IT was a day to celebrate Hastings women who are making a difference and Wauchope business woman Tanya Simmons is leading the way.
Tanya was named the winner of the 2017 Hastings Heroine Awards at the Hastings Business Women’s Network breakfast on March 8.
The event celebrated International Women’s Day and was headlined by guest speaker Rosie Batty.
More than $15,000 is expected to be raised for the Port Macquarie-Hastings Domestic and Family Violence Specialist Service.
In accepting her award, Tanya took the opportunity to thank the women in her life who have shown support and celebrated her achievements.
“If it wasn’t for the Hastings Business Women’s Network I wouldn’t be where I am,” Ms Simmons said.
“So many women have got my back. I am so fortunate I have never been touched by domestic violence but I have had the opportunity to put my arms around a few women who have and I will continue to do that for the rest of my life.”
The inaugural Young Heroine award was won by St Columba Anglican College student Caitlyn Howard.
Caitlyn aspires to make a difference not just locally and globally. She is an active member and now vice president of the Youth Advisory Council; a volunteer for Ironman for the last four years and also a volunteer for ZONTA where she assisted with packaging of health and sanitary items for women who has just given birth.
She is also a stand-out participant each year at the Luminosity Youth Summit and is considered by her peers a young woman with a bright future ahead.
Stephanie Clark was also nominated as a Young Heroine.
The 2017 Hastings Heroine Awards nominees were:
Lisa McLeod (highly commended)
Lisa is a strong leader. As the president of the Pappinbarra Progress Association she is constantly drawing people together to create a better community for the Pappinbarra valley.
Her efforts in leading the PPA show her as a diplomat of the highest order - dealing with strong personalities and bringing them together for a better focus on the greater good.
As well as this, Lisa regularly advocates for mental health awareness in the region.
Rihannon Mathieson (runner-up)
Through her creation of Girl Space Port Macquarie, Ren has built a safe environment for young women to come and feel comfortable in expressing who they are and where they aspire to go in life.
Ren is a true inspiration to every young girl that walks through the door. Her fun, interactive workshops not only provide fun education for the girls but also provide an outlet for many women to share what they are passionate about.
Susan is described by her staff as compassionate, caring and proactive, treating them like her own family.
Susan leads three divisions of MBC Recruitment and strongly advocates for working with all members of our community, especially for the elderly and for children both through her business and in her personal life. Susan is an advocate for indigenous Australians and is passionate about closing the gap.
Susan supports and sponsors a number of charities including (but not limited to) Bravehearts, Alzheimers Australia, Foster Children’s Christmas party, Hopeshop, REAP, Luminosity, Hastings Women’s Refuge, If We All Had Wings and other local fundraisers and charities.
Tanya is a selfless lady who is always there to assist the community with whatever is needed. She is one of the first to donate to community groups with product, time, money and any other way that she can assist.
She is a great advocate for getting youth in the area working and speaking with those who need advice.
Tanya is not only a wonderful business woman and true advocate for Wauchope and the Mid North Coast area but also a fantastic mentor to others in the community always willing to help others succeed. A true quiet achiever and wonderful community member.
Sandy is a strong community-minded women who is always willing to support a charity, not-for-profit organisation or a community event .
Sandy supported the refurbishment of the new Marine Rescue radio base at Town Beach. Sandy proudly supports local organisations such as Marine Rescue, Koala Hospital, Saving Place, Landcare and RSL and helps to spread their message to the wider community.
Sandy leads and empowers others by volunteering her time and being a guest speak for Youth of the Year.
Kayla is a mum of three, soon to be four, young children aged 4, 3 and 1, and is a step parent.
Throughout motherhood, Kayla studied at Sydney University completing her degree in 2016 with a Bachelor in Education, Aboriginal Studies as her major.
Kayla is a positive role model who empowers other young mums and indigenous youth to strive to reach their goals.
Kayla’s roles at the Department of Human Services and now Camden Haven High School see her display her passion to empower youth through education.
As a lifeline counsellor, Bianca balances her time between her role and being a mother to three school-aged children.
She can be found babysitting, offering lifts, helping people in their homes and going out of her way to aid someone in need.
These small but meaningful tasks make Bianca a supportive powerhouse.
Alison Neale (highly commended)
Alison has dedicated the last 16 years of her life to helping families, youth and the homeless. She has also volunteered her time supporting the local community to help make the Hastings a better place to live.
This has included various paid and voluntary roles including 13 years as a Tenant Advocate; six years as facilitator of the Hastings-Macleay Traffic Offenders Program; a committee member and organiser of the Youth Homelessness Matters Day; a committee member of Tacking Point Surf Club JAC (Nippers) and committee member and assistant coach of the Thunder Hockey Club.
Melinda is the only private lactation consultant in our community.
Melinda connects families at Werin Aboriginal Medical Centre to services and each other, empowers mums to fight adversity and provides holistic health care.
Her focus is family health and wellness for mothers and babies.