2020 finalists for the Emerging Leader Award were:

  • Frank Chen from Glenorchy City Council in Tasmania.
  • Kate James from Banyule City Council in Victoria
  • Daniel Bradford from Cassowary Coast Regional Council in Queensland
  • Scott Wildgoose from Shire of Narembeen.
  • Jamie Dunnicliff from City of Charles Sturt.


WINNER: Kate James

Kate has been an outstanding leader in the Banyule Youth Services team for eight years. She has delivered a number of major projects with and for young people. Most notable is her work in leading and embedding practices around gender equity and in addressing body image in young
people alongside her advocacy and wellbeing activities with Australian-Somali young people. The ‘Shaping our fate’ project delivered by Kate in 2018 challenged community misconceptions about young African-Australian people. It saw over 100 culturally diverse young people (predominantly of Australian-Somali and Middle Eastern background) actively engage in training and leadership opportunities.

Kate is also very active in the gender equity space and strives to address stereotypes and inequality. She has conducted in-house workshops for Council employees, has held several International Women’s Day events and advocates and provides leadership across the north-east region to
encourage best practice in this space.

Kate is an exceptional young leader and asset to the Banyule community and has provided ongoing significant leadership within the Banyule Youth Services team but also across the organisation and the whole sector. She is hardworking, passionate and ethical and continues
deliver best practice, innovative and outstanding results for the young people her work touches. Kate inspires all those who work with her both internally and externally to strive to achieve excellence.