Twin Towns Friends president Doreen Welsh.
Twin Towns Friends president Doreen Welsh. Blainey Woodham

Inspirational Tweed women thanked

TWEED women were acknowledged and thanked for their outstanding and wide ranging contributions yesterday.

The Tweed Shire Women's Service Wonders of Women Awards at the Kingscliff Beach Bowls Club celebrated inspirational local women in the spirit of today's International Women's Day.

Seven outstanding achievement awards and one woman of the year award reached the hands of worthy local women.

Nanette Gilbert presented community supporters and volunteers, aged care, youth and children and emergency outstanding achievement awards.

"This category recognises women who have volunteered or gone above and beyond the call of duty in their support and encouragement of the community," Ms Gilbert said.

Winner: Ann Anderson.

"Ann, in her role as volunteer and treasurer with the Murwillumbah Evening View Club and District Hospital has demonstrated her commitment to her community through her roles as volunteer co-ordinator, trainer and treasurer," Ms Gilbert said.

She said the aged care category recognised women who had contributed to the rights of aged people and communities.

"Nominees will have supported and/or encouraged people to feel more comfortable and connected to their community or who have enhanced their personal dignity and self-worth through leadership, promotion, community development, education and significant contribution to the sector."

Winner: Doreen Welsh.

"Doreen formed the Twin Towns Friends in 1997 and has consistently and progressively run and developed significant programs as part of the Twin Towns Friends Association.

"Through long-term dedication and commitment and the provision of training to volunteers, Doreen has and continues to support over 200 clients."

The youth and children category recognised women how have promoted positive attitudes, skills and actions of youth and children, Ms Gilbert said.

"This nominee has supported and encouraged youth and children to achieve their goals in order to enhance their self-worth, safety and wellbeing, making it possible for them to reach their true potential."

Winner: Ellen Oldfield.

"Ellen is a passionate, committed social justice worker employed by the Department of Human Services.

"At the age of just 57 Ellen returned to university and completed her bachelor of education and then her masters.

"Since 2004, at the age of 64, Ellen entered the Department of Community services where she has supported, guided, advocated and significantly contributed to the safety and wellbeing of children in our community."

And the emergency category winner demonstrated clinical competence, outstanding contribution and a beyond duty contribution to rural emergency services.

Winner: Theresa Zambelli.

"Theresa teaches first aid throughout the Far North Coast, is a member of the Rural Fire Service and is the volunteer treasurer for the Burringbar Rural Fire Service.

"Theresa drives the trucks, attends the fires and promotes fire wise education in the local high schools."

Carol (surname unknown) awarded the arts and music, environment, and indigenous and culture awards.

"(The arts and music) category recognises women who through their passion and enthusiasm have inspired people to explore their creativity in their artistic field," she said.

"The nominees have demonstrated inspiration, commitment and leadership to the creative arts through active education, engagement and leadership.

Winner: Shirley Kennedy.

"Shirley is a passionate, enthusiastic treasure in our community who has motivated, advised, critiqued and promoted emerging artists throughout the region in her role as artist, curator, judge, mentor, patron, sponsor and tutor."

She said the environment award recognised women passionate about protecting the local environment.

Winner: Carolyn Rifello.

"Carolyn is a founding member of Tweed Climate Action Now, and is an active member of the Northern Rivers Guardians, Water Demand Management Strategy, Tweed Valley Wildlife Carers and Red Cross," Carol said.

"Carolyn has been responsible for the planting of bush tucker trees at the Uki Water Treatment Plant and the bush regeneration in the Terragon area."

Promotion of positive attitudes, skills and actions among Indigenous people and other cultures marked the Indigenous and culture award nominees, she said.

Winner: Bec Couch.

"Bec has been the driving force in her role as Aboriginal Liaison Officer with the Tweed Police, in bringing a huge range of education, support and development training programs to the Tweed for women, men and young people.

"She is a strong and consistent voice in the sector in advocating for change, reconciliation and self-determination of the indigenous community."

The founder of Tweed Heads Women in Business and practicing accountant, Julie West, was thanked for her "ability to get in, get wet, get dirty and get going - an absolutely awesome woman".

Mrs West was awarded woman of the year.

Learn more about her in this weekend's Daily News.

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