Yaya has been playing with Lego robots since 2006. Since then she has achieved robotics success in State, National and World events, including:
Two World RoboCup Junior Firsts (the Rescue category in Austria and the Dance category in Singapore); first place in the senior category of the Australian RoboGals competition; the highest Australian School CSIRO award - the Gold CREST; the highest Australian School Science Award - first place in the BHP-Billiton Engineering Award; among 1600 of the brightest students from 72 countries at ISEF in Arizona USA she gained a first Citation Award; she was invited to Google’s Australia-New Zealand Anita Borg Scholarship retreat; and she gave an oral presentation of her paper at the IEEE Fifth Biomedical International Conference in Thailand.
Outside robotics, Yaya has represented Tasmania in the Pride of Australia Medal, was a finalist in the Tasmanian division of the Young Australian of the Year, was invited to address the Tasmanian Parliament at their Annual Science Forum, has achieved a 99th percentile in the National Mathematics test; and has won prizes and medals in Piano and Judo when younger. She is currently studying the International Baccalaureate, has taken one of these two-year subjects a year early and obtained a 7, and hopes at the end of this year to get a result good enough to be offered a place at a University in 2015.