Women of the West Award 2009


University of Western Sydney Women of the West Award for 2009


The winner of the UWS Women of the West Award and the Young Women of the West Award for 2009 was announced by UWS Vice-Chancellor, Professor Janice Reid, AM at the University's International Women's Day celebrations on Friday 13 March, 2009. 

Winner of the UWS Women of the West Award for 2009

Jan Nicoll - Youth Worker, Allawah House, Minto.

Jan was nominated by Chris Hayes MP, Federal Member for Werriwa.  As a resident of Macquarie Fields for more than 20 years and a mother of five children, Jan has worked tirelessly to assist young people and families in crisis in the Campbelltown area.

Jan is a well respected member of her local community and passionate about young people and advocates strongly on their behalf. Following the Macquarie Field riots, she worked with many of the families involved in the conflict, providing counselling and support.  Following the riots Jan trained and became a Community Conference Facilitator for young adults with the Attorney General’s Department, and has been instrumental in facilitating workshops for young adults and continues this role in the local area.

Jan was the driving force behind the establishment of a permanent “Youth Off the Streets” project at Macquarie Fields.  Jan is actively involved in the Aboriginal community and is currently mentoring at a local school in Macquarie Fields.  Jan’s achievements are numerous, she is described as a “friend, mentor, an advocate, a teacher and a blessing in the Macquarie Fields Community”.

 Vice-Chancellor Professor Janice Reid AM and Jan Nicoll

Vice-Chancellor Professor Janice Reid AM with Jan Nicoll, Winner of the UWS Women of the West Award for 2009.

Interview with Jan Nicoll, UWS Women of the West Award for 2009

Highly Commended


Rosemary Kariuki

Rosemary Kariuki is a community leader among African women in NSW as well as an Ethnic Community Liaison Officer with the Holroyd Local Area Command, NSW Police Force.

As a refugee Rosemary arrived in Australia in 1999, with no assets and no family.  Since that time Rosemary has made many friends and has volunteered her own time to support the community especially women and the youth.

Rosemary’s role with the NSW Police and her understanding of issues faced by refugee and other ethnic communities allows her to create bridges between the NSW Police and ethnic communities in Holroyd.

Aside from her role with the NSW Police Service, Rosemary is also a founding member of the African Women’s Group (AWG), a voluntary organisation she created to advocate for African women and to break down the social isolation many African women experience. Each year she organises an annual African women dinner dance where over 400 women attend.

 The Hon Faye Lo Po', Rosemary Kariuki and Vice-Chancellor Professor Janice Reid AM

Rosemary Kariuki is presented with the Highly Commended Award by the Hon Faye Lo Po' and Vice-Chancellor Professor Janice Reid, AM.


Joyce Bellchambers

Joyce Bellchambers was nominated by David Bradbury MP, Federal Member for Lindsay.  Joyce, a resident of Cranebrook, is a tireless advocate for people with disabilities.

Now 80, Joyce is an active volunteer in Western Sydney community groups, including Penrith Association for People with Disabilities (PATH Inc) and Nepean Options.

As a carer of an adult son with a disability, Joyce has fought for better services, resources and respite care for families caring for people with disabilities. Joyce is one of the initial members of Dare to Care, an active sub-committee of PATH Inc, which was founded in 1996 with a group of like-minded parents and carers to achieve increased funding and more and better supported accommodation and respite care.

To give a greater focus to the needs of people with disabilities and their carers, Joyce Bellchambers stood as a candidate for the New South Wales Legislative Council at the 2007 election as a representative of the New South Wales Carers Alliance.

 The Hon Faye Lo Po', Joyce Bellchambers and Vice-Chancellor Professor Janice Reid AM

Joyce Bellchambers is presented with the Commended Award by the Hon Faye Lo Po' and Vice-Chancellor Professor Janice Reid, AM.


Barbara Curtin

Barbara, President of the Auburn Community Aid Centre was nominated by the Honourable Barbara Perry MP, Member for Auburn.  Barbara has lived and worked in Western Sydney for many years.

