Exceptional women named finalists in 2020 Seven News Young Achiever Awards

Exceptional Western Sydney University students and alumni have been announced as finalists in the 2020 Seven News Young Achiever Awards.

Current students Reem Qrma, Renee Thomson and Sampavi Sivakumar, and alumni Matilda Harry and Sophie Wills, have been recognised in the New South Wales division of the annual awards which acknowledge, encourage and promote the positive achievements of young people.

Reem Qrma and Sampavi Sivakumar are finalists in the Western Sydney University Academic Achievement Award. Sophie Wills in the NSW Ministry of Health Healthier Communities Award, with Renee Thomson nominated for the Aboriginal Education Council (NSW) Inc Aboriginal Education Award and Matilda Harry the TransGrid Indigenous Achievement Award.

Reem Qrma, Western Sydney University Academic Achievement Award finalist

Reem Qrma, a 23-year-old physiotherapy student from Campbelltown, said the recognition of her academic achievement comes halfway through her degree and inspires her to continue to strive to make a difference in improving people’s health, well-being and quality of life, and to give back to the community.

“I feel so excited, humbled and honoured to have made it to the finals among so many other achievers. Winning this award would be something very special, probably the most special event in my university time because it will recognise all the hard work and effort that I put in throughout my university journey,” said Reem.

Reem’s academic achievements include being listed on the Dean's Merit List and receiving the Great Irish Famine Memorial Award for her academic achievements and community involvement.

“As I come from a refugee background, I am very passionate about refugee education so besides my studies I volunteer in various programs in the community to guide newly arrived young refugees to find their way to education and employment in Australia.”

Sophie Wills, NSW Ministry of Health Healthier Communities Award finalist

Sophie Wills, a 21-year-old paramedicine student from Wisemans Ferry, is passionate about community and individual empowerment through health literacy. She led the establishment of a defibrillation project in Wisemans Ferry and has been recognised for her commitment to community health.

“This project was never about receiving public thanks or recognition but winning the award ultimately highlights the importance of community access to defibrillation as a concept. It empowers young people and small communities to look around and make a change if they see a problem,” said Sophie.

“I am extremely happy with the way the community has responded, all it took was someone to lead the way and the rest of the support from the community followed to push the project over the line.”

Western Sydney University would like to congratulate all future and current students and alumni who were nominated in this year’s awards.

The finalists and winners will be awarded 20 March 2020 during an Awards Gala Presentation Dinner held at Doltone House, with one of the nine category winners will be chosen as the 2020 NSW/ACT Young Achiever of the Year.

All finalists will go into the People’s Choice Award. To read more about each finalist and to vote before 16 March, please visit the Seven News Young Achiever Awards website (opens in a new window).


30 January 2020

Ali Sardyga, Media Officer