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Byron Shire
March 8, 2021

These wonder women are worthy of awards

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Each year Tweed Shire Women’s Service awards outstanding women in our Tweed community: women who work tirelessly and often unnoticed supporting, guiding and promoting a safer more equitable society.

This year’s awards were held yesterday, International Women’s Day, at Kingscliff Beach Bowls Club.

This year’s Woman of the Year award deservedly went to Julie West (pictured), the founder of the Tweed Heads Women in Business, which supports, mentors, and provides opportunities to more than 50 local business women. A practising accountant, Julie also manages to find time to be active in number of local organisations, including On-Track Community Projects, Seagulls Charity Ball, Kids in Need Annual Dragon Boat event, was the 2011 team captain for the Rio Tinto Ride to Conquer Cancer and is an active support member of the Bali Orphans.

In nominating Julie for the award, Leone Crayden said, ‘Julie was inspirational in motivating a group of girlfriends who have an annual get-together to collect numerous small gifts of clothing, footwear, and useful school stationery, and to visit an orphanage in Bali to deliver these items. One of these ladies stated, “even on holidays Julie is thinking of not only the local community but the community she is visiting”. Julie has a strong sense of social justice.’

Other award winners are:

Community Supporters & Volunteers – Ann Anderson; for her role as volunteer and treasurer with the Murwillumbah Evening View Club and Murwillumbah District Hospital.

Aged Care – Doreen Welsh formed the Twin Towns Friends in 1997. The focus of the association is to assist and connect over-65-year-olds in our community. Doreen continues to support more than 200 clients.

Youth & Children – Ellen Oldfield; in 2004 at the age of 64, when most people are thinking of retiring, Ellen joined the Department of Community Services, where she has supported, guided, advocated and significantly contributed to the safety and wellbeing of children in our community.

Emergency – Theresa Zambelli teaches first aid throughout the far north coast is a member of the Rural Fire Service brigade and is the volunteer treasurer for the Burringbar Rural Fire Service. Theresa drives the trucks, attends the fires and promotes ‘fire wise’ in the local high schools.

Arts & Music – Carolyn Rifello is currently the chairperson of Caldera Art. She is a founding member of Tweed CAN (Climate Action Now) and is involved in Northern Rivers Guardians, Tweed Valley Wildlife Carers and Red Cross. Carolyn has been involved in sustainability and bush regeneration projects throughout the area.

Indigenous and Culture – Bec Couch has been the driving force in her role as Aboriginal liaison officer with the Tweed police, in bringing a huge range of education, support and development programs to the Tweed for women, men and young people.


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