2021 IAHA NT Aboriginal Health Academy Graduation and Award Winners

Congratulations to the 2021 NT Aboriginal Health Academy Graduates and Award Winners  

2021 was a successful year seeing with 26 students within the Academy throughout year 11 & 12. 

 The night began with a live message from the Honourable Ken Wyatt MP and IAHA Chairperson Nicole Turner delivering a message via video link to the NT Aboriginal Health Academy Students and graduates. 

The night was a success, celebrating the achievements of our trainees throughout the year and 13 trainees successfully graduate in front of their families and year 11 fellow trainees.. 

There were 6 award categories given out on the night: 

  • Northern Territory Aboriginal Health Academy Local Champion Award – Kerryilee Raymond 
  • Northern Territory Aboriginal Health Academy Deadly Student Award – Jovian Dalywater 
  • Northern Territory Aboriginal Health Academy Commitment Award – Michaela Espie 
  • Northern Territory Aboriginal Health Academy Student Choice Award – Porsche Cahill 
  • Northern Territory Aboriginal Health Academy Future Health Leader – Elyssia Tallon Rosas 
  • Northern Territory Aboriginal Health Academy Inspiration Award – Tehanee Ansell & Porsche Cahill 

Dakota Tipuamantumir

My name is Dakota Tipuamantumirri. I am currently in year 12 and I am proud Tiwi and Wadjigan girl from Belyuen and Garden Point, Tiwi islands.  

My hobbies are fishing and hunting, and I love to sit with family and pluck goose all night and talk stories but when I am in Darwin, I love to go shopping. One thing different about me is that I am a very straight forward person and likes to get straight to the point.  

One challenge I have had to overcome was meeting new people and working with new people. I joined the academy because I wanted to give myself the best chance of being successful in the future and to have the skills of being and independent adult. The academy has given more experience in working with others and no to be shame around anyone and to have a go and to always try and do my best. 

I am very interested in health especially with working with children and helping my people, I have enjoyed being around all the positivity and kindness and respect with my peers at the health academy and I feel safe and included. I get a lot of moral support and, I get support like even with my schoolwork I get help here as well for that.  

My highlight for the academy this year was our NAIDOC week because we got to do some weaving with coconut leaves and learnt about Torres Strait Islander culture and history. 

My advice for others joining the academy is to have an open mind and have a go at try new things and meet new people. My career goals are to become an Aboriginal paediatrician or to be a nurse. 

Dashay Borsi

Dashay Borsi, is in year 12 student at Palmerston College. Dashay is a young Larrakia woman, born and raised in Darwin who enjoys spending time with family and friends. 

Being part of the NTAHA has helped Dashay to gain more knowledge on all aspects of health. Dashay has grown in confidence and gained a lot of knowledge regarding her own health and of peers.  

In 2021 Dashay has really stepped up in taking on a leadership role within the Academy and has been able to assist in mentoring fellow peers. 

Since joining NTAHA, Dashay has still taken an interest in health, but is still unsure about the area of health most interested in working in. 

Demitrus Galaminda

My name is Demitrus Galaminda, I am a boarding student from Marrara Christian College, and I am In Year 11. My home is Warruwi, South Goulburn Island and the first language I speak is Maung. I joined the NT Aboriginal Health Academy because Gabe visited my school last year with a group of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander university students, after their visit it gave me an interest in health.  Since being in NT Academy, it has inspired me into being a strong leader in my community. 

The support I get from the NT Academy staff by supporting me through tough times and someone to talk to when I’m feeling down and helping me through schoolwork outside the Academy because the pressure of getting my schoolwork done on top of NT Academy work can be too much.   

My advice for future Academy students is not to be shame but get to know your classmates and staff members. When I first walked into the classroom and saw I was the only fella, I was shame. However, seeing more fellas join this year from other schools made me feel safe.  On the school holidays, when I am home, I love to go out hunting and fishing. I enjoy playing rugby league and AFL because it keeps me physically active, and I enjoy hanging out with my brother boys on the team and connecting with different players. 

Elyssia Tallon Rosas

Elyssia Tallon Rosas is a proud Wardaman and Dagomon woman from Katherine, Northern Territory and is in year 12 at Haileybury Rendall School. 

