Letters of Thanks from ACLW Award Winners

on Tuesday, 22 May 2012. Posted in Sustaining Women's Empowerment in Communities and Organisations, Leadership Achievement Award for Women (LAAW), About, Advancement of Women in the Workplace Award (AWWA), Recognition - Flagship Awards Program

Letters of Thanks from ACLW Award Winners


Carol Hanlon - WINNER OF CATEGORY: Empowering Women in a Community or Organisation in Australia 

Thank you speech by Carol Hanlon on receiving the Award:
"It is a great honour to be recognised in the prestigious ‘Sustaining Women’s Empowerment in Communities and Organisations Award 2015’ for the BPW Business Incubator Project which has assisted 780 women ‘online’ to improve business growth and development since 2013 across 5 countries.

My apologies for not attending today, our non-profit organisations Belmont BEC and TCF Australia (TCFWA) were invited to present a Forum during the United Nations Commission Status Women 59 NGO Parallel events in New York March 10th.  Our Forum, titled ‘Empowering Women in Business through Online Training & Mentoring’ showcases the BPW Business Incubator Project to an international audience and our TCF Global Village Sewing Projects and opportunities for designers and creative artisans.

With establishing 20years ago, Belmont BEC Inc. & TCF WA Inc. we have assisted over 16,000 small business women or intenders across Australia during this time.

I am very passionate about developing projects to assist the enterprise development of women in small business across Australia, in particular creative women and those from developing countries.  BPW Business Incubator Online Training & Mentoring Project provides the perfect solution for time poor women in micro or home based business to access quality business skill training, discuss business issues with a qualified business mentor online.

During 2014, our BPW Business Incubator Online project was adopted as an APEC Pilot project providing online small business support to women across five economies of Chinese Taipei, Republic of Korea, The Philippines, Chile and Australia.

My goal is to further expand this valuable project across Australia and globally through attracting ongoing sponsorships for scholarships for women who are eager to receive business mentoring and skill development.  Recently a NSW small business woman sponsored 10 online training scholarships with us for women in Madagascar.  Requests for support arrive from many countries such as Pakistan, South Africa, Mozambique, Fiji, Palestine, Philippines, Kuwait, Bangladesh, Nepal, India, Madagascar, Afghanistan and PNG to name just a few countries and we will be pleased to hear from anyone who would like to be involved to assist us provide further scholarships.

I would like to congratulate The Australian Centre for Leadership for Women, Founder and CEO, Dr Diann Rodgers-Healey for her efforts, time and commitment to run the annual SWECO Awards to showcase women from across Australia. My thanks also extend to the esteemed judging panel for their valued time and deliberations. 

Finally to all the fantastic Finalists & Winners’ today congratulations on sharing your skills and talents to advance Women’s Empowerment projects in Australia and around the globe."


Maternity Choices Australia: WINNER OF CATEGORY: Empowering Women in a Community or Organisation in Australia 

Thank you speech by Maternity Choices Australia's President Leah Hardiman and Consumer Representative, Belinda Barnett on receiving the Award:

"Thank you for this award. When we read the profiles of all the Finalists, we were in awe of their achievements. We thank the Award Sponsors and Judging Panel and especially appreciate Dr Diann Rodgers-Healy at the Australian Centre for Leadership for Women for establishing these awards to recognise and promote the achievements of individuals and organisations.

MCA members share a common goal, that women should be treated with dignity and respect during what is, for many of us, one of the most significant transitions in our lives, giving birth and becoming a mother. The former Federal Government recognised that maternity services reform was required to better support Australian women and families during this transition and in 2010 established the National Maternity Services Plan with endorsement from all the State and Territory Governments.

Now, almost 5 years later, the Plan is in its final year. Unfortunately, despite the efforts of many dedicated volunteers around Australia, many of the benefits that were envisioned for Australian women and families have not yet been realised.

In Queensland, we have been fortunate to have the support of the former Health Minister, Lawrence Springborg. Former Minister Springborg’s leadership, combined with MCA’s persistence and our relationships with other influential stakeholders, has been pivotal in enabling some of these reforms to be implemented in Queensland. This includes the credentialing of Medicare-eligible midwives at eight Queensland public hospitals so that more women can access continuity of carer with a known midwife. No other State or Territory Government has yet implemented this reform, although the new Victorian Government gave an election commitment to do so and we understand that other State Governments are close to achieving this commitment. 

