Media Release by The Hon Larry Anthony MP

50 Young Australians Ready For Roundtable

 Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Larry Anthony, today announced the 50 young Australians chosen to be members of the National Youth Roundtable 2004.

Mr Anthony said it was a glowing endorsement that 663 young people applied for a spot on the prestigious National Youth Roundtable.

“Unfortunately, only 50 young people can be selected. This year’s group are exceptionally active in their communities and passionate about issues affecting young Australians.

“Members are drawn from urban, rural and regional communities across Australia, including a number of young Indigenous members and young people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.

“We have school and university students, young people in full and part-time employment in the public, private and community sectors, young apprentices, young entrepreneurs and young parents.

“The group will come together soon for their first formal meeting in Canberra in March.

“The Australian Government will work with the members to provide them with the practical tools and the confidence to push forward with the issues they are passionate about and improve opportunities for other young people in their communities,” Mr Anthony said.

The National Youth Roundtable was established by the Australian Government in 1999 to give young people aged 15 to 24 years the opportunity to speak directly with the Government about issues important to them.

Biographies of the Roundtable 2004 members are attached. For more information about the Roundtable, visit the Australian Government’s national youth website the source, phone (free call) 1800  624 309 or email

If you want to interview a Roundtable member, please contact
Sarah Clarke on ph 0402 426 364.

National Youth Roundtable 2004 Members

Environment/Rural Team

  • Ben Cooper – Bathurst, NSW
    Ben, 17, is a student at St Stanislaus’ College, Bathurst. He also works on a casual basis as a baker’s assistant. Ben is interested in reconciliation, improving opportunities for rural and regional young Australians, particularly in the field of performing arts, and partnerships between rural and urban schools.
  • Kaila Murnain – Narrabri, NSW
    Kaila, 17, is a Year 12 student at Narrabri High School. She is interested in improving leadership among rural youth, improving and promoting education and training opportunities for young people in rural areas and alcohol abuse in rural and remote communities.
  • Alan Wu – Parkville, VIC
    Born in China, fluent in Mandarin, and deeply connected to the Chinese community in Australia, Alan, 20, studies at the University of Melbourne. He is interested in sustainability and the environment, youth enterprise and leadership and young people and their transitions to independence.
  • Amanda Dodd – Mundubbera, QLD
    Amanda Dodd is a 24-year-old youth worker with the Central Burnett Youth Service. Amanda grew up in rural Queensland, and is concerned about the lack of further education, training and employment options for school leavers in rural areas.
  • Will Bignell – Bothwell, TAS
    Will, 21, is studying Agricultural Science at the University of Tasmania. He is interested in sustainable agriculture, in particular, improving the general public’s knowledge about agriculture. Will is also passionate about youth entrepreneurship and encouraging more young people to become involved in primary production.
  • Dane Garrood – Tallwood, NSW
    Dane, 19, is studying Commerce and Business Law at the University of New South Wales. He is interested in investigating the intra-generational inequality between rural and metropolitan populations, the educational disadvantages of country school students, and youth alcohol and drug abuse.
  • Sarah Houston – Richmond, TAS
    Sarah, 20, a university student from regional Tasmania, has a particular interest in agriculture and environmental sustainability. Having faced the challenges of supporting people with mental illnesses, Sarah would like to promote education programs and support mechanisms to assist other young people who are experiencing mental illness.
  • Sarah Chunys – Alice Springs, NT
    20-year-old 2004 Northern Territory Young Australian of the Year, Sarah, is studying for a Bachelor of Psychology at James Cook University. She is interested in mental health in remote areas, youth at risk and age discrimination.
  • Kash Manamperi – Quakers Hill, NSW
    Coming from a Sri Lankan background, Kash, 19, is studying at the University of New South Wales for a Bachelor of Commerce in Actuarial Studies and Finance. He is passionate about youth enterprise and leadership, sustainable development and greater cultural awareness.