Elyssia has always had a strong interest in the health field and dreams to study further in health to be able to work remote in the health care sector and help her community and people in need. 

Elyssia has been a strong leader within the academy. Elyssia has shown dedication and commitment with her studies both within the academy and her school learning. She demonstrates strength and resilience and doesn’t give up on a challenge. 

In 2021 Elyssia was successful in becoming Northern Territory School Based Trainee of the year at the NT Training Awards and the team at IAHA are very proud of her achievement and journey. Elyssia has proven that you can do anything you put your mind to and is now working towards her future pathway in health. 

Emma-Leah Lewis

My name is Emma Lewis Alum, I also go to Haileybury Rendall in Darwin NT and I’m currently in year 11. I live at Tennant Creek and my mob live at Elliot spread out all the way down to Alice Springs and we speak Jingili, Warumujngu, Alyawarre my family.  

I join the Academy to hoping to learn different experience that can benefit my future. During my time here I don’t think the academy changed me at all but has defiantly impacted my point of views in life in a way that I can’t see. I would like to aim to become a dental technician or a mid-wife if I were to stay in and expand my health career.  

What I love about the academy is the guest speakers and listen to their experiences of how they got to their career and what they did to achieve. My highlight of the academy is learning CPR and practicing on dummies and the different professions in health that I can take.  

My advice for people wanting to try the course is, don’t be afraid to engage and have a go and by taking the course it could potentially benefit you in the future overall fun. My hobbies would be that I’m an artistic drawer and painter which I am good at, I loved reading, cleaning my room and going for walks out bush. I also try to be a quiet achiever but I’m just quiet now.   

Eunica Taylor

My name is Francesca (Eunica) Taylor, and I go to Marrara Christian college; and I’m in year 11. I’m from a remote community called Maningrida, and my mob are the Garmal Yothu Yindi mob from another remote community in Milingimbi. 

I wanted to learn more about health because I want to become a health worker, one of my family members who used to work as a registered health worker, and I want to be one. 

 NTAHA changed my life by showing me that it’s a good pathway to be on, and it showed me that this is the way if I want to be a health worker.  I got a lot of support from our health trainers like they ask if we need help with schoolwork, like assignments, or if we need help with anything. 

My advice to others about joining the Academy is that it is a great opportunity to join it.  The Academy shows you that you can become whatever you want if you’re interested in working as one of the health workers and the trainers are awesome. They give full support in helping students get their work done, as in assignments or other schoolwork you need to get done. 

I like playing sports like football and basketball. I also love going fishing because I can learn what I can do out in the bush and learn what type of bush food there are out in the bush and the sea. 

Gabrielle Da Costa

Gabrielle Da Costa is a Kungarakun and Gurindji woman and   is in year 12 at Palmerston College. Gabrielle completed her qualification at the beginning of the year and remained at school full time to focus on her ATAR pathway. 

Gabrielle still has a strong interest in working within the health sector and upon completing school would like to look into further study to become a physiotherapist. 




Jamelia Sariago

Jamelia Sariago is in year 12 at Casuarina Senior College and is a Djaru woman from the Kimberly region and is born and bred in Darwin. 

Jamelia joined the Academy with a bubbly personality which brought a lot of enthusiasm and encouragement to other trainees. She showed great leadership skills especially when guest speakers attended the classes and has a strong passion to help people especially children.  

Jamelia’s knowledge and experience in Allied health has grown a lot throughout the year and her determination to meet goals and work hard at completing year 12 has amazed the staff. Jamelia has a strong don’t give up attitude which will see her achieve anything she puts her mind to. 

Jovian Dalywater

My name is Jovian Dalywater, and I’m in year 11 at Haileybury Rendall School. When I’m not at school, I live at Bulman/Weemol.  My mob is the Dalabon people from Bulman/Weemol, which is South West of Katherine. 

Joining NTAHA, I have been shown to be a role model for my friends, and I have grown into that role with the support of the Academy staff.  I enjoy having such role models to learn from and can turn to for support. 

I have enjoyed getting to know other students from the different schools who are in the Academy.  We all have different stories and have different lives, but we are all working together and getting to know each other.    

My advice to others wanting to join the Academy is that you can make a good career out of health as there are many different areas to health, not just doctors and nurses. 

