Women of the West Award Winners

Congratulations, Again to our 2021 Women of the West Award Winners

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)

Julie Hughes (Winner)

Julie Hughes is a Founding Director of the Michael Hughes Foundation, a registered social enterprise focused on cardiac arrest. Their mission is to turn bystanders into First Responders in medical emergencies. Her journey started after being the first responder to her husband, Michael, who passed away in 2013. Julie is a leading advocate in NSW for improvements in the community response to cardiac arrest and is creating HeartSafe Communities in Western Sydney. Julie is a member of the NSW Health Expect Panel for the Prevention of Premature Cardiac Mortality and was named 2016 City of Parramatta Citizen of the Year.

Gina Field (Highly Commended Winner)

Gina Field is the Founder and Managing Director of Nepean Regional Security. Commencing in the late ’80s as a security officer, Gina identified the limited career platforms for women in a male-dominated industry such as Security. Through running her own security company and winning a myriad of over 30 industry awards, including the NSW Premiers Businesswoman of the Year and Entrepreneur of the year, Gina advocates through sponsorship, mentor programs and public speaking to encourage young women to think about non-traditional employment options as future careers.

Woman of the West (Community)

Jane Stratton (Winner)

Jane Stratton is the CEO and founder of the Think+DOTank Foundation, where she works at changing the world through creative thinking with communities. In 2017, Jane established the highly successful social enterprise LOST IN BOOKS, a multilingual kids’ bookshop and creative community hub in Fairfield, South Western Sydney. Jane has an accomplished background in law, human rights and social policy, working for organisations such as the Public Interest Advocacy Centre, the Australian Human Rights Commission, and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. Jane’s intelligent and empathetic approach has fostered her reputation as an intrepid leader at the forefront of courageous work with communities, inspiring those within them and beyond them to broaden the horizon of what feels possible.
Kylie Pussell (Highly Commended Winner)

Kylie Pussell has a strong background in not-for-profit and community roles. She is a passionate advocate for premature and sick babies and their families and is CEO and co-founder of Miracle Babies Foundation. Kylie has been with the Miracle Babies Foundation since it began in 2005, is a Founding and Chair Committee Member of GLANCE (Global Alliance for Newborn Care), a Life Member of Camden RSL Netball Club as well as past President and Committee Member. In 2020, Western Sydney Women awarded Kylie the 2020 Community Woman of the Year.

Young Woman of the West

Natalie Wadwell (Winner)

Natalie Wadwell is a creative instigator who advocates for meaningful community engagement. She has a background in the arts and social entrepreneurship, having created her first project at the age of 18. In 2019 Natalie was invited to participate in the International Visitors Leadership Program with the US Consulate. She is currently a Community Engagement Officer in local government.
Sophie Wills (Highly Commended)

Sophie Wills has a passion for community and improving sudden cardiac arrest outcomes. As a student Paramedic, Sophie founded the not-for-profit organisation Community Defib Project. Sophie, as Chair, developed the project to reach more than ten communities. The organisation is responsible for the installation of more than 30 community accessible defibrillators for vulnerable communities. These devices are available 24/7 for access by members of the community and provide the tools for community members to save the life of someone in cardiac arrest. Sophie is currently working as a paramedic for NSW Ambulance.