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Gullara McInnes and Daniel Rosendale winners at 7News Young Achiever Awards

Joseph Guenzler -

Two Indigenous recipients were honored at the 7News Young Achiever Awards on Friday in Meanjin. 

Gullara McInnes from Mareeba received the Kennelly Constructions Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Achievement Award, while Daniel Rosendale from Cairns was honored with the Queensland Family and Child Commission First Nations Youth Advocacy Award.

Gullara McInnes receiving her award from Shane Kennelly. (Image: Joseph Guenzler)

Wallara woman, Gullara McInnes, hailing from Mareeba, received the Kennelly Constructions Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Achievement Award from Kennelly Constructions CEO and Founder, Shane Kenelly.

Ms McInnes and her mother gracefully gifted Mr. Kennelly a painting completed by her mother as a token of appreciation. 

"I want to thank Kennelly constructions for sponsoring the award and hope you enjoy a token of appreciation from my mother who couldn't be here tonight," she said. 

Ms McInnes gave thanks to all of her family, friends and supporters who have helped her on her path.  

"It's for them and everyone that's been on me through this incredible journey," she said. 

Ms McInnes is recognised for her groundbreaking work in utilising drone technology for cultural preservation and rural education enhancement.

As a graduate of the Indigenous Women’s STEM Academy and CareerTrackers, she is a staunch advocate for Aboriginal sciences, offering mentorship to young people.

Through national conference presentations and keynote speeches, Ms McInnes shares her knowledge, empowering communities and fostering the next generation of STEM leaders.

Despite personal adversities, such as the loss of her father, she remains steadfast in her mission to address educational inequalities and protect cultural sites with innovative drone solutions.

"The last person I'd like to thank is the old man who couldn't be here tonight." 

"In the end it took eight cancers to take him down. Without him...I wouldn't be the drone pilot I am today."

Currently pursuing a degree in science-law, Ms McInnes continues to drive positive change.

Daniel Rosendale thanking his supporters at the 7News Young Achievers Awards. (Image: Joseph Guenzler)

Kuku Yalanji and Guugu Yimithirr man Daniel Rosendale, based in Cairns, was honored with the Queensland Family and Child Commission First Nations Youth Advocacy Award by Luke Twyford, the Principal Commissioner. 

He extended his gratitude to not only his family and friends, but also congratulated all of the finalists and people who have supported him on his journey.

"I am very grateful to have been recognised for some of the work I've done." 

"Regardless of what challenged I face in the future, it's amazing to know these people have my back."

Mr Rosendale is celebrated for his unwavering dedication to empowering Indigenous youth.

As the co-founder of Deadly Inspiring Youth Doing Good (DIYDG), he spearheads community projects, promotes cultural pride, and advocates for health equity.

His leadership extends to initiatives like the Queensland Indigenous Youth Leadership Program (QIYLP) and roles as a Queensland Young Tourism Leader, amplifying Indigenous voices and advocating for youth representation.

Mr Rosendale’s efforts have earned him recognition as Cairns Regional Council's Young Person of the Year.

"Advocating for what you believe in means facing adversity face on, embracing all successes and failures but getting back up anyway."

With a Bachelor of Business Administration under his belt, Mr Rosendale embodies resilience and serves as a beacon of hope for Indigenous communities, striving for a brighter future.

The nine category winners were:

  • Ally Zlatar - Soroptimist International Women Empowering Others Award
  • Gullara Mcinnes - Kennelly Constructions Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Achievement Award
  • Aurora Iler - Queensland Family and Child Commission Contribution to Community or Family Safety Award
  • Edward Ross - The University of Queensland Create Change Award
  • Daniel Rosendale - Queensland Family and Child Commission First Nations Youth Advocacy Award
  • Kurt Jones - Spirit Super Connecting Communities Award
  • Natalie Durack - 360 Degrees Marketing Career Achievement Award
  • Natascha Tennent - Special Event Presentations Sporting Achievement Whilst Overcoming Adversity Award
  • Prince Lo - Awards Australia Foundation Diversity and Inclusion Award

Winners received trophies and mentoring from Jess Taylor Consulting, with the overall winner, Edward Ross, also receiving an extra trophy.

Oliver Barr-David was named the B105 People’s Choice Award winner.

The Awards marked a successful year with nominations from across Queensland.

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