HomeTechnologyMeet the younger Trailblazers driving change throughout regional Australia

Meet the younger Trailblazers driving change throughout regional Australia

ABC Heywire is proud to announce and rejoice the winners of the 2021 Trailblazers competitors.

These younger individuals have large plans for the futures of their initiatives and the affect they hope they will every have on their nook of Australia, from serving to to maintain Indigenous language and connection to Nation alive, to driving social change for individuals with incapacity.

Here is all the things you must learn about them and their 10 initiatives.

Sober Mates

Sam Wilson in South Geelong, Victoria

An academic on-line group to attach younger individuals past the booze

A woman sits in a grey dress and smiles. She is in a booth with wine bottles lined up behind her.
Sam Wilson plans on operating sober occasions and panel discussions in regional Australia as a part of Sober Mates.(Provided: Cameron Rosin)

Describing herself as a former “heavy social Aussie drinker”, Sam mentioned she acquired to the purpose the place she was now not in a position to say no to a drink, anxiously watching her associates end their glasses so she might order one other for herself.

She finally determined to change into sober. However when she did, the 26-year-old struggled to discover a group the place she might focus on the problems of going sober in her mid-20s, which is how Sober Mates happened.

Sober Mates is an academic on-line platform that explores rural Australia’s relationship with alcohol.

It offers entry to data and help providers, recommendations on slicing down alcohol consumption, recommendation on navigating social conditions and empowering individuals to really feel each comfy and assured when socialising with out alcohol.

Sam has already began planning sober occasions and panels in regional Australia. She hopes that Sober Mates will change into an trade chief.

“When individuals need to discover their relationship with alcohol, I would like individuals to know that they will come to us with all the knowledge.”

Multicultural Youth Community

Panmarlar Pahthei, Kotnyin Bul Thon and Laila Hashimi in Bendigo, Victoria

Making a refugee-led resolution to racism and societal participation in regional Australia

Three women stand in a room and look to the camera. They each smile, the woman on the right does a peace sign.
Laila Hashimi, Panmarlar Pahthei and Kotnyin Bul Thon (from left to proper), need to assist their group converse up about their wants with out concern.(Provided: Multicultural Youth Community)

Panmarlar, Kotnyin and Laila belong to Bendigo’s three largest refugee communities: Karen, South Sudanese and Afghan.

Their challenge, Multicultural Youth Community (MYN), goals to equip younger individuals from migrant and refugee backgrounds with the community-building abilities they should set up new lives within the Bendigo area.

Their work contains organising group occasions, skill-building and problem-solving workshops, in addition to translating movies with COVID-19 data in them.

“As a Hazara lady, I [wanted to help] my group to grasp their roles throughout COVID-19 regardless of strict gender roles inside the Hazara and Afghan communities. Being within the public symbolises the liberty and significance of illustration of individuals from multicultural communities,” Laila mentioned.

Panmarlar added: “That is mirrored in our work with MYN. The household picnics, the film nights, and the movies we make.

Kotnyin completed, saying she hopes the group “will proceed to assist our group really feel linked and to really feel that they will be capable of converse up and say something that they need, so they will not be scared or afraid”.

“We wish to have the ability to proceed serving to our group and work collectively.”

Ideas of Nation

Marlikka Perdrisat and Harry Jakamarra in Broome, Western Australia

Conserving Indigenous language and tradition alive via digital storytelling and workshops

A man is seen standing behind a woman in a wide open plain, with several trees and shrubs far behind them. They both smile.
Marlikka Perdrisat and Harry Jakamarra need to present the worth of connecting to Nation.(Provided: Ideas Of Nation)

When Marlikka, a Nyikina and Wangkumara lady from regional WA, moved away for research, she realised simply how vital connection to Nation was.

Marlikka will subsequent yr begin her PhD in First Regulation, as she has seen first-hand how Indigenous points are undermined by the present authorized system, training system and inside the media.

That is what sparked the thought for Ideas of Nation: a video storytelling sequence explaining the that means of phrases which are important to residing with Nation.

She and her accomplice, Harry Jakamarra, who’s a cinematographer from her hometown, filmed 5 instructional movies.

The primary sequence of Ideas of Nation has already been distributed and assigned as coursework for the Indigenous Peoples and Public Regulation unit at Sydney College.

“The scholars then needed to come to class and focus on it, and it actually meant that that dialog was opening up in an instructional world. And we have additionally had it offered at a sequence of regulation companies,” Marlikka mentioned.

“If Australia understands us extra, we might be supported in defending individuals and Nation.

“And so I actually need [Concepts of Country] to remodel the authorized sector and the tutorial sector to point out the worth of how we connect with Nation.”

