Kingston’s Woman of the Year Award shared

Published on 11 March 2022

winners of kingston woman of the year Paula Westhead and Bronwyn Currie with Deputy Mayor Cr Jenna Davey-Burns

Paula Westhead and Bronwyn Currie have been named as joint winners of the Kingston Woman of the Year Award for 2022.

Paula is the Executive Officer of Emerge Women and Children’s Support Network and has over 25 years’ experience in the child and family services sector. She is a dedicated supporter for women and children and is constantly seeking innovative ways to assist family violence survivors and strengthen the family violence sector through her work as part of the Safe and Equal Implementation Champions Group and Specialist Family Violence Services Leadership Group, as chair of the Bayside Peninsula Integrated Family Violence Partnership, and as a member of the Kingston Council Family Violence Working Group as well.

The Director of the National Board and Convenor of the Animal Justice Party in Victoria, Bronwyn has been a passionate advocate for animal protection and social justice for many years. As President of the Chelsea Heights Community Centre, a Kingston Residents Association committee member and a mentor for Kingston’s Young Women’s Mentoring Program, Bronwyn contributes further valuable knowledge in our community, and is especially focused on young women succeeding and bringing the community together during challenging times. Bronwyn is also a founding member and organiser of the Melbourne Women’s March4Justice.

The women accepted the coveted award from the Deputy Mayor and member of the State Government’s Gender Equality Advisory Committee in Local Government, Cr Jenna Davey-Burns, today at the city’s annual International Women’s Day event at Kingston City Hall.

Cr Davey-Burns praised the remarkable work of all 24 of this year’s nominees.

“As a woman in a leadership role, I feel so privileged to hear all of your stories and the outstanding contributions you are making to our community and I’m truly inspired by the phenomenal women in the room today,” Cr Davey-Burns said.

“I am very passionate about working with you all to break down barriers and promote an inclusive community and I strongly believe that by moving forward together we can achieve great outcomes.”

The annual event, now in its fourth year, provided the community with a chance to celebrate the remarkable contribution of women across all walks of our society, commit to the theme of ‘Break the Bias’ and in turn ensure action is taken to level the playing field, creating a world where difference is valued and celebrated. 

With such a strong field, award winners were also honoured across the following categories: 

Courageous Commitment – Anne Grigg

Anne rapidly pivoted from a remarkable career in primary teaching and leadership to adult education and her significant work both within Kingston, and beyond, with Kingston University of the Third Age (KU3A) and its State Network, the Victorian U3A. Her work has helped hundreds of elderly Kingston residents, most of them living alone, to remain engaged, connected and stimulated in both normal and lockdown times. She has successfully shared her expertise in running committees, managing volunteers, recruiting teachers, and enlisting new members.

Excelling in Arts and Sport - Sandra Davies

Sandra has devoted her life to music, teaching and mentoring – professionally as a classroom music teacher, and voluntarily for 45 years as the lynchpin of CLOC Musical Theatre, one of the largest and most successful community music theatre companies in Australia. Music feeds Sandra’s soul and she has spent her life encouraging others to find the joy of music as a means to be their best, find confidence and share the boundless opportunities that music gives.

Inspiring Innovation - Dolly Bhargava

The founder of Behaviour Help Pty Ltd (a registered NDIS provider), Dolly has developed a range of resources including apps, video series, webinars and online courses that aim to educate, empower and enable parents, carers, educators, disability staff and professionals with the knowledge, skills and tools to help people with disabilities learn positive ways of behaving and managing their emotions.

Success in STEM - Nidhi Shah

Nidhi is a Director at Digiwhiz Pty Ltd, who has a passion for helping small to medium size businesses succeed through websites, SEO, mobile apps, and other digital transformation tactics. She believes that technology should be a seamless part of any business and has held several workshops to teach business owners about the effective use of websites and other digital marketing techniques. Her ability to create meaningful relationships and new ideas has helped her build a successful business that generates demand for her services.

To learn more about the winners and all the nominees, visit kingston.vic.gov.au/kwa

 

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