Indigenous mentor and fundraiser Corey Tutt has been named NSW Young Australian of the Year.
The 27-year-old man gathers donations for science resources through his organisation Deadly Science and sends them to remote schools throughout Australia.
Mr Tutt has collected resources and fundraised while continuing to work at his day job as a university research assistant. He has distributed more than 4,000 books and 70 telescopes through the initiative since 2018.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian presented him the award at a ceremony held at Sydney’s Museum of Contemporary Art on Monday night.
Event organisers said Mr Tutt's work has inspired students.
"I want Indigenous kids to believe in themselves, to be empowered and to not put limitations on themselves," he told NITV News.
Mr Tutt also wants to challenge the idea that Australia’s First Nations people were simply hunter-gatherers prior to colonial settlement.
“We were taught that Indigenous people are nomadic and lived off the land but we were an advanced civilisation," he said.
Rae Johnston, a science commentator and Wiradjuri woman, said the award was worthy recognition of Mr Tutt’s work.
“Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have been practising science longer than any other culture on this planet, but make up a tiny portion of working scientists in this country,” she said.
“Corey has employed the classic 'if you can't see it, you can't be it' motto and inspired our kids to become astrophysicists, doctors, chemists and even the first Aboriginal geologist. I'm stoked he's taken home this award, it's incredibly well deserved."