A Complete List Of The 2017 Young Social Pioneers Participants

A Complete List Of The 2017 Young Social Pioneers Participants

We could not be happier to announce our Young Social Pioneers participants for 2017. Can't wait to do great things this year with you all.

Young Social Pioneers is Australia’s premier Incubator designed to exclusively support young people leading initiatives that respond to society’s most pressing challenges, either through advocacy, community organising or business.

Arts Stream (Supported by Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation)


Jessica Moody

Co-Founder – Deafferent Theatre

Jessica is a 26 year old theatre maker from Melbourne. In 2015, she co-founded Deafferent Theatre, a company rooted in the artistic, and deaf/hard of hearing community. Deafferent Theatre produces bilingual theatre and public events bringing together diverse communities. Deafferent Theatre are winners of the 2016 Melbourne Fringe ‘Best Emerging Producer’ award. Jessica’s last production with Deafferent Theatre, ‘Black is the Colour’ was nominated for two Green Room Awards.


Hella Ibrahim

Founder and Editorial Director – Djed Press

Hella is a 28 year old Egyptian-Australian Muslim editor from Melbourne with a passion for activism through writing and publishing. In 2016 she created and co-ran Qwoclings, a femmes of colour book club, and in 2017 founded Djed Press, a publishing project that provides a paid platform for new and emerging writers of colour. Hella is a Project Editor at Jacaranda on weekdays and hangs around behind the desk at Hobsons Bay public libraries on weekends.


Vanessa Marian

Director – Groove Therapy

Vanessa is a 28 year old Dancer from Byron Bay. Having trained across New York, Paris, Berlin, London, Tokyo, Brazil and regional Australia, she is particularly fascinated with street dance and the way it is born outside of the dance studio context, often by an oppressed people in reaction to political and socio-economic turmoil. In 2016 Vanessa founded Groove Therapy, aimed at making dance accessible to all walks of life. The program has brought dance to at-risk youth, Indigenous communities, dementia sufferers, refugee girls and the every-day person, using the political and healing foundations that these street dance styles are built upon and mindfully appropriating it in new communities to help spark global conversation and cultural understanding.


Anisha Senaratne

Creator – POC Engagement Index

Anisha is a 26 year old performer from Melbourne and is a passionate advocate for diversity in the arts and popular culture. She founded the newly established collective For the Love of Good; a group that tackles social issues through creative projects and campaigns. She created and produced their Art in Colour web series showcasing POCs working within the Australian creative industries. Her YSP initiative, the POC Engagement Index, will be used as a metric to show the representation of people of colour in the arts industry. She hopes her work inspires young, culturally diverse Australians, to embrace their identity and claim their space in Australia’s creative landscape.


Chiara Grassia

Director – Girls Rock! Canberra

Chiara is a 26 year old Canberra-based arts producer, writer and musician. She is the founder and Director of Girls Rock! Canberra (GR!C), a mentorship program for girls and gender-diverse young people encouraging self-confidence, creativity and teamwork through music education. Inspired by the Girls Rock Camp movement that originated in the USA, Chiara established GR!C in 2015, the first program of its kind in Australia.    


Sustainability Stream (Supported by Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation)

Bronte Hogarth

Founder – Raise The Bar

Bronte Hogarth is a 26-year-old digital marketer and social entrepreneur from Sydney. In 2016, she started Raise The Bar which diverts used coffee grounds from landfill by turning them into body scrub bars. Bronte is also a digital specialist at 1 Million Women where she is helping to build a movement of women and girls acting on climate change through the way they live.


Emma O’Rourke

Owner and Designer- THE LABEL

Emma is a 27 year old designer, and owner of Canberra’s THE LABEL. Emma believes that attention needs to be given to the fashion industry in order to affect change and ensure an ethical and sustainable future. THE LABEL has been created in this image, focusing on innovative, refined and wearable design. Each collection encompasses minimal waste design techniques and sustainable fabrics, ensuring consideration to an ethical future is at the forefront of her brand.


Syed Mansoor

Founder – WaterDemocracy

Syed is a 27 year old entrepreneur and engineer from Sydney and originally from Pakistan. He had experienced Water Problems first-hand and wanted to do something about it as more than half a billion people lack access to clean water despite the technologies being available. He found a gap between the technologies and the intended users in terms of high prices and complexity of the machines and decided to develop user-focused water purification solutions.