My hobbies include sports, camping, fishing, hunting.  My favourite sports in ALF, I love camping, fishing, and hunting on country with my family and friends.  

Kalei Mason

Kalei Mason is in year 12 at Palmerston College and has family connections to the Daly River Region. Kalei commenced the academy in 2021 was a quiet student but demonstrated a strong interest in working in health.  

Throughout the year Kalei grew in confidence and showed great dedication to her studies in the academy and school. Kalei actively participated in academy learning and really stood out to the team in her commitment.  

Kalei has developed into a leader within the class and would always assist other students in their journey as well as staff with tasks that may be required. Since commencing in her work placement, Kalei has grown and been able to demonstrate her caring nature to work within the Allied health sector. 

Kay'annie Swann-Campbell

Kay’annie Swann-Campbell is in year 12 at Taminmin College with family connections to Alice Springs and Ngarrindjeri in South Australia. 

Kay’annie commenced with the Academy in 2021 and was able to demonstrate strong leadership and support to other class members. Kay’annie was always willing to learn and give input into her learning and soon found a desire to work as a sonographer. 

Kay’annie was able to gain a placement at the hospital where it was able to expose her to a vast range of areas within Allied health. Kay’annie has a strong work ethic both in and outside of the academy and her passion and caring nature will take her along way. 

Keneisha Riddle

Hey, my name is Keneisha Maree Riddle, I’m a Koongurrukun and Iwaidja / Morrung woman, born here in Darwin. I’m currently going to school at Palmerston Senior College and am in year 11. I joined with NTAHA at the beginning of 2020 to better understand the health industry and all its professions, and since then, I’ve been able to learn so much and share it all with my cousins and family. They make it so easy for me to learn and never shame asking questions to understand things properly. 

I’ve loved having guests coming in to talk to us about the pathways they’ve taken to get where they’re at.  It helped me come up with ideas to map out a pipeline to become either a physio or dietician, It’s a goal of mine to one day have the opportunity to work in remote communities educating mob on healthy diets. 

Kerryilee Raymond

Kerryilee is in year 12 at Marrara Christian College. Kerryilee comes from a small remote community town of Kulumindini (Elliott) NT. Her people are Muburra, Jingili, Wombaya and Warumungu. 

Kerryilee joined NTAHA because she was really interested in learning about health to help make a  change in her community because they need Indigenous people working in remote communities. 

From the NTAHA staff, Kerryilee got a lot of support and advice on achieving her goals. Before joining     the program, Kerryilee will tell you she was very shy and didn’t want to talk to anyone, but now she is one of the leaders within the Academy. Kerryilee is now looking at pathways to continue to work or study in the health sector. 

Kerryilee has been a positive role model and mentor to fellow students within the academy and really support students to achieve their goals as well. 

Her advice to anyone interested in a career in health, “the NTAHA is perfect for joining. They will teach you about working in health and help you get a job.” 

Maddisen Klaas

My name is Maddisen Klaas, and I am a proud Gurindji and Dagoman woman. Gurindji being my Great Grandfathers country from Wave Hill through to Yarralin in the Vic River region and Dagoman being my Great Grandmothers country from Katherine. I was born and bred in Katherine and grew up there before moving to Darwin at 10. I am currently in Year 12 at MacKillop Catholic College, and I am completing a Cert III in Allied Health Assistance. I enjoy getting out of the house, going fishing, taking the quads and motorbikes out riding, playing footy every weekend, going swimming when it’s too hot to do anything else and much more. 

My advice to other people wanting to join the NT Aboriginal Health Academy is to give it a go because it gives you a great opportunity to learn about all the different health professions and shortages in skilled Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Workers. Australia needs more Aboriginal health workers as they play a vital role in the primary health workforce.  

One of my career goals is to become a qualified sports physiotherapist or possibly a paediatric physiotherapist. I have always been passionate about sport, and I feel this would be a great job to express my love of sport and even better because I would get to help people recover from injuries. If I decide I don’t want to pursue a career in health, I have thought about undertaking trade in something as I am a hands-on learner. 

Michaela Espie

My name is Michaela Espie; I am a young Kija and Arrernte woman, currently in Year 12 at Taminmin College. My childhood has mostly consisted of growing up in Kununurra.  

