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Ricci Marks Award

The Ricci Marks Award recognises the individual achievements and aspirations of young (16-25) Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in training, education, arts, sports, culture and community leadership.

Who can apply:

The 2023 Ricci Marks Award is funded through the Victorian Government’s Community Support Fund.

2023 Ricci Marks Award recipients

Jayde Couzens: Ricci Marks Award

Jayde Couzens

Jayde is a proud 20-year-old Gunditjmara – Noongar woman who is pursuing her dream to become a nurse. While coordinating the caring responsibilities of her son, Jayde reconnected with mainstream education. She completed a Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning (VCAL) through the Academy of Sport Health and Education in Shepparton, where she also volunteered at various events. She is now undertaking a Diploma in Nursing with plans to complete a Bachelor of Nursing. In her work, Jayde advocates for cultural awareness for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island patients.

She utilises her cultural background of storytelling to connect and create a culturally safe space for patients. She is proud of her community, especially in Shepparton which provides her strength, guidance, determination, empowerment, role modelling and a strong support systems. She works hard to ensure that her family is well cared for and secure and strives to be a role model to young people by inspiring them to progress their education and achieve their goals.

Yemurraki Egan: Ricci Marks Award 


Yemurraki Egan is a proud Yorta Yorta, Wemba Wemba and Gunditjmarra man. Yemurraki is studying engineering at Swinburne University. In his work at University of Melbourne’s Murrup Barak, he advocates for students to access the support and scholarships they are entitled to.

Yemurraki is an active member of his community and loves playing football for the Fitzroy Stars. In his time at the club, he has been captain on numerous occasions and engaged in mentorship programs with young men promoting mental health and healthy lifestyles.

Yemurraki is proud of his Aboriginal heritage and is always looking for ways to connect and engage with mob in various aspects of his life. In 2022, Yemurraki was recognised within his community and was appointed the title of Mr NAIDOC. He has dedicated his career to elevating the voices and perspectives of First Nations people.

Cobain Tipiloura: Rising Star Award

Cobain Tipiloura

Cobain is a young Tiwi man living and attending school at St Patrick’s College Ballarat. Cobain has been living away from his family and friends for 3 years. He is proud of his Tiwi heritage and its strong cultural environment. He loves his school environment and the exploration of shared culture through conversations with local Elder and Stolen Generation survivor Uncle Al.

Experiencing both cultures has opened Cobain’s eyes to the endless possibilities and expectations of the future. He is an amazing leader within his community, showing strong ties to traditional culture, always enthusiastic to take on opportunities that are presented to him and keen to provide guidance to younger mob who attend St Patrick’s.

­­Elijah Aaron Brown: Rising Star Award

Elijah Aaron Brown

Elijah Brown is young Wiradjuri man from Mildura, Victoria. Football is a huge part of Elijah’s life. He is an avid supporter of the Richmond Football Club and players like Cyril Rioli who represent community and Aboriginal culture.

Beyond this, he is an active athlete in the Bendigo Pioneers football program and hopes to follow any opportunity this will bring. Elijah aspires to play football at the highest level, finish Year 12 and pursue a career in health and fitness. His ongoing commitment to his training program and teammates has allowed him to shine as a true leader.

Elijah loves being part of a big family and great community. He goes back to Country often and enjoys participating in local community events – which help him remain grounded and allow him to listen and learn from family and Elders. He endeavours to be a role model promoting a positive lifestyle for young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mob.

Isaac Muller: Rising Star Award 


Isaac Muller is a driven and proud Wiradjuri and Palawa man, working on Wurundjeri land with ABC Australia. As an ABC social media, digital news, digital and video, radio producer, livestream engineer, and ex-3KND weekday presenter he has helped document and share the stories of hundreds of people. This is his way of continuing his cultural tradition of storytelling.

In his role at the ABC, Isaac also delivers storytelling workshops to students across Victoria through the ABC’s Youth Takeover program. He empowers young people to own their narrative, build their leadership skills and know no bounds.

He strives to continuously grow his knowledge, skills, experience and spirit and is passionate about facilitating the evolution of the cultural tradition of storytelling through the modern lenses of media and film. He is passionate about the value of storytelling and the community interconnectedness it continues to foster for First Nations peoples.