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Home Issue 8 Alice girls win Young Achiever Awards

Alice girls win Young Achiever Awards

Alice Springs candidate Sinafoni Naufahu (above, right) won the NT Government Young Carers Award at the Young Achiever Awards announced in Darwin last night.

The 18-year-old has “unconditional love and support,” says a media release from the organisers.

The teacher aide cares for her four-year-old brother, Edward, who has a rare condition called Goldenhar Syndrome, autism, eczema and food allergies.

Edward is unable to walk, crawl or stand and uses a specialised walker, stroller and hoist, says the release.

“Sinafoni cares for her brother for eight to 10 hours a day. She also helps care for her eight-year-old and six-year-old siblings as her mother has type two diabetes and hypertension and her dad works long night shifts.

“In 2019, Sinafoni took eight weeks off school to care for Edward through his cochlear implant surgery.”

Another Alice Springs nominee, Melanie Gunner (above, left), won the Glencore McArthur River Mining Regional and Rural Initiative Award.

Says the organisers’ release: “Melanie Gunner, 22, of Gillen is an advocate for youth mental wellbeing.

“She is the chair of the NT Youth Round Table where mentors educate each other on how life is in the different regional and rural communities and pitch solutions to the Chief Minister’s team.

“Melanie is a Youth Engagement Officer at the Alice Springs Town Council and Community Engagement Officer at Headspace Alice Springs.

“She delivers workshops and presentations and organises community events such as FABAlice, an LGBTQIA+ event, and Sun’s Out Heads Out Day, which was attended by over 400 students. Melanie won the 2020 Young Person Award for Mental Health Week.”

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