Looking ahead, we are excited by the election of a female Queensland Premier and Deputy Premier and the appointment of a more diverse Cabinet. MCA hopes to work with the new Queensland Health Minster to continue progressing maternity services reform in Queensland and we welcome the opportunity to work with other State and Territory Health Ministers.

We are also hopeful that with the Federal Government’s renewed focus on supporting families in 2015, that it commits to evaluating the implementation of the National Maternity Services Plan and leads the development of a new Plan with participation from organisations such as MCA. We hope that this ensures that the commitments made by the States, Territories and Federal Government to improve women’s access to respectful, woman-centred maternity care are met and that Australian women and families access better support during this significant life transition."


Antoinette Braybrook - WINNER OF CATEGORY: Empowering Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Women in a Community or Organisation in Australia 

Thank you speech by Antoinette Braybrook on receiving the Award:

"I would like to acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land we are gathering on today, and pay my respect to their elders past and present. Thank you to the Australian Centre for Leadership for Women for establishing the Sustaining Women’s Empowerment in Communities and Organisations Award and for highlighting the importance of recognising and celebrating the empowerment of women.

I would like to acknowledge all of the other finalists. 

Thank you to the distinguished panel of judges for selecting me for this Award.   I am truly honoured to be receiving this here today. I have to thank Nadu Dove for nominating me, my many other colleagues and supporters, and my mum.

I have been the CEO of FVPLS Victoria since 2002. We provide legal assistance to Aboriginal victims of family violence and work with communities affected by violence.

Family violence is one of Australia’s biggest social issues, one we pay an enormous financial and human cost for as a society.  

Aboriginal women are 34 times more likely to be hospitalised for a violent assault and 10 times more likely to die as a result of that assault

Nationally, our specialist family violence legal services have had to divert enormous amounts of effort and energy into actively surviving the impacts of funding cuts, departmental shifts of responsibility and the Indigenous Advancement Strategy.

We have highlighted the devastating impacts of funding uncertainty and withdrawal on the communities - most particularly the Aboriginal women - who use, trust and need our services.

In Victoria in the last year our service worked with more than 4000 people and with reports of family violence to Victoria police tripling in the last few years, very tragically there is an increasing demand for our unique and culturally safe services.

Today we celebrate a small win with news of the preservation of our funding nationally under the IAS.  There is still much work for us to do. There is no increase in funding as promised and many of our organisations are still limited by short term offers of funding. 

A small but big win for us to at least have some certainty beyond 30 June.  We have just bought a little extra time to keep our strong calls for a long term commitment through the reinstatement of our national program

Thank you again for this recognition and for the acknowledgement of the important work that we do."   


Australian Indigenous Leadership Centre (AILC) - WINNER OF CATEGORY: Empowering Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Women in a Community or Organisation in Australia 

Thank you speech by Rachelle Towart, CEO of the Australian Indigenous Leadership Centre (AILC) on receiving the Award 

"Ladies and gentlemen, I’d like to acknowledge and show my respect for the traditional custodians of this land, the Gadigal of the Eora Nation and of the elders past and present. I would also like to acknowledge The Hon Catherine Cusack MP and Senator Claire Moore.

It’s an absolute honour to be standing here today receiving this award in the presence of such an elite group of people. To the winners of the other categories, Congratulations.

To be honest I didn’t think that we even had a look in at receiving an award after I looked at our competition, so congratulations to all the other finalist and thank for being such stiff competition it gives the AILC reason to work harder.

The Governing Girls Master Class series,was developed in partnership with Ernst & Young (EY). It is Australia’s first professional development series tailored for Indigenous women who have completed leadership or governance qualifications.

The Master Classes provided advanced, practical development opportunities for women providing the skills and networks to progress their leadership journey.

The three Master Classes, held in Sydney Canberra and Perth established a new, practical and interactive form of professional development for Indigenous women who are already taking on leadership roles.

The success of these workshops means that the AILC will be running future workshops to support women in these positions.