Ian Buck

Co-Founder – Senscity

Ian Buck is a 28 year old engineer from Melbourne, who joins his passion of economics and engineering to drive climate innovation. In 2017 Ian co-founded Senscity, a technology startup that aims to improve the sustainability of our cities through the use of intelligent green infrastructure systems. Through real-time monitoring and analytics, Senscity aims to optimise green infrastructure performance to reduce the urban heat island effect and improve stormwater management capabilities in cities. Ian is also a Management Consulting Analyst with Accenture and World Economic Forum Global Shaper.


Ellie-Ann McDonald

Founder – Unpunished

Ellie is a 22 year old Melbourne-based marketing specialist. Since identifying a problem with the lack of access to female sanitary items, Ellie has become passionate about making them accessible to all, Australia-wide. This has lead to the development of her initiative ‘Unpunished’ which aims to stock female sanitary items in all public bathrooms where toilet paper is supplied.

Caterina Sullivan

CEO – Global Goals Australia

Caterina is a 21 year old sustainability consultant based in Canberra. After working in New York to launch the United Nations’ Global Goals for Sustainable Development, Caterina founded the Global Goals Australia Campaign in 2015. Through the campaign, Caterina works with federal, state and local politicians from across Australia to ensure the achievement of the 17 Global Goals by 2030. Caterina also works in the private sector through her sustainability consultancy, Strategic Sustainability Consultants.

Jane Kou

CEO – Bring Me Home

Jane is a 23 year old Young Social Pioneer from Melbourne. In 2017, she founded the anti-food waste organisation. ‘Bring Me Home’, an online platform for food outlets sell delicious surplus foods at a discount and/or donate food to those in need. Jane is also a Research Assistant at the Melbourne Business School and the Marketing Director of the Melbourne Business School Case Competition Committee.


Christopher Murphy

Co-Founder and Director – Energy Panda

Christopher is a 28 year old entrepreneur from Sydney with more than a decade of entrepreneurial and business management experience, both domestically and internationally. In mid-2016 Christopher quit his full-time employment to co-found Energy Panda. Energy Panda is an award winning social enterprise that is helping households reduce their energy consumption and driving down household energy costs. Since its inception Energy Panda has won a number of awards for the social enterprises alternative approach to reducing energy consumption, and was named as the World Wild Life Fund for Nature (WWF) 2016 Designathon Most Disruptive Enterprise.


Rose Duong

Founder – The Clothes Loop

Rose Duong is the 26 year old founder of Clothes Loop, A fashion retailer where you can shop their products and swap them afterwards. With a passion for sustainability and fashion, Rose is a digital designer who believes the key to stopping fashion waste is though clothes sharing where it benefits not only the customers but retailers too. Rose also helps businesses build their technologies and ideas and lectures at RMIT in Sustainability and Design.


Angeline Lloyd

Founder – The Love Thread

Angeline is a 27 year old social entrepreneur from Perth. Born in 2014, Love Thread Project was initially the result of a flourishing fashion blog that wanted to do more with its influence. Now it serves as a multi-faceted collaborative platform to educate, restore and empower women at risk through fashionable and creative ventures. Through her story and influence in the fashion industry, she’s an advocate for women empowerment and a socially/ethically sustainable future.

Environment Stream (Supported by The Dyson Bequest)

Mathew Townsend

Founder – Intrepid Freedom

Mathew Townsend is a 26 year old advocate from Brisbane. He recently been involved with disability organisations raising awareness for the communities. He contributed the idea of Intrepid Freedom, supported by Intrepid Landcare Australia. Intrepid Freedom is an unique and innovative approach to support people with diverse backgrounds especially disabilities and mental health to connect young people aged 18-35 to personal and professional development through self-discovery, adventures and environmental action. Mathew also coordinates Brisbane Intrepid Landcare tribe where he increase support of future Landcarers in Brisbane.


