

Overall Winner - Victorian Young Achiever of the Year

Aimee Marks - TOM Organic, 29 of St Kilda created TOM’s Organic, a range of feminine hygiene products using Australian Certified Organic cotton. In 2012 and 2013, TOM Organic was stocked in Woolworths and Coles and is now available in all major supermarkets, being the first time an Australian Organic feminine hygiene product has been ranged in supermarkets across Australia. TOM Organic often donates products to charities and is aligned with a number of not for profits focused on women’s health and wellbeing. Aimee was awarded the Telstra Young Business Woman of the Year and won the Australian Certified Organic Young Leader Award in 2014; TOM Organic also won the product wellbeing category in the Green Lifestyle Awards in 2012.

2016 Victorian Young Achiever of the Year, Aimee Marks with Minister for Families & Children, Minister for Youth Affairs, Jenny Mikakos

 

CFA Young Volunteer Excellence Award

Sarah Kenworthy, 19 of Geelong has been involved in a range of volunteer roles such as the Christ Church meal program, providing breakfast for the homeless and disadvantaged; Café Light, raising money for East Timor, and organising ‘Make a Difference’ at Sacred Heart College, increasing awareness of the less fortunate and fundraising for local causes. Sarah spent six weeks volunteering in a health centre in a remote village in Mannya, Uganda, assisting the HIV clinic. She also commenced a ‘Light up Mannya Campaign’, raising over $14,000 and sending over 1400 solar lights to the village

Acting Executive Director of Learning and Volunteerism, CFA, Kate Harrap presented Sarah Kenworthy with the Young Volunteer Excellence Award

 

Bart N Print Health and Wellbeing Award

Jeremy Samson, 28 of Vermont developed ‘Time 2 Train’, a program to help assist all ages with autism through exercise and personal training, which travels to local communities and interstate to assist families in rural areas that do not have access to beneficial programs. Time 2 Train has travelled internationally to showcase the program and create awareness of the importance of exercise. Jeremy is an Australian Ambassador for the Autism Network Community Awards, and was awarded third place for ‘Performing Arts’ at the Naturally Autistic People Awards in Canada, Jeremy will also star in the first international feature film based on people living with Autism

General Manager of Bart N Print, Steve Bright presented Jeremy Samson with the Health and Wellbeing Award

 

Victoria University Research Impact Award

Dr Francois Petitjean, 29 of Carnige was awarded Best Science PhD of 2013, and was titled as the top PhD in Machine Learning for the Period of 2010-2013 by the French-speaking Machine Learning Association in 2014. He then joined the Monash Centre for Data Science, where his research contributions are routinely used at the French Space Agency, Thales Alenia Space and Digital Globe. Francois has presented his research at conferences, seminars and tutorials at the most prestigious venues around the world, and has published more than 20 articles in world-leading conference proceedings and journals. Francois was awarded AIME 2015 Best Paper Award, and received Honourable Mention for the SDM 2015 Best Research Paper.

Pro Vice-Chancellor, Research and Research Training at Victoria University, Professor Warren Payne presented Dr Francois Petitjean with the Research Impact Award

 

The Coffee Club Arts and Fashion Award

Fablice Manirakiza, 26 of Noble Park arrived in Australia eight years ago, and since then has established himself as a creator of influence in the Australian arts scene, working as a rapper, MC, Dancer, Festival Producer and curator. Fablice was awarded the first ever Refugee Scholarship Award from Multicultural Arts Victoria, where he has organised a number of youth arts festivals around Victoria. He is an icon amongst local indigenous youth and has performed workshops across Australia. Fablice was voted Australia’s number one African hip hop act at the South Australian Hip Hop Awards, and voted twice as the Top 100 Influential African/Australians. He is also an official ambassador for the AFL, National Refugee Week, Multicultural Arts Victoria and Melbourne Festival

Director of The Coffee Club, John Lazarou presented Fablice Manirakiza with the Arts and Fashion Award

 

The Victorian Government Group Achievement in the Community Award

Unite Alliance Program, of Dandenong aims to improve the quality of life of young people who identify as same sex attracted and/or gender diverse. The group meets weekly to develop awareness campaigns and projects that tackle homophobia and discrimination, including the Day of Action and It Starts With Us Project. Youth workers deliver workshops, to increase knowledge and understanding of inclusive practice, which provides for a safer and more inclusive environment throughout the schools and services these young people attend. Social networks are built throughout the program, which provides another level of support, and gives these young people a sense of belonging.