I would like to thank Ernst and Young for believing in the AILC and coming on board as a partner, thank you to the Australian Centre for Leadership for Women for giving us the opportunity to be recognised for the work we are doing.

The Leadership Centre is going through some major development changes, our core business is changing to suit the needs of our market. We used to be about just providing Leadership training for Indigenous people.

Now we are working in partnership with other organisations to help them see what having Indigenous people in your workplace and understanding Indigenous culture can do for your employees and the culture of your organisation.

So if anyone is interested in a partnership I am happy to have a chat.

On that note I would like to leave you with a quote that came from the students from our Hobart course in 2014.

Inspire others to follow their dreams, be a positive influence, never say never and aspire to believe in yourself."


Tracey Sawyer - WINNER OF CATEGORY: Empowering Women in a Community or Organisation Overseas 

Thank you speech by Tracey Sawyer on receiving the Award:

Richard McKeon acceped this Award on Tracey’s behalf. Richard is a member of TESTIGO the organisation which Tracey founded in Tanzania.

"Thank you so very much for this award, acknowledging the wonderful work of Testigo Africa in empowering women. Thank you to Diann and the sponsors and judges of the SWECO award. I'm sorry I can't be with you in person - I'm in the heart of Masai land in Tanzania, working with Testigo's Masai team as they train a new village of women.

I established Testigo Africa five years ago because of one woman, Namnyak Olemarle, a Masai in Tanzania.  We've been best friends for 10 years, and I'm in awe of her strength, resilience, integrity and loyalty. In 2009 I spent five months living in Namnyak's mud hut, observing first-hand the hard life of the Masai women. I witnessed the worst recorded drought in Masai history, resulting in the communities losing over 90% of their livestock from malnutrition. In adapting to their new environment, the Masai were forced to change their diet from self-sufficient traditional meat and milk products, to predominantly vegetarian food which needed to be purchased.

Our permaculture initiative was born here – we create first-time farmers by empowering women to grow and sell their own food, harvest rainwater and breed chickens. For most of the women in the communities we serve, this is the first time they have had control over their own lives and family. Permaculture offers women a means to support their family, without relying on their husbands to provide money or meat. We are witnessing unprecedented changes in both the quality of life for these women and their ambitions for the future – the sense of achievement this gives me cannot be described.

I've had a successful corporate career and understand traditional views of leadership. But this definition is often too narrow; I believe that leadership is practical, it is about inspiring others to stand tall in their full power and potential, so they too become leaders and an inspiration to others. Leadership comes from the heart, not the mind or ego. Although we can appeal to the intellect of others, igniting passion comes from an emotional connection and recognition.

I'm in awe of the wonderful Masai women we're empowering. I'm in awe of our trainers, who often without a primary school education, show greater leadership than many CEOs.  I've watched as daughters learn from their Testigo trained mothers how to be independent and generate income.

I'd like to acknowledge the incredible support I’ve received from all those around me; my passion for indigenous communities and women to become self-sufficient and escape extreme poverty has only been possible because of you."



Matthias Tomczak - WINNER OF CATEGORY: Empowering Women in a Community or Organisation Overseas 

Thank you speech by Matthias Tomczak on receiving the Award:

"On behalf of SAWA-Australia (SA) I express my sincerest thanks to Diann Rogers-Healey and the panel of judges to have selected me for this award and to let me introduce the work of SAWA-Australia (SA).

SAWA-Australia, the Support Association for the Women of Afghanistan, works with women's organisations in Afghanistan to assist women and girls to gain their rightful place in society.

When we look at statistics it may appear that Afghanistan has not yet evolved from medieval society: 80% of women are illiterate, 75% of girls enter forced marriages or are married under-age, 18,000 women die during childbirth every year.

40 years ago, however, Afghanistan offered a bright future for women. Women worked as bus drivers, police officers, doctors and lawyers. 40 years of civil war, fundamentalist terror and foreign occupation have robbed the women of Afghanistan of these early achievements.

SAWA-Australia (SA) believes that only secular law based on universal human rights can fully secure women's rights. It therefore supports education that promotes the principle of equality before the law and separates religious instruction from matters of the state.

