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NSW Regional Woman of the Year Finalists

2021 NSW Regional Woman of the Year Award Finalists

This award shines a light on the accomplishments of an extraordinary woman living in regional NSW.

Ms Christine Welsh

Christine Welsh

Christine Welsh introduced the Bega Valley to food rescue initiatives before launching a charity, Sapphire Community Projects to nourish people, families and communities.

Its Community Pantry provides a welcoming space for people doing it tough. It offers free or affordable groceries, barista training, job coaching and cooking classes.

The organisation proved its effectiveness during the bushfire and the COVID-19 pandemic. Ms Welsh organised emergency food parcels, sourced donations and a mobile pantry service to fire-affected townships.

Ms Welsh is also developing a community centre with meeting spaces, commercial kitchens for small businesses and community garden. A training cafe will offer hospitality qualifications for people with disabilities or who are unemployed.

Mrs Grace Brennan

Grace Brennan headshot

Grace Brennan united city and country through #BuyFromTheBush to support rural businesses battling drought, which saw a $5 million revenue uplift and improved quality of life for 90 per cent of owners.

The movement gained more than a quarter of a million followers on Instagram and breathed life into countless struggling businesses. Almost all were run by women with many now able to now able to scale their business, hire staff and learn new skills.

#BuyFromTheBush launched from Ms Brennan’s kitchen table in Gin Gin and connected women who take on multiple roles as mothers, employees, volunteers and entrepreneurs.

Ms Brennan gave the 2020 NSW Australia Day Address and received a standing ovation.

Miss Lucy Samuels and Ms Lucy Taylor

Lucy Samuels headshotLucy Taylor headshot

Lucy Samuels and Lucy Taylor created the ExtraOrdinary Outback Stories podcast and fly to outback communities to give rural or isolated people a voice.

Ms Taylor wrote for Outback, Graziher, Regional Lifestyle and Marie Claire magazines, before moving home to Coonamble when COVID-19 hit. She also fundraised for the Cancer Council in The Mongol Derby, the world’s longest horse race.

Ms Samuels pilots their single engine plane and worked in broadcast journalism. She volunteers for several causes and helped raise awareness of ‘Save Our Voice’, a campaign backing regional media.

The pair also launched a weekly newsletter to complement their podcast

Mrs Nicole Scholes-Robertson

Nicole Scholes-Robertson

Nicole Scholes-Robertson founded the Rural Kidney Association to improve outcomes for patients with chronic kidney disease and their families in rural NSW.

Following a short illness, Nicki began peritoneal dialysis in 2014 before receiving a kidney transplant from her brother. She raised $23,500 for the renal unit at Armidale Hospital and the RPA Transplant Institute by walking 525km in 21 days.

Ms Scholes-Robertson launched the ‘Norm Bourke Box’ to supply essential health items to rural home dialysis patients. She also gives educational talks on chronic kidney disease throughout Northern NSW.

Ms Scholes-Robertson is a patient partner at the Centre for Kidney Research and PhD candidate at The University of Sydney.

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Last updated: 06 Apr 2021