My friends were previously enrolled into NT Aboriginal Health Academy, I would hear stories from them that had me interested in the course, and by the start of 2021, I decided to give it a go and enrol.  

Being in the NT Academy has opened my eyes to all the possible health careers I could pursue. At the moment, I am still unsure if I want to pursue a career in the health industry, but throughout the course, it has allowed me to be exposed to different health professions; I feel as if it has allowed me to have a health career if I choose to in the future.  

I have most enjoyed doing hands-on activities, especially when guest speakers would come in and get us involved with activities related to their job.  

My advice to other people who want to join the NT Academy is not to ask questions and get to know the other students. It might seem scary and intimidating at first, but you aren’t the only one feeling like this, and to also enjoy the time you have here and use it wisely. 

I enjoy getting out of town and going out bush to swim, hunt and/or fish. I also love the feeling of freedom when I go out for quad bike rides on the bush tracks with my dog. 

Nakita Clancy

Nakita Clancy, is in year 12 at Palmerston College and is an Anmtjere women from Alice Springs Nakita has grown up most of her life in Darwin and enjoy reading and listening to music. 

Nakita joined the NTAHA because she had an interest in health and wanted to pursue opportunities within the Academy. Being part of NTAHA really helped her gain a lot of knowledge and experience about health, and it has changed many viewpoints that she had on certain areas of my future career. Health was always something Nakita had a interest in. 

Nakita has come along way in the Academy and has become a strong leader within the group. Her growth within the academy will be an inspiration to many. 

Porsche Cahill

Good evening everyone, my name is Porsche Cahill, and I am an Aboriginal woman from the Kakadu area, and I am in year 12 at Palmerston college. 

I am still really interested in a career in the health industry because I care for and help my family.  I get to help other families. The most rewarding feeling is knowing that you are changing Australians’ health status, one person at a time, both Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and people from all other backgrounds. 

The advice I would like to give others is that the Academy allows you to grow and learn in a space that you are comfortable and safe in.  The kind of support that the Academy gives is incredible down to the very little things like food, someone to talk to, a shoulder to cry on & school work the Academy supports you on a personal level and only to comfort zone.  

This year’s highlight during the Academy was to make unforgettable connections and experiences with the staff and the rest of the Academy, learn more about myself, and see how far the Academy and I have come from the start of the year. 

The achievements that I have completed are getting a part-time job at Leanyer pharmacy and finishing a course on the supply of medicines.  I’m hosted at Menzies, while at Menzies, I have participated in evaluating a kidney program, participated in science week where school children came to Menzies.  I helped facilitate an online workshop with youth aged 15- 25 all over the country, got invited to parliament twice from Lauren moss, participated in a workshop with Adam drake. 

Raphael Djorlom

Raphael Djorlom is in year 11 at Haileybury Rendall and is a boarding student from Warruwi, Goulburn Island. Raphael has shown great dedication and a strong interest in health and caring for people.  

Raphael demonstrates strong leader skills and is a strong role model for other young men. Raphael is always willing to give things a go and lend a helping hand to staff and other students. 

Raphael come into the program quiet but has really started to feel comfortable and is able to bring enjoyment to the class and people around him.



Samuel Dhurrkay

Samuel Dhurrkay is in year 11 at Haileybury Rendall College and is a boarding student from Elcho Island. Samuel gets involved in all aspects of the classroom and not afraid to give anything a go. 

Samuel has showed great commitment to the academy and really puts in effort. He has grown in confidence especially in ability to work in groups and is always willing to help staff and cook up our deadly lunches. 

Samuel has shown strong connection with the other young men in the group and is demonstrating he is a strong role model to other young men. 

Shakira Shields-Corp

Shakira Shields-Corp is 18 years old and in Year 12 at Palmerston College. Shakira is born and raised in Darwin, NT and her mob are Malak Malak, Larrakia and the Warumungu people.  

Shakira joined NTAHA because she didn’t know what she wanted to do after school, but health was on my list on what I wanted to do for a career, so when I found out about the NTAHA, I thought, ‘why don’t I give it a try?’ 

Shakira has an interest in health, but not 100% sure what she want to do yet. 

