Women of the West Award 2016
Congratulations to Natasha Lay, Winner of the Young Women of the West Award and Deborah Burgess, Winner of the Women of the West Awards.
Winners were announced on Friday 18 March at an event to celebrate International Women's Day and the achievements of women in Western Sydney. This year the University worked in collaboration with Coleman Greig's Women in Business Forum, with over 350 guests there to celebrate the achievements of women. The University thanks Coleman Greig for their support of the awards, and for working together to deliver an outstanding event.
Ambassador for the Awards, Lisa Wilkinson AM paid tribute to past and current nominees and winners - women that have all displayed strong leadership, an immense empathy for people, and an unwavering commitment to making a difference in the Greater West.
Professor Barney Glover, Vice-Chancellor of Western Sydney University announced the winners for the 2016 Awards and was joined on stage by Lisa Wilkinson AM and keynote speaker for the event, Lucy Turnbull AO, Chief Commissioner of the Greater Sydney Commission.
Please visit this dropbox to view and download photographs from the event.
Western Sydney University Women of the West Award for 2016
Winner - Deborah Burgess, Executive Director, Bright Print Group
Deborah was nominated by Dr Kathryn Browning Carmo. Deborah is an entrepreneur who runs a local family printing business in Wetherill Park. She is a committed environmentalist and philanthropist driven daily by sheer determination, integrity and compassion.
Under Deborah's leadership, the Bright Print Group has received many awards and accreditation for its environmental initiatives. She donates both her time and business skills to many causes and generously gets involved in fundraising, for institutions such as the Children's Hospital at Westmead, Jeans for Genes, the Children's Cancer Institute of Australia, the Police and Community Youth Club and Father Chris Riley's Youth Off the Street program.
Her compassion and guidance towards helping others is reflected in her generosity to all. Deborah has welcomed struggling business women into her home as well as women facing adversity from divorce, poverty, domestic violence, family breakdown and serious illness.
Colleagues describe Deborah as an inspirational woman and an amazing role-model for women of all ages.
Highly Commended - Mary Howard, Fisherwoman, Board Director, Hawkesbury-Nepean Catchment Management Authority (2004 – 2010)
Mary was nominated by Professor Basant Maheshwari. She is a woman whose passion for her community, the Hawkesbury-Nepean River System, the seafood industry and the women that work in it, runs deep and true. Mary works tirelessly to support and advocate for the seafood industry, to protect the health of the Hawkesbury-Nepean River System, and to help women rise and achieve their potential. She is also a great supporter of research related to water health at Western Sydney University.
In an industry traditionally dominated by men, she is a partner in two prawn trawlers harvesting prawns on the Hawkesbury and has always taken her role as a steward of the estuary environment very seriously.
Mary was a Board Director of the Hawkesbury-Nepean Catchment Management Authority from 2004 – 2010 at a time when government agencies and land managers were terrestrially focussed. She broke the mould and used her position to raise awareness of the vital importance of water quality and quantity in the Hawkesbury River as well as the need for the urban population of Sydney to understand the impact many development decisions were having on the marine environment.
Commended - Lina Cabaero, Coordinator, Asian Women at Work (AWatW)
Lina was nominated by Megan Clement-Couzner. For over 15 years Lina has dedicated her services to AWatW, an organisation working to empower migrant women in low paid, precarious employment across Sydney. Lina has been instrumental in establishing AWatW groups all over Western Sydney, providing migrant women with valuable skills and opportunities as well as social outlets. The groups provide a social space for women to gather and partake in a diverse range of activities including seminars on financial management, gardening, computer literacy, job networks, aged care and English conversation.
Many of the women Lina works with have few social connections, are isolated and lack the knowledge and capacity to advocate effectively for themselves. Scores of women have blossomed into strong community leaders as a result of Lina's work.
Her dedication to AWatW goes beyond her paid employment and she donates much of her time to the cause. Lina embodies the unbreakable spirit of her organisation and its members.
