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Young Achiever Awards - Department of Human Services Aboriginal Achievement Award finalists announced

The finalists for the Department of Human Services Aboriginal Achievement Award in the 2021 Seven News Young Achiever Awards have been announced.

The Young Achiever Awards aim to encourage, acknowledge and reward the achievements and valuable contribution young people make to their local communities.

The Department of Human Services Aboriginal Achievement Award recognises contributions to the Aboriginal and broader community, barriers overcome, leadership skills and cultural achievements.


The finalists are:

  • Shantae Barnes-Cowan (17) of Whyalla
  • Tiahni Jade Adamson (25) of Glenelg
  • Trent Wingard (29) of Adelaide.

Shantae Barnes-Cowan

Shantae Barnes-Cowan is a young Adnyamathanha woman. She has made her onscreen TV debut and was recognised as one of the Rising Stars for 2019 by the Casting Guild of Australia. She has served as Indigenous Literacy Foundation Ambassador for South Australia.

In 2018, she travelled to Melbourne with other students to promote the importance of literacy to Aboriginal children. She was a guest speaker at the NUNGA Screen opening event. She has played netball and basketball at state level, has acted in a coaching capacity to support other local sportspeople and even received the 2018 NAIDOC Female Sports Person of the Year.

Tiahni Jade Adamson

Tiahni Jade Adamson is a proud Torres Strait Islander woman who works full-time in the Marine Conservation and Compliance with Primary Industries and Regions SA (PIRSA). She is employed under the Aboriginal Compliance Support Officer Career Program and is working towards becoming a Fisheries Officer through a traineeship.

Tiahni works with the local SA Aboriginal communities to facilitate cultural events such as Narrunga country and Reconciliation and NAIDOC events across SA. A graduate of Bachelor of Science (Wildlife Conservation Biology), she hopes to marry her science-based education with traditional Indigenous knowledge and practices. Tiahni is currently studying a Masters of Environmental Policy and Management.

Trent Wingard

Trent Wingard is a proud Ngarrindjeri/Kaurna/Boandik Aboriginal man. He currently works as an Aboriginal Health Workforce Coordinator where he scopes current workforce needs, with a focus on improving recruitment and retention and building career pathways of Aboriginal Health Workers and Practitioners.

Trent previously worked as Youth Project Officer in the Tackling Indigenous Health Program of the Aboriginal Health Council of SA. He developed school-based programs committed to improving health prospects for young Aboriginal kids through education. He created the Puyu Blaster campaign, an engagement tool for educating young children on the health implications of smoking. Trent has Bachelor’s degree in Social Work.

Awards Gala Presentation Dinner

The Department of Human Services Aboriginal Achievement Award winner will be announced at an Awards Gala Presentation Dinner to be held at Hilton Adelaide on Friday 21 May 2021.

Congratulations to all the finalists on this well-deserved recognition.

Visit the Young Achiever Awards website

Page last updated : 12 Aug 2021

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