Minister for Families & Children, Minister for Youth Affairs, Jenny Mikakos presented Unite Alliance with the Group Achievement in the Community Award

 

Saward Dawson Community Service and Social Impact Award

Robert Gilies, 25 of Canterbury is the founder of six initiatives, which he contributes 60 hours of unpaid hours per week to. HoMie, a non-profit street wear fashion label and clothing retail store, employing individuals experiencing homelessness; The Homeless of Melbourne Facebook Page, changing negative attitudes and the stigma of homeless people; The Yarra Swim Co, creating the first ever Yarra River swimming pool; The Maningrida Indigenous and Remote Outreach Committee, which runs volunteer trips to remote Indigenous communities; Charity Tap, raising money for charities assisting the world’s poorest individuals; and Dream Larger, providing leadership development and education programs in low-income communities overseas. Robert has volunteered as an English teacher in South East Asia, as a youth worker in remote Indigenous communities and at homeless shelters and soup kitchens across Melbourne. Robert is also a HIV researcher, who has presented his research at the International AIDS conference and the San Francisco Liver Conference.

Peter Shields, Partner at Saward Dawson presented Robert Gillies with the Community Service and Social Impact Award

 

The University of Melbourne Science and Technology Award

Dr Julia Marchingo, 27 of Surrey Hills completed her honours and PhD on the very challenging problem of constructing a quantitative framework to describe T cell behaviour in response to the various stimuli they might encounter during an immune reaction. Julia has presented her research at various conferences both nationally and internationally and has been published in several prestigious journals. She has received various awards for her research, including the Picchi award for Excellence in Cancer Research, the Discovery Award for excellence in Scientific Discovery and the Australian Society for Immunology New Investigator Award. Julia was offered a European Molecular Biology Organisation Long-Term Fellowship to pursue postdoctoral training overseas.

Dean of the Faculty of Science at The University of Melbourne, Professor Karen Day presented Phillip, representing Dr Julia Marchingo, with the Science and Technology Award

 

AustralianSuper Career Kick Start Award

Julia Truong, 22 of St Albans established her own events and production business JT. Production Management, a highly successful business delivering a variety of events such as the Western Chances 10th Anniversary Gala event, Tourism Fest in the West and the Heart Foundation Victoria Healthy Living conference. She then developed her second company JT. Weddings, organising many successful weddings and scoring 5 star reviews on Australia’s biggest wedding directory. Julia has also completed work with various theatre and art productions, including stage manager at White Night Melbourne, and is now studying a Bachelor of Production. Julia speaks to high school students about the importance of education and continues to volunteer with not-for-profit organisations

Group Executive - Strategy People and Performance for AustralianSuper, Jane Foley presented Julia Truong with the Career Kick Start Award

 

Bartercard Online Achievement Award

Ashley Davies, 23 of Wheelers Hill is the founder and CEO at Tablo, an online publishing platform where you can write and discover great stories. Authors from over 150 countries have published books on Tablo, which they can publish directly to readers. Ashley was also the founder of PhotoGuides.net, a photography blog helping people learn and understand the world of photography. PhotoGuides.net reached 3 million photographers and published an eBook that became the number one photography best seller on Amazon and iTunes. Ashley has her name alongside patents for online publishing processes, and her and her team has made some significant breakthroughs in the publishing technology space.

