21 June, 2022

Celebrating Australia’s Young Achievers

West Hobart's Aaron Benham took out the prestigious Spirit Super Create Change Award at the 2022 Tasmanian Young Achiever Awards on 3 June 2022.

Ruvinda Nanayakkara, Spirit Super Manager of Product and Innovation, was on hand to present the award and said it was a privilege to celebrate Australia's next generation of leaders and innovators.  

"Australia is full of exceptional young people doing extraordinary things to enrich our communities. We're so excited to help shine a spotlight on these fantastic initiatives. They are truly inspirational."  

The Tasmanian Young Achiever Awards was the last gala event to take place as part of the nationwide initiative, with all other states holding similar celebrations throughout April and May.  

Established in 1989, the Young Achiever Awards aims to celebrate the achievements of young Australians across a diverse range of fields and encourage them to continue pursuing their goals. 

This year's awards recognised outstanding achievements in tourism, small business, hospitality, and the disabilities sector.  

It also celebrated the best of our young community volunteers and leaders. 

Spirit Super CEO Jason Murray, who presented the Spirit Super Connecting Communities Award at the Queensland awards in April, said it was important to recognise those who are trying to build a better future for us all.  

"As a super fund, we're all about investing in a brighter future for our members," he said.  

"Of course, the main way we do this is providing great service and value for your super. But we also know there's more to retirement than paying the bills. For our members to live happy and fulfilled retirements, they need thriving and connected communities." 

“The work these remarkable young people are doing helps communities grow, connect, and support one another. Given the challenges we’ve all faced these last few years, that’s more important than ever.”  

Aside from supporting community champions, Spirit Super is committed to reinvigorating communities through direct investment.  

Earlier this year, we released five priority targets to help us back small businesses, strengthen our communities and support a transition to a low carbon economy.  

Key targets include investing $1.5 billion in small businesses by 2030 and creating 100,000 new skilled jobs across Australia.  

At least 50% of our impact investments and job creation activities will be in regional Australia. 

"Over the last 30 years, there has been a steady decline in Australian manufacturing, supply chains, and a loss of Australian intellectual property to offshore markets," said Jason. "We want to help turn that around and reinvigorate our regions and local communities." 

“By investing in small and medium businesses, we can help them grow, innovate, replace global suppliers, and create new jobs and opportunities.” 

“It’s just another way we can help add value to your future super while strengthening our communities today.” 

Nominations for the 2023 National Young Achievers Awards open in late 2022. For details, see Awards Australia.


2022 Young Achiever Awards - Spirit Super category winners 

Northern Territory 

Paige Horrigan

Award: Spirit Super Create Change Award 
Winner: Paige Horrigan (18) 

Paige aims to create greater awareness and change surrounding gender and sexual diversity. They have planned innovative events, including the first Pride event in Palmerston history, and have managed spaces dedicated to supporting the youth and LGBTQI+ people. 


Amelia Ayris

Award: Spirit Super Connecting Communities Award 
Winner: Amelia Ayris (15) 

Amelia writes and produces award-winning films and documentaries to raise awareness about depression, self-harm, anxiety, assault, and sexual abuse and to empower young people to speak out. 


Conor Pall

Award: Spirit Super Connecting Communities Award 
Winner: Conor Pall (18) 

Paul is a member of the 2021 Victorian Youth Parliament. His team is formulating a bill to address the issue of 'Coercive Control' in intimate partner relationships. 

South Australia 

James Beaumont
Award: Spirit Super Connecting Communities Award 
Winner: James Beaumont (20) 

James is a Director and Peer Mentor for the Enabled Youth Disability Network (EYDN). Despite enduring years of family conflict and mental health issues as a child, James has chosen to assist other struggling young people. James helped petition the state government to abandon the closure of Springbank Secondary College. 

New South Wales 

Angelique Wan
Award: Spirit Super Create Change Award 
Winner: Angelique Wan (24), Consent Labs 

Angelique co-founded Consent Labs, a non-profit that revolutionises the discussion around sexual consent. From 2016 to 2018, Angelique and her co-founder developed an evidence-based program, consulted, and built relationships with experts, and conducted focus group discussions for market research. In 2021, she left her corporate job to work full-time for Consent Labs. They have since reached 10,000 students and parents across Australia. 

Western Australia 

Hayley Passmore
Award: Spirit Super Create Change Award 
Winner: Dr Hayley Passmore (29) 

Hayley is a child health researcher helping improve outcomes for WA's most vulnerable youth. Hayley pioneered Reframe Training, an evidence-based training intervention to help justice staff better manage and support young people with neurodisability. She has delivered the training to over 600 justice and community services staff. 


Aaron Benham
Award: Spirit Super Create Change Award 
Winner: Aaron Benham (27) 

Aaron is a co-founder and the current Convenor of Repair Café Hobart (RCH), a space where community members can bring broken items from home and repair them with the help of volunteers with the skills and expertise. He is also a member of the Hobart branch of the Australian Youth Climate Coalition.