As a registered nurse and midwife, Barbara is widely respected and acknowledged as a groundbreaker in women’s health issues in Western Sydney. She has been at the forefront of such fundamental campaigns such as the Immunisation Taskforce and she played a pivotal role to prevent closure of Auburn Hospital.

 Vice-Chancellor Professor Janice Reid AM, Barbara Curtin and the Hon Faye Lo Po'

Barbara Curtin is presented with the Commended Award by Vice-Chancellor Professor Janice Reid, AM and the Hon Faye Lo Po'.

Winner of the UWS Young Women of the West Award for 2009

Samah Hadid

Samah was nominated for the Young Women of the West Award by her fellow student and friend Rayann Bedache.  Samah is a resident of Greenacre and since the age of 15 she has been passionate about championing the issues and concerns of young people.  Samah is interested in representing the concerns of youth from culturally and religiously diverse backgrounds.  As a result of her work, she was selected to attend the Prime Ministers 2020 Summit for her community work.

Samah’s achievements include: membership of the youth2020 summit steering committee, membership of the Sister Cities national conference 2004, and as member of the Bankstown Youth Advisory Committee where she held the position of public officer for three years.  It was through her youth advisory role Samah co-chaired and organised the Youth of Western Sydney Conference in 2007.  Samah has been invited to speak at a number of conferences.  In 2008, Samah was the recipient of the Community Relations Commission Young Volunteer of the Year 2008.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Janice Reid AM and Samah Hadid, Winner of the Young Women of the West Award for 2009

Winner of the UWS Young Women of the West Award for 2009 Samah Hadid, pictured with Vice-Chancellor Professor Janice Reid, AM.

Congratulations to everyone from across Greater Western Sydney nominated for the 2009 Award:

  • Ms Julie Bacon, Secretary for Mayor and General Manager Wollondilly Shire Council was nominated by the Hon Phillip Costa MP, Member for Wollondilly, Minister for Water and Minister for Regional Development.
  • Ms Anne Bryce, Chief Executive Officer of the Achieve Foundation was nominated by Ms Lisa Sampson, Director Free Radical Enterprises.
  • Dr Rosemary Dillon, Manager, Corporate Planning and Community Outcomes, Blue Mountains City Council was nominated by Mr Phil Pinyon, General Manager, Blue Mountains City Council.
  • Ms Anne Ford, Associate Director TAFE NSW – Western Sydney Institute was nominated by Ms Sue Westbrook, Director Education Community Services, TAFE NSW – Western Sydney Institute.
  • Mrs Fatima Kourouche, State Adviser, Australian Sports Commission was nominated by Ms Hiba Ayache.
  • Ms Lena Nahlous, Director of Information and Cultural Exchange (ICE) was nominated by Ms Tania Chambers, Chief Executive, NSW Film and Television Office.
  • Ms Jacqui Pateman, Service Delivery Manager with the Child Support Agency was nominated by Ms Mina Podbereski, State Manager, Child Support Agency.
  • Ms Sonya Phillips, Former Mayor, Baulkham Hills Shire Council was nominated by Ms Robyn Dalton.
  • Ms Kylie Powell, Manager Strategic Planning with Camden Council was nominated by Ms Linda Campbell, Camden Council.
  • Ms Caroline Staples, a resident of Berala was nominated by Ms Maureen Walsh.
  • Ms Karen Willcocks, Project Officer for Adolescent Mothers In Custody, Karitane was nominated by Ms Monica Hughes, Manager Education & Research, Karitane.

UWS Young Women of the West Awards for 2009

  • Ms Emma Louise Brindley, Parliamentary Liaison Officer for the Office of the Hon John Roberston MLC was nominated by Julia Irwin MP, Federal Member for Fowler.
  • Miss Figen Cingiloglu, Pro Bono Students Australia Co-ordinator, Pro Bono Students Australia was nominated by Professor Carolyn Sappideen, School of Law with the University of Western Sydney.
  • Ms Rachel Coxon, Research Engineer with ResMed was nominated by Mr Dimitri Maurer, ResMed Ltd.


Michelle Dickson
University of Western Sydney
Phone: 02 9678 7512
Email: m.dickson@uws.edu.au