Premier Mike Baird and Minister for Women Pru Goward today announced the winners of the 2015 NSW Women of the Year Awards during a special reception at NSW Parliament House.
Mr Baird said each woman has made an immense contribution to their community, and is a worthy winner of this year’s award.
“From feeding the local homeless to driving internationally-renowned medical research, these four very worthy winners are outstanding examples of the contribution of women to our communities,” Mr Baird said.
“The week of International Women’s Day is an excellent opportunity to publically acknowledge inspirational women who have achieved so much.
“Thank you to all the women nominated. Your stories are remarkable and we are incredibly thankful for the significant role you play in our communities.”
PREMIER’S WOMAN OF THE YEAR AWARD
The winner of the 2015 Premier’s Woman of the Year Award is Professor Minoti Apte OAM – a leading researcher in the field of pancreatic cancers.
“Professor Minoti is currently leading pre-clinical studies which aim to create a new combination therapy to improve pancreatic cancer treatment,” Mr Baird said.
“In 2014 she was awarded the Order of Australia Medal for her service to medical research, tertiary education and the Indian Community.
“Alongside her impressive career successes, Professor Minoti is an active member of the Marathi Association of Sydney, an organisation that serves Sydney’s significant Indian population.
“Professor Minoti is a highly respected researcher and member of the community, and her achievements inspire other women to follow in her footsteps.”
The Premier’s Woman of the Year Award is chosen by a judging panel from a shortlist taken from public nominations.
A.H Beard Community Hero Award
The winner of the 2015 A.H Beard Community Hero Award is Lana Borg of Mama Lana’s Community Foundation.
“Lana is a well-loved member of the Penrith community, with her foundation serving 400 home-cooked meals for homeless people in the area, four nights a week,” Ms Goward said.
“Not only does Lana do most of the cooking herself, she is also known for going the extra mile to help families in crisis and during the 2013 bushfires she fed volunteers.
“Lana is a remarkably generous woman, who has done so much for the Penrith community. She is so very caring, and a most deserving recipient of this award.”
Harvey Norman Young Woman of the Year
The recipient of the 2015 Harvey Norman Young Woman of the Year is Annabelle Chauncy OAM, the co-founder of the School for Life Foundation. The Foundation is helping to build educated, sustainable and productive communities in rural Uganda.
“Annabelle has dedicated the past ten years to expanding the work of the Foundation, which now employs more than 50 people, educates hundreds of children and will construct two new schools this year,” Ms Goward said.
“Her philanthropic achievements are impressive, having raised two million over the past four years.
“Annabelle is a remarkable role model, particularly for young women.”
REX AIRLINES REGIONAL WOMAN OF THE YEAR
The inaugural winner of the 2015 Rex Airlines Regional Woman of the Year is Barbara Cowley, a dedicated Hunter Valley volunteer and fundraiser.
“Barbara is a selfless volunteer who has worked for many local causes, including SHINE for Kids, a group mentoring and personal development program, breast cancer and literacy for homeless youth,” Ms Goward said.
“She also walked 180km over seven days raising $27,000 to help 385 girls take part in SHINE for Kids.
“Barbara is a remarkable woman who has dedicated so much to help the lives of others. She is a most deserving recipient of this inaugural award.”
Each category is nominated by the people of NSW. In 2015 a record number of votes were received, with 6,700 members of the public submitting their choice.