Meet the nine inspirational finalists for Women of the West 2014

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The University of Western Sydney is proud to announce the finalists for its upcoming Women of the West Awards – a collection of nine outstanding women who each in their own way are helping to make western Sydney a better place to live, work and enjoy.

The Women of the West Awards were established by UWS in 2005 to draw attention to the significant contributions that women make to the Greater Western Sydney region, and say a big “thank you” to the many, often unsung, women from all walks of life who are doing extraordinary things for our local communities.
Each year the University presents both a Women of the West Award and Young Women of the West Award, which is given to a young woman from Sydney’s west who is aged between 18-28 years.
Among this year’s Women of the West nominees are a teacher, a volunteer who works with Pacific Islander communities, a hospital chaplain, a Dharawal Aboriginal elder who educates the region’s youth on Aboriginal environmental science and culture, a nurse, and a PhD student who is making a difference in the scientific world.
Giving back to others through volunteering and community work is also a strong theme that carries through each of the women’s inspirational stories.
The full list of this year’s nominees are listed below.
Women of the West:
* Ms Diana Aspinall, Board Member, Nepean Blue Mountains Medicare Local.  Nominated for her leadership and advocacy in health for the people of Western Sydney.
* Aunty Frances Bodkin, Dharawal Elder and Knowledge Holder; Scientific Educator.  Nominated for her commitment to educating our region’s youth on Aboriginal environmental science and Aboriginal culture.
* Mrs Cathy Gault, Chaplain, Nepean Public Hospital; Chairman, Thorndale Foundation Inc. Nominated for her work as Chaplain, Chairman and a member of the Presbyterian Women’s Association (PWA).
* Ms Belinda Sidman, Enrolled Nurse, Bowral District Hospital. She has overcome many hurdles leaving her with permanent disabilities. Nominated for her leadership and volunteer work and for being an elite athlete representing Australia on the world stage.
Young Women of the West:
* Ms Sally-Anne Donohue, Trainee Aboriginal Environmental Health Officer, South Western Sydney and Sydney Local Health Districts, Public Health Unit. Nominated for her dedication to Aboriginal health and to improving the environment in our local Aboriginal communities.
* Ms Jaleesa Donovan, Employment Support Officer, Aboriginal Learning Circle, TAFE NSW.  Nominated for her strong commitment to improving her community and empowering young people. Her particular focus has been on projects and initiatives that have engaged with the Indigenous communities of Bankstown and have had a genuine impact.
* Miss Amy Krisenthal, High School English Teacher at Chifley College, Shalvey Campus. Nominated for her dedication to the learning and welfare of young people in Western Sydney and beyond.
* Miss Grace Micali, PHD Student – Antimicrobial Resistance and Mobile Elements Group, Ingham Institute for Applied Medical Research. Nominated for her tremendous work in the field of science and her volunteer work within the community.
* Ms Patsy Nai, Nurse at Liverpool Hospital and Volunteer, NSW Council for Pacific Communities (South West Sydney Regional Advisory Council). Nominated for her volunteer work and advocacy for young people within the South Western Sydney area.
The winners of the UWS Women of the West Awards will be announced on Friday 7 March 2014, to coincide with International Women’s Day.
Guest speaker at the event will be prominent Australian business leader and company director, Lucy Turnbull AO, a former politician and the first female Lord Mayor of Sydney.
The category winners of both the Women of the West and Young Women of the West Awards will each receive a grant of $5,000 to further develop their leadership and advocacy work in their local community.
What: Women of the West Awards Ceremony
When: 10:00am to 11:30am, Friday 7th March 2014
Where: Ian and Nancy Turbott Auditorium, UWS Parramatta Campus
Corner of Victoria Road and James Ruse Drive, Rydalmere
3 March 2014
Photo By: Sally Tsoutas
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