Commended - Adriana Care, Principal Solicitor, Coutts Solicitors and Conveyancers
Adriana was nominated by Hayley Pieplenbosch. She is Principal Solicitor and owner of Coutts Solicitors and Conveyancers, an all-female law firm based in the Camden LGA. Adriana is also the first female President of the Narellan Chamber of Commerce.
Adriana is passionate about promoting business growth in the Macarthur area. She does this by being an active leader of the Narellan Chamber of Commerce, supporting local businesses by choosing them for her own business supply and services, promoting referral relationships with other local businesses and supporting local businesses with sponsorships and reward schemes. Adriana is also a frequent supporter of local charities and boards. In 2015, her business contributed almost $80,000 towards sponsorship of local charities and community sport, including Macarthur Disability Services, Sharecare, Camden Cricket, Macarthur Skylarks Hockey, 24 hour fight against Cancer, Red Cross Blood Donation and Camp Quality Cancer Centre.
Adriana supports, encourages and mentors her female staff, promoting flexible working arrangements, career development and consideration of how best to support and accommodate women's career goals and lifestyle choices.
Young Women of the West Award for 2016
Winner - Natasha Lay, Western Sydney Coordinator, Youth Action NSW
Natasha was nominated by Jacob Formosa for her exemplary leadership in the service of her community, both in a professional capacity and as an active and passionate volunteer.
Natasha first engaged in community volunteering with her local Youth Council in the Liverpool area. She was nominated as Chairperson and, for four years, represented the 30,000 young people in her local area. For her outstanding efforts, in 2008 she was recognised as Young Citizen of the Year for Liverpool City. In 2011, Natasha was awarded the inaugural ZEST Community Award for 'Outstanding Youth Leader in Greater Western Sydney.'
Natasha has continued to be a strong advocate for her young peers, serving on a number of committees and boards representing young people in Western Sydney including the NSW Premier's Council for Women. She is also actively engaged in campaigns for sustainability and climate justice, attending multiple United Nations conferences on these topics.
Working as Western Sydney Coordinator for Youth Action NSW, Natasha is committed to representing and advocating for the 400,000 young people across the Greater Western Sydney Region.
Commended - Jocelyn Sio, Youth Worker, Mount Druitt Ethnic Communities Agency
Jocelyn was nominated by Holly Corpe. Within her capacity as a Youth Worker and as a member of the Mount Druitt Pacific Islander community, Jocelyn has demonstrated outstanding leadership through her commitment to youth projects that focus on re-engaging 'at-risk' youth with education and employment. Drawing on her own experience of disadvantage, Jocelyn has developed a partnership with Chifley College Bidwill and Mount Druitt TAFE in order to provide pathways for young people who experience complex barriers to continuing education and gaining employment.
As part of her dedication to improving the lives of others within Greater Western Sydney, Jocelyn has also been a volunteer at the Cobham Juvenile Justice Centre for over six years. In her capacity as a volunteer support worker, she has provided case management, relationship training, empowerment workshops and supported detainees in mapping their steps after release.
As a long-time member of the Mount Druitt community, Jocelyn is an example to all young people that difficult circumstances need not result in poor life outcomes.
Nominees for 2016
Congratulations once again to all the nominees for the 2016 Young Women of the West and Women of the West Awards.
Yamamah Agha, Humanitarian Settlement Service Delivery Manager, Settlement Services International (SSI)
Yamamah was nominated by Louise Wallace. A resident of Parramatta, Yamamah has been nominated for her dedication to improving the lives of refugees within Greater Western Sydney. She is a strong advocate for refugee and asylum seeker rights.
Yamamah is a compassionate and capable professional whose natural leadership skills continue to empower her team of over 150 case managers and team leaders, inspiring them to perform their duties with confidence and certainty while championing the cause of refugees and asylum seekers. Under her leadership, tens-of-thousands of refugees have been resettled.
