Wed. Feb 8th, 2023
Meet the young Trailblazers driving change across regional Australia

ABC Heywire is proud to announce and have a good time the winners of the 2021 Trailblazers competitors.

These younger individuals have large plans for the futures of their initiatives and the impression they hope they’re going to 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.

This is the whole lot you might want to learn about them and their 10 initiatives.

Sober Mates

Sam Wilson in South Geelong, Victoria

An academic on-line neighborhood 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.(Equipped: Cameron Rosin)

Describing herself as a former “heavy social Aussie drinker”, Sam mentioned she received to the purpose the place she was now not capable of say no to a drink, anxiously watching her buddies end their glasses so she may order one other for herself.

She finally determined to turn out to be sober. However when she did, the 26-year-old struggled to discover a neighborhood the place she may focus on the problems of going sober in her mid-20s, which is how Sober Mates took place.

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

It gives entry to info and assist providers, tips about reducing 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 turn out to be an business chief.

“I need to give shows at colleges and at neighborhood occasions about the way to change the tradition and consuming and the way to make higher decisions for your self,” she mentioned.

“When individuals need to discover their relationship with alcohol, I would like individuals to know that they’ll 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 answer 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 neighborhood communicate up about their wants with out concern.(Equipped: Multicultural Youth Community)

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

Their mission, 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 consists of organising neighborhood occasions, skill-building and problem-solving workshops, in addition to translating movies with COVID-19 info in them.

“The MYN helps me to really feel secure. It provides me and my different buddies from my neighborhood a spot to have enjoyable, share, keep related to tradition and have a good time our tales,” Kotnyin shared.

“As a Hazara girl, I [wanted to help] my neighborhood to know their roles throughout COVID-19 regardless of strict gender roles throughout 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.

“We at MYN encourage you to get your self concerned and immerse your self into the native multicultural neighborhood, take part of their occasions and don’t hesitate to strike up a dialog with somebody new.”

Kotnyin completed, saying she hopes the group “will proceed to assist our neighborhood really feel related and to really feel that they’ll be capable to communicate 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 neighborhood and work collectively.”

Ideas of Nation

Marlikka Perdrisat and Harry Jakamarra in Broome, Western Australia

Holding Indigenous language and tradition alive by way of 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.(Equipped: Ideas Of Nation)

When Marlikka, a Nyikina and Wangkumara girl 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 Legislation, as she has seen first-hand how Indigenous points are undermined by the present authorized system, schooling system and throughout the media.

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

She and her companion, 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 Legislation 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 educational world. And we have additionally had it offered at a sequence of regulation corporations,” Marlikka mentioned.

“Whenever you’re sitting within the classroom, otherwise you’re chatting with individuals at work, and also you’re explaining what Nation means to you, as an Aboriginal, there’s this barrier in communication, as a result of they do not have the phrases to know it.

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

“And so I really 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 neighborhood for his mission so he can go world.(Equipped: Timothy Lachlan)

Tim spent numerous 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 neighborhood to encourage them to come back and see what WCMX was all about, the individuals he approached had been reluctant.

Because of this he began WCMX, a skate and mobility coaching session that sees him train wheelchair customers the way to 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 suggestions, akin to getting up and down curbs, stairs and steep ramps.

Now based mostly on the Gold Coast, Tim is captivated with 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 in regards to 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 neighborhood.

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

“Fundamental mobility abilities give individuals the instruments they should overcome a society that is not constructed for them.”

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 mission sees her run seashore clean-ups and train classes on marine ecology and human impacts on the ocean amongst many different issues.(Equipped: 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 girl runs empowering workshops to coach and lift consciousness of ocean conservation. Actions embrace seashore clean-ups, classes on marine ecology and human impacts on the ocean, exploring the coastal setting, studying from elders and different ocean warriors, in addition to snorkelling.

“In future, I actually would like to pay for younger Indigenous girls to learn to scuba dive, as a result of it takes you to a unique place once you truly go on the market and also you see the marine life below the water,” she mentioned.

“I would like to go round to distant communities and train children who reside close to the ocean about ocean conservation.”

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

“I believe when you study that stuff, you turn out to be somebody who’s going to take care of the setting as properly,” she mentioned.

Scholar Psychological Well being Tasmania

Matt Etherington and Cari Tan in Hobart, Tasmania

A psychological well being program delivering schooling 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 mission in 2017.(Equipped: 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 by way of coaching, consciousness, calls to motion, advocacy and consultations.

The group has taken greater than 850 tertiary college students by way of accredited psychological well being coaching, and reached many lots of extra by way of neighborhood occasions and advocacy, because it launched in 2017.

The group encourages peer assist, self-care, neighborhood 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 operating an occasion this yr combining worldwide college students and the ageing neighborhood to run an inter-generational studying session based mostly round enjoyable actions.

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

“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 in regards to the impression of small constructive actions over time.”

Mozzi: All the time 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 neighborhood

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: All the time Rememeber To Keep Lethal! to show to younger individuals in his neighborhood that their voices matter.(Equipped: 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 together with his distant neighborhood.

He runs workshops and mentorship packages by way of Umeewarra Media that cowl the whole lot from brief filmmaking, interview abilities and radio presenting to music-making. Subsequent yr he plans to run a workshop on instructing younger girls the way to DJ.

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

“To convey youth voices out to point out their significance, that their opinions matter and likewise to encourage them to think about media as a profession choice,” he mentioned.

Dre desires to proceed uplifting his neighborhood and to encourage different organisations to tackle related initiatives.

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


Shennae Neal in Yarrabah, Queensland

A culturally secure 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 simply the start line to persevering with well being schooling in her neighborhood.(Equipped: Shennae Neal)

Shennae, a proud Gunggandji girl, remembers noticing rising numbers of individuals residing in her neighborhood with out work, fighting their well being and missing goal a number of 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 neighborhood to make wholesome life decisions.

She is raring to proceed well being schooling for individuals in her neighborhood and is at present operating health classes as soon as a fortnight with a professional private coach.

With 15-20 individuals attending the classes, she hopes it would proceed to develop so she will embrace normal health, bootcamp, wholesome cooking lessons and well being exams within the classes.

“I would like to have the ability to use my ardour and my drive to proceed to plant seeds,” she mentioned.

“If I communicate to 5 individuals, possibly one in every of them 5 individuals proceed on to reside a more healthy way of life, or say, ‘OK, I need to observe my desires now’.

“I need to give hope by way of this mission … this mission is simply the start line.”


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.(Equipped: Emma Serisier)

Emma invented STEMpower as a approach 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 software charges of eggshells on their soils, and gained the Australian Stockholm Junior Water Prize along with her invention.

“Rising up on a distant rural property instilled duty, problem-solving strategies and time administration into my psyche,” she mentioned.

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 convey 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 mission?

“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 each 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.(Equipped: Mark Merrett)

Mark lives and breathes the farm life. Having grown up in western Victoria on his household’s combined 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 intention? 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 had been doing on the farm,” he mentioned.

“Being children, they weren’t fairly as passionate as I used to be in regards to the movies.

“However in 2020, after seeing grocery store shelf after grocery store shelf be wiped clear throughout COVID panic-buying, I used to be as soon as once more impressed to make these movies.

“They present a few of the highs and lows of farming, in addition to exhibiting what the meals we produce seems 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 isn’t stopping there.

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

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