7News Young Achiever Awards

In 2019 the University of Adelaide continued its support of the 7News Young Achiever Awards; South Australia’s premier Youth Awards, which aim to encourage, reward and most importantly promote the positive achievements of young South Australians, 28 years and under.

Initiatives such as this, provide outstanding opportunities for our new and future leaders and role models to the community. Amongst the 2019 winners announced at a Gala Dinner on Friday 17th May, 39 Finalists and 27 Semi-Finalists were acknowledged and recognised for their achievements and contribution to the community.


Congratulations to all of the winners, and the finalists that made it to the final round! 

Sean Grealy // South Australian Young Achiever of the Year and First National Real Estate Innovation Award

Sean Grealy, 23 of Morphettville is committed to improving aged care services. He founded Care Konnect, a suite of software enabling better communication and service quality in aged care, to solve his family’s own problem when his grandfather entered aged care services for the first time. Care Konnect brings together ageing and vulnerable people, their families, and care providers reducing social isolation, promoting healthy ageing and overall service transparency. Care Konnect is working with aged care providers nationally and expects to connect over 3,000 families in 2019. Sean contributes to his community by working with early stage start-ups with the University of Adelaide ThincLab and Hacker Exchange program across Israel, America, France and Australia

Tahlia Perry // The University of Adelaide STEM Award

Tahlia Perry, 25 of Mount Barker has completed a Bachelor of Science majoring in Zoology and Genetics. Her PHD research focuses on understanding echidna biology and distribution Australia wide in order to better protect them. Echidnas are ecologically and evolutionarily important but conservation efforts are limited by a lack of knowledge. She has developed molecular tools to provide high quality data for wild echidna conservation and captive breeding programs. Tahlia runs a successful project called EchidnaCSI where the community submits sightings of wild echidnas through a dedicated App and Tahlia collects echidna scats for molecular analysis. Tahlia is a passionate science communicator and women in STEM ambassador

Cyanne Westerman // Websters Lawyers Service to the Community

Cyanne Westerman, 27 of Whyalla is fighting for the rights of people living with disability. As a founding member of the Whyalla Youth Advisory Committee she suggested to hold an event to acknowledge the International Day of People living with Disability. Cyanne is member of the Whyalla Beach Access Group and been actively pushing for an accessible beach for all people, fundraising for Beach Wheelchairs, and educating locals on the shift to accessible beaches. Cyanne was an advisor on the local Disability Advisory Group formed by the Whyalla Council and Regional Development Australia and helped develop the “Living Well, Whyalla’s Masterplan for Disability & Ageing"

Otis Carter // Department of Human Services Aboriginal Achievement Award

Otis Carter, 27 of Port Lincoln is an advocate for a healthy and active sporting lifestyle. He is a proud Aboriginal who has successfully recovered from ice addiction. In 2018 Otis graduated from the Indigenous Marathon Foundation, participating in the New York marathon, Sydney City 2 Surf and the Gold Coast Marathon. He achieved a Running Leader Level 1 Coach Qualification, Aboriginal mental health first aid and CPR qualifications. Otis is a support worker for the Aboriginal Families Support Services, inspiring children in the Port Lincoln community to become future marathoners. He plays A grade football and is a 2x Premiership player, competing in the Midwest Football League

Carlos Maya // Worldwide Sports Award

Carlos Maya Koch, 27 of Broadview is a dedicated athlete, karate instructor, and community volunteer. Currently ranked 38th in the world, Carlos moved to Australia from Mexico for a chance to compete in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. He works as a full time assistant manager and part-time karate instructor. Despite being mostly self-funded, Carlos is a dedicated volunteer who works with children groups to teach conflict resolution, coordination, discipline and respect for others. He runs school seminars to reduce conflict between students and improve their discipline and focus. Carlos also teaches adults and has worked with women groups on self-defence, confidence and building strength and focus

