Nominations for the 2024 NSW Women of the Year Awards open today.
Minister for Women Jodie Harrison said the NSW Government was looking for the most empowering and inspiring women and girls in the state.
“These awards recognise the invaluable contribution to community, industry and society that women in NSW have made through their hard work, dedication and passion. The awards honour our inspirational women with the recognition they truly deserve,” Minister Harrison said.
“We want to continue to empower the next generation of young women to be limitless in delivering positive changes through fortitude in their fields of expertise. We can only achieve this by shining a light on the contributions and achievements of women in our communities.”
The annual awards will put the spotlight on women and girls whose determination, bravery, skill and passion should be celebrated and shared, inspiring others to achieve great things. They celebrate the role models who challenge inequality, innovate and inspire.
The 2024 award categories are:
Nominations are also open to recognise and honour young girls in the Ones to Watch Showcase. It will put the spotlight on the rising stars of our community, showcasing 10 exemplary young girls between the ages of 7 to 15 years old.
Minister Harrison said: “The Ones to Watch showcase will spotlight the next generation of inspiring young women by recognising the potential, resilience and determination of girls who are shaping the future.”
The winners of the awards will be announced at the NSW Women of the Year Awards ceremony on 7 March 2024 as part of NSW Women’s Week 2024. Nominate someone now.
Nominations close 11:59pm, Sunday 8 October.
Where are they now? Spotlight on 2023 Winners
Premier’s Award and Aboriginal Woman of the Year Award winner, Lynda Edwards
Since winning the 2023 Premier’s Award for Woman of the Year and Aboriginal Woman of the Year Award, Lynda Edwards, has dedicated her time to volunteering and advocating for fairness, inclusion and the financial rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
The awards have opened opportunities for Ms Edwards to continue to advocate for improvement in the way financial services engage with, assist and support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
“The awards gave me a better platform with which to talk about financial literacy in our communities. Not only with key stakeholders and politicians but also with the general community,” Ms Edwards said
“Since the awards, I have had many requests for speaking opportunities, such as the Ruby Hutchison Lecture in Sydney and a National Indigenous Consumer Strategy (NICS) meeting, attended by ACCC, ASIC, and the state and territory fair trading agencies on how regulators can work most effectively with financial counsellors.
“It is important that we recognise women in our communities. No matter how big or how small, or how hard or easy it is, almost everything a woman does for her family or community makes a huge difference.
“By acknowledging our women, we are letting our women, and also our communities, know that they are valued and important. We are setting the scene for many women and girls in the future.”
One to Watch winner, Haniya Syed
Haniya Syed continues to advocate for and inspire girls to consider STEM studies, including recently delivering a robotics club at her school and competing at a robotics competition for the First Tech Challenge. Ms Syed continues to excel in her technological expertise, recently releasing a first prototype that aids the dental health of children.
“I encourage everyone who knows a remarkable young woman to nominate them for the One to Watch Showcase. This showcase is excellent in acknowledging their work, achievements, and contributions, as it is perfect in inspiring and supporting them to do more for the future,” Ms Syed said.
“It is important to acknowledge the contributions and achievements of girls in NSW for empowerment, promoting gender equality, and overcoming stereotypes to create a more inclusive community that promotes women in STEM.”
Mary Hollingworth was Chair of the NSW Rural Women’s Gathering and a long-time volunteer with the Rural Women’s Network. She is an active member of multiple organisations and has delivered hundreds of events in regional NSW.
Ms Hollingworth said her award has opened new pathways to further volunteer work through a range of women’s conferences, speaking opportunities and deepening links with valuable community networks.
“The Community Hero Award validates the role of willing, dedicated community volunteers, especially in rural areas. This acknowledgment has given me confidence in the ongoing role of volunteers in the wider community,” Ms Hollingworth said.
“So many wonderful women contribute willingly and generously every day through NSW. They are mostly flying under the radar, unappreciated and rarely acknowledged.”
Young Women of the Year Award winner, Chanel Contos
Leader of the Teach Us Consent movement, Chanel Contos said winning the award gave her the opportunity to spread her work across borders, working with state and federal governments in Australia and with teachers internationally.
Her grassroots education in schools aims to significantly reduce sexual violence towards young girls and women. Her new book, ‘Consent Laid Bare’, will be released next month.
“I have continued to work closely with governments at a state and federal level to eradicate normalised sexual violence. I have also had the opportunity to present the work that has been going on in Australia at some schools in the UK and at teacher conferences in London,” Ms Contos said.
“Almost all the work I do aims to amplify the voices of young women, so I felt privileged to be recognised in such a special way. Women and young girls often involve themselves in community action, social good and volunteering with little to no recognition or pay for this extra work. Young women are such a passionate group who deserve to have their voices amplified.”