WCMX & Adaptive Skate/Accessible Skate

Timothy Lachlan on the Gold Coast, Queensland

Accessible skate and mobility workshops creating social change for all individuals residing with incapacity

A man in a wheelchair is seen preparing to go down a dip in a skate park. He wears a helmet and knee pads.
Tim Lachlan plans to arrange a web based group for his challenge so he can go international.(Provided: Timothy Lachlan)

Tim spent a whole lot of his life being the one wheelchair skater on the skatepark — which was a lonely expertise.

However when he began reaching out to different wheelchair customers in his Far North Queensland group to encourage them to come back and see what WCMX was all about, the individuals he approached have been reluctant.

That is why he began WCMX, a skate and mobility coaching session that sees him educate wheelchair customers how you can do a 12-foot drop-in and wheelchair backflips (he is the primary in Australia to take action), in addition to on a regular basis mobility ideas, equivalent to getting up and down curbs, stairs and steep ramps.

Now based mostly on the Gold Coast, Tim is keen about serving to individuals with incapacity throughout Australia pursue journey.

In the meanwhile, he is learning occupational remedy. As soon as he turns into a registered occupational therapist, he desires to proceed elevating consciousness concerning the significance of constructing social areas accessible for everybody.

He additionally desires to start out his personal enterprise, utilizing skating and wheelchair skating as occupational remedy. And he has his sights set on creating a web based group.

“I believe it is one thing that may assist each individual with a incapacity — even when they do not do backflips,” he mentioned.

Saltwater Sistas

Rhiannon Mitchell in Korora, New South Wales

A mentoring program for Indigenous girls and youth in ocean conservation, wellbeing, tradition and values

A woman looks to her left as she stands in a green forest. She wears a multicoloured shawl, her hair is down.
Rhiannon Mitchell’s Saltwater Sistas challenge sees her run seaside clean-ups and educate classes on marine ecology and human impacts on the ocean amongst many different issues.(Provided: Rhiannon Mitchell)

Rhiannon’s love for the ocean and all issues sea life is what influenced her to start out Saltwater Sistas on Gumbaynggirr Nation.

The proud Mununjali lady runs empowering workshops to teach and lift consciousness of ocean conservation. Actions embrace seaside clean-ups, classes on marine ecology and human impacts on the ocean, exploring the coastal surroundings, studying from elders and different ocean warriors, in addition to snorkelling.

“I would like to go round to distant communities and educate youngsters who stay close to the ocean about ocean conservation.”

Rhiannon can also be eager to create a three-month program with weekly meet-ups for younger Indigenous girls to be taught extra about ocean conservation and marine life.

“I believe when you be taught that stuff, you change into somebody who’s going to take care of the surroundings as effectively,” she mentioned.

Scholar Psychological Well being Tasmania

Matt Etherington and Cari Tan in Hobart, Tasmania

A psychological well being program delivering training and empowerment for worldwide and rural college students

A white man sits next to an Asian woman on a set of stairs. They both look to the camera and smile, sunshine is on their faces.
Matt Etherington (left) and Cari Tan have reached out to greater than 850 tertiary college students since they launched their challenge in 2017.(Provided: Matt Etherington and Cari Tan)

With psychological well being impacting one in each 4 college students in Australia, it is no marvel Matt and Cari, who’re from Hobart and Launceston, determined to attempt to do one thing about this.

Scholar Psychological Well being Tasmania is a student-led not-for-profit which goals to extend the wellbeing of scholars via coaching, consciousness, calls to motion, advocacy and consultations.

The group has taken greater than 850 tertiary college students via accredited psychological well being coaching, and reached many a whole bunch extra via group occasions and advocacy, because it launched in 2017.

The group encourages peer help, self-care, group resilience, tradition change and disaster preparedness.

This system has partnered with headspace, Lifeline, the Australian Crimson Cross and Past Blue to assist younger Tasmanian college students construct resilience and thriving futures.

When requested what he hopes Scholar Psychological Well being Tasmania will flip into, Matt mentioned: “So many issues!

“We’re hoping to translate that into an ongoing connection between worldwide college students and the group.

“We’re planning to run The Sunflower Mission once more, the place we invite college students to plant sunflower seedlings and replicate on self-care in addition to construct consciousness concerning the affect of small optimistic actions over time.”

Mozzi: At all times Keep in mind To Keep Lethal!

Dre Ngatokorua in Port Augusta, South Australia

Multimedia workshops giving a voice to younger individuals within the Port Augusta group

A man wears a shirt and has headphones adopt his head. He stands at a DJ's deck and points two fingers to camera.
Dre created Mozzi: At all times Rememeber To Keep Lethal! to show to younger individuals in his group that their voices matter.(Provided: Dre Ngatokorua)

Dre is of Wnagkangurru, Adnyamathanha, Kuyani, Luritja, Deiri, Yankunytjatara, Cook dinner Island and Maori descent.