Daniel Smith

Founder – Clean Coast Collective

Daniel is a 28 year old social entrepreneur based in Byron Bay. In 2014 he founded Clean Coast Collective, a not-for-profit lifestyle brand committed to cleaning up our oceans. Clean Coast Collective stops plastic pollution at the source by selling modern plastic-free alternatives, the profits from product sales then help fund massive beach clean up expeditions in remote Australia. To date, they’ve removed over 4 tonnes of coastal pollution.


Lily Dempster

Founder – The Neighbourhood Effect

Lily is a 28 year old climate activist from Canberra. In 2017 she founded The Neighbourhood Effect, which uses behavioural science to help Australians reduce their carbon footprints. The Neighbourhood Effect is currently building a smartphone app to make it easy, social and financially rewarding for people to adopt environmentally sustainable habits and switch to climate-friendly products and services. Lily was previously GetUp’s Market Impact Director, where she ran clean energy consumer campaigns.


Paul Day

CTO – Climate Tracker

Paul is a 28 year old technologist from Sydney. He has been building tech startups for the non-profit sector for five years and helped develop startups like www.chuffed.org and www.raisely.com. Previously worked on projects in media and advocacy for various unions and charities like ACF, World Vision and ACTU. He is currently working as a developer at www.agency.sc and working on www.climatetracker.org.


Nicolette Serfozo

Fashion Designer / Creative Director – Slumber Squad Sustainable Recycled Plastic Bottle Leggings & Active Wear

Nicolette is a 28 year old designer born in Szeged, Hungary and living in Sydney. This year she launched her eco-friendly collection dedicated to producing fashion forward activewear. Created from recycled plastic bottle waste, this collection aims to tackle the ongoing environmental issues of wastage disposal and recycling as well as the strain on the environment from new material manufacturing demands. Nicolette continues to research new applications for recycled fibers looking to expand her product range into garments you will love that are good for the planet.


Casey Harris

Adviser – Threatened Species Commissioner

Casey is a 29 year old intrepreneur from Canberra. Since 2014, she has worked alongside the Threatened Species Commissioner to shine a spotlight on our incredible plants and animals and fight extinction. In this role, she has assisted the Australian Government to mobilise over $228 million for over 1000 projects with threatened species outcomes. With a background in public service, she is passionate about systems change and power of collaboration between government, NGOs, and community. She is looking at how technology can be used to prevent the extinction of Australian animal species.


Alaura Poole

Co-Founder / Creator  – The Sustainable Nappy

Alaura Poole is a 25 year old university student, entrepreneur and sewing pattern designer from the Central Coast, NSW.  Alaura has a keen interest in the environment, sustainability and textiles, which lead to her creation of a sustainable nappy designed to alleviate the environmental concerns associated with conventional disposable nappies. Alaura and her business partner Michael Kelly, hope to finish R&D shortly to provide a product that is gentle on a baby and gentle on the earth.


Carna Feldtmann

Founder – Future of Food

Carna Feldtmann is a 24-year-old Young Social Pioneer from Wollongong.

Her Future of Food Initiative and YSP project is a social enterprise that focuses on developing sustainable, scalable, high-tech solutions to overcome food insecurity and to empower vulnerable communities through the provision of work opportunities in green-tech. She has a particular focus on Aeroponics (growing plants in thin air!).


Open Stream (Supported by The Dyson Bequest, The Sunshine Foundation, The Nelson Meers Foundation, Andy Myer & Kerry Gardner)

Akash Patel

Founder – Open Goals

Akash is a 22 year old social change maker from Adelaide. In 2017 he began ‘Open Goals’ sport clinics which seek to help refugees integrate into new communities through running sport sessions in conjunction with elite sporting organisations. Through ‘Open Goals’, Akash hopes to help refugees find their place in new environments through sport, and ultimately become an integral part of local sporting communities. Akash is also involved in Indigenous education development in Adelaide and was formerly a professional Cricket player.


Whitney Stacey

Founder & Director – Monochrome Coffee Co.

Whitney is 24-year-old a social entrepreneur at heart, based in Melbourne. She founded her first organisation, Monochrome International, at 19. The organisation supports 26 children to attend primary school in Tanzania and has worked with 400 parents throughout East Africa. Whitney has since founded Monochrome Coffee Co. – set up to exponentially grow Monochrome International’s impact. Whitney is passionate about people finding what they love, doing it really well and doing it every day.


