7 incredible local women have been honoured in the 2024 Women in Community Life Awards

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7 incredible local women have been honoured in the 2024 Women in Community Life Awards

Credit: City of Greater Geelong
Words by Staff Writer

International Women’s Day was celebrated last week with Women in Community Life Awards.

In a resounding tribute to the exceptional contributions and leadership roles of women within the community, The City, in collaboration with the Women in Community Life Advisory Committee (WiCLAC), marked International Women’s Day by bestowing the prestigious Women in Community Life Awards for 2024.

The ceremony, held on Monday, 11th March 2024, celebrated 29 outstanding women across seven categories: First Nations Woman, Climate Action, Disability Rights, Economic Empowerment, Education, Human Rights, and Leadership in Women’s Health.

Stay up to date with what’s happening in and around the region here.

Since its inception in 2016, the annual awards have served as a platform to recognise and applaud the invaluable efforts of women in the Greater Geelong region, particularly their roles in advancing gender equality and community development.

The theme for International Women’s Day 2024, ‘Count Her In: Accelerating gender equality through economic empowerment,’ set by UN Women, resonated deeply with the spirit of the event.

Mayor Trent Sullivan expressed his admiration for the honourees, stating, “These awards offer deserved acknowledgment to numerous women in Greater Geelong who have devoted themselves to enhancing our community. We’ve been inspired by the stories of all our nominees — women who have demonstrated exceptional commitment in their professional and volunteer endeavours, enriching Geelong and improving the lives of its residents.”

Among the recipients of the 2024 Women in Community Life Awards are:

    • Nikki StanleyFirst Nations Woman
      Nikki’s deep commitment to preserving and sharing the rich traditions of the Wadawurrung people has made her a cornerstone of cultural education and awareness in the region. Her dedication to fostering a sense of belonging for all community members has broken down barriers and built bridges between different cultural backgrounds.
    • Yvonne ParkerClimate Action
      Yvonne is a climate activist and volunteer with Geelong Sustainability, setting an example for women and girls by demonstrating that age is not a barrier to striving for one’s dreams and advocating for environmental causes. Her activism, including beach clean-ups, inspires others to take action for a sustainable future.
    • Lee FoxDisability Rights
      Lee’s journey from being on the disability support pension to leading a team of mental health professionals exemplifies breaking through societal expectations and stereotypes. By openly discussing her journey, Lee serves as a role model for women and girls facing similar challenges, demonstrating that professional success and personal growth are achievable regardless of obstacles.
    • Bridie CoughlinEconomic Empowerment
      As a leader in re-establishing the live music scene in Geelong, Bridie has significantly impacted the economic landscape, particularly in the music industry, during the challenging times of the COVID-19 pandemic. Her professional leadership and unique style inspire others, especially musicians, to embrace their individuality and pursue their passions.
    • Kathryn Aston-MourneyEducation
      Kathryn, a scientist and musician, passionately trains the next generation of women in STEM fields and promotes community music involvement. Her visibility challenges stereotypes, encouraging young women to pursue STEM careers and providing opportunities for women scientists to showcase their work.
    • Renée La PeyreHuman Rights
      Renée has significantly advanced participation, representation, and leadership for women and girls in the Greater Geelong community through her pioneering efforts in the disability sector. Her advocacy and business initiatives challenge stereotypes and promote inclusivity, ensuring everyone has access to safe and enjoyable experiences.
    • Karen ToddLeadership in Women’s Health
      Karen’s advocacy for protecting women and children from family violence has led to a significant shift in how health professionals and services respond to victims of family violence in the Greater Geelong region. Her dedication has resulted in tangible improvements in the healthcare system, ensuring that victims receive the support and care they need.

As the community continues to celebrate the achievements of women, the Women in Community Life Awards stand as a testament to the indomitable spirit and unwavering commitment of women in driving progress and fostering inclusivity within Greater Geelong.

For more information on the awardees and the Women in Community Life Awards, head here.