Women of the West Awards

Pictured left to right: Azita Abdollahian, Jodie Amor, Matilda Harry, Professor Denise Kirkpatrick (Western's DVC-Academic and Awards Sponsor), Naomi Kroll, and Dr Padmini Howpage.

Nominations for the 2020 Women of the West Awards are Open!

Would you like to acknowledge an extraordinary woman who has contributed to Western Sydney?

The Western Sydney University Women of the West Awards honour women in Greater Western Sydney and formally recognise their contributions to the development of the region.

You are invited to join the University in acknowledging a colleague, friend, acquaintance or family member by nominating them for a Women of the West Award in 2020.

This is an opportunity to publicly recognise the remarkable achievements of women from your profession, community, or network.

To make a nomination, all you have to do is email womenofthewest@westernsydney.edu.au with:

  • your nominee's full name
  • her email address
  • the appropriate award category (see below) and
  • the reason you believe this woman should be recognised.

Awards Categories

Nominations are open for the following categories:

  • Woman of the West – Business
  • Woman of the West – Community
  • Young Woman of the West - 18 to 30 years (as at 31 December 2019)

Awards Criteria

Each year members of the Western Sydney community are invited to nominate women who:

  • live and/or work in Western Sydney
  • demonstrate extraordinary leadership
  • contribute to improving the lives of people in Western Sydney
  • demonstrate achievements or outcomes above and beyond their occupational roles (if applicable)

The above criteria apply for all categories.

For the purpose of the Awards, Western Sydney is taken to include the following 13 local government areas: Blacktown, Blue Mountains, Camden, Campbelltown, Canterbury-Bankstown, Cumberland, Fairfield, Hawkesbury, Liverpool, Parramatta, Penrith, The Hills, and Wollondilly.

Women holding senior state or federal government roles are ineligible to be nominated.  Women who are currently employed by the Western Sydney University are ineligible to be nominated.  Women nominated in the past two years are not eligible to be re-nominated. University students can be nominated, however the contributions to greater Western Sydney must include service outside the University, and within the region. To qualify for the Young Women of the West Award, the nominee must be aged between 18 and 30 years of age (as at 31 December 2019).

Congratulations Again to our 2019 Women of the West

Each year, Western Sydney University publicly celebrates the outstanding leadersip and diversity of women who live and work in Greater Western Sydney.

Our Women of the West Awards honour these women and formally recognise their contributions to the development of the region.

Nominations for the 2020 Women of the West Awards will open in September 2019.  If you have any questions, please email WomenOfTheWest@westernsydney.edu.au.

Woman of the West (Business)

Azita Abdollahian  (Winner)

Azita is Director of Bebe’s Hair and Beauty; an Iranian refugee and self-made business woman who actively works to address homelessness and domestic violence.  Azita holds senior leadership positions in three community organisations, and was a recipient of the 2018 Mayoral Commendation as The Hills' Citizen of the Year.

Woman of the West (Community)

Padmini Howpage  (Winner)

Dr Padmini Howpage is the Director of Psychiatry Services at Mind Connections and the Founder of the Positive Vibes Foundation.  She has a special interest in community-based prevention programs.  Her work is focussed on addressing the stigma attached to mental illness.
Jodie Amor  (Winner)

Jodie is the founder of PinkFinss Charity, set up to educate and provide tailored assistance to women and families dealing with cancer in the Hawkesbury.  Through PinkFinss, Jodie has raised over $1.2 million in support for her community.  She was the Hawkesbury Australia Day Local Volunteer of the Year in 2018.

Young Woman of the West

Matilda Harry (Winner)

Matilda is a current Western Sydney University student and a recipient of the Vice-Chancellors leadership scholarship. She an Aboriginal woman from the Hawkesbury region, an Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience (AIME) mentor, an ambassador/member of the Ngarra National Park Aboriginality Program, and a volunteer for Anglicare Australia and Riding for the Disabled Australia. Matilda has also been a mentor and volunteer in a wide range of other capacities, including Western Sydney University’s Reading Ambassador and Pathways to Dreaming Programs.
Naomi Kroll (Highly Commended)

Naomi is a current Western Sydney University student and founder of the Plastic Lid Project, an art initiative which engaged over 4,000 community members to recover over 20,000 plastic bottle tops from waterways.  Naomi was also co-founder of the Sock Syndicate, a social enterprise which donated a pair of socks for each pair sold to people experiencing homelessness and made a difference to over 540 community members in Western Sydney.