ABC Heywire trailblazers making regional Australia a better place

[supplied by NIAA]

DIYDG board members Ferlin King, Tamika Young & Semara Jose. Image: supplied

ABC Heywire Trailblazers is about supporting both the ideas that transform communities, and the passionate and determined people behind them.


Last Tuesday during Heywire week in Canberra, young adults from regional areas around Australia, presented their award winning projects at a gathering in the Great Hall of Australian Parliament House.


The Deputy Prime Minister, the Hon Michael McCormack MP, set the scene and congratulated award winners in front of a large audience including ABC Chair, Ita Buttrose.


One of the Trailblazer presenters was Tanika Davis, a Worimi woman from Forster in NSW.


Soon after her son was diagnosed with autism in late 2018, Tanika founded The I Am, Movement which is an education and health based program supporting Aboriginal kids, parents and care-givers for kids on the autism spectrum.


The Movement sells culturally appropriate learning products to pre-schools, primary and high schools and into family homes around Australia.


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‘We’ve got three products: an ABC flash card set, a numbers set and an emotional set,’ Tanika said.


‘These sets are all hand painted and they all come with their own story. We look at totems and we look at storytelling, we look at what’s really in the picture and we want to be able to do that storytelling as well.’


Turning great ideas into reality is the goal of Deadly Inspiring Youth Doing Good (DIYDG), a youth-led organisation based in Cairns.


Ferlin King (Kukugalanji), Tamika Young (Moa Island, Torres Strait) and Semara Jose (Kuku Yalanji, Gudjula, Darnley Island in Torres Strait) are DIYDG board members and spoke about DIYDG hopes and plans at the event.


Incorporated 4 years ago, DIYDG started when a group of strong, empowered young people wanted to connect in the community.


‘The idea grew from that, in terms of, we realised we could do more as a collective and give back to our community,’ Semara said.


‘One of the events we do is our annual wellbeing camp,’ Ferlin said.


‘That is where we take a cohort of young leaders and take them back to country…..And just let them feel what it’s like to get away from technology and sit around a fire and we actually let people facilitate their own workshops at camp.’


‘If they want to do something, they bring it to us, the board, [and once approved] we will give them the equipment and experience and facilities to do that.’


‘[In 10 years’ time] we most definitely want to be a stronger organisation,’ Semara said.


‘We want to be able to deliver more community projects and turn the ideas that so many of our young people have into reality.’


ABC Heywire Trailblazers has been bringing together and supporting innovative and inspired young adults since 2017.


If you have an idea that will make regional Australia a better place and are aged 18-28, apply for Trailblazers 2021.


Winners receive financial and media support, networking and mentorship opportunities and an all-expenses-paid trip to Canberra in 2021.