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Kingston’s 2019 Woman of the Year Announced

8 March 2019

On Friday Kingston celebrated International Woman’s Day, with a community breakfast and the announcement of the winner of the inaugural Kingston Woman of the Year Award. 
The 2019 Award was given to Emma Gierschick, who advocates for increased support, information and awareness of family violence, disability support and cancer. 
“Emma has experienced and overcome many challenges in these areas. She has used her personal experiences to drive her forward, and it has seen her make a real difference,” said Kingston Mayor Georgina Oxley.
Recognised by the Australian Financial review as one of the top 100 Women of Influence in 2018, Emma has been a leading voice presenting to parliament, the Royal Commission into Family Violence and is a sought-after advisor to MPs, service providers and local government – including Kingston Council where she serves on the Kingston’s Family Violence Working Group. “She makes an outstanding contribution to our community and the City of Kingston is thrilled to honour her on International Women’s Day.” 
The inaugural Woman of the Year Award received a strong community response, with 25 nominations received for women excelling across a broad range of areas but with each making a positive difference to the community. 
With such a strong field, Councillors found it difficult to single out just one winner and also honoured an ‘Honourable Mention’ across the following categories: 
• Inspiring Innovation - Alecia Minster Entrepreneur and founder of Girl Bosses Australia, Alecia inspires and supports thousands of women to realise their dreams in business. As president of the fundraising team at Bayside Treasures, Alecia has lead the group to raise $55K for mental health charities over the past 4 years.
• Humanitarian – Anna Wang   Since arriving in Australia 32 years ago. Anna founded and is president of two Chinese Senior Citizen clubs, co-ordinates cultural festivals and community events that provide opportunities for all members of the community to connect and celebrate our cultural diversity.
• Champion of Change – Sarah Loh   The first female CEO in the AFL, Sarah demonstrates great leadership and business acumen for the South Metro Junior Football League (SMJFL). She has eliminated junk food sponsorship and has implemented the Victorian Governments Child Safety Standards. Over the past year she’s overseen improvements to facilities and structures to enable 30 new girls’ teams to participate.
• Excelling in Arts and Sport – Cindy Rella Cindy’s drive to excel in any pursuit, has seen her successfully represent Australia and gain World Championship status in Karate and Kettlebell. Cindy generously supports and inspire people of all ages and abilities to attain their sporting aspirations and develop mental fortitude.
• Success in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Maths) – Shauna Moore & Marissa Palamaras Shauna and Marissa provide expert co-ordination, leadership, design advice and community engagement, whilst leading the delivery of an environmentally aware, paperless project for the construction of the Patterson River Bridge. They proactively mentor and promote younger engineers, women in construction in general, and encourage children, particularly girls, to take up maths and science subjects.

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