2022 Aware Super NSW Community Hero of the Year Award
She works tirelessly for her community. She’s the first to roll up her sleeves to help others, and motivates those around her to contribute to their communities.
Samantha Hollier-James is a co-founder of Tour de Cure, a charity that raises money to fund cancer research, support and prevention programs.
Mrs Hollier-James was inspired to make a difference when her family was affected by cancer. Co-founding Tour de Cure in 2007, the charity has since raised over $75 million and funded 563 Australian cancer research projects, 57 of which have resulted in breakthroughs.
Tour de Cure has also raised awareness of cancer with 170,000 primary school children with their message “be fit, be healthy, be happy.”
Mrs Hollier-James volunteers for Tour de Cure while working professionally as a senior manager in the media industry. She was a NSW Australian of the Year Finalist in 2018.
Stacy Jane - Winner
Stacy Jane is the founder and CEO of Escabags, a charity providing free ‘escape bags’ filled with personal necessities to survivors escaping domestic abuse.
Inspired by her own survival story and by the kindness of others, in 2020 Ms Jane started Escabags. What began as therapeutic sewing to recover from with complex PTSD grew quickly into a registered charity. Escabags are now available in over 800 stockists nationally.
Ms Jane believes that an escape bag is one practical way to help people escape from abusive situations. She is committed to continuing to empower others through acts of kindness and generosity.
Roz Knights’ motto is “together we are stronger.” As a dedicated volunteer, she has drawn on this mantra daily to support her community of Kyogle through devastating natural disasters.
Ms Knights became Kyogle Community Food Pantry’s voluntary manager in 2014. At the time the food pantry supported 50 local families.
Unrelenting drought followed by bushfires and floods saw the pantry’s clientele greatly increase. Ms Knights secured grant funding and partnered with the Kyogle Lions Club to move the pantry to larger premises. The pantry now supports 500 people monthly.
Ms Knights is also a joint team leader for Kyogle’s Emergency Red Cross Disaster Committee and Community Resilience Team. She was named Kyogle’s 2017 Citizen of the Year.
Ellena Morris is a passionate advocate for inclusivity in swimming, who has supported athletes with a disability to achieve their potential for over 45 years.
Mrs Morris was head coach of the Special Olympics Australia Aquatics Team for several years. In 2021 she was awarded Sport NSW’s Distinguished Long Service Award for 30 years of volunteer service to Special Olympics Australia.
Mrs Morris also founded the Coalfields United Amateur Swimming Club, an inclusive club for swimmers of varying abilities. As a swimming coach for athletes with a disability, Mrs Morris spends 50-60 hours in the pool a week.
Mrs Morris is currently the lead teacher for an NDIS registered swimming club, as well as inclusion officer for Belgravia Leisure Centres.