08/06/2021

Congratulations to 17-year old Shantae Barnes-Cowan who won the Department of Human Services (DHS) Aboriginal Achievement Award at the 2021 Seven News Young Achiever Awards on Friday 21 May.

The Aboriginal Achievement Award was presented by DHS Chief Executive Lois Boswell and recognises contributions to the Aboriginal and broader community, barriers overcome, leadership skills and cultural achievements.

It was a proud evening for Shantae, an Adnyamathanha woman from Whyalla, who shone among a strong field of 200 nominees.

Among her many achievements, Shantae starred in ABC mini-series Total Control alongside well-known Australian actors Deborah Mailman and Rachel Griffiths in 2019.

Shantae’s onscreen TV was recognised by the Casting Guide of Australia, who named her one of their Rising Stars for 2019.

She has served as a mentor to other young Aboriginal people in the state through her role as Indigenous Literacy Foundation Ambassador for South Australia.

In 2018, she travelled to Melbourne with other students to promote the importance of literacy to Aboriginal children.

Shante has also excelled in local sport, representing Whyalla at a state level in both netball and basketball, has acted in a coaching capacity to support other local sportspeople and received the 2018 NAIDOC Female Sports Person of the Year.

Her most recent acting performance is in the apocalyptic movie Wyrmwood: Apocalypse in Sydney where she plays the part of Maxi – a member of the rebel group.

The 2021 film is a sequel to 2014’s Wyrmwood: Road of the Dead, which follows a talented mechanic battling his way through zombies to rescue his kidnapped sister.

In May 2021, she was also a guest speaker at the DreamBIG Children’s Festival opening event.

DCP Whyalla Manager said we are so proud of her accomplishments and excited about her future.

You can read more about her latest film in the Whyalla News.