The SSI Women at Risk Committee, Client Voice Committee, and the Youth Committee are all initiatives founded by Yamamah to ensure the voices of vulnerable communities are heard and their needs adequately catered for. Yamamah strives to improve the lives of refugees who now call Greater Western Sydney home, and her strong advocacy work has delivered significant improvements to their quality of life.
Turkan Aksoy, Community Development Officer, Bankstown City Council
Turkan was nominated by Azza Abouesh. She founded the Youth StepUP Program to assist the increasingly culturally and linguistically diverse community in Bankstown and the high rate of youth unemployment. Youth StepUP provides free employment support for young people from a refugee background.
The Youth StepUp App has reached over 450 local users and been viewed in over 60 countries. The app focuses on providing a cultural bridge, equipping refugee and migrant youths with the tools they need to enter the Australian workforce. Turkan works diligently to provide equity in the provision of services for individuals, no matter what their cultural background.
Turkan also works closely with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities in Bankstown and was instrumental in the development of Bankstown Council's Reconciliation Action Plan and Protocols document.
Turkan's ambition and dedication has her working closely with many diverse communities within the region and she continues to develop plans and protocols to best suit their needs.
Melinda Bonham, Team Leader, Marrin Weejali Aboriginal Corporation
Melinda was nominated by Lesley Strickland. A resident of Emerton, Melinda works for a small not-for-profit Aboriginal organisation whose purpose is to assist Aboriginal people and the wider community to live free from addiction to alcohol and other drugs.
Under her leadership, Marrin Weejali delivers 1,200 instances of care each month to those in need within the community. This care includes alcohol and drug counselling, together with social and emotional support. Melinda also facilitates group therapy sessions, advocacy, health and employment related outcomes, and assists people to access detox and rehabilitation facilities.
Melinda's compassion and commitment to her community is well known. She gladly stays with a client during a time of crisis until the client feels safe, secure and confident enough to be left alone.
She sits on many advisory and steering committees for government and non-government organisations, providing a measured, compassionate contribution guided by decades of experience.
Kathleen Buckwell, Volunteer, Mt Druitt Ethnic Communities Agency (MECA)
Kathleen was nominated by Holly Corpe. Kathleen is a community-minded member within Mount Druitt and has been serving the Western Sydney community for the past 50 years.
Her dedication and devotion to evoke change has had a remarkable effect on her local community. Kathleen is an integral part of the MECA team and the assistance she provides enables MECA to deliver a range of programs that benefit the most marginalised and disadvantaged members of the community. This includes those of non-English speaking backgrounds, refugees and socio-economically disadvantaged groups and young people.
Kathleen's contributions have been vital to the delivery of many services including MECA's African mentoring program, community consultations and safe driver programs, in addition to countless other tasks to help facilitate these initiatives.
Kathleen, in association with other volunteers, teaches an English for Living class. The class assists non-English speaking members of the community to develop their conversational English through discussion on culture and everyday life.
Elise Carter, Case Officer, NSW Police Force
Elise was nominated by Alexander Carter. She has played representative football for NSW and now directs her efforts and passion for football into coaching young women. Elise coaches the NSW and National under 18s women's National Touch Rugby Australia teams, sharing her knowledge and promoting women's health. In this capacity, Elise has the capability to encourage young women to reach their potential.
Professionally, Elise holds the role of Youth Case Manager at Campbelltown Police Citizens Youth Club (PCYC), where she believes that by taking a strong, proactive approach towards troubled youth she can better assist them. As a Youth Case Manager, Elise aims to help as many young people as possible, consistently going out of her way to arrange extra programs and initiatives that encourage and provide transformative experiences.
Tia Cavarra, P&C Events Coordinator, Mary Brooksbank School
Tia was nominated by Melanie Mulholland. Over the years, Tia has held various positions on the Mary Brooksbank (Special Needs) School Parents and Citizens (P&C) Association. She has spent many hours a week volunteering her time and knowledge, assisting events the P&C are involved with. Tia works tirelessly to raise desperately needed funds to provide facilities and equipment for the school to support the needs of its students. She has made lasting relationships within the local business community, as well as organisations and businesses further afield, to attract support for the school and donations for various events and initiatives.
