Oz Forum: A Journey into Human Greatness

Wednesday 19 June | 5.30pm to 7.00pm

Event Details

  • Date
    Wednesday, 19 June, 5:30am - 7:00pm
  • Location
    Northern Territory Library (inside Parliament House)
  • Cost
Oz Forum: A Journey into Human Greatness

Hear the incredible stories of two Young Australians of the Year and an NT Local Hero nominee, what drives them to succeed and why giving back to the community is so important to them. The conversations will be facilitated by 2023 City of Darwin Young Citizen of the Year, Erica Mae-Lu. 

This is a free event. Canapes will be provided and a cash bar will be available. 

Find out more about the guest speakers. 

About Peter:

When he was two years old, Peter Susanto astounded his parents by translating words from Bahasa Indonesia into English. In 2022, he started a Bachelor of Clinical Science at Charles Darwin University on his way to a career in medicine, aged just 15.

Peter’s intelligence is phenomenal. At age 12, he won second place in the RoboCup National in Melbourne, competing against Year 11 and 12 students. He was also the first Territorian to represent Australia in the International Brain Bee Olympiad, a competition about the brain and neuroscience, and came third in the world.

Peter has a generous spirit and love for his community. Since 2015, he and his sister, Eva, have sold Indonesian snacks at Nightcliff foreshore to raise money for charities, including The Fred Hollows Foundation and Indonesian orphanages. He also volunteers with several community groups and is an active member of the Nightcliff Swimming Club.

About Bhakta:

Better known as Durga, Bhakta Bahadur Bhattarai’s selfless actions are a constant source of care and connection among Wodonga’s multicultural community. 

Born and raised in a Bhutanese refugee camp in Nepal, Durga came to Australia with his family in 2012. He completed high school and then trained as a pharmacy assistant and registered nurse.  

Feeling lonely and isolated during his studies, Durga founded the Albury Wodonga Multicultural Community Events Inc in 2014. The organization advocates for and showcases multicultural communities and organizes help during difficult times.  

On top of his work as a nurse, Durga supplied homemade masks to the elderly and emergency food relief during the COVID-19 lockdowns. He also arranged multiple community wellbeing and entertainment programs and has raised thousands of dollars for sick young people and disability support. 

Among several awards recognizing his contributions, Durga was awarded the Meritorious Service Award from the Government of Victoria in 2019. 

About Ben:

An advocate for international education, empowering young people and multiculturalism, Ben Poveda-Alfonso is the co-founder of the award-winning not-for-profit, Kindness Shake

Kindness Shake, created during the Covid-19 pandemic, is Darwin’s first NGO to focus on supporting international students and temporary visa holders. Not limited to those experiencing financial difficulty, the charity also offers social engagement and wellbeing support, providing meals, employability workshops, wellbeing programs and social events. In just a few years, it’s helped thousands of people, recruited hundreds of volunteers and raised over $400,000.

A senior policy officer with the NT Government’s Office of Youth Affairs, Ben speaks at events to motivate young newcomers to Australia. His achievements are remarkable given that he is a relatively new Australian citizen and spoke no English when he first arrived from Colombia in 2015.

Ben has been recognised with several awards, including the 2021 Minister for Youth Excellence in Youth Leadership Award.