During its 10 year existence SAWA-Australia has successfully completed several support projects. In 2008 it helped its Afghan partner organisation to establish a Vocational Training Centre in Kabul where over a thousand women have learnt to read and write and gained skills to feed their families. A year ago it gave a clinic in remote Farah province a new ambulance to reduce the deaths that occur due to long distances and lack of transport.

Although much of the success of SAWA-Australia (SA) is the result of my own work, the real leaders are the literacy teachers in Kabul. Let me conclude by quoting from two biographies.

Principal Adela: "As well as being a mother of five children I am a teacher, too, who saw black days in her life, having been beaten several times by the Taliban. I had a literacy center at home, but the classes were underground. One day the Taliban took my 12 year old son to jail. They warned me: 'If we find you with the students again we will put you to death.'"

Literacy teacher Fahima: "I am a mother of nine children who are drifting in a boat on an ocean without an island. I lost my husband in 2003. Since that time I promised to show my children that you have not lost your father, but your mother is playing the role of both mother and father. I am proud to say that I have graduated 500 women and they feel changes in their lives."

These are the women who deserve this reward. Without them I could have achieved nothing. Thank you."


Carole Shaw Finalist of 2015 SWECO 

Thank you Letter




2014 SWECO Organisations Category Gold Winner - Women’s Health Goulburn North East (WHGNE)


Thank you Speech by Karen O'Connor on receiving the Award


2014 SWECO Organisations Category Silver Winner  - Raise Foundation


Thank you Speech by Vick Condon on receiving the Award


2014 SWECO Organisations Category Bronze Winner - Women’s Legal Service (Tasmania) Inc


Thank you speech by Susan Fahey upon receiving the Award


2014 SWECO Community Category Gold Winner - The Jewish Taskforce Against Family Violence (JTAFV)


Thank you speech by Sheiny New upon receiving the Award


2014 SWECO Community Category Silver Winner - Nasiba Akram


Thank you speech by Nasiba Akram upon receiving her Award




Testimonial from 2013 SWECO Winner, National Congress 

The National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples (Congress) is commended for establishing gender equity as a founding principle in its Constitution and for implementing this principle in its management and governance of the Congress.


Testimonial from Angela Yin, 2013 SWECO Winner - Organisations category


Testimonial from Julie Verner Mackay, 2013 SWECO Winner -  Community category 

"I was honoured to be awarded the Gold Award for Sustaining Women's Empowerment in Communities from the Centre for Leadership for Women on International Women’s Day, 2013. 

Awards of this nature provide an opportunity for women to reflect on the contribution that they and many other women make across all areas of society. The award also provides additional motivation, enthusiasm and the determination to achieve both personal and professional goals. 

Organisations such as the ACLW provide a forum for recognition and the process is highly worthwhile.  I want to thank Diann Rodgers-Healey for acknowledging the important role that women play.  I also want to thank the judges for giving their time so freely - they may not realise it, but are empowering women to lead more courageously. 

I was thrilled to receive the award particularly as it validated the leadership work that I have done with women across a variety of settings. I have personally encouraged many women to apply as I know the award will not only acknowledge the work they are doing but will also inspire women to continue to achieve their vision. 

My sincere congratulations to all winners but also to every woman wherever you may be, doing whatever it is that you do, take the time to acknowledge the fantastic contribution you are making. 

Yours sincerely, 

Julie Verner-Mackay"  


Testimonial from Sarah Valentine, SWECO Winner in the Communications Category: 

"In March 2013 I was awarded the Silver Award for Sustaining Women's Empowerment in communities by the Centre for Leadership for women. I own and operate a networking and business development business in a regional area of Victoria and to be awarded a national award was certainly something I did not expect. The process was great, by going through and answering the questions on the application form gave me the opportunity to really stop and see where I am and where I want to go. I then had a great conversation with Diann where we discussed in more detail what I do and more importantly why I do what I do and the results I am getting as well as the difference my business has made in other peoples lives.  

I honestly didn't expect to win. I am from a regional area doing my thing and never expected to be nationally recognised. I was very proud and I believe it also gave my members and clients a different view of themselves – that when we are committed and do what we love we can be rewarded for that – no matter where you live. The local papers gave me great coverage which in turn helped connect with even more women in business to come and be part of a group of like minded women all championing each other to succeed."