Bethany Atkinson-Quinton

Founder & Director – Broadwave

Bethany Atkinson-Quinton is a 26 year old broadcaster, producer and educator based in Melbourne. As the former Victorian State Coordinator of Australian storytelling podcast All The Best, Beth is currently the co-presenter and co-producer of The Breakfast Spread on PBS 106.7FM and created the PBS Access Training Program aimed at increasing on air participation of women and gender diverse people. She is currently developing Broadwave – a curated network of Australian podcasts, with collaborators Areej Nur and Izzy-Roberts-Orr.


Bridie Duggan

Director – LIVIN with Bridie

Bridie is a 25-year-old healthy living advocate from the Northern Territory. After the loss of a close friend to suicide she created her own fitness challenge called LIVIN with Bridie to raise awareness and funds to support the 1 in five Australians who suffer from mental health during their lives. With a reputation as superwoman within her community, Bridie draws on an endless supply of energy to encourage others to strive for a healthy mind, body and spirit. In 2016 she was named as a national finalist for Young Australian of the year on behalf of the Northern Territory.


Brigette Snell

Founder – Bummer

Brigette is a 20 year old social entrepreneur from Melbourne. She is the founder of Bummer, a social enterprise that seeks to address the number of sexual assaults and drug overdoses that take place at festivals around Australia. Bummer provides free bumbags filled with useful materials as well as educational resources to festival goers. They also work closely with festival organisers to implement strategies to improve safety. Brigette is a student at the Monash Global Challenges program.


Sherry-Rose Bih Watts

Founder – WomanGirl

Sherry-Rose is a 21 year old changemaker living in Melbourne. Her social enterprise, WomanGirl, aims to see young women and girls, regardless of their background, have access to knowledge and quality resources through which they can be empowered. The project focuses on creating opportunities for personal development, and connecting young African women in the diaspora and the African mainland. Sherry-Rose is studying International Relations at La Trobe University and is an associate at YLab.

Youth Mental Health Stream (Supported by The Wilson Foundation)

Rahul Seth

Founder – Perth Active Depression Support Group

Rahul is a 29 year old Chartered Accountant turned mental health advocate based in Perth. In June 2016, Rahul founded the Perth Active Depression Support Group, a group that looks to improve the mental health of its members through the provision of various fun recreational activities. The group has ballooned to over 800 members in just one year of operation on the social networking site Meetup and is continually expanding through the recruitment of highly passionate volunteers.


Joshua Walker

CEO – The Lantern Initiative

Josh is a 21 year old mental health advocate from Perth. With a certificate IV in Mental Health, Josh aspires to tackle the issue of youth mental health with his project, ‘The Lantern Initiative.’ Josh’s project aims to supply children in schools and university students with a diary that incorporates mental health fact sheets and resources, self-care and self-advocacy techniques, tackles the complexity of suicide and self-harm and shares stories of those with mental health illnesses, providing them with a mental health toolkit year long.  


Olivia Fleming

Founder and Director – The Little HELP Project Tasmania

Liv is a 21 year old medical student from Tasmania with a passion for mental health and empowering young people. In 2014, Liv founded a non-for-profit, youth-based organisation called The Little HELP Project Tasmania (LHP). She and her team present full-day preventative workshops to local schools and community groups . To date LHP has reached over 8, 000 young adults and is constantly evolving to help empower and up-skill young people.


Benjamin Gill

Youth Director – REELise

Ben is a 26 year old youth mental health and technology changemaker from Canberra. In 2016, Ben became Youth Director at REELise, a youth health promotion org empowering youth through pocket filmmaking to address issues relating to online influences on youth mental health. Each year REELise runs a Film Festival in Sydney and to date has showcased over 80 short films created by youth, with plans to scale nationally in the near future.


Niharika Hiremath

Founder – Walkwithme

Niharika is a passionate, 22 year old youth mental health ambassador from Melbourne, Australia. She is currently studying Biomedical science and Commerce with plans to pursue graduate Psychology. She is currently developing an avenue to find tailored mental health resources in the form of apps and websites. She dreams of making a significant impact to the Youth Mental and Policy landscape. Niharika is also involved with various advocacy campaigns and works as part of the regional headspace Youth Advisory Committee.


