2016 NSW Women of the Year Award Winners
Miss Jennifer Armstrong
Jennifer is the founder of the Beauty Bank, a charity collecting unwanted toiletries and other beauty products for women in need, particularly those experiencing domestic and family violence. The Beauty Bank has helped over 3,000 women and men since 2013 and is now the signature charity partner of the Cronulla Sharks. A survivor of domestic violence, Jennifer is also a popular leadership speaker for both corporate organisations and schools, motivating and educating others on the effects of domestic violence and the power of resilience. Jennifer is also the Local Woman of the Year for Cronulla.
Jennifer is a third year student at Western Sydney University studying a Bachelor of Business and Commerce degree with majors in Sport Management and Advanced Business Leadership. Jennifer has two small children and provides foster care for a third child.
Ms Dana Clarke
Dana is a proud Worrimi Aboriginal woman who has worked in Aboriginal health, domestic violence prevention, child protection, sexual assault and mental health for over 25 years. Dana was appointed the Chief Executive Officer for Burrun Dalai Aboriginal Corporation in 2005. Burrun Dalai provides services to children and their families and carers to achieve the best possible life outcomes by raising Aboriginal children in a safe and nurturing environment which keeps them connected to their community and culture, while maintaining their family identity and family relationships. Dana has successfully grown Burrun Dalai to become the largest rural service provider of Accredited Aboriginal out-of-home care and family support services in NSW, only one in five in NSW, to achieve re-accreditation with the Office of Children’s Guardian. Dana is recognised within the industry and her community for her passionate advocacy for the needs of Aboriginal children and young people in out of home care.
Ms Jodie McRae
Jodie is a single mother who owns five successful small businesses in the Lismore and surrounding area. Jodie was diagnosed with a rare, aggressive form of triple negative breast cancer in May 2013. After being told she was cancer free in December 2013, Jodie was subsequently diagnosed with secondary breast cancer in September 2014. Jodie continues to fight the disease to this day. Despite a poor prognosis she founded Jodie's Inspiration, a not-for-profit organisation. She raised over $100,000 from her first fundraiser and purchased two cold cap therapy machines for a local oncology unit so that patients were given the opportunity to prevent chemotherapy hair loss.
Jodie’s relentless public education has assisted local women in finding cancerous breast lumps early. Jodie provides support through fundraisers, technological resources and emotional guidance for cancer sufferers. Her well-respected community profile and impressive business acumen stems from her kind nature to selflessly give back to the community time and time again.
Professor Fadia Ghossayn
Fadia founded the Australian Lebanese Foundation in 2001 at The University of Sydney. The Foundation provides scholarships that require multi faith membership. Additionally, Fadia heads another Foundation that runs an Academy that annually calls for 15 young people from Australia to go to Lebanon to train on how to be a responsible Australian citizen. Fadia has made achievements in inspiring and mentoring young Lebanese in Australia to reach their full potential and strive for their goals while embracing Australian values.
Through raising funds for scholarships and providing opportunities for all across the board, her tenacity has resulted in better cultural understanding and cooperation between Lebanese and Australian people, providing positive role models for new migrants and refugees. Not only has Fadia worked tirelessly to advocate for cultural cohesion and harmony through her work for the Australian Lebanese Foundation, she has also made an outstanding contribution by advocating for special projects and acting as a liaison between various agencies, while supporting numerous charities.
Dr Dharmica Mistry
Recipient of the 2015 Young Scientist Award, Dharmica is an inspiration to young women considering a future in medical research and microbiology. Dharmica is an exceptional researcher who is involved in implementing life changing medical research around early breast cancer detection that will impact upon women around the world. The core focus for Dharmica’s work is to commercialise a universal ground-breaking breast cancer screening test in collaboration with the University of Kentucky. Without her persistence, unfailing optimism and drive over the past eight years, a transformational global test may have never been developed.
The partnerships and research driven by Dharmica have proven 90 per cent accurate in detecting the presence of the most common form of invasive cancer. Dharmica’s dream of significantly transforming women’s health worldwide through medical innovation is fast becoming a reality.