General Manager for Bartercard, Bruce Manson presented Ashley Davies with the Online Achievement Award

 

First National Real Estate Leadership Award

Sheree Rubinstein, 28 of St Kilda East is the co-founder of non-profit organisation, ‘Think Big’, a women’s networking group with the mission to inspire Gen Y women. Sheree has driven Think Big, which has hosted events with celebrity speakers and over 200 participants. Sheree is also the co-founder and CEO of social enterprise ‘One Roof’, which offers business coaching, mentorship, advice and opportunities to network with a like-minded community, and access to affordable and targeted professional services. One Roof has hosted hundreds of events and workshops, granted scholarships to six social enterprises, and connected many women to legal advice and business connections. One Roof supports a women’s accelerator program called SHE in South Africa, which offers skills training to women and girls with disabilities and integrating them into the workforce. Sheree was selected as the only Australian of 60 social entrepreneurs to attend REALITY Global leadership program in Israel.

Director of First National Real Estate L J Whorlow, Sharon Wharlow presented Sheree Rubinstein with the Leadership Award

 

Victorian Government Small Business Award

Aimee Marks - TOM Organic, 29 of St Kilda created TOM’s Organic, a range of feminine hygiene products using Australian Certified Organic cotton. In 2012 and 2013, TOM Organic was stocked in Woolworths and Coles and is now available in all major supermarkets, being the first time an Australian Organic feminine hygiene product has been ranged in supermarkets across Australia. TOM Organic often donates products to charities and is aligned with a number of not for profits focused on women’s health and wellbeing. Aimee was awarded the Telstra Young Business Woman of the Year and won the Australian Certified Organic Young Leader Award in 2014; TOM Organic also won the product wellbeing category in the Green Lifestyle Awards in 2012.

Minister for Families & Children, Minister for Youth Affairs, Jenny Mikakos presented Aimee Marks with the Small Business Award

 

2015 Winners of the Victorian Young Achiever Awards

 

Overall Winner - Premier's Young Achiever of the Year

Georgia Retallick, 23 of Elsternwick founded The Y-House Foundation in 2010. It is a not-for-profit organisation committed to providing support and options for young people forced to live in, or at risk of, entering care. Named as one of the Women’s Weekly Women of the Future, she met with the Prime Minister Tony Abbott to discuss her work. Georgia’s goal is to build a “Y-House”, a $3.5 million rehabilitation facility for young people who have degenerative disease and serious brain and spinal injuries. Through fundraising, Georgia has already acquired $500,000 in donations for the building and a further $150,000 has been raised for the Foundation.

 

AustralianSuper Career Kick Start Award

Kate McLean, 25 of Reservoir has a passion for flowers. After completing a Diploma of Commercial Floristry in 2013, she launched her floristry business "Mary Mary Millinery" creating a niche market for fresh floral headpieces. Rebranding and relaunching as Mary Mary Studio last year, services were extended to include weddings, events, and special occasions. Mary Mary Studio has been featured on Frankie Magazine, and Kate regularly collaborates and networks with other industry creatives to expand her business. Kate’s business has flourished with a loyal customer base and wedding bookings from some of Melbourne’s most prestigious venues.


Victorian Government Innovation Award

Alastair Pryor, 25 of North Fitzroy was completing his Bachelor of Business in Entrepreneurship and Innovation when he had the concept of “Compact Shelters”, a collapsible shelter for the homeless. With a grant from Oxfam Great Britain, Alastair designed immediate response shelters for refugees as well as collapsible water tanks and water containers. He also developed the first collapsible latrine shelter and anti-bacterial mobile surgery room. Alastair is working with charities all over the world to provide innovative aid relief solutions focused on reducing logistics so that aid can be supplied to disaster environments much faster.

 

 

BASF Science & Technology Award

Dr David Riglar, 28 of Melbourne completed his PhD on the development and application of new imaging methods. He used a combination of electron, light and super-resolution microscopy, to understand how malaria-causing parasites infect human blood cells so as to better treat the disease. David has contributed to 14 publications and presented at international forums. He has been awarded the University of Melbourne's Chancellor's Prize, the Dean's Award for Excellence in a PhD Thesis, and a commendation for the Victorian Premier's Award for Health and Medical Research 2014. David has won two prestigious fellowships that will allow him to pursue postdoctoral training overseas.


