NSW Premier’s Award for Woman of the Year
Dannielle Miller is the co-founder and CEO of Enlighten Education, Australia's leading provider of in-school workshops for teen girls on body image, self-esteem and empowerment. Since 2007, Enlighten has worked with more than 200,000 girls across Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and Malaysia. Believing that boys need and deserve support too, Dannielle recently launched Goodfellas, an in-school workshop for teen boys.
Starting her career as a high school teacher, Dannielle moved on to developing innovative programs for students at risk of dropping out of school. She created the Lighthouse Project, which pairs at-risk students with workplace mentors to help them develop employment skills. Dannielle also developed a Higher School Certificate course which nurtures students' entrepreneurial skills while involving them in meaningful community volunteer work.
Dannielle is the author of five books. She also devotes her time to The Sanctuary: The Hills Domestic Violence Service & Shelter and The Mirabel Foundation. She says, ‘Culturally we just don't give teenage girls enough credit. They can absolutely be change-makers. It’s been my life mission to teach them how to think – not what to think – and to give them the tools they need to critique a culture which often doesn’t seem to like them very much’.
Natalie Isaacs is the founder and CEO of 1 Million Women (1MW), a global movement of women and girls changing the way they live to fight the climate crisis. Since launching in 2009, Natalie has grown 1MW to more than 700,000 women and counting.
As a former cosmetic manufacturer, Natalie’s life was all about over-packaging. She thought climate change was someone else’s problem – until she had an epiphany. She realised, ‘how we live, the choices we make every-day and the influence we have in our households, workplaces and communities are key to solving the challenge of climate change’. And with that, she launched 1MW.
Natalie’s own journey from apathy to action delivers the simple message that real behaviour change, however small, begins with personal action. And that women are powerful leaders of change.
Through Natalie's inspirational advocacy, 1 Million Women has become one of Australia's largest networks acting on climate. More than 40,000 Australian women have participated in a 1MW event. Over 100,000 have taken the 1MW carbon challenge; and Natalie has inspired thousands of schoolgirls to be climate leaders for their generation.
Natalie is a pioneer in the gender and climate change arena. She is a sought-after presenter and recognised and supported by some of the United Nations’ most influential women climate leaders.
Nina Funnell is a Walkley award-winning journalist, author and sexual assault advocate working to prevent gender-based violence.
Nina spoke out publicly in 2007 after she was viciously sexually assaulted travelling home from the University of Sydney, in a bid to reclaim control of the situation and challenge the social stigma around sexual assault. Suffering from post-traumatic stress, Nina finished her degree part-time, and in 2008 she graduated in Media and Communications with First Class Honours. She began her career at the university’s media and communications department as tutor and guest lecturer.
From 2009, Nina worked on sexual violence prevention initiatives including with NRL players, training them on their off-field behaviour and treatment of women. She returned to journalism in 2016. Following international headlines, that a Stanford student had sexually assaulted a young woman, Nina set herself a goal of filing 52 stories in 52 weeks on campus sexual assault in Australia. She achieved this ambitious task and her reporting sparked a number of significant outcomes including police investigations.
Nina is a volunteer ambassador for End Rape On Campus Australia and is currently an Ambassador for the Fullstop Foundation. She also mentors young female journalists and journalism students.
Professor Hala Zreiqat (Winner)
Hala Zreiqat grew up, studied and worked in Jordan before moving to Sydney to do a PhD in Medical Sciences – a decision that transformed her life. Today she is recognised internationally for her extraordinary contributions to regenerative medicine and translational orthopaedic research.
Hala is Professor of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Sydney, where she founded the Tissue Engineering and Biomaterials Research Unit in 2006. Pioneering the invention of new biomaterials and biomedical devices, the unit’s work is giving NSW a place at the table in the highly competitive global orthopaedic market.
Described as a trailblazer in championing opportunities for women, Hala was the first female president of the Australian and New Zealand Orthopaedic Research Society. A Senior Research Fellow of the National Health and Medical Research Council for the last 10 years, she was also the first person in NSW to receive a prestigious Radcliffe Fellowship from Harvard University.
Hala is also known for her work in developing the younger generation and is an avid supporter of upcoming Australian researchers; having mentored many postdoctoral researchers and supervised almost 70 PhD, Masters and Honours students. While at Harvard, Hala founded a new international network called IDEAL Society, dedicated to improving opportunities and recognition for women around the world.