Mikhara Ramsing

Founder – Ethnic LGBT+

Mikhara is a 27 year old social entrepreneur from regional NSW. In 2017 she founded ‘Ethnic LGBT+’, a free online community resource intended to provide support, education and mentorship for individuals who identify at the intersection of sexual and gender diversity and cultural and linguistic diversity. Ethnic LGBT+ has reached 100s of individuals around Australia and is based on the strong belief that stories save lives. Mikhara is currently travelling around Australia  empowering youth with skills for the future and the platform to share their stories.


Charles Rolls

Founder – Youth2Knowledge

Charles is 26 years old and based on the Sunshine Coast QLD. He is the Founder of Youth 2 Knowledge, a social enterprise that uses brain scans to help students learn how the brain operates, the effects drugs can have and the importance that nutrition and exercise have on maintaining a healthy brain. Since 2011 Charles has spoken to over 30,000 students in regards to mental health, health and wellness and the impacts of substance abuse.


Joseph Harris

Founder and CEO – Gratitude

Joe is a 21 year old software/electrical engineering technician from Sydney – he spent the last year living in Asia working closely with startups in a technical capacity. His work with them raised over $1million in the last 6 months. Gratitude is his latest venture, it gathers data from young adults suffering from depression and allows clinics to use this data to treat them more effectively. Over 2000 gratitudes have been entered in the MVP app journal.


Laura Hart

Founder – Improv Comedy for Young People with Anxiety

Laura is a 26 year old performer and improviser from Sydney who has trained at Impro Australia, Improv Theatre Sydney & UCB New York. She has worked creatively with not for profit organisations such as Camp Quality, The Starlight Children’s Foundation & Milk Crate Theatre. She currently leads an improvisation program for adolescent residents at Ted Noffs drug rehabilitation facility. Her work with adolescents inspired her to create an improv program for young people with anxiety.


Georgie Broinowski

Founder – B A L A N C E

Georgie is a 24 year old social entrepreneur from Sydney. Through her own lived experience, she has developed a deep passion and understanding for the benefits of a holistic approach to mental wellbeing – where nutrition, movement and psychological therapy are combined to help people along their journey. Georgie has incorporated her experience in Communications and current studies in Nutrition and Dietetics to develop her initiative called B A L A N C E – a one-stop platform that will educate, guide and connect users to different therapists and therapies they may desire.



Education Stream (Supported by UBS)

Jessie Hughes

Creative Director – SignVR

A 23 year old from Brisbane, Jessie has surely made her impact on the global stage. She has developed innovative works for the likes of Oculus, Adobe and many international non-for-profits to inspire and drive social change. Last year, she was named one of Australia’s Future Changers by FYA for her commitment to exploring digital innovation for positive social impact. ‘SignVR’ is Hughes’ virtual reality education platform for teaching sign language.


Tom McGann

Educational Technologist – Blockchain STEM Centre

Tom McGann is a 24 year old Educational Technologist from Melbourne with a passion for exploring new ways of implementing technologies with students. He specialises in using Minecraft as a virtual learning platform and incorporating the Blockchain into the curriculum. Tom teaches programming classes at Wooranna Park Primary School where he utilises Minecraft mods to teach coding as well as a weekly Cisco class where he teaches computer networking and network infrastructure.


Susan Flynn

Co-Founder – RReal

Susie is a 25 year old social entrepreneur from Sydney. In 2014, along with university friends she helped found the legal education project, RREAL. RREAL seeks to empower young people with legal knowledge and resources through the delivery of interactive legal workshops and the development of a legal education app. RREAL assists young people to more better navigate the legal system by helping them to identify legal problems and where they can go for help.


Michael Wei

Founder and President – Australian Cancer and Health Sciences Competition Inc.

Michael is a 21-year-old medical student from Melbourne. In 2015, he founded the Australian Cancer and Health Sciences Competition initiative (ACHSC) which aims to improve cancer literacy by providing secondary students with opportunities to engage with the cancer research community. In 2017, ACHSC produced one of the first interactive cancer syllabuses for high school students in Australia. Michael is also involved in research, having completed a Cancer Council Victoria-funded summer research project at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute in 2016.