He began out as a volunteer at Umeewarra Media and now has a everlasting present on the radio station known as The Straight Out.

Dre desires to encourage extra younger individuals to do the identical and share his lethal abilities along with his distant group.

He runs workshops and mentorship packages via Umeewarra Media that cowl all the things from brief filmmaking, interview abilities and radio presenting to music-making. Subsequent yr he plans to run a workshop on educating younger girls how you can DJ.

He mentioned it was vital for younger individuals to know their voices mattered and that was the main target of the workshops.

Dre desires to proceed uplifting his group and to encourage different organisations to tackle comparable initiatives.

“I hope we get larger in scale so now we have a much bigger outreach for individuals. It is an ongoing course of.”


Shennae Neal in Yarrabah, Queensland

A culturally protected and supportive health bootcamp to encourage and encourage regional communities to make wholesome life decisions

A woman smiles as she looks to the camera while holding a bar bell. She has gloves on and a black mask around her neck.
Shennae Neal says MOTIV8 NATION is barely the place to begin to persevering with well being training in her group.(Provided: Shennae Neal)

Shennae, a proud Gunggandji lady, remembers noticing rising numbers of individuals residing in her group with out work, fighting their well being and missing objective just a few years again.

And so, in 2015, she opened up the Gilpul Café and made the choice to rent solely younger Indigenous individuals in want of labor.

Shennae additionally ensured the café was stocked with loads of wholesome choices to encourage her group to make wholesome life decisions.

She is keen to proceed well being training for individuals in her group and is presently operating health periods as soon as a fortnight with a professional private coach.

With 15-20 individuals attending the periods, she hopes it is going to proceed to develop so she will be able to embrace basic health, bootcamp, wholesome cooking lessons and well being checks within the periods.

“If I converse to 5 individuals, possibly certainly one of them 5 individuals proceed on to stay a more healthy way of life, or say, ‘OK, I need to comply with my goals now’.

“I need to give hope via this challenge … this challenge is simply the place to begin.”


Emma Serisier in Lowanna, New South Wales

Making STEM cool and inventing methods to scale back emissions to guard future meals sustainability

A woman stands in front of a wall of green plants. Her hand is on her waist, her hair is down and she wears a dressy top.
Emma Serisier is organising a mentoring program and making a STEMpower app.(Provided: Emma Serisier)

Emma invented STEMpower as a manner for farmers to handle their soil and water high quality and assist counteract their environmental footprint.

Eggshell waste is used as a bio-absorbent and can be utilized to lower the phosphate run-off into pure waterways from agricultural fertilisers and animal manure.

Emma developed a mathematical mannequin and web site for farmers to calculate value financial savings and utility charges of eggshells on their soils, and received the Australian Stockholm Junior Water Prize together with her invention.

Subsequent on the agenda for Emma is kickstarting a mentoring program.

“I am on the seek for individuals who can take part and be concerned in that, and begin to deliver that to life, making connections between mentors and mentees and serving to them attain the place they need to be,” she mentioned.

As for the science a part of her challenge?

“I am engaged on placing an app collectively and making that extra accessible to farmers and individuals who need to use it,” Emma mentioned.

Farm Vlogs

Mark Merrett in Kaniva, Victoria

A sequence of instructional and tutorial movies showcasing every day farm life

A man wears an orange hi-vis shirt and a cap with sunglasses on it as he holds a smiling baby while standing in a field.
Mark Merrett desires to advertise agriculture to individuals within the areas in addition to the massive cities throughout Australia.(Provided: Mark Merrett)

Mark lives and breathes the farm life. Having grown up in western Victoria on his household’s blended farm, it is all he is aware of and loves.

However Mark is aware of not everybody has entry to all that he is realized residing and dealing on his farm.

Enter Farm Vlogs: an academic video sequence that shares what actually occurs on Mark’s farm.

The goal? To advertise agriculture to individuals in regional areas in addition to in cities, and to extend the extent of consciousness and understanding that everybody has of farmers in Australia.

“In 2016 I began making some brief farm movies for my nephews and niece in Melbourne to maintain them up-to-date with what we have been doing on the farm,” he mentioned.

“Being youngsters, they weren’t fairly as passionate as I used to be concerning the movies.

“They present among the highs and lows of farming, in addition to exhibiting what the meals we produce appears to be like like earlier than making it to grocery store cabinets.”

Farm Vlogs’ success has already surpassed Mark’s expectations — it is allowed him to attach with 1000’s of individuals throughout the globe.

However he is not stopping there.

“I would like to see these movies utilized in faculties and on tv, so when you have any concepts in any respect, please get in contact with me.”


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