Women of the West Award Winners

Congratulations Again to our 2020 Women of the West

Each year, Western Sydney University publicly celebrates the outstanding leadership 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.

If you have any questions, please email WomenOfTheWest@westernsydney.edu.au.

Woman of the West (Business)

Rosemary Mckenzie-Ferguson (Winner)

Rosemary is internationally recognised for her service to the injured worker community. As an injured worker herself, Rosemary has a clear understanding of the process of recovery and the journey of return to life, community and employment. She has worked for many years to reduce and remove the long-term impacts of social and self-exclusion that can often result from workplace injuries. Through her initiative Craig's Table, Rosemary works to fill the many gaps between mainstream workers compensation and the needs of people who have been injured at work.

Patricia Hall (Winner)

Pat is the CEO of Liverpool Neighbourhood Connections, overseeing their core business and the operations of six social enterprises. Pat is passionate about changing women’s lives through education and employment, and her enterprises provide approximately 4,800 hours of employment annually for disadvantaged women. She also developed a model enabling philanthropic scholarships to support women in their future endeavours. Pat is winner of the 2017 Westfield’s Local Hero Award, the 2018 Zest Outstanding Community Not-for-profit Leader Award, and the 2019 the Zest Hall of Fame Award.

Woman of the West (Community)

Bev Jordan (Winner)

Bev Jordan is a freelance writer and a committed volunteer who believes in the vital importance of a connected community. With over 35 years’ experience as a journalist, she uses her skills to help not-for-profits, service groups, and fundraisers gain the publicity they need to make a difference. She is on numerous committees, founded the Hills Relay for Life Ball and has shaved her head twice to raise money for Cancer research.
Ruby Campbell (Highly Commended Winner)

Ruby has over fifty years of experience in both paid and volunteer work in Western Sydney. She began as Senior Constable in the NSW Police Force working predominantly with juvenile girls, then joined the Anglicare Family Support Team as a Team Leader. During this time, Ruby has supported hundreds of families from disadvantaged backgrounds in their quest for a better quality of life, predominantly in the Mt Druitt community.

Young Woman of the West

Sampavi Sivakumar (Winner)

Sampavi has a strong background in allied health. As a passionate advocate for equality and empowering marginalised communities, she is the founder of humanitarian project C.O.E.X.I.S.T. She is a dedicated volunteer for many organisations across Western Sydney, including DREAM, the Australian Red Cross, student mental health and wellbeing at Western Sydney University, and the Young Council of the Future at ChangeFest 2019. A physiotherapy student at Western Sydney University, Sampavi is co-president for the Rural Health Union of the University. She was a UN Millennium Fellow in 2019 and a 2020 finalist for the 7News Young Achiever Award for NSW/ACT.
Aimee Paananen (Highly Commended)

Aimee Paananen grew up in Western Sydney. Recognising the impact of anaphylaxis from her own experience, Aimee established a nut-free beauty salon, The Elegant Life. In 2019, Aimee grew her business by establishing a training academy. She now helps women develop confidence, self-esteem and financial independence as they undertake their own journeys to start home-based businesses.

Anyier Yuol (Highly Commended)

Anyier was born in a refugee camp in Kenya and moved to Australia at the age of ten years old. Anyier holds a Bachelor of Arts, a Master’s in Development Studies (Refugees and Displacement) and is currently undertaking her PhD at Western Sydney University. She is employed as a Youth Transition Support Worker at Community Migrant Resource Centre and works primarily with newly arrived refugee youth to connect them with education, sport, employment and their local communities. Anyier is the chair of the Australian National Committee on Refugee Women (ANCORW). Anyier is also the Founder and CEO of the Miss Sahara Pageant social enterprise and Anyier Model Management, both of which aim to build social cohesion within African communities and wider Australian communities.