Earlier this month the 2014 NAIDOC Award winners for South Australia were announced. Huge congratulations to all the winners and in particular to these five inspirational young people who are getting out there and working hard to achieve their dreams!

NAIDOC South Australia Young Person of the Year – Jardi Welch
Jardi Welch works in SA Police’s State Intelligence Branch. She was nominated for the prestigious award due to her consistently high level work performance and strong involvement in the Aboriginal community. Jardi is active in the community, engaging with young people through her participation in numerous programs. She has played an integral role in crime prevention initiatives such as the Youth Midnight Basketball Program and Noorla Yo-Long Life Skills and been a key member of the City of Salisbury Youth Council and Aboriginal Leadership Program.

Jardi Welch - NAIDOC SA Young Person of the Year

Jardi Welch – photo via SA Police

NAIDOC South Australia Trainee of the Year – Jemima Rickett
Jemima Rickett, winner of the NAIDOC South Australia Trainee of the Year, has lived in Adelaide all her life and has just finished her traineeship and received her Cert III in Business! Her message to the community (from her interview on Radio Adelaide) is:

Just be really proud of who you are and don’t be shy to get out there and try lots of things.

Jemima has certainly lived this philosophy. At high school she was one of 29 students from around Australia selected to participate in a week long science and cultural project hosted by SA Water!

Jemima Rickett - Trainee of the Year

Photo via Adelaide Now


NAIDOC South Australia Scholar of the Year – Dwayne Coulthard
The award recognises not only Dwayne’s academic achievements, but his work as a cadet at the Legal Services Commission, and his extensive community involvement including through the Australian Indigenous Mentoring initiative (AIME) and as Youth Ambassador for South Australia for the Recognise This youth campaign for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander constitutional recognition. Check out this interview with him on Behind The News where he talks about NAIDOC week 2014’s theme, ‘Serving Country’.

NAIDOC South Australia Female Sportsperson of the Year – Vanessa Stokes

You don’t get your own Wikipedia page for nothing! Vanessa Stokes is a talented pitcher who’s been playing softball since she was 4 years old. She made her debut for the Australian women’s softball team,  Aussie Spirit, against Japan in 2012 which earned her a spot in  in the 2012 ISF XIII Women’s World Championship held in Canada in July 2012. Following this success she was scouted to play professionally in Japan for Sagawa, a club based in Kyoto. She is currently in training and preparing herself to play for Australia again in the 2014 ISF World Womens Championship in Amsterdam this year. She plays her club softball for South Australia’s Glenelg Rebels.

When she’s not playing softball, she’s involved with Inspired Living, conducting community softball clinics and mentoring young indigenous people in remote areas. She’ also an Ambassador for indigenous fashion brand and social enterprise Sistagirl.

As a Softball Australia indigenous softball role model, my aim is to inspire and encourage Indigenous Australians to participate in healthy activities, stay in school, gain employment and strive to achieve their dreams and ambitions.

Vanessa Stokes

NAIDOC South Australia Male Sportsperson of the Year – Tjimarri Sanderson-Milera

Tjimarri Sanderson-Milera is a 100m, 200m and 400m sprinter who recently represented Australia at the Oceania Games in the Cook Islands. He is aiming to compete in the 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast and 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo! If you’re in need of some inspiration to achieve your dreams, then look no further than his Instagram Feed – @tjimarri!

Feeling inspired? Share this post with your friends.