2015 SWECO AWARD Application & Information

on Saturday, 12 April 2014. Posted in Sustaining Women's Empowerment in Communities and Organisations

Applications for SWECO Award 2015 are now closed.

All Short-listed candidates will be featured at ACLW in February 2015.

The SWECO Award Ceremony will be held in NSW Parliament House Sydney on 6 March, 3pm to celebrate International Women's Day 2015.


2015 SWECO Application Download

2015 SWECO Information Download


‘Sustaining Women’s Empowerment in Communities and Organisations’  (SWECO) Award

ACLW’s ‘Sustaining Women’s Empowerment in Communities and Organisations’  (SWECO) Award in 2015 aims to honour male and female individuals, groups and organisations who have developed a sustainable initiative to:

i) Empower women in a community or organisation in Australia

ii) Empower Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women in a community or organisation in Australia

iii) Empower women in a community or organisation abroad

Applications will be evaluated in the above 3 Categories by a distinguished Panel of Judges according to the criteria of leadership, sustainability, impact on women’s empowerment, capacity, and measurable and/or non-measurable results.

SWECO 2015 is only for women and men residing in Australia. Self-nominations or nominations by others will be accepted.


Proud Sponsors of 2015 SWECO 






St Vincents logo



Advance Personnel Inc Canberra


M&M Trophy Warehouse



Ki Print Logo


2015 Judging Panel

  • Sue Conde, Co-Chair Sydney Chapter Australian National Committee for UN Women, Former President, United Women Australia

  • Maria Dimopoulos, Managing Director, MyriaD Consultants Pty Ltd

  • Terese Edwards, CEO, National Council of Single Mothers & their Children

  • Susan Ferrier, National Head of People, Performance & Culture, KPMG

  • Tanya Hosch, Deputy Campaign Director, Recognise

  • Katy McDonald, National Director, People and Development, Minter Ellison

  • Padma Raman, Executive Director of the Australian Human Rights Commission

  • Professor Shirley Randell, Gender Equality Specialist

  • Graham West, National Vice President, St Vincent de Paul Society & Consultant

  • Nareen Young, Diversity Advisor to Westpac; Fmr CEO Diversity Council Australia

  • Carrie Leeson, CEO Lifeline Canberra 

Dr Diann Rodgers-Healey will select the applications for the Judges, conduct the interviews and contribute to the decisions regarding final selections. 

The decision of the Judging Panel is final and no further correspondence will be entered into.


2015 SWECO Judges' Bio 



All Winners in each of the categories will be expected to attend the Award ceremony to receive their Award at the SWECO Award Ceremony in NSW Parliament House. Online and off-line publicity of the winners and their initiatives will also ensue.

Winners in each category will be equally recognised and will receive a trophy and official Award Certificate and equal prize money. 

2015 SWECO Awards Presentation

The Awards Ceremony for the SWECO winners will be held as part of ACLW's International Women's Day celebration on Friday 6 March at 3pm in Parliament House, Sydney. The event will be hosted by Minister for Women, the Hon Pru Goward MP. Other Ministers will also be invited to this event. Selected Candidates will be expected to attend the Award ceremony to receive their Award.


Eligibility Criteria for 2015 SWECO 

  • Sex: Female or Male
  • Age: 18 or older
  • Any individual, who works for ACLW, or is a relative of the judges, or works in the organisation of the judges will not be eligible for an award under this program.
  • An individual who has previously won an Award from ACLW will be ineligible. Organisations that have previously won an Award from ACLW are also ineligible.
  • Only one application per individual, group or organisation will be accepted. 


SWECO Judging Criteria

SWECO Applications in both categories of Community and Organisations are evaluated by the Judges according to the following criteria:

  • Leadership: the applicant should demonstrate their leadership skills employed in effectively developing, implementing and evaluating an initiative for achieving and sustaining empowerment of women in a community or organisation.
  • Sustainability: the applicant must describe how the initiative has sustained empowerment for women within the community or organisation, how it will continue in the future and expected outcomes.
  • Impact on women’s empowerment: the applicant should clearly articulate the specific intended effect on women in terms oftheir economic and social empowerment as well as the actual impact the initiative has on women.
  • Capacity: the applicant should demonstrate their capacity to collaborate with others to seek and utilise assistance and expertise to develop and implement their initiative.
  • Measurable and/or Non-Measurable results:  the applicant should provide either quantitative evidence (eg statistics) to show progress toward the stated goal or qualitative evidence such as the milestones reached toward their stated goals.