Thank you Letter from Radmila Desic, First place Gold Winner of the 2010 Advancement of Women in the Workplace Award from Construction Skills Queensland for her outstanding initiatives to attract, recruit, retain and train women in the construction industry. 


Thank you note from Louise Perram-Fisk who won the Silver 2010 AWWA for her Inspiring Women Series, designed to support women to develop their careers and empower their lives within the Queensland Public sector is now an ongoing program for the Queensland Government.   

"Dear Diann  

It is such a surprise and absolute delight  to receive this wonderful news.  It is such an honour to be counted among such deserving women, all contributing to the advancement of women across Australia.  

I look forward to continuing my contribution to this important issue.  I truly thank CLW and the sponsors for highlighting the work of many women, for many women across Australia. 

Thank you so much.  



Thank you letter from Commander Jennifer Wittwer who won the Bronze 2010 AWWA Award for her Navy Leadership Program in ACLW's 2010 Advancement of Women in the Workplace Award (AWWA)


Thank you note from Acting Senior Sergeant Silwood and Commander Fyfe from Western Australia Police who received the Highly Commended 2010 AWWA Award for establishing the Western Australian Police Executive Committee for Women (ECW) and its Women in Leadership Strategy 

"Commander Michelle Fyfe and I would like to thank the Australian Centre for Leadership for Women (CLW)  for the opportunity to apply for and subsequently receive an Advancement of Women in the Workplace Award. With the ongoing issues that contribute to a lack of women in leadership positions across many industries  it is fabulous to have an arena  at the national level to share information to address gender disparity in senior management.  We are pleased to form a partnership with the CLW and are appreciative of the opportunity to showcase what is being done within WA Police. Once again Commander Fyfe and I are honoured to receive recognition for our efforts and we hope that this will positively contribute to women in other agencies as well as the WA Police. "


Thank you note from Inspector Nada McDonald of New South Wales Police Force who also received the Highly Commended 2010 AWWA Award for supporting and developing women within the Force through implementation of strategies aligned to achieving workplace goals. 

"Thank you for the honour of selecting me as Highly Commended for the 2010 CLW's Advancement of Women in the Workplace Award.  I am enormously proud to be representing the women of NSW Police Force and delighted to share the award with them. I am in awe and inspired by the outstanding efforts of the other award winners. Congratulations to them and my sincere appreciation and thanks to you and your fellow judges."  

Nada McDonald 



Letter from Jill Tomlinson, Winner of the 2009 Leadership Achievement Award

Dr Jillian K Tomlinson
Plastic Surgical Registrar

Mobile: +61 421 701 828
March 29, 2009
PO Box 3132, Victoria Gardens, Richmond 3121
Diann Rodgers-Healey
The Centre for Leadership for Women

Dear Diann,
I am overjoyed and humbled to receive the 2009 CLW Award, an
achievement that has brought my pride to my family and colleagues. Winning
the Award has given me an opportunity to step back and look at what I have
achieved in the last year, reflect on the journey travelled and contemplate
how I can ensure the sustainability of this project and its vision across not
only the Australian Federation of Medical Women but other not for profit
volunteer organisations. The “Bridging Leadership Barriers” project
continues to be a labour of love for me. Receiving the CLW Award has
renewed my enthusiasm and allows me to aspire to even greater heights.
I feel honoured to be among the other recipients, and congratulate them
on their achievements and vision. I hope that every woman listed feels very
proud of what she has achieved.
I wish to thank my mentors from the Victorian Medical Women’s Society
and the Australian Federation of Medical Women. Without their support I
would not have contemplated undertaking an endeavour 1/10th the size of
this, let alone have been able to achieve my vision and beyond.
I wish to thank Diann Rodgers-Healey for creating both the Centre for
Leadership for Women and this Award, the judges for generously donating
their time and the sponsors for their support. There are so many womens’
achievements that pass by without due celebration and recognition. The CLW
Award offers women a wonderful opportunity to celebrate their achievements
and believe in their inherent leadership capabilities and skills.
Yours sincerely,

Dr Jillian Tomlinson
MBBS (Hons), Dip Anat.


