The awards were presented on the eve of International Women’s Day and recognise the many significant achievements of women across NSW. The awards included four prestigious categories:
- The Premier’s Award for Woman of the Year
- Harvey Norman’s Young Woman of the Year
- A.H. Beard's Community Hero Award
- Local Women of the Year
Judges reviewed 239 nominations from across NSW, highlighting the outstanding and inspirational contributions that women have been making in the State.
Mr O’Farrell said, “The winners of these awards are outstanding role models we can all look up to. The contribution these extraordinary women have made to our society deserves recognition”.
The Premier’s Award for Woman of the Year
Mr. O’Farrell presented Turia Pitt; a mining engineer, burns survivor and motivational speaker, with the 2014 Premier’s Woman of the Year Award. Ms Pitt was praised for her determination to achieve excellence in the male dominated mining industry, her work as an ambassador for Interplast providing free reconstructive surgery to burns survivours and her inspirational ability to overcome serious injuries sustained during bushfires in the Kimberley.
“Her story is astounding and her contributions are truly inspiring”, Mr. O’Farrell said.
Community Hero Award
Minister for Women Pru Goward introduced the winner of the 2014 People's Choice Community Hero, Faten El Dana. Ms EL Dana - who is President of the Muslim Women’s Welfare of Australia, was commended for her commitment to improving the lives of migrant women.
Ms Goward said, “Faten is a remarkable and passionate woman. She is a relentless force who makes a difference to people’s lives, and is a most deserving recipient of this award.”
Young Woman of the Year
The inaugural recipient of the 2014 Young Woman of the Year was Lakshmi Logathassan – a law student who promotes access to education and equality through ‘The Laptop Project’, a program she founded.
Ms Goward said, “Lakshmi stands as a role model to the younger generation and to all of us, proving that we can all have a role to play in addressing social imbalance.”
“I am proud to be amongst so many purpose-driven women. The work and contribution they make across our state is incredibly valued and deserves this recognition,” she said.