2024 Local Hero nominee

Ben Poveda-Alfonso

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.