Mahyar Raezaei // Multicultural Youth South Australia Spirit of Resilience Award

Mahyar Raezaei, 25 of Parkside arrived in Australia in 2012 as an asylum seeker with his family. After five months spent in detention centres he was given a bridging visa and in 2016, he and his family were granted a 5-year safe haven visa. Mahya has gained his Bronze Medallion and volunteers at the West Beach Surf Life Saving Club where he is an inflatable rescue boat driver. He volunteers at Welcome to Australia and is on the steering group for the Supporting Social Cohesion Project. He helps in his families café and has started Pizza Mizza which serves pizza made from only local produce

Harry Sanders // Minister for Industry and Skills Outstanding Apprentice Award

Harry Sanders, 21 of Willaston is a skilled craftsman, builder and fixer. He began his apprenticeship in 2016 after completing a Certificate II in Construction and a partial Certificate III in Carpentry. He undertook several work placements and received rave reviews from his employers. He likewise excelled in his role at Hoffman Building Services, where he demonstrated great leadership and work ethic. A former State Champion BMX racer, Harry has received a community service award for his participation in three Relay for Life events in the Barossa Valley. He has received two community achievement awards and aspires to give back to the community someday through teaching

Zelma Tolley // Rural Doctors Workforce Agency Rural Health Award

Zelma Tolley, 26 of Port Lincoln is raising awareness and reducing stigma about perinatal mental health. She founded The Postnatal Project during the final stages of her first pregnancy. Zelma built the website and collated all professional service connections in Australia to support mums, dads, families and their village, in their journey to healing. She volunteers for the Perinatal Anxiety and Depression Australia Community and connects rural communities that are otherwise isolated. She has written an eBook and published articles that bring a rural voice on rural issues. In 2018 Zelma wrote and launched "Mama, Let's Be Honest" - an eBook that has sold internationally

Amber Cronin // University Senior College Create Change Award

Amber Cronin, 28 of Stepney was co-founder and Artistic Director of The Mill from 2012 to 2018. The Mill is a multi-artform creative incubator that aims to bring together arts practitioners from every imaginable background to work alongside one another under one roof. Amber focused on creating a space for dialogue between visual arts and performance. Since opening, The Mill has stayed at 90% capacity and showcases bespoke shoemakers, art exhibitions, jewellery and fashion shops, photography studios, to name a few. Amber has developed innovative programs and events for The Mill and has accomplished its transition to a fully managed, sustainable operation

Zaachariaha Fielding // The Rowdy Group Creative Achievement Award

Zaachariaha Fielding, 27 of Adelaide uses his musical talent to share his culture and inspire young people. He is an Anangu and Torres Strait Islander man from Mimili. He came to Adelaide as a student under the Wiltja Program and studied at the Centre for Aboriginal Studies in Music. At 17, he was chosen by Baz Luhrmann to sing a song in the Yolngu language for the movie “Australia”. He was a finalist in The Voice in 2014 as part of the duet ZK. In 2015, he formed the duo Electric Fields. They signed a deal with SONY ATV and has since received six music awards

Zia Westerman // Santos Regional Service Award

Zia Westerman, 27 of Whyalla is an inspirational leader and advocate for young people with disability. Having born with Muscular Dystrophy, Zia is no stranger to the challenges faced by disabled persons. She is a founding member of the Whyalla Youth Advisory Committee, a member of the Disability Advisory Group and was recently elected as a Councillor for Whyalla City Council. As part of these organisations, Zia provided insights on her struggles so that they could better understand the journey of people who have a disability. She helped organise events such as Australia Day Events, National Tree Day and Clean Up Australia Day

Sam Weavers // Scouts SA Leadership Award

Sam Weavers, 11 of Wayville is the founder of Sam’s Popcorn, a successful online business selling and delivering flavoured popcorn to customers all over Australia. Sam created a fundraising program called Kids4Kids, giving students an opportunity to help children with cancer, by selling Sam’s Popcorn with the profits going to the Childhood Cancer Association. In 2018, Sam was awarded the Fred Hollows Humanity Award and was announced as the Junior Ambassador for South Australia for his selfless charity work. Sam gives presentations to inspire and motivate people in businesses, networking groups and school students about how they can make a difference in the community