Acknowledging talented students through the Edstart Achievement Awards Program

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Students across Australia are increasingly aware of the world we live in and becoming keen participants in shaping the future they want to live in. This new generation of young minds are actively pursuing their passion and making a difference, from developing initiatives to help those in need to taking steps to promote sustainable living.

Edstart launched our Achievement Awards Program to recognise and support these talented students, with an aim to encourage our future innovators, creators, leaders and role models to continue to make a positive impact on the world.

About the Awards Program

The Achievement Awards Program is designed to acknowledge and reward students across a range of disciplines. Students can nominate for an award in one of six categories including technology and innovation, sustainability, entrepreneurship, arts, sport, and social impact.

Winners will receive an award from Edstart as well as a $1,500 grant to fund a project, initiative or training related to their category.

Our inspirational winners

Congratulations to the winners of the 2021 Edstart Achievement Awards Program. The calibre of the finalists was extremely impressive which saw a tie in several categories.

Performing and visual arts

Holly Robinson
Holly Robinson, The McDonald College, NSW
At only 11 years of age, Holly is already an accomplished dancer who has competed both nationally and internationally. She has won the Miss USA competition in Las Vegas, a Silver medal at the Dance World Cup in Spain, and has her eyes set on dancing in the Royal Ballet.

Technology and innovation

Arsh Mahajan
Arsh Mahajan, Huntingtower School, VIC
Arsh is an aspiring engineer who wants to design a mobile phone charging chair that is powered by piezoelectricity and renewable energy. By implementing piezo cells into the cushions of chair seat, Arsh hopes to be able to charge larger electrical devices such as laptops.

Social impact

Benjy Orwin
Benjy Orwin, Leibler Yavneh College, VIC
After becoming concerned that people living on the streets wouldn’t be able to keep warm in the Winter, Benjy began his own charity Socks4Support. Since then he has collected over 25,000 pairs of socks and distributed them to those in need in Australia and overseas. Benjy told us in his nomination, “I want to help as many people as I can and make their lives easier.”

Evalani Pouli
Evalani Pouli, Stella Maris College, NSW
After visiting Tonga in 2014 and recognising their lack of sanitation and access to essential resources, Evalani developed a project which aims to provide packs of sanitary products to the community of Talafo'ou in Tonga.

Kohbi Barrow
Kohbi Barrow, St Cecilia's Catholic Primary School, WA
Kohbi is an 11 year old dedicated to raising awareness about the impacts of bullying. He has spoken at numerous events and has launched the 'No Bullying' Coffee Lid Project to raise money for Dolly’s Dream, an organisation dedicated to changing the culture of bullying.

Sustainability and environment

Elenor Craven
Elenor Craven, St Catherine's School, NSW
Elenor started a not-for-profit business called Sustainabring which aims to encourage actions that benefit the environment. The company offers rewards to its users once they complete small actions aimed to help in the fight against climate change.

Indiana Tichon
Indiana Tichon, Brigidine College, QLD
As a passionate animal advocate and environmental enthusiast, Indiana developed the idea to create animal kits consisting of basic supplies to assist animals hit by cars or burnt in fires. Through her project Indikits, she hopes to equip communities with resources to better assist injured wildlife to ultimately improve wildlife care and conservation.

Sport and physical wellbeing

Zahra Ahmed
Zahra Ahmed, Kimberley College, QLD
Not only is Zahra a talented soccer player, but she is committed to helping other young female players who might not be able to afford the various costs involved with playing the sport. Her initiative ‘Soccer Sisters Unite’ aims to financially assist young female players to give them opportunities to attend specialist training and participate in events that might otherwise have been out of reach.


Sebastian Onate-Henriquez
Sebastian Onate-Henriquez, Broughton Anglican College, NSW
Sebastian is a Year 1 student and budding entrepreneur with a passion for sustainability. He started his business The Earth is my Place which sells kids t-shirts that have been designed by himself and made from recycled fabrics, and with every product sold one tree is planted.

Sienna Capra
Sienna Capra, Hennessy Catholic College, NSW
Driven by her passion for health, environmental awareness and her love of tea, Sienna developed the idea of producing a range of ethically sourced, loose leaf, herbal tea. She launched her business Spill the Tea Co which offers a range of herbal teas targeted at teens and young adults in the hopes of encouraging more people to lead healthy and sustainable lives.

We also want to recognise all the finalists this year who will each receive a $250 grant to contribute towards their project:

Jamie Godfrey (Mountain Creek State High School, QLD), Allegra Clarke (All Saints Anglican School, QLD), Anabel Schiavone (Stella Maris College, NSW), Mitchell Kellermann (Sheldon College, QLD) and Arsh Mahajan (Huntingtower School), Elliott Hull (Westbourne Grammar School, VIC), Kaitlyn Handreck, (Damascus College, VIC), Luke Klisanin (St Laurence's College, QLD), Abi Muir (Redlynch State College, QLD), Marika Oakley (Smith’s Hill High School, NSW), Madeleine Dugdale (Sheldon College, QLD), Melissa Davies (Clarence Valley Anglican School, NSW), Aaliyah Kadir (All Saints College, WA), Annabelle Kingston (Loreto Normanhurst, NSW), Grace Yuan (Methodist Ladies' College, VIC), Jasmine Morris (Boroondara Park Primary School, VIC), Gavin Hakim (St Ives High School, NSW), Nikolas Romic (Galilee Regional Catholic Primary School, VIC), Ruby Sargent-Wilson (Woonona High School, NSW), Sarah Lichaa (Our Lady Queen of Peace Catholic Primary School, NSW), and Harry Bruce-Tennant (Belgrave Heights Christian School, VIC).

We’re excited to be able to provide these students with an award and a grant, and look forward to supporting them on their journeys. Congratulations to all students!

About Edstart
Edstart is a leading technology and financial services company providing funding and payment services for education. We offer fee management solutions to schools and flexible payment plans to parents to help make school fees easier to manage.

To see how we can help you, visit our main website.

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