MUSWELLBROOK businessman Steven Fordham scooped the pool at the recent NSW/ACT Young Achiever of the Year Awards.
The proud Kamilaroi man firstly won the TransGrid Indigenous Achievement Award, presented by TransGrid head of property and environment Heather Wagland, from a strong field of nominees.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian then announced Mr Fordham as the overall winner, from the nine individual categories, during the event's first online presentation in front of an audience of more than 300 people on Friday night.
The 28-year-old received a magnificent trophy, and in excess of $2500 worth of prizes, made up of a $1500 Bartercard Trade Account, $1000 cash from Awards Australia and a $300 voucher from Fly Pelican.
He also collected an additional $500 for his Bartercard Trade Account and a further $1000 cash from Awards Australia as the NSW/ACT Young Achiever of the Year.
A spokesperson for the event said Mr Fordham was a worthy recipient.
"Steven is determined to work hard to achieve his goals," she explained.
"And, it's easy to see why the judges were impressed by his accomplishments.
"He co-founded Blackrock Industries with an aim of sustaining a large focus of Aboriginal employment and providing opportunities to indigenous inmates to be rehabilitated back into society.
"Their inmate program has provided a way to end indigenous incarceration rates.
"Steven is a member of the Muswellbrook Aboriginal Land Council board, Advisory Committee for Muswellbrook PCYC and Upper Hunter Aboriginal Land Council board, too.
"He was an advisor for Minister Mathew Canavan for the 2030 mining oil and gas strategy; and has worked with the state government on the IPP policy."
The nine category winners were:
- Freemasons of NWS/ACT Community Service Award: Lily Harrison, 18 (Corndale)
- Western Sydney University Academic Achievement Award: Eliza Martin, 17 (Oatley)
- NSW Department of Education Early Childhood Educator Award: Kirby Jayne Barker, 25 (Evans Head)
- First National Real Estate Leadership Award: Harpreet Dhillon, 19 (Eastwood)
- TransGrid Indigenous Achievement Award: Steven Fordham, 28 (Muswellbrook)
- NSW Ministry of Health Healthier Communities Award: Sophie Wills, 21 (Wisemans Ferry)
- Aboriginal Education Council Aboriginal Education Award: Lily Ferres, 26 (Wilcannia)
- QPRC Performing Arts Award: Yve Blake, 26 (Sydney)
- Awards Australia Small Business Achiever Award: Blake Garrett, 21 (Artarmon)
Kirby Jayne Barker, 25, of Evans Head, was also named as the NOVA 96.9 People's Choice Award winner and secured $500 worth of concert and movie tickets courtesy of the sponsor.