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40 Under 40

New thinking for perennial problems

40 Under 40

The last of our 40 Under 40 alumni for 2022 have each challenged the conventional ways funding has been sought in their industries to build something new.

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Tameka Francis
Hutt St Centre / Aspire Program Manager

Since she was a young child, Francis has never liked being told what to do or taking “no” for an answer.

Today, the 32-year-old attributes her success in the field of social work to her determination in overcoming the challenges and obstacles that stand in the way of her goals.

“I will find a way around it and make it work if it is something I really believe in and that it can make a positive difference in someone’s life,” Francis said.

After completing a degree in social work, Francis began her career in 2014 as a Support Worker with Hutt St Centre.

Having put her hand up for roles of greater responsibility at the centre over the past eight years, Francis now spearheads Australia’s first program of its kind focussed on supporting people experiencing persistent homelessness.

In her role as the Aspire Program Manager at Hutt Street Centre, Francis has challenged the conventional ways of funding homelessness programs and the way services are provided.

“We are making steps towards ending people’s experiences of homelessness, supporting people into employment, study, long-term housing and reconnecting people with loved ones,” she said.

“I am privileged to do something I genuinely love as a job. I have been able to walk alongside some of our states most vulnerable people, supporting people to make significant changes in their lives from re-connecting with loved ones to putting the key in the front door of their new home.”

Favourite winery of the last 12 months and why? Alpha Box & Dice, because of the relaxed atmosphere – the bed pans used as spittoons and the delicious prosecco that we picked to serve at our wedding.

Tessa Leon
Human.Kind / Owner

Leon has to be flexible as a yoga instructor, but COVID-19 forced the 39-year-old co-owner of yoga studio Human.Kind (formerly Power Living) to bend to the changing needs of her clients and pandemic restrictions.

To ensure the 26 staff working at the two businesses’ locations – which offer yoga, Pilates and cardio classes – still had money coming during 2020-2021 lockdowns, Human.Kind pivoted to streaming exercises online.

“With incredible foresight, we very quickly put all our classes broadcast on livestream, with high quality AV equipment,” Leon said.

“This not only meant that our business could stay operational, it provided thousands of people with access to yoga, meditation and fitness classes at a time when they needed that support the most.”

The change has since become a core part of the Human.Kind business model.

Money is not the sole driver of Human.Kind, however, as the business uses a pay-what-you-can membership for those experiencing financial hardship; work in exchange for studio time; and free memberships for Aboriginal Australians as a ‘pay the rent’ initiative.

The city studio is also powered by 110 solar panels, meaning they produce zero carbon emissions, and employs a zero waste to landfill goal, which they are getting closer to “every month”.

“Spiritual activism is the connection to both wisdom and compassion,” Leon said.

Adelaide’s best kept secret?  Himeji Japanese Garden.

Tullio Rossi
Animate Your Science / Founder

Scientist Tullio Rossi ditched a career in marine biology to develop quirky animations to help academics explain their research and find broader audiences for their work.

“I used to be a PhD student in climate science trying to communicate my vital findings to the public,” the 35-year-old said.

“However, my work was mainly ignored, and I learned the hard way that most research is just boring to the public because the life-changing discoveries are hidden behind a wall of jargon.”

This realisation inspired Tullio to communicate research in a more inspiring way, transforming dry facts into animated videos.

He started Animate Your Science in 2017, which has become a global success with more than 300 clients from 32 countries.

The business is this year on track to reach $500,000 in revenue.

An award-winning science communicator and graphic designer, Tullio has also trained 166,000 researchers internationally through workshops, courses and blogs on how to improve communication skills to unleash research impact.

“From Adelaide, we empower scientists from around the world to create life-changing impact by producing animated videos and compelling graphics that demystify science,” he said.

Favourite pastime/activity that isn’t related to your work? Salsa dancing and scuba diving.

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