In addition to coordinating the school's largest events, including an annual bingo night (which raised $14,500 for the school in 2015), Tia also organises movie days for children with special needs and their parents, providing an opportunity for parents to talk with others facing similar difficulties.
Tia works in close cooperation with school staff, parents and students to encourage a positive and beneficial school community.
Tabitha Chepkwony, Community Integration Coordinator, Settlement Services International
Tabitha was nominated by Louise Wallace for her valuable contribution to the lives of others in Greater Western Sydney. In her role as Community Integration Coordinator with Settlement Services International (SSI), Tabitha has developed extensive programs to help refugees and asylum seekers better understand legal systems and processes in Australia, and to help familiarise them with their local area.
Tabitha is committed to supporting others, volunteering with numerous organisations, particularly within the African community. She is a strong supporter of the Sisterhood Program, Club 50, the Kenyans in Sydney Welfare Association and the Australian Refugee Network. She is also a valued member of the SSI Client Voice Committee which seeks to identify and address systemic issues facing refugees and highlight the success of newly arrived refugees in Australia.
Tabitha's professional and volunteer work has touched the lives of thousands, particularly women, who have benefitted from her leadership and strength.
Debra Cooper, HR Advisor Northern Region, Linfox Logistics
Debra was nominated by Emeritus Professor Graham Swain AM. She has been a member of the Rotary Club of Richmond since 2009, is the immediate past President (2014 – 2015) and was the organisation's first woman to be elected to that role. Richmond Rotary serves the community of the Hawkesbury region of Greater Western Sydney in a variety of ways and, under Debra's leadership, has made a significant, positive contribution to the lives of many people in the area.
Debra continues to be an active participant and leader in many of Richmond Rotary's community initiatives, such as the organisation of volunteer graffiti removal in the local area and the organisation of the annual junior public speaking contest and junior citizenship award project which involve 23 Hawkesbury primary schools.
Debra also recently led a team of four Rotaract Australia members to the Philippines to undertake various aid projects over the course of 10 days.
Jacqueline Donaldson, Deputy Mayor, Blacktown City Council
Jacqueline was nominated by David Barker. She has been a local councillor at Blacktown City Council for seven years and is currently Deputy Mayor. A high school teacher for many years, Jacqueline has a wealth of experience in helping to develop and encourage those in her local community.
Jacqueline is constantly helping others within her community who are less fortunate, donating her time and money to individuals, charities and organisations. She is committed to her local community and selflessly gives to those in need. Jaqueline is a community leader who is both respected and admired.
Wendy Dunston, Volunteer
Wendy was nominated by Paul Maher. As a volunteer worker, Wendy's loyalty, integrity and enthusiasm have gained her the respect of her peers, friends and the Hawkesbury community as a whole. Wendy has contributed to the Hawkesbury and Greater Western Sydney communities in many ways for over 52 years through her volunteer work, professionalism and her ability to share knowledge and inspire others of all ages. She is conscious of her responsibility to the community, supporting many local and regional services and charitable organisations, as well as organising fundraising activities.
Amongst other organisations and charities, Wendy has been with the Country Women's Association for more than 16 years (where she currently holds the role of Vice-President), St John of God Hospital Auxiliary since 1965 and Richmond RSL Auxiliary since 1973. She has also officially assisted Torchbearers for Legacy for the past two years, but has provided voluntary services to the group for much longer.
Michele Ellery, CEO and Founder, Queen of Hearts Community Foundation
Michele was nominated by Zoe Bennett for outstanding leadership in her local community, particularly over the last three years. As a parent, Michele experienced the devastating effects of child sexual abuse on her family. Since that time, she founded the Queen of Hearts Community Foundation to support survivors of child sexual abuse on their journey to healing and justice, selflessly devoting time and boundless energy in her commitment to seeing that no other families have to suffer the same shock. Michele is being nominated for her exceptional compassion and selfless devotion to supporting those in the community who are victims of child sexual abuse and domestic violence.