Note from Julie Gale, Finalist of the 2009 Award

Thank you so much to Diann Rogers- Healey, Dr Jocelyn Scutt, Dr Shirley Randell, Cheryl O’Connor, Christine Nixon, Dr Lynette Dumble and Karen Buczynski-Lee for your time judging the CLW leadership Achievement awards. I am thrilled and honoured to be chosen as a finalist. This recognition is extremely encouraging in helping me to keep moving forward with the rather large task of raising awareness about the negative impacts of the early sexualisation of children. There are so many women engaged in fantastic projects and making significant contributions to the community, I don’t envy the judging job at all!  My warm congratulation to all the winners. Thank you again Diann, for creating such a great opportunity for women to be recognised in their endeavours. 


Note from Stephanie Taylor, Finalist for the Award

I have received the most wonderful surprise this morning - a letter from CLW announcing that I have been awarded Finalist!  WOW!
I'm genuinely surprised and incredibly thankful - this is great acknowledgment for the L&D Professionals Forum and will motivate me to achieve more.Kind regards,



 Note from Cathy Kezelman, Shortlisted for the 2009 Award


Dear Diann,

            I wanted to write to you today on International Women’s Day to acknowledge the important work you are doing in promoting the leadership achievements of women in our community. The Centre for Leadership for Women provides a much-needed forum in which women can feel empowered and benefit from the shared knowledge, experiences and achievements of other leaders in the community. 

I would particularly like to thank you for the award I have received today. Not only is it a proud moment for me personally but one which helps to acknowledge a topic which has failed to be recognized for far too long. The long-term of legacy of all forms of childhood abuse and neglect and the devastating repercussions of that legacy for individuals, communities and our society is finally being given a voice. The Centre’s recognition of the importance of the issue of adult survivors of child abuse within the Australian community will further help to have that voice heard. 

Thank you to the Australian Centre for Leadership for Women for supporting and honouring women in their leadership roles as they help facilitate real change within the Australian community and a better world for us all. 

Yours sincerely, 

Dr. Cathy Kezelman

(Chairperson ASCA)


Margaret Hardy Short-listed for 2009 Award

Dear Diann

It was with pleasure and surprise that I opened your letter and saw I had been short-listed in the 2009 national CLW Leadership achievement Award for Women. 

I am pleasantly very grateful for the honour granted to me by such distinguished women on the selection panel, who themselves have gained such prominent positions within our society.  I feel humbled and very pleased that I have been afforded opportunities to make a difference within my community, gaining experience not always available to lay women. It proves I think, that if  you believe in and feel strongly about issues and commit yourself to your ideals, anything is possible, especially if you listen and can bring your community along with you.

I thank you for the Certificate, cheque and Honorary Membership of CLW and would be pleased if you would thank the judges for my Award. I also acknowledge the support of ANZ, Australia Post , Avril Henry Pty Ltd and Living New Magazine.

Many thanks Diann for your commitment to recognising women who have taken up the role of voluntary leadership in the hope of achieving goals with their community.

Yours sincerely

Margaret Hardy


Note from Kay Williams nominating Margaret Hardy who was short-listed for the 2009 AwardI sent news of the award for Margaret to our local press and civic authorities in the hope it might get wider local publicity. I am thrilled Margaret’s contribution has been recognised by you nationally.Many thanksKay---------------------------------------------- 
Lynne Schulz short-listed for 2009 Award

Good morning Diann
It was with great pride and delight that I received my award and cheque in the post today. I wish to thank you, your team and your Sponsors for supporting this work, and assisting in raising the profile of a most important cause - multiple birth loss issues.
Your generosity gives people hope! Thank you for that - you have no idea how much it means to smaller organisations.
It is also a great surprise and very humbling to be given Honorary membership with CLW!  
Thank you for being a fine leader and a positive ambassador for all women.
Kind regards
Lynne Schulz
National Twin Loss Support
PO Box 1139
Murray Bridge  SA  5253