Winners of SWECO

SWECO’s winners represent women and men from different sectors who were commended for their leadership, determination and collaboration in establishing significant initiatives for women in the community and in the workplace. Below is a list of the winners:

 2014 SWECO Winners

  • Women’s Health Goulburn North East (WHGNE) in Victoria was awarded for developing aNo Interest Loans Scheme (NILS) specifically for disadvantaged women exiting family violence and for assisting financially disadvantaged women since 2009 through mentoring women to regain their financial confidence and capability, and reduce their financial dependence on abusive ex-partners. 
  • Raise Foundation in Sydney was commended for theBump Program for young mums aged between 13 and 23 that brings women together across the generations, challenges stereotypes, empowers with education and inspires girls to be the best women they can be, hence breaking the cycle of social, economic and emotional disadvantage. 
  • Women’s Legal Service (Tasmania) Inc was commended for their Girls Gotta Know, an interactive mobile website app and an Australian first for the delivery of legal information and resources to young women aged 14-24. 
  • The Jewish Taskforce Against Family Violence (JTAFV) in Victoria was awarded for their book WILL MY RABBI BELIEVE ME? Will He Understand? that provides culturally appropriate and sensitive ways for the clergy and professionals to respond to disclosures of family violence, abuse and sexual assault.  
  • Nasiba Akram was commended for sponsoring Afghani refugee women and children in the camps of Pakistan and India and empowering female members of the Australian Afghan community to do the same as well as for strengthening educational opportunities for boys and girls within war torn Afghanistan. 

2013 SWECO Winners

  • The National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples (Congress) was 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.
  • Julie Verner Mackay was commended for her self-leadership, and for designing and developing a program in response to stakeholders needs. Her motivation to give women the opportunity to access a leadership development program that focuses on self-leadership and enables women to recognise their capacity to lead using their innate strengths, is exemplary.
  • Sarah Patricia Valentine was commended for her self-appointed leadership and shaping her desire to empower other women personally and professionally in Bellarine, Victoria through the Bellarine Business Women venture.
  • Angela Yin was commended for her self-appointed leadership, commitment and dedication to raising awareness and celebrating the achievements of women through the establishment of Queensland Justices Association International Women’s Day project.

2012 SWECO Winners

  • Kat Armstrong was honoured for her leadership in establishing the Women in Prison Advocacy Network (WIPAN) and its highly valued mentoring program which has an 82% success rate in keeping women out of prison
  • Ludo McFerran was commended for the introduction of domestic violence entitlements to periods of paid leave and other rights in industrial instruments
  • Karen McFadzen was recognised for her initiative to achieve gender diversity at the executive level in Cisco Technical Services Team across Asia Pacific, Japan, and Greater China
  • Yolanda Vega for establishing the Australian Women Chamber of Commerce and Industry (AWCCI)
  • The Transport and Logistics Workforce Advisory Group (TLWAG-Q) & the Transform Team in the Department of Transport and Main Roads Queensland were recognised for the Women Take the Wheel Project to encourage women to pursue a career in the Transport and Supply Chain industry


SWECO 2014 Award information & ceremony


Support for SWECO

This Award has received Statements of support from the following distinguished individuals upon its commencement in 2011.

  • Her Excellency Ms Quentin Bryce AC, Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia
  • The Hon Gareth Ward MP, Member for Kiama, Deputy Government Whip
  • The Hon Shelley Hancock MP, Speaker of the Legislative Assembly
  • The Hon Karen Struthers MP, Minister for Community Services and Housing and Minister for Women, Queensland Government
  • The Hon Pru Goward MP, Minister for Family and Community Services and Minister for Women, New South Wales Government
  • The Hon Victor Dominello MP, Minister for Citizenship and Communities and Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, New South Wales Government
  • The Hon Gail Gago MLC, Minister for Regional Development, Public Sector Management, Consumer Affairs, Government Enterprises, Gambling and Minister for the Status of Women, South Australian Government
  • The Hon Joy Burch MLA, ACT Minister for Women, community services, Arts, Multicultural Affairs, Ageing, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs



Australian men and women are invited to submit a SWECO Application to describe initiatives for economic and social empowerment of women in Australian communities and organisations. Self-nominations and nominations by others are accepted. The Application will require the nominee to address the questions in the application.

Applications will be open for this Award on 1 September 2014 and will close on 29 November 2014 at 5pm. Late entries will not be considered. Judging takes place from 2 January - 8 February 2015 with the winners awarded close to International Women's Day, 8 March 2015.

Applicants are asked to provide information on what they have implemented in Australia and why, how the change is sustainable, and evidence to indicate its impact on women in either an Australian community or in an organisation. 

2015 SWECO Applicaiton Download

2015 SWECO Information Download

More information about SWECO