Inspirational women nominated for awards

Thirty of the state’s most influential women have been named as finalists in the NSW Women of the Year Awards, shining a spotlight on some of the state’s most inspirational and influential women after a year like no other.

Member for the Dubbo electorate Dugald Saunders said that the awards were a fantastic way of acknowledging the hard work and dedication of #buyfromthebush founder Grace Brennan, regional podcasters Lucy Samuels and Lucy Taylor, and LeaderLife founder Joh Leader, who are each nominated for various gongs.

Buy From The Bush founder Grace Brennan.

“We have some very inspirational women in regional NSW, and in the Dubbo electorate in particular,” Mr Saunders said.

“Grace, Joh and the two Lucys are doing amazing things in their respective fields, and they are all breaking down barriers when it comes to showing what women from the bush are capable of achieving.”

Minister for Women Bronnie Taylor said the tenth anniversary of the awards had seen an increase in nominations, reflecting so many outstanding contributions.

“Women were among the hardest hit by fire, flood, drought and COVID-19, yet so many stepped up and gave their all to benefit their communities,” Mrs Taylor said.

“These finalists are an inspiration to others, each one is leading the charge and showing others what it takes to make a difference and help build a safer and stronger NSW.”

There are seven award categories in the 2021 program, including the new ‘NSW Woman of Excellence’ which highlights women who affected lasting change in her field.

Winners will be announced on 10 March during NSW Women’s Week, at an awards ceremony at Sydney’s International Convention Centre.
Find out more about the Awards and finalists at

Lucy Samuels and Lucy Taylor from Extraordinary Outback Stories.

NSW Aboriginal Woman of the Year Finalists:

  • Dr Cynthia Briggs, Walgett consultant and trainer
  • Helen Duroux, Tenterfield Local Aboriginal Land Council
  • Dixie Link-Gordon, Women’s Legal Service NSW
  • Kristy Masella, Aboriginal Employment Strategy
  • June Riemer, First Peoples Disability Network
  • Dr Lynette Riley, Sydney School of Education and Social Work
  • Dawn Smith, Bourke Aboriginal Legal Service

Aware Super NSW Community Hero Finalists:

  • Donna Ciccia, Endometriosis Australia
  • Chris Cleary, StreetMed Incorporated and StreetPet
  • Johanna Leader, LeaderLife Dubbo
  • Theresa Mitchell, Agape Outreach Incorporated
  • Sharon Robertson, Dilly Drought Drive
  • Jean Vickery, Lions Club of Woolgoolga

NSW Regional Woman of the Year Finalists:

  • Grace Brennan, #BuyFromtheBush
  • Nicole Scholes-Robertson, Rural Kidney Association
  • Lucy Taylor and Lucy Samuels, ExtraOrdinary Outback Stories podcast
  • Christine Welsh, Sapphire Community Projects

NSW Woman of Excellence Finalists:

  • Dr Kerry Chant, NSW Chief Health Officer
  • Alison Covington, Good 360 Australia
  • Erika Gleeson, Autism Swim
  • Amala Groom, Artist
  • Kim-Louise Liddell, Non Destructive Excavations Australia Pty Ltd
  • Kristy Masella, Aboriginal Employment Strategy
  • Amanda Rose, Western Sydney Women

Harvey Norman NSW Young Woman of the Year Finalists:

  • Reburdah Dennis, Walgett Shire Council
  • Emma Finemore, St Paul’s College Walla Walla Livestock Show Team
  • Shelby Lacey, Oak Flats Gymnastics & Acrobatics
  • Darian Lenton, We, Future Leaders
  • Emily Milton Smith, Girl Guides
  • Dr Samantha Wade, Illawarra Health and Medical Research Institute

The One To Watch Award

New category for women aged 7-17. Finalists to be announced soon.

Premier’s Award for NSW Woman of the Year
Selected by the Premier of NSW from the winners of the above categories.

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