Note from Caitlin Grigsby and Sarah Elston, Winners of the 2008 Leadership Award 

"Being the winners of the 2008 CLW Leadership Achievement award has been quite an amazing step forward for both of us. We have had an increase in exposure locally and have had a high amount of community stakeholders express interest in becoming involved in the Association after the CLW award was announced. The 2008 Blue Stockings Inc Scholarships are looking to be increased to $1,200; with many sponsors from last year as well as several new sponsors contributing to the support of women in their pursuits of education. Personally; the receipt of the award has provided the both of us with a rekindled enthusiasm and drive to develop the Blue Stockings Association into a sustainable body that can provide support and guidance to women within the local community in an ongoing capacity. We would like to acknowledge that without the support of our sponsors in 2007 including the birthplace of the project at Monash University Gippsland and MUGSU Inc; our project would not have been as successful as it was. We are both incredibly honoured to be the 2008 winners and commend the other recipients on their efforts in leadership - it is very humbling to be amongst such inspiring women. We would also like to acknowledge the amazing works of the CLW founder Diann Rodgers-Healey, the panel of judges and the contributions and support of CLW's numerous sponsors and key supporters."


Note from Juliet Bourke, Finalist of the 2008 Leadership Award 

"Thank you to CLW and Diann Rodgers-Healey for developing an award which celebrates women’s leadership. In our busy lives, it is lovely to have a moment to reflect on our collective achievements.  It is a particular honour to receive this award now knowing about the wonderful ways in which the other nominees have used their fantastic skills and experiences to create a better Australia.  To me, this award recognizes the work of the Taskforce on Care Costs as a whole, a fantastic group of women and men who have shown an amazing commitment to improving outcomes for working families, and a spirit of quiet generosity and initiative.


Note from Margaret Gurry,  Short-listed for the 2008 Leadership Award: 

"Thank you for advising me that I had been selected as the Highly Commended Applicant for the 2008 CLW Leadership Achievement Award for Women.

It is a great honour to have been selected and one which I share with all those wonderful volunteers who have helped me over the last 12 years at the Friday Night School.

I have donated my prize money to our Friday Night School Scholarship Fund.  You might be interested in the  enclosed brochure and leaflets.  This year Friday Night School is supporting 8 secondary students at a variety of schools and in 2009 the number will be increased to 14 students.

But congratulations must also go to your foresight in initiating the awards and the panel of Judges who have given their time.  Publishing the achievements of a few and the encouragement the winners receive from you will no doubt lead to more women having the courage of their convictions to "make a difference".

My colleagues at Blake Dawson, family and friends were delighted to hear of my Award."


Note from Rhonda Obad, Short-listed for the 2008 Leadership Award 

Dear Diann and Team

I wish to thank one and all for your time in judging the Centre for Leadership for Women Awards for 2008. Assessing the applications and discussing the merits of each would not have been any easy task.  Thank you sincerely for your efforts.

The Achievement Award has provided me, my family and friends with a great amount of pride.  

 My work and commitment to make a positive difference within our community is very tiring work and not always appreciated by everyone which at times is very hard to cope with. It requires a great deal of energy and dedication. 

 The Achievement Award provided me with encouragement that the work I do is recognised as important and is worth the effort.  It is very difficult in raising awareness that we as Australians are all responsible for the wellbeing of our vulnerable children and that working together will make a major difference.    

 I am optimistic that the recognition I received will open many doors which will allow for me the opportunity to strengthen my ties with the community and that as a community we can together make the world a better and safer place for our precious assets our children. 

 Thank you profoundly for this opportunity.  

Warm regards, Rhonda Obad 22 May 2008


Note from Helen Clarke, Short-listed for the 2008 Leadership Award 

"The award means so much to me and to the women who will benefit from the support and the recognition. It means I can continue on a bit longer and bring some cheer and "good News" to these women. They are "Salt of the Earth" women and really ask for nothing. In supporting them I am supporting their families, because in so many cases they are holding the families together. They have given me more than I believe I have given them. The money will be well used to support these women."


Note from Paula Curotte,  Short-listed for the 2008 Leadership Award. 

"Thank you so much for announcing my application as a successful short listed application. 

I am so thrilled, honoured and humbled to be considered worthy to be in such an inspiring cohort.  My congratulations to all the other winners and my sincere thanks to you and your fellow judges in your choice of the Souffle  Sisters. 

I have spread the good news to the choir and they are all very excited."