Shereeda Anderson

Hi! My name is Shereeda Anderson, and I am in year 11 at O’loughlin College. 

I joined the Academy to broaden my knowledge and experience within the health/medical fields as I have a high interest in having a medical career in the future.   The Academy has changed me in many ways, making me more confident, smarter and mature. I had to learn how to talk to important people that might give me more opportunities in what I’m interested in for my future career/goals, which has dramatically built my confidence.  

Overall, I have enjoyed everything about the Academy, but being specific, it would probably be the excursions and opportunities I’ve been privileged enough to experience, along with all the fun, hands-on activities we get to do when the guest speakers come.  

The Academy supports me with school and my future goals by finding out more opportunities they think I would like that involve my interests and dreams. 

Sonny Wauchope

Hi, my name is Sonny Wauchope, I’m from Minjaling (Croker Island), and I’m a boarding student from Haileybury Randall school-based Darwin, NT. Back home, we speak Maung, Kunwinjku and Iwaidja.  

I joined the NT Academy because I wanted to help and support my family back home, take back what I learned from the NT Academy, and share my knowledge with my family and friends. Since being in the NT Academy, the journey so far is that I can connect with other young people from different schools. I learned to work in a group, be in a team environment, and recognise other NT Academy students from different Nation Groups. 

 I am still interested in pursuing a career in health, particularly physiotherapy because it helps manage muscle soreness and prevent further injuries. I felt supported by the NT staff helping with my work, deadly yarns, and friendliness from my classmates. 

My hobbies are hunting, fishing and playing sports. Answering questions, I found challenging but asking for support helped me overcome the challenge. I am easy going not afraid to communicate with other people. 

Talisha Blanasi-Brown

Talisha Blanasi Brown I’m a boarder at Marrara Christian College, and I’m in year 11.  I am from a remote community in Beswick.  And my mob are the Dalabon mob, but we live in Jawoyn Land. 

I joined the Academy because I wanted to learn more about being an OT (occupational therapist) by helping people with disability that needs help with anything.  I like spending time with my families and friends, going out hunting and fishing, and going out swimming, I love doing things like getting bush food, but I ask my grandparents about which bush food is right. 

My goals are that I want to become someone I want to be, not by other choices and opinions from their thinking. So, my goals are that I want to be an OT helping people that are struggling. 

Taniel Parry

Hi, my name is Taniel Parry, and I’m from Daly River, but I go to a boarding school in Darwin at Marrara Christian College. My mob is the Marrithiyel tribe.  I joined the Academy because my future job is to work in remote clinics, and I feel like this health academy is where I will get supported even when I graduate next year. 

My advice to others about the Academy is that I get lots of support from the trainee’s and lots of help. 

I like going out hunting and fishing with my family and friends because I love spending time with them. Also, I love going out because I want to learn more about bush tuckers to know which is which (bush food). 

Tehanee Ansell

Hello, my name is Tehanee Ansell, I am a year 12 student at Taminmin College. My family is from Alice Springs and Western Australia, but I was born and raised in Darwin.  

In 2020 I joined NT Academy because it was a different scenery from what I was doing in any other VET course, and it was an opportunity to see If I wanted to pursue my career pathway in health. Being in this course has now got me wanting to pursue a career in health. I have had my mindset on midwifery because as soon as I started this course and was told that this could potentially help with other professions, my mind was set on sonography. In year 5/6, my teacher asked me ‘what do you want to be when you grow up’ my response was, “A doctor that looked after babies” I suppose ever since then when an opportunity opened up, I took it so now I’ve taken one step to get closer to where I need to be. 

My highlight of NT Academy was the trip to parliament house, where I got to listen in on the session from the curator sharing stories about the Aboriginal flag and its history.  

My advice to other people is sitting back feeling like you can’t do this is not the way to go about it asking your mentors for help, and putting yourself out there will create a guide for yourself to thrive through anything. 

Toya Wilson-Norris

Toya Wilson-Norris is a Warumungu woman born and raised in Darwin, Northern Territory. Toya completed her qualification at the start of the year and continued to work with IAHA assisting the Academy and supporting staff with the 2021 Academy. 

Since completing her qualification, Toya worked with IAHA staff in applying for positions and was successful in gaining a fulltime position with the Department of Education as an administration Officer.