Moree's Jessica Duncan named a finalist in 2019 Young Achiever Awards NSW/ACT

YOUNG ACHIEVER: Jessica Duncan has been named one of four finalists in the NSW Deputy Premier's Regional Achiever Award.
YOUNG ACHIEVER: Jessica Duncan has been named one of four finalists in the NSW Deputy Premier's Regional Achiever Award.

Moree’s Jessica Duncan has progressed to the final round of the 2019 Seven News NSW/ACT Young Achiever Awards, after being named a finalist for the NSW Deputy Premier's Regional Achiever Award.

Ms Duncan is one of only four finalists in the running for the NSW Deputy Premier’s Regional Achiever Award, which aims to recognise young regional and rural community contributors.

The award acknowledges excellence in a chosen profession or field of endeavour. It might be awarded to a career achiever or someone involved in an important regional industry The award will also recognise those involved in volunteering, sport, art, culture, academia, or a regional initiative or project that deserves recognition.

Among her many achievements, Ms Duncan founded her own charity business, Donate for Dignity in 2015 which provides care packages to more than 300 homeless or disadvantaged people in the Moree community each year.

This year she also coordinated the first Rural Endometriosis Health Forum in Moree for regional women, which saw specialists from all over Australia provide education and support to the more than 60 attendees.

Ms Duncan is the youngest Aboriginal female board member of Pius X Aboriginal Corporation, volunteering more than 100 hours a year. She also volunteers hundreds of hours for the Moree Reconciliation Committee, promoting positive relationships between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people and helps run the only large Reconciliation Awards in NSW.

She fundraised for the Hike for the Homeless event, raising nearly $2,000 in two years, and has fundraised with her employer, Aboriginal Employment Strategy to donate $5,000 to the Moree Drought Muster to support local farmers.

Ms Duncan was also a semi-finalist in two other Young Achiever Awards – the Aboriginal Education Council Aboriginal Education Award and the Freemasons of NSW/ACT Community Service Award.

Fellow Moree woman Bree Pring was also a semi-finalist in the Community Service Award, however unfortunately didn’t progress to finals.

A third Moree woman, Emily Cosgrove, was nominated for the NSW Department of Education Early Childhood Educator Award, but unfortunately missed out on semi-final placing.

The Young Achiever Awards aim to acknowledge, encourage and promote the positive achievements of all young people in NSW and the ACT up to and including 29 years of age as of December 31.

The finalists will be presented and the winners announced at an Awards Gala Presentation Dinner on Friday, March 1, 2019.

Category winners will each receive $1,000 cash and a $1,000 Bartercard account plus a trophy. Every nominee will receive a certificate of achievement. The NSW/ACT Young Achiever of the Year will receive $2,000 and a trophy.