--------------------------------------------Note from Danielle Ecuyer, Short-listed for the 2008 Leadership Award 

"I would very much like to extend a big thank you to Diann Rodgers-Healy and the Leadership Achievement Award for Women Program.
I believe it is an excellent initiative to recognise the hard work that is conducted by women in communities. Much of this work is done selflessly and goes without recognition in many instances. I know from my own experience that it was really wonderful to have been Short Listed for the 2008 Prize. At the time I commenced my work on Climate Change and Sustainability there was strong resistance and fear in my community, which with the help of the great women supporting me, we managed to overcome some of the fear and fallacies of the science. Although there is still a long way to go into creating a sustainable planet for the children of the world, I have no doubt that the endeavours of WFCA managed to make a difference. Recognition of all our hard work, was wonderful and in many ways where the results are sometimes intangible, it was fabulous to be acknowledged.
Thus I want to congratulate Diann on her excellent leadership for women initiative and extend my congratulations to everyone that either won or partook. We all can make a difference in our communities with a little bit of will and belief that women can change the world."
Danielle Ecuyer



Email Note from Emma Kirkwood, winner of the 2007 Leadership Award

"The CLW Achievement Award has provided me with a great amount of recognition on so many levels.  When one works in a voluntary capacity, as I do, on a cause such as stillbirth which is seen by the community as too sad to address, it can at times be disheartening and requires a great deal of personal motivation.  The CLW Achievement Award provided me with encouragement and consolidated my belief that the stillbirth cause is worth fighting for.  The recognition that I received has also opened many doors to further build community awareness about stillbirth in a much quicker timeframe than I would have been able to achieve and the message has also reached a broader cross-section of people.  In addition, when one works in a salaried position, one receives recognition and feedback about their performance from their employers.  Sadly, in a voluntary position, as much as one does what they do for the love of it, no recognition is forthcoming.  Therefore, to have been awarded the CLW Award, was for me an incredibly humbling and personally valuable form of recognition.  It now provides me with an impetus to continue to work for this incredibly valuable, important cause with the great hope that we can achieve our goal to reduce the incidence of stillbirth in Australia.  I hope to make myself and my role with the Stillbirth Foundation redundant; and if that is achieved the only remainder of my work will be the CLW Achievement Award hanging on my wall next to my degree!  Thank you Diann and your CLW team for all that you do in recognizing individuals, such as me and yourself, who are reaching out to others within our community."


Letter from Emma KirkwoodDear Ms Henry, Dr Scutt, Dr Randell, Dr Dumble, Ms Steinke, Ms O'Connor and Diann,
I wish to formally thank you for your time in judging the CLW Achievement Award nominations for 2007 and for your commitment to the Centre for Leadership for Women.  I am simply delighted and honoured to have been selected as the winner from such a talented and worthy group of women. 
he Centre for Leadership for Women is a fabulous resource for women working on a voluntary basis in the community and I wish I had learned of the organisation earlier. I can only imagine the time that it would have taken each of you in assessing the applications and discussing the merits of each.  Thank you sincerely for your efforts.    
As much as I love what I do, my work with the Stillbirth Foundation is truly thankless, and to receive recognition of my time and dreams is wonderful and has provided me with inspiration that I am on the right path and must continue!   My win has not only delighted me, but also those women who work with the Stillbirth Foundation, so your choice has made many people happy.  We do work in an altruistic manner, with the goal to reduce the incidence of stillbirth.  Those families whose babies we ultimately save, will never know of the work the Stillbirth Foundation has done in saving their babies.  For me and every other stillbirth mother, this win also provides recognition of all our babies who have died and are sadly not with us today.  Thank you kindly for this opportunity.  I hope that now, I in turn, can honour the work of the Centre for Leadership for Women and be an encouragement to all great achievers that we can make the world a better place and a difference can be made in our society by those who believe.  
Kind regards,
Emma Kirkwood (Winner of 2007 CLW Leadership Award)

___________________________________________________________2006 Winner of the Leadership Achievement Award
Dear Diann
 I am very honoured to win the CLW Award.Thank you so very much for all your work and attention.
Best wishes-Helene Gonski (winner of 2006 CLW Leadership Award)