The Coffee Club Arts Award

Rebecca Clark, 28 of Collingwood completed a Bachelor of Dramatic Art in Costume at NIDA, gaining experience in theatrical costuming, draping, tailoring and millinery corsetry. She works extensively within the circus and puppetry communities and collaborates with internationally renowned circus and sideshow performer, Lilikoi Kaos. Rebecca is touring with Circus Oz to develop three unique costumes for her Trapeze, Hula Hoop and Escape Routine acts. Her costumes have been seen on stages around the world and her film and television credits include Me and My Monsters, Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries and most recently The Dressmaker.


Victorian Government Small Business Achievement Award

Paul O’Shea, 28 of Glen Iris has built CS Town Planning Services from the ground up. Paul combined his qualification as a town planner together with local experience to begin work as a private consultant to help developers obtain application approval. Initial business growth was by referrals and through his website and a Google ads campaign. A notable success has been securing corporate clients such as Lend Lease and NAB. CS Town Planning Services currently employs three full time staff and recorded a gross net profit margin of 54% in the first quarter of this financial year.


Saward Dawson Community Service and Volunteering Award

Mark Green, 24 of Wodonga is passionate about celebrating diversity, equality and social justice. He co-created ‘Equal Love on the Border’, an advocacy for the LGBTI, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex community with information on health and wellbeing, education and marriage equality. Mark organises large scale events, writes a newsletter and uses Social Media to increase awareness. He is volunteer leader and mentor at Hume Phoenix, a social support and advocacy group for LGBTI youth, the WayOut Wodonga project at Gateway Health and the WoW Youth Action Group.


Academy Graphics Regional Achiever Award

Jessi McEwan, 21 of Morwell was selected to be Australia’s first Young Chef Ambassador and represented Australia in the 2014 World Chefs Forum in Norway. Jessi helps build young chef programs in Australia and collaborates with other Ambassadors, whilst keeping the World Association of Chefs Society informed of her progress. She is an active member of the Young Chefs Club, the Australian Culinary Federation and supports her community through fundraising initiatives. Jessi was named State Apprentice of the Year in 2013 and enjoys conducting cooking classes and inspirational talks to high school students.

 

Bartercard Online Achievement Award

Andrew Armstrong & Long Zheng, 27 of Melbourne co-founded 121CAST in 2012 to change the way people listen to radio around the world. The aim was to enable listeners to edit and create radio stations. Both Andrew and Long were awarded entrepreneurial fellowships by the University of Melbourne. They have built online products that millions of people use every day, including SoundGecko, Omny, Metrowit, Metro Trains Google Glass and Bigpond Movies and Music. In 2008, Long was one of four co-founders awarded first place in the Microsoft Imagine Cup chosen from 220,000 student entrants across 100 countries.

 

First National Real Estate Leadership Award

Georgia Retallick, 23 of Elsternwick founded The Y-House Foundation in 2010. It is a not-for-profit organisation committed to providing support and options for young people forced to live in, or at risk of, entering care. Named as one of the Women’s Weekly Women of the Future, she met with the Prime Minister Tony Abbott to discuss her work. Georgia’s goal is to build a “Y-House”, a $3.5 million rehabilitation facility for young people who have degenerative disease and serious brain and spinal injuries. Through fundraising, Georgia has already acquired $500,000 in donations for the building and a further $150,000 has been raised for the Foundation.

 

2014 Winners

Overall Winner - Premier's Young Achiever of the Year 

Matthew Calleja, 24 of Lilydale has a love and passion for cars and for community. Leaving school in year 10 to start a mechanical apprenticeship, he soon realised that it was not for him. At only 17 years of age he created his own business; MRC Performance - Performance Parts and Fabrication. Commencing as an online home business, MRC is now a well-known, well established performance shop in Lilydale with six staff specialising in high performance parts for Australian cars. The business has expanded into Design and Fabrication and has recently added the Kamacarzi Car Care product range. Matthew provides significant support for local charities and holds regular car events and BBQ’s at his factory to raise funds for the local CFA.

