Ten local women have been recognised by state and federal MPs at International Women’s Day events in Penrith.
Lindsay MP Emma Husar hosted the inaugural Women of Lindsay Awards Breakfast attended by more than 100 people at the Sydney International Regatta Centre on March 7.
Nine local women were honoured with awards at the event, which also formed the backdrop for the launch of a new community campaign to build a second women’s shelter within the federal seat.
Penrith MP Stuart Ayres joined with the Penrith CBD Corporation to host an IWD breakfast at Penrith RSL Club on the same day, using the event to announce Penrith’s Woman of the Year for 2017, Linda Kent.
The event featured a special guest panel of three defence force members, who described their experiences as serving women.
Woman of the Year for Lindsay was motivational speaker and mum-of-two Laura Watson, while the Community Service Award went to anti-domestic violence campaigner Angela Hadchiti. Businesswoman of the Year was Mooney Real Estate co-owner Peggy Wilcox, while Educator Awards went to Venetia Lovett, Tracey Currie, Katherine Hadley, and Shannon Matthews.
Senior Woman of the Year went to Jan Hartley, with primary school student Brooke Jones named Junior Woman of the Year.
Ms Husar is leading the charge to raise and initial $25,000 from the community for a second women’s shelter in Lindsay, which will be supported by not-for-profit organisation Women’s Community Shelters (WCS).
WCS has pledged to match the initial $25,000 through its corporate and philanthropic sponsors, and then provide two-thirds of the recurrent operating funding for the first two years, and 50 per cent thereafter.
A total of 56 women and 95 children in the community were turned away from crisis accommodation in just one month in the local area due to a shortage of beds after fleeing violence in their homes, Ms Husar said.