Natasha Ritchie

Managing Director – Tijimbat (Teachabout Inc.)

Natasha is a 23 year old social entrepreneur from Melbourne. She is the Managing Director of Tijimbat (Teachabout Inc.) which facilitates community programs in remote Northern Territory during the school holidays. Tijimbat provides paid employment for community Program Leaders who, along with voluntary Activity Leaders, facilitate cultural, vocational and academic based activities for kids aged from 0 to 15. If not working or completing her studies in Law and International Relations, Natasha can be found in the dance studio.


Indigenous Focus Stream (Supported by Citi)

Levi McKenzie-Kirkbright

Founder – Lookin Deadly

Levi is an Indigenous software engineering student at the University of Melbourne. He is developing a social startup, Lookin’ Deadly, to help Indigenous communities with limited access to primary eye healthcare increase screening for diseases affecting the back of the eye. Levi completed his Bachelor of Biomedicine in 2014 and worked in Indigenous health research before starting his Master of Engineering.


Bryce Taylor

Founder -Remote Area Sports Performance

Bryce Taylor is a 22 year old coach from the Sunshine Coast, Qld. After volunteering in a remote SA community in 2015, he made the choice to pursue the path of fitness and coaching to use his love of sport and training to give back to communities.

His business TTC intends to introduce the Remote Area Sports Performance program.

This consists of coaching young athletes in their sports, whilst assisting them gain qualifications and experience to facilitate their own programs in their communities.


Nina Cass

Coordinator – Indigenous Post-Graduate Gathering

Nina is Wiradjuri woman, who has grown up on Birpai Country. She is passionate about education and has completed a Bachelor of Social Science, a Master of Education and is currently completing a Master of Arts. During these studies, Nina was acutely aware of the limited number of Aboriginal students undertaking postgraduate studies, due to historical and contemporary factors. This has led to the idea of creating a nation-wide gathering for Aboriginal people interested in post-graduate studies.


Jaeden Williams

Managing Director – Bunjil’s Biik

Jaeden is 26 years old and is a proud descendant of the Yalukit Wilam clan from the Boonwurrung Language Group, the traditional owners of Melbourne and it’s great southern bays. He runs educational workshops for our future generations focused on teaching the history of Melbourne’s First Peoples and in turn Melbourne’s History. He also runs his own fashion brand, Freshies Apparel.


Lisa Rapley

Co-Founder – Yuludarla Karulbo

Lisa is a 28 year old Gumbaynggirr woman from Brisbane. In 2016 she co -founded Yuludarla Karulbo, an organistation with two important goals. The first is to engage Indigenous people in sharing culture in our wider communties, and the second is to empower Indigenous youth to achieve their dreams. Yuludarla Karulbo has delivered cultural workshops to over 1200 school children, and is in the process of creating a space to empower Indigenous youth on their leadership journey.


Cities & Placemaking Stream (Supported by Charter Hall)

Zoe Condliffe

Youth Advocacy Advisor – Free To Be (Plan International)

Zoe Condliffe is a 27 year old from Melbourne and is the Youth Advocacy Advisor at Plan International. She plays a leading role in the Free To Be project; a digital mapping tool designed to empower young women to share their stories of street harassment and advocate for change. With a background in sociology, gender, development, arts and community practice, Zoe has founded several community development initiatives and social enterprises working across the non-profit, arts, university and corporate sectors. As an experienced facilitator and gender equality advocate, she builds youth-led movements that work closely with young people as the central agents of social change. Zoe is also an installation artist, professional public speaker and mentor. Zoe was named one of the Top 100 most influential, creative and provocative people in Melbourne by The Age in 2011. She is a fellow of the School for Social Entrepreneurs and of the Oaktree Leader’s Trust, alumni of the Global Engagement Summit, and the winner of Anthill Magazine’s 30under30 young entrepreneurs award.