Leadership/Enterprise Development Team

  • Elizabeth Trinh – Ardeer, VIC
    Elizabeth, 18, is studying Commerce at the University of Melbourne and is a cadet at KPMG, a chartered accountancy firm. She is passionate about youth leadership, education and youth employment opportunities. She is a member of Lord Somer’s Camp and Power House, a not-for-profit organisation focussing on giving back to communities.
  • Brad Chapman – Carrara, QLD
    Brad, 20, is a young entrepreneur who is a managing director of a mortgage brokering company. He also volunteers to a number of youth organisations and wants to examine youth input into foreign policy matters, promoting youth entrepreneurship and better money management among youth. Brad has a passionate concern for issues of global and social justice, especially those affecting young people.
  • Alen O’Hran – South Brisbane, QLD
    Alen, 23, is studying Business and Law at the Queensland University of Technology (QUT), where he is also a senior student ambassador. He is interested in leadership, the impact of faith and values on leadership and youth poverty and homelessness. Alen is active in the Queensland ex-Yugoslav community and is a Sabbath School leader at Garden City Seventh Day Adventist Church in Brisbane.
  • Ryan Crawford – South Hedland, WA
    Ryan, 25, is the company director of The Edge Health and Fitness Centre in Port Hedland and is interested in business opportunities and training for young people. He is also interested in providing a diverse range of business opportunities for young people in regional areas and has been on the Port Hedland Chamber of Commerce for three years.
  • Michael Josem – East Malvern, VIC
    Michael, 22, is enrolled in a Bachelor of Arts (Policy) at Monash University. He also works part-time as a Clubs Officer at the Monash University Student Union Caulfield. Michael is passionate about securing Australia’s economic future by promoting future economic developments. He also wants to protect Australia’s physical future by ensuring that necessary security initiatives are in place.
  • Tash Smith – Berri, SA
    Tash, 15, is a Year 11 student at Loxton High School. In 2001, she was named as the Australian Young Citizen of the Year – Berri Barmera District, and is passionate about young people making a difference and having a voice in their communities. Tash is also secretary of the Berri Barmera Youth Committee, Youth and Council Unite (YACU).
  • David Lawrence – Munno Para, SA
    David, 18, is employed as a Customer Companion Training Officer with the Out N’ About program and has had first hand experience of foster care. He is interested in public transport for young people, youth involvement in Government decision-making processes and accommodation for at-risk youth. He is into tenpin bowling, is a member of the Playford Youth Advisory Council and sits on the Trans-Adelaide Rail Customer Panel, which gives community feedback to Trans-Adelaide.
  • Hilary Fisher – Templestowe, VIC
    Hilary, 21, has recently completed a Bachelor of Arts and a Diploma of Creative Arts at the University of Melbourne. She is interested in youth diversity, education and leadership. Hilary is Deaf and has just started full-time work in the Victorian Government’s Graduate Recruitment Scheme.


Cultures Team

  • Ebony Allen – Byron Bay, NSW
    Ebony, 18, is a student at the University of Technology, Sydney, where she is undertaking a Bachelor of Law in Australian Indigenous Studies. She wants to explore issues that affect Indigenous and culturally and linguistically diverse young people, such as discrimination and racism. Ebony is also interested in empowering young Australians in rural areas, and youth mental health issues.
  • Carrol Baggow – Mackay, QLD
    Carrol, 16, is a student at Pioneer State High School, where she was recently elected Vice President of the Senior School Council. A proud Torres Strait Islander, Carol achieved a Certificate I in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander studies through her local TAFE. She is interested in human rights, assisting young people in crisis, and education and employment opportunities for young people.
  • Ania Stepien – Wattle Grove, NSW
    Ania, 20, is very active in her community, volunteering her time for many youth organisations, including Amnesty International, the Red Cross and the Salvation Army. She has participated in many Christian youth camps and is very involved in the Catholic youth community. She has starred in a national TV series as Cybergirl, which won the AFI award for best children’s show and was nominated for a Logie. She was also a presenter for the children’s TV series, Totally Wild.