Through her leadership, Michele has inspired others to contribute their expertise and resources, encouraging volunteer recruitment so that seven programs were implemented in 2015, enabling access to free assistance and reducing social isolation. The Foundation provides free groceries and has distributed over 250 rescue backpacks to child and adult domestic violence victims who are unsafe at home and need basic essentials provided at short notice.
Louise Kinloch, NSW State Manager, Evocca College ACTE Pty Ltd
Louise was nominated by Karen Wickerson for her unswerving commitment to improving the lives of others in Greater Western Sydney. In her professional representation to the community, Louise is an advocate for education and passionate about providing access to education in the vocational training sector. Directly linking education and employment, Louise has contributed to the achievements of many students at Evocca College who are completing their Diploma level qualifications and going on to employment success.
She is also an active community member. She supports the Scouts, where she has recently been the driving force behind the formation of Joey's Scout Group at the Quaker's/Doonside Scouts. Louise is an active leader of the group and is dedicated to preparing the resources and activities as well as looking after the development of volunteers each week to ensure the Joey's Scout Group is successful.
Louise is also extensively involved in local dance groups in the Blacktown area and contributes to the successful execution of many dance festivals, eisteddfods and community events.
Josephine Lam, Managing Director, T.K. Pacific Marketing
Josephine was nominated by Deborah Carr. She volunteers her time, energy and financial support to provide students in Western Sydney with opportunities to gain cross-cultural understanding and international experiences that help to promote a global outlook. She is dedicated to numerous Chinese community groups and supports cross-cultural engagement and education for the Chinese community across Sydney.
Josephine's efforts are motivated by her own experience arriving in Australia 25 years ago and the experiences of new migrants who face challenges because of language and cultural differences.
Josephine generously supports international student mobility and Western Sydney University, funding and coordinating the Australia-China Bridging course which, over the next five years, will provide up to 150 students with an opportunity to travel to China for a rich and immersive experience of Chinese culture. Josephine's support is helping to develop future leaders for Western Sydney who are entrepreneurial and able to take advantage of international opportunities.
Le Lam, Mayor, Auburn City Council
Councillor Le Lam was nominated by Arthur Wah-Kwan. She arrived in Australia as a refugee and was one of the founders of the Auburn Asian Welfare Centre where she provided welfare and community services to residents of Asian and other culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.
In 1991, Le Lam was elected as an Independent Councillor into Auburn City Council. Since that time, she has served as Mayor for four terms and is the longest serving member of Council, with over 20 years of service. As a refugee, Councillor Lam understands the difficulties new migrants face upon arriving in Australia, such as language barriers, cultural differences, and financial hardships. She advocates policies to develop effective community services such as social activities, health education and activities for isolated women in under-privileged and disadvantaged communities. She facilitates collaboration and partnerships between community organisations and encourages Council to implement policies with free access to Council facilities, enabling community groups to meet and deliver programs for local community members.
Aileen Mountifield, Founder and Executive Director, Lisa Harnum Foundation
Aileen, resident of Round Corner was nominated by Ray Williams MP, Member for Castle Hill, for her passion to end domestic violence. Aileen is the Founder and Executive Director of the Lisa Harnum Foundation, established in memory of Lisa Harnum who fell to her death as a result of domestic violence. The Foundation provides support and educates women and families in the Hills Shire.
Aileen has a passion for supporting women and families in domestic violence situations. She has years of experience undertaking extensive community work and in the establishment of program for abused women. Over the course of her career, Aileen has worked selflessly for others, first as a nurse, then in aged-care and as a community based chaplain, facilitating programs for women who have experienced all forms of abuse.
Through the Lisa Harnum Foundation, Aileen empowers families affected by domestic violence whilst striving to prevent and end the cycle of abuse through education and social change. The Foundation provides domestic violence support services including information, counselling and group workshops in the Hills.
