Finalists have been selected for the First National Real Estate Leadership Award in the NSW/ACT Seven News Young Achiever Awards. The Awards aim to encourage, acknowledge and reward the achievements and valuable contribution young individuals make in their local communities.

The Finalists are:

  • Joe Harris, 22 of Matraville
  • Joshua Gilbert, 27 of Gloucester
  • Kate Fitzsimons, 26 of Cronulla
  • Usman Iftikhar, 28 of Darlington

First National’s chief executive, Ray Ellis says his network’s sponsorship of youth, innovation and leadership has delivered recognition and support to some of Australia’s finest young achievers over the past six years.

“Our support of the Young Achiever Awards has assisted young Australians as they work to help young women become future leaders, advanced the cause of suicide prevention, supported animal rights, promoted tolerance, supported young people with degenerative diseases, connected women with legal advice and business coaching, reduced homelessness, and alleviated poverty” said Mr Ellis.

Joe Harris, 22 of Matraville is founder of Gratitude, a startup focusing on building technology to assist clinical psychologists with mental health treatments. Gratitude was accepted into the Young Social Pioneers Incubator 2017 cohort. Joe mentors scholar students and aims to change the way we approach mental health treatment, globally. He has received several scholarships to work in China and Singapore with start-up accelerators, assisting them as a software contractor and helping them raise hundreds of thousands of dollars of funding. Joe has recently returned from the University Scholars’ Leadership Symposium at the United Nations in Bangkok to discuss the future of the Sustainable Development Goals.

Joshua Gilbert, 27 of Gloucester established the NSW Young Farmers Council and was instrumental in securing over $500,000 in funding for the organisation. He is a volunteer firefighter for the Rural Fire Service and an Australian Red Cross volunteer. Joshua is on the Board for Intrepid Landcare, The Tucker Patch Gloucester, Bridging the Gap and the NESP Earth Systems and Climate Change Hub. He was also the founder of Farmers for Climate Action and has recently stepped down from the board after turning it into a successful charity. Josh was named as one of 16 Young Entrepreneurs Revolutionizing Food and Farming.

Kate Fitzsimons, 26 of Cronulla is the Director of the Nicole Fitzsimons Foundation, established in honour of her sister who died in an accident. Determined to save others from her sisters’ fate, she stopped working in 2013 to dedicate herself to educating about the importance of travel safety, through an eye-opening school presentation. Kate teaches students about building resilience during challenging times. Being described as ‘life-changing’ and ‘unforgettably inspiring’, her presentations have reached over 60,000 students at over 200 schools around Australia. She is a Motivational Speaker, Certified Life Coach, one of Australia’s 100 Women of Influence, and the 2018 Cronulla Woman of the Year.

Usman Iftikhar, 28 of Darlington is a global systems thinker and social entrepreneur. In 2016, he created Catalysr to support refugees and migrants to create start-ups. He has so far supported 66 migrapreneurs with 14 startups. Usman was part of the Australian Delegation to G20 Young Entrepreneurs’ Alliance Summit in Berlin to advocate for better mobility, education and smart taxation schemes. He has worked alongside the technology giants in Silicon Valley to come up with bold solutions for climate change. He is currently working on Democratisation of Outer-Space, with two other co-founders to design the world’s first solar power satellite, to be launched in 2020

Members of the public can vote for finalists at with polling closing at midnight Monday 28th of February 2019. The winner will be announced at the Gala Presentation Dinner on Friday 1st March 2019.


Issued by: First National Real Estate

For further information contact:

Stewart Bunn, National Communications Manager, First National Real Estate on

0413 624 317