Young Workmate of the Year Award winners named for 2016

Nine young retail workers from across Australia have been named as the Young Workmates of the Year for 2016.

The nine young workers were selected from more than 130 entries and thousands of votes from across Australia.

SDA National Secretary Gerard Dwyer said that the 2016 winners were an incredibly impressive group of young people who had shown great character in their workplaces.

The winners of the 2016 Young Workmate of the Year Awards include:

  • Lucinda Boxall, Woolworths, St Ives. New South Wales.
  • Laura Eade, Coles, Wyong. Newcastle Branch.
  • Melody Dawson, Woolworths, Broadbeach. Queensland.
  • Paul Colosimo, Woolworths, Craigeburn Central. Victoria.
  • Sarah Broughton, The Reject Shop, Ingle Farm. South Australia.
  • Alexandra Habets, Spotlight, Darwin. Northern Territory (Runner up).
  • Sophia Scasserra, Coles, Morley. Western Australia.
  • Georgia Babos – Target, Launceston. Tasmania. (Winner).
  • Tyler Dean – Bunnings Warehouse, Glenorchy. Tasmania. (Runner up).

“Congratulations to these fine young workers for being crowned the 2016 Young Workmates of the Year.”

“They have demonstrated that they are hard-working, dedicated, reliable, and are always giving 100% at work. We are delighted to celebrate their contribution to their workplaces and workmates.”

The winners will be presented with their award by their local SDA Branches around the country and each of them will receive $500 in recognition of their hard work and great efforts.

Now in its third year, the Young Workmate of the Year celebrates young workers and the valuable contribution they make to the workplace. The award is run as part of the SDA’s 100% Pay campaign, which aims to achieve full adult pay rates for 18 and 19 year old retail workers.

Mr Dwyer said the Young Workmate of the Year Awards are an important way for the SDA to show their commitment to supporting young workers.

“We know young people work hard but are not given the recognition they deserve.”

“Many workers who are 18 and 19 years old have significant experience in their job and they deserve to be paid properly for the work they’re doing.”

“Once you hit 18 you’re seen as a responsible adult in the eyes of the law – you can vote, legally drink, and drive a car. But in the retail sector you still can’t get paid a full adult wage until you hit 20. It just doesn’t make sense.”

“The SDA has campaigned strongly to raise pay rates for young people. In 2014 we were successful in raising the retail wage for 20 year olds to 100%.  That’s a great start, but there’s still more to do,” Mr Dwyer said.

“In addition to our work lifting rates of pay for young workers, the SDA is also campaigning hard to maintain penalty rates for retail and fast food workers across Australia. If you’re keen to be part of the campaign, sign up at

The SDA is Australia’s largest union, representing over 215,000 workers in industries such retail, fast food and warehousing.

If you’d like more information on joining the SDA please visit us at

Media contact: Leesa Maroske 0439 784 216

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