Terrisa Murray, Founding Director and Secretary, Make Bullying History Foundation
Terrisa was nominated by Brett Murray. She is Founding Director and Secretary of the Make Bullying History Foundation. She is active in helping to provide services that assist Western Sydney schools and communities to reduce rates of bullying, anxiety, post-traumatic stress, depression and suicide. Above and beyond this, Terrisa has been serving her local community in a voluntary capacity, facilitating courses and positive women's groups with a focus on women overcoming and escaping violent relationships.
Countless women of all ages have had their lives dramatically changed and empowered through the work undertaken by Terrisa. In 2005 Terrisa took six young girls involved in the Macquarie Fields riots on a boot-camp to help them turn their lives around. She then arranged and facilitated six months of ongoing mentoring which resulted in the girls being removed from the NSW Police Persons of Interest list.
Franya Repolusk, Coordinator, Western Sydney Tenants and Advice Service
Franya was nominated by Julie Foreman. For over 10 years, Franya has served the tenants of Greater Western Sydney and contributed to significant improvements in tenancy rights for people living in private rental accommodation, social housing and residential van parks. Her achievements are primarily in 'access to justice' which have been achieved and shaped by her understanding and commitment to social justice and human rights.
Franya has demonstrated unquestionable and inspiring commitment to the tenants she serves, who often do not have the skills or knowledge to effectively represent themselves. She provides valuable community education on renting laws in NSW, advocates on behalf of individuals and groups in the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal and prevents the eviction of thousands of tenants through advice, negotiation, conciliation and a thorough understanding of government policy.
She is a true ally of the vulnerable, having saved countless tenants, boarders, and parks residents from homelessness while at the same time empowering them with the knowledge and understanding of their rights.
Kooryn Sheaves, Teacher, TAFE NSW Western Sydney Institute, and Lecturer, Federation University
Kooryn was nominated by Rosanne Bates. Through her work at TAFE, Kooryn has repeatedly demonstrated strong leadership through her enduring encouragement to all the students she teaches and assists. This has been especially evident in her nurturing of students who have faced personal challenges that have made pursuing their educational aspirations difficult.
Kooryn has been the partner coordinator for Federation University Australia's Bachelor of Community and Human Services for nearly two years and in that time she has been an exceptional professional and consummate educator. Kooryn is dedicated to her students and passionate about community and human services, regularly making time to meet with individual students in small groups to give them extra assistance.
Most of the students at Nirimba Western Sydney Institute are the first in their family to attempt a university degree. Over the next two years Kooryn will be central to more than 100 of these students graduating with Federation University's Bachelor of Community and Human Services.
Kylie Spragg, Learning Coach, Evocca College
Kylie was nominated by Frances Beggs for her leadership as Learning Coach at Evocca College. She supports and coaches students, some of whom have barriers to learning, with an endless energy, positivity and commitment that fosters a strong learning partnership.
Kylie engenders motivation in the students she works with and strives to find the most suitable strategy available to support all aspects of their learning needs and help them to meet and exceed their goals. Kylie's literacy work with adults in Western Sydney makes a tangible difference to their lives, empowering them to seek out work and educational opportunities that would not have previously been available to them. She gives her students the confidence and self-belief to push through their barriers and reach their potential.
Kylie is highly regarded by her colleagues and in 2015 won the National Employee of the Year in the Support Role category.
Young Women of the West
Hourieh Marouche, Youth Worker, Mission Australia
Hourieh was nominated by Saeli Masina for her passion and commitment to working in the community sector. Hourieh is a Youth Worker with Mission Australia, Canterbury Bankstown Youth Service, where she assists young people entering 24/7 crisis accommodation. She goes well above and beyond her role, offering her personal time to facilitate art workshops and assist with after-hours group workshops on health, budgeting, and protective behaviours. Additionally, she is a volunteer mentor at various outreach services in the Bankstown community that assist young people who are experiencing homelessness or are at risk of homelessness. She is an active member of various youth advisory groups that provide a voice for young people in the community.
