The winners were announced at a prestigious award ceremony on Thursday 1 December hosted at Adelaide Town Hall by the Deputy Lord Mayor of Adelaide, Phillip Martin.
From engineers to theatre makers, additive manufacturing specialists to community and mental health advocates, our ten winners are applying their skills and expertise to make a difference in their communities and industries.
A further congratulations to James Beaumont and Stella Braund, who were announced as joint recipients of the Chief Executive Award.
James and his aunt Stella work in separate industries but share a passion for supporting people with mental health challenges.
Stella provides advice regarding mental health policy, planning and safety to the Office of the Chief Psychiatrist and holds positions on several committees and boards for SA Health.
She is committed to working with disadvantaged and vulnerable communities and is dedicated to building a state-wide approach to support people living with mental ill health and disabilities.
James, the 2022 Young Citizen of the Year for the City of Marion, is a cyber security consultant who also volunteers his time to assist with youth, disability and mental health advocacy. He has shown perseverance and true grit in overcoming adversity and now shares his lived experience to help others.
Winner: Dale Goldfinch
Dale Goldfinch (he/him) works in the extremely fast moving and emerging area of additive manufacturing. He regularly participates in national working groups, contributes to research papers, and has been pivotal in providing training to Australia’s Special Forces soldiers on the exploitation of additive manufacturing. Recently, he held an instrumental role in developing novel heat shielding structures for complex hypersonic flight vehicles. In the past, Dale has been a finalist in the SA Training Awards – Apprentice of the Year, the winner of the SA/WA Apprentice of the Year for the Group Training Awards, and has been the recipient of many commendations and internal awards whilst working for the Defence Science and Technology Group.
James Beaumont (he/him) is a 20 year old TAFE SA Cyber-Security graduate who has excelled in volunteer roles with youth, disability, and mental health advocacy, as well as finding great success in his career with a full-time role at Chamonix IT Consulting. Despite challenges with mental health and struggling in senior years of high school, he used his lived experience to not only overcome many challenges, but to give back to the community by helping those who are going through similar circumstances. James is the current 2022 Young Citizen of the Year for the City of Marion.
Emma O’Loughlin (she/her) grew up in and lives on Nukunu Country in regional South Australia. She is a proud member of the LGBTIQA+ community who has lived experience of mental ill health, personality disorder, suicidality and physical disability. Emma utilises her lived experience as a training and group facilitator, in community engagement work and as a peer worker. Emma is Project Manager for Queer Minds Matter which is a unique and innovative mental health awareness program for LGBTIQA+ people.
Memoona Rafique Chaudry (she/her) holds overseas qualifications in Clinical Psychology and Project Management. After completing the Multicultural Women's Leadership course at TAFE SA, she began a role at Relationships Australia SA, where she works now in management. She is the Manager for PEACE Multicultural Services and MOSAIC Services, managing state-wide programs in blood borne viruses, gambling, mental health and family & domestic violence. Along with leadership, she is a clinical practitioner in Counselling.
Stella Braund (she/her) is an advocate for people living with mental ill-health and disabilities on a state and national level. She provides advice regarding Mental Health policy, planning and safety to the Office of the Chief Psychiatrist and holds positions on an array of committees and boards for SA Health. Stella is committed to working with disadvantaged and vulnerable communities and is dedicated to building a state-wide approach to support people living with mental ill health and disabilities, to access appropriate services and opportunities to live fulfilling lives.
Wendy Lewis Baida (she/her) works in the home care sector as a Quality and Compliance Coordinator for My Care Solution as well as a Master Trainer in Mental Health First Aid for Mental Health Partners. Her work includes educating to reduce the stigma around mental health in Australia and supporting older Australians to get the best quality care in their homes. Wendy has had a diverse education and working life experience, having worked as an Executive Chef for Qantas, Chief Food Services Manager for SA Health, Registered Nurse and her own business supporting other organisations.
James William Mangnoson (he/him) is a Program Manager for Mission Australia, managing three teams and working with a number of schools to provide the Flexible Learning Options (FLO) program. Over the past six years, James has built his career at Mission Australia, beginning as a case worker, a team leader, and now a program manager. He is passionate about supporting youth who are at a disadvantage or require mental health support through his own lived experience.
Ankit Sondhi (he/him) is a proactive, energetic and enthusiastic Senior Portfolio Program Engineer for the Department of Infrastructure and Transport. Ankit has project managed various multi-million-dollar capital road infrastructure projects across South Australia, including complex, ambitious road upgrades to support the opening of new state schools. Ankit is an avid supporter of multiculturalism, and provides guidance, support and mentoring to TAFE SA international students to ensure they feel welcome and included in the community.
Kidaan Zelleke (she/her) graduated from the Adelaide College of the Arts in 2018. She has performed, directed, and produced in local independent theatre including Good Theatre Company's acclaimed 'Hamlet in the Other Room', as part of the RUMPUS 2021 season. Kidaan has most recently made her main stage debut with State Theatre Company of South Australia's Antigone. She is a member of RUMPUS theatre, where she sits on the Governance and Membership Committee, and has worked with ActNow Theatre, a South Australian theatre company that tailors socially conscious performance projects.
Rebecca Merry (she/her) has proudly overcome incredible adversities to secure a role within Relationships Australia South Australia, where she helps to support and guide families with child protection concerns. Rebecca has been an integral member of a team establishing and implementing a new program that addresses child safety concerns to ensure children live and grow in a safe and nurturing environment and to prevent children being removed from their families. After having her own children removed, then returned to her care due to sheer resilience and strength, Rebecca carries a lifetime of lived experience within the child protection system. Most importantly, Rebecca is passionate about not being defined by her lived experience but developing her own professional identity that acknowledges her skills, abilities, and strengths.
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