Awards Recognise Young Aboriginal Achievers

The hard work and achievements of young Aboriginal people across Victoria have been recognised at this year’s Ricci Marks Awards.

Minister for Aboriginal Affairs Natalie Hutchins presented the awards which celebrate the achievements of young Aboriginal people in education, arts, sport, culture and community leadership.

The award was named in memory of Ricci Marks, a proud Wotjobaluk man, who made an outstanding contribution to the Victorian community before his life was tragically cut short.

Recipients of this year’s award, Amber Barker-Lovett and Jedda Costa, will each receive $5000 to continue their community work. The Ricci Marks Rising Star Award, valued at $1500, was given to Mikayla George.

Amber Barker-Lovett is a proud Gunditjmara and Wemba Wemba woman who is making a difference in her community. She is actively involved in Koorie youth programs in Ballarat and has been a mentor for the Ballarat to Sydney Koorie Youth Leadership Trip, as well as the Koorie Academy of Success.

Jedda Costa is a proud Wemba Wemba, Yorta Yorta and Mutti Mutti woman, born and raised on Wurundjeri land. Jedda is in her final year of a journalism degree at RMIT and is passionate about fair and balanced media, especially Indigenous affairs.

She was elected as the first ever Indigenous officer at the RMIT student union where she helps to voice the needs and concerns of Indigenous students to the wider university.

Mikayla George has a full scholarship in the Australian Aerial Skiing program at the Victorian Institute of Sport and is hoping to compete at the Winter Olympics in 2022.

Ms Hutchins congratulated the award winners and acknowledged the strong field of nominations as a reflection of excellence among Aboriginal young people.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Aboriginal Affairs Natalie Hutchins

Both the award recipients and nominees are inspirational role models and should be enormously proud of their accomplishments.”

“This year’s nominees have shown dedication to their communities and should be very proud of all they have accomplished.”