Hourieh also works with Sharecare, a not-for-profit organisation assisting people with a disability and supporting their families with care.
She is a role model for other young people who encounter mental health issues and is a strong advocate on social issues.
Celina Pereira, Assistant Director, Sunshine Meats
Celina was nominated by Jose Pereira. She is a young woman who shows insight and commitment, balancing a range of responsibilities in her role as Office Manager at Sunshine Meats in Milperra. As part of the family business, Celina manages the entire Sunshine Meats office of some 20 staff while simultaneously undertaking a Business and Commerce (Marketing) Degree at Western Sydney University.
Celina has been nominated for her tremendous dedication to both her work and study, through which she exhibits a level of maturity well in advance of her years. Her colleagues rely on her as a leader, a mentor, a counsellor, a friend and also their manager. She handles a wide variety of tasks in the business, from accounts, to staff acquisition and training, public relations, marketing and product development.
She has made incredible sacrifices for the business and her study. Celina's passion and hunger is inspiring and has the power to encourage other young people to strive for their goals.
Frances Sidarous, Senior Property Manager and New Development Sales Manager, Sidarous Realty Pty Ltd
Frances was nominated by Christine Camara for her exceptional leadership capabilities through the operation of her family real estate company, Sidarous Realty. Frances' entrepreneurial spirit and innovative approach was a major factor in the company being named a finalist in the Parramatta Local Business Awards. 2015 also saw Frances as a finalist in the Parramatta Business Person of the Year Award.
Frances enjoys a positive relationship with her work colleagues and her clients, juggling not only work, family and community commitments, but also study commitments as she undertakes a Bachelor of Business and Commerce/Bachelor of Laws at Western Sydney University.
Frances is a First Year Law Buddy Mentor at Western Sydney University where she strives to assist as many first year students as possible in their transition to university study.
Angela Stansfield, Facilitator/Trainer, Evocca College
Angela was nominated by Nabil Khalil. She works at Evocca College, Fairfield Heights, which is dedicated to giving people a second chance in their academic lives. Angela leads groups in study, assists with their assessments, teaches subjects and endeavours to help her students become more employable. Angela lives the values she teaches her students, and through her leadership they begin to strive for their own excellence.
Away from work, Angela works with St Vincent De Paul where she leads volunteer groups in order to raise funds for the less fortunate. She feeds the homeless at parks in Parramatta and every week visits families after work to assist them with food vouchers, furniture and counselling. Angela also coordinates her own independent homeless appeals which have been a great success, providing practical resources like blankets to various charities. Through St Vincent De Paul, Angela is also involved with teaching English to refugees.
Angela's passion for helping others fuels her charitable commitments. Her work has helped to not only raise money for refugees, the homeless and struggling families within the Greater Western Sydney community, but also help bring that community closer together.
Kaitlyn William, Inspiring Educator, Evocca College
Kaitlyn was nominated by Belinda Faith. In her role as an Inspiring Educator at Evocca College, Blacktown, Kaitlyn improves the lives of people in Greater Western Sydney on a daily basis. She works with, and supports, up to 60 students, helping them develop personally and professionally, and to build the skills needed to gain employment. Her work with students also includes stress management, confidence building, mental health and emotional support during their studies. Many of Kaitlyn's students have to work to overcome mental health issues and disabilities.
Kaitlyn is actively involved with the community, lending her time and skills to voluntary work with the Police-Citizens Youth Club (Rock Eisteddfod, boxing and fundraising events), voluntary work with the Coptic Orthodox Church and assisting homosexual support groups organised by Family Planning Australia. Due to this involvement, Kaitlyn has helped and changed many lives within Greater Western Sydney, particularly the Penrith area. Kaitlyn motivates those around her through her leadership, commitment and her steadfast belief that others can be successful and achieve their dreams.
For further information on the Western Sydney University's Women of the West Award please contact the Office of Marketing and Communication on 9678 7512.