UWS announces 'Women of the West' award winners

Date: 16/03/2009

At a special ceremony to mark International Women's Day, the University of Western Sydney celebrated the many achievements of women by announcing the winners of its 'Women of the West' and 'Young Women of the West' awards.

On Friday March 13, 2009, UWS Vice-Chancellor Professor Janice Reid paid tribute to all of the nominees and announced Jan Nicoll of Macquarie Fields and Samah Hadid of Greenacre as the winners of these prestigious awards.

"Each year, the University is inspired by the stories of so many women who come from all walks of life yet share a deep passion for the causes they believe in and a selfless desire to make a difference," says Professor Reid.

"The two remarkable women who have been selected as the 'Woman of the West' and 'Young Woman of the West' share a commitment to bettering the lives of young people from Greater Western Sydney."

Jan Nicoll was nominated for the Women of the West Award by The Honourable Chris Hayes MP, Federal Member for Werriwa. Ms Nicoll was acknowledged for her tireless contributions to the local community and passionate advocacy for young people and families in the Campbelltown region.

A resident of Macquarie Fields for more than 20 years, Ms Nicoll is deeply committed to the wellbeing of the youth in the region. As a youth worker at Allawah House in Minto since 1996, she has provided support and assistance for countless young women who were at risk of homelessness.

In his nomination, Mr Hayes refers to Ms Nicoll as a "giving and loving human being who, with her spirit and commitment, has touched the lives of so many people and has given the young people of South West Sydney the opportunity of a real future."

Samah Hadid, a resident of Greenacre, was nominated for the Young Women of the West Award for her commitment to championing the issues and concerns of young people, particularly from culturally and religiously diverse backgrounds.

Ms Hadid is also the co-editor of 'Reflections Magazine,' which aims to provide a wider understanding of the different cultures, religions and viewpoints which exist in Australia, in the hope that this will eventually lead to greater tolerance and acceptance of diversity.

As a member of the Bankstown Youth Advisory Committee, Ms Hadid co-chaired and organised the Youth of Western Sydney Conference in 2007 and was selected to attend the Prime Ministers 2020 Summit.

The announcements were made by UWS Vice-Chancellor Professor Janice Reid at a special ceremony at the UWS Parramatta Campus.

On the day, Rosemary Kariuki of Macquarie Fields received the Highly Commended award for her work as a leader among African women in NSW. Joyce Bellchambers of Cranebrook and Barbara Curtin of Auburn also received Commended awards.

Note to Editors: High resolution pictures of the event are available upon request.



Media Officer

Danielle Roddick
02 9678 7086, 0414 308 701