Kate Crowhurst 

Creator – Advocate

Kate is a financial capability specialist and author from Canberra, originally from Bahrain. Her books have had strong take-up and were in 3,500 libraries around Australia last year. She holds Masters degrees from both the University of Melbourne and University of Cambridge, focusing on financial literacy. She works for ASIC’s MoneySmart program, implementing the National Financial Literacy Strategy to improve the financial capability of young Australians. She leads the Canberra Global Shapers, a World Economic Forum initiative to develop young leaders. Her new endeavour, Advocate will be launched in 2017 to promote constructive dialogue between young Australians and their elected representatives.


Alice Brennan

CEO – SettleIn

Alice Brennan is a 29 year old humanitarian and tech entrepreneur from Sydney, who is passionate about helping people overcome adversity and flourish. Alice is the CEO of SettleIn, a technology organisation that provides goal setting software to improve mental health and case management services for refugees, with the aim of helping people escaping conflict and persecution to rebuild their lives. Her work has earned her a place on Forbes Asia’s 30 under 30 social entrepreneur list in 2017.


Tim Lo Surdo

Founder and National Director – Democracy in Colour

Tim is a 23 year old social justice campaigner from Melbourne. In 2017, he founded Democracy in Colour – Australia’s first national racial justice advocacy organisation led by people of colour. Democracy in Colour campaigns on structural racism; holds leaders to account on the things they say and do on race; and strengthens the political voice of people of colour. Tim also works at United Voice as a senior organiser.


Nkosana Mafico

Founder & Chief – CYALA – Council for Young Africans Living Abroad

Nkosana is a 23 year old African Australian changemaker from Brisbane who is passionate about advancing humanity through business. In 2015, he founded CYALA – the Council for Young Africans Living Abroad to develop African youth into borderless thinkers and future leaders. To date, CYALA has hosted professional development workshops for over 800 African youth in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Perth.  Nkosana is also a World Economic Forum Global Shaper and represented Australia at the 2015 Global Student Entrepreneur Awards.



Health Stream (Supported by Abbott)

Mathew D’Onofrio

CEO – Nightlife First Aid

Mathew is a 19 year old health and safety entrepreneur based in Adelaide, South Australia. In 2015, he founded his first startup, ‘Nightlife First Aid’ after seeing an issue of excessive teenage drinking at parties and a need for it to be fixed. ‘Nightlife First Aid’ has since attended approximately 50 events and helped hundreds of teens, saving some from life-threatening injuries. Matthew is also strongly involved in other entrepreneurial side projects and activities.


Emily Sisson

Co-Founder and CEO – Health Adviser

Emily is a 24 year old currently studying a Master of Health Policy at the University of Sydney. She is based between Canberra and Sydney. In 2017, she co-founded Health Adviser, which aims to be the peak directory for health professionals, empowering and educating consumers to find a health professional best suited to their needs. Including pricing and rating information Health Adviser aims to allow health consumers to make informed decisions with the most important commodity there is – our health. Previously, Emily has interned at the World Health Organization, worked at the Department of Health and sat on the Future Leaders Council of Australia. She is also a Westpac Future Leaders Scholar.


Sarah Hammond

Founder and CEO – Kids Arthritis

Sarah Hammond, 23 from regional South Australia, is Founder & CEO of Australia’s First & Leading organisation solely dedicated to supporting the 1 in 1000 children in Australia living with Juvenile Arthritis, Kids Arthritis. Sarah has lived with severe Juvenile Arthritis since birth, affecting her joints, internal organs and sight. She’s dedicated her life to these children, their families and carers and her life mission is simple: To Change the way the World views Arthritis.


Adam Jahnke

Co-Founder and CEO – Umps Health

Adam is a 27 year old technology and public health professional from Melbourne. In 2016, he founded Umps Health after his grandpa was hospitalised due to a fall at home.  Umps Health uses machine learning enabled power plugs and lighting to detect older peoples’ interactions with everyday home appliances. When behaviour is out of the norm alerts are raised to family members and carers, empowering them to intervene early and prevent an incident.


Jennifer Nguyen

CEO – Superb Speech Series

Jennifer is a 29 year old entrepreneur from Melbourne. She founded Superb Speech Series in 2012. She designs clinical speech and language tasks disguised as gameplay for children ages 3-9 to be played on tablets. A portion of the profits will be donated to an impacted partner to help Australian children to complete their schooling. Jennifer is also a paediatric speech pathologist working in community health and has worked in private practice.