Department of Family and Community Services

Rex Airlines Regional Woman of the Year

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Associate Professor Faye McMillan

Education has indeed been a feature of Associate Professor Faye McMillan’s life. A Wiradjuri yinaa (woman) from Trangie, in NSW’s central west, Faye is Director of the Djirruwang Program – Bachelor of Health Science (Mental Health) at Charles Sturt University.

As well as her Doctorate of Health Science, Master of Indigenous Health Studies and Bachelor of Pharmacy, Faye has graduate certificates in Wiradjuri language culture and heritage and indigenous governance.

Alongside her esteemed career in academia, Faye is proud mother to Kye and Ethan and she runs a business, Australian Patrol Vehicles Pty Ltd, with her three siblings.

Faye is a board member holding various roles for the Murrumbidgee Primary Health Network and the University of Notre Dame Australia Wagga Wagga Clinical School as well as previously with Indigenous Allied Health Australia. She is also an Atlantic Fellow, which is a global community of leaders collaborating to advance equity, opportunity and human dignity.

Faye was recognised in The Australian Financial Review and Westpac 100 Women of Influence in 2014 and by Who's Who of Australian Women in 2017.

Jan Edwards

Jan Edwards believes everyone has the power to make a difference, ‘If you have a dream, pursue it with an unwavering belief that there is always a way.’ Of this, Jan is living proof. She has built a successful career in finance, manufacturing and consulting in Australia and abroad. She has held a number of board positions along the way. And add to that a string of post-nominals to her name such as Master of Business Administration, an honours degree in Psychology and Statistics and chartered accountant.

Jan combined her love of business and community when she moved to the Southern Highlands in 1995 to take the role of CEO at the local credit union, then BDCU Limited. She transformed it into the social enterprise it is today and, now as BDCU Alliance Bank, it reinvests its profits into local initiatives to improve the social and economic wellbeing of the community.

Outside of her CEO role, Jan finds time to contribute to her community as Chairman of the Wingecarribee Shire Council Risk and Audit Committee and as Director at Habison Care Retirement Village. She has also lent her expertise in positions at Rotary, the Southern Highlands Botanical Gardens and Oxley College Private School as well as to a number of committees in the finance and banking sector.

Juliet Duffy

Nine years ago, Juliet Duffy started Regional Enviroscience, an occupational and environmental hygiene consultancy, out of her rental-property garage in Dubbo. Today, still the director, Juliet employs, more than 23 local people and provides serious career opportunities for both young and mature-aged workers in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math’s (STEM).

The success of Juliet's organisation has meant significant employment and economic gains for regional NSW. Importantly, it has also made the community safer by improving its access to specialized occupational and environmental hygiene expertise, normally limited to the high end of town metropolitan based consultancies and laboratories.

Juliet holds a Master of Sustainable Management from the University of Sydney and has been managing asbestos, hazardous materials and environmental issues since 1988, when the first national code was implemented.

Seen as an expert, particularly in the field of naturally occurring asbestos, Juliet is a sought-after speaker at industry conferences nationally and internationally and she frequently travels the state educating government organizations, including councils.

She takes her role as a leader in STEM seriously by mentoring young women and in her current voluntary board positions with Western Research Institute, and in the past with Regional Development Australia (Orana) and the Orana Arts.

Vicki Wilson

Described as a trailblazing rural businesswoman and tireless community supporter, Vicki Wilson is a ‘living legend’, mentor and leader in her community.

With a distinguished career in business and commerce, Vicki has forged a path for women in rural merchandising and entrepreneurship. She began her career in David Jones, Sydney, and moved on to work for Australian Mercantile Land & Finance and Elders livestock company. In 1992 she established her own successful business, Town and Country Rural Supplies, still running today in Bathurst.

Vicki says she formed strong views on social justice early in life and she has been passionate about community engagement ever since. For the past 24 years she has contributed to innumerable local organisations such as Rotaract, Quota, the Bathurst Women’s Network, The Scots School Highland Gathering and Rockley Rodeo Committee. With a passion mentoring and empowering young people, Vicki has taken on coordinating the Young Rural Achiever program, the Showgirl Competition at the Royal Bathurst Show.

Widely recognised for her achievements, Vicki has received Honorary Life memberships of The Scots School and of the Bathurst Agricultural Horticultural & Pastoral Association. In 2015 Vicki was named one of the 200 living legends of Bathurst and is she this year’s Bathurst Citizen of the year.