The Australian Centre for Leadership for Women (CLW) has selected seven women in its third round of Leadership Achievement Awards for Women to acknowledge the immense challenges these women have overcome in appointing themselves as leaders to achieve change for the benefit of others. Achievements spanning specific community and national aims were successfully led by these women who demonstrate the value of pursuing one’s vision, valuing the contributions of others and being committed to achieving the best outcome for the community.
Sarah Elston and Caitlin Grigsby who are in their early twenties and are the founders of the Blue Stockings Association are the Winners of the 2008 Leadership Achievement Awards for Women. Together, they turned around a small scale Blue Stockings university event to a community celebration of women’s achievements within Gippsland to fund and encourage the education of women from diverse backgrounds, particularly students from Monash Gippsland and VCELatrobeValley schools. In 2007 they were successful in raising twelve scholarships and in September of 2007, The Blue Stockings Association was initiated to ensure that the success of the initial event is replicated long into the future.
Juliet Bourke was chosen as the Finalist for the Award for being the driving force behind the Taskforce on Care Costs (TOCC) since its inception in 2003. The Taskforce on Care Costs was a strategic alliance between business and community organisations to investigate the relationship between work and the cost of care and to advocate reforms. As Chair of the TOCC, Juliet’s achievement brought about a profound contribution to the national debate on how to support carers and created a benchmark model for how to synthesize the talents, resources and interests of disparate entities to meet a common need. Between 2003 and 2007 the TOCC published four major research reports on work/care issues and solutions and stimulated the adoption of key work/family election policies.
Women chosen for the Shortlisted category for the Leadership Achievement Awards for Women were:
- Helen Anne Clarke for initiating support for women in drought affected areas of NSW through the “Hand to the Land” and “Renewal for Rural Women” Programmes
- Paula Curotte in founding the “Soufflé Sisters,” a choir for women, singing uplifting music for the community
- Danielle Ecuyer for founding the Women for Change Alliance to create awareness about climate change and sustainability
- Rhonda Obad for founding the Bridge Back to Life Foundation to help children and youth who are at risk.
- Margaret Mary Gurry was awarded the Highly Commended Award for founding and co-ordinating for eleven years the Friday Night School for students of non-English speaking backgrounds.
The Awards were judged by Diann Rodgers-Healey, Founder of CLW and a Panel of independent Judges: Dr Jocelynne Scutt, Dr Shirley Randell AM, Dr Lynette Dumble, Cheryl O’Connor, Moira Rayner, Dr Sarah Maddison and Geraldine Robertson.
ANZ, Australia Post and Avril Henry Ltd were Gold sponsors of the 2008 Award. Profiles of the winners are at www.leadershipforwomen.com.au under Leadership Achievement Award.