 
Academy Graphics Regional Achiever Award

Tom Whitty, 26 of Princes Hill has made a significant contribution to changing the agricultural landscape through pioneering social media initiatives AgChatOZ and Rural Mental Health. AgChatOz uses social media to help give farmers access to ongoing discussions about Agricultural related matters. Rural Mental Health is a social media initiative aimed at raising awareness about mental health issues in rural Australia. Tom was instrumental in obtaining a $240,000 funding grant for an agricultural careers advisor and was named the 2013 Emerging Leader in Victorian Agriculture. This year Tom will present to more than 2,000 delegates at the AgChat Conference in Texas.

 

BASF Science and Technology Award

Lori Ferrins, 27 of Templestowe is currently completing her PhD with a focus on the complex research and design of new drugs to treat Human African Trypanosomiasis, known as African sleeping sickness. It is a debilitating parasitic disease affecting tens of thousands of people annually. Publishing several articles including in the European Journal of Medicinal Chemistry and Future Medicinal Chemistry, Lori was the first to publish findings on a new class of compounds active against the parasite. Lori has presented the findings at local and national conferences. These compounds have previously shown potent activity as agents in diseases such as cancer making the project exciting in its potential.

 

Saward Dawson Community Service and Volunteering Award

Maddison Parker, 11 of Caroline Springs runs a campaign to raise awareness for the debilitating disability Ehlers Danlos syndrome. She is determined to see state wide clinics established across Australia for those that suffer from connective tissue disorders, and for Ehlers Danlos syndrome to be a recognised and understood condition. Maddison has raised over $10,000 to help those with CTDs, and a further $2,000 for the YMCA open doors program. Despite constant chronic pain, daily dislocations and fatigue, she is determined to improve the lives of those living with the illness.

 

AustralianSuper Career Kick Start Award

Hayden Layton, 19 of Roxburgh Park started working at Youthworx Media, completed his accredited media training and was employed by two Production companies by the time he was 16. Last year Hayden completed his traineeship and was instantly promoted to Producer! He won a Film Award from the Oasis short film competition where he was presented with his award by Cate Blanchett. Hayden has secured funding by writing successful funding applications for new initiatives and projects such as “North” and “Live Up” and he is currently working on multiple short films and music videos. 

 

The Coffee Club Arts Award

Lesley & Patrick Francis, 24 and 22 of Keilor East collaborate as “Absolutely Awetistic Arts”. Patrick is a special needs artist and prolific painter using acrylic on paper as his chosen medium. He has won numerous arts awards, exhibited at the National Gallery of Victoria and has been included in every Arts Project Gala Exhibition since 2009. Patrick was showcased as a prominent “Melbourne Now” artist and is exhibiting at Safari 2014 and the Melbourne Art Fair. Lesley is an exceptional author, curator, arts writer and dynamic young entrepreneur who assists her brother. “Absolutely Awetistic Arts” have produced several books with Lesley as author and Patrick the artist, which are sold online. Profits are used for global awareness and research of autism and intellectual disability.

 

Minister for Youth Affairs Sustainability Award

Catherine Payne, 24 of Brunswick is a conservation biologist who is passionate about conserving wildlife and natural ecosystems. She has conducted research into human disturbance of birds, urban microbat roosting behaviour, and also invasive species ecology. Catherine has volunteered with conservation organisations in Australia and the UK, and in 2012 formed the now 800 member strong Deakin University Ecology Volunteer Register to help undergraduate ecology students keen to volunteer and get practical experience. A keen wildlife photographer, her photographs have been used in the media and on banners and websites to promote conservation.


Victorian Government’s Small Business Achievement Award

Matthew Calleja, 24 of Lilydale has a love and passion for cars and for community. Leaving school in year 10 to start a mechanical apprenticeship, he soon realised that it was not for him. At only 17 years of age he created his own business; MRC Performance - Performance Parts and Fabrication. Commencing as an online home business, MRC is now a well-known, well established performance shop in Lilydale with six staff specialising in high performance parts for Australian cars. The business has expanded into Design and Fabrication and has recently added the Kamacarzi Car Care product range. Matthew provides significant support for local charities and holds regular car events and BBQ’s at his factory to raise funds