Monday, June 24, 2024

Meet the NSW Regional Woman of the Year

The NSW Regional Woman of the Year 2024 was awarded to Theresa Mitchell this morning at a ceremony held at the International Convention Centre in Sydney.

The award recognises the accomplishments of an exceptional woman living in regional NSW who inspires and advances their community, and contributes to the fabric of their local area.

Theresa Mitchell (pictured, main photo) founded Agape Outreach Inc in 2009, a charity that focuses on assisting the homeless and those in need. Operating between Byron Bay in NSW and Runaway Bay on the Gold Coast in QLD, Agape’s activities include:

  • Collecting rescued foods;
  • Preparing meals and food hampers for families;
  • Providing case management support;
  • Offering assistance with applications for people applying for disability insurance services;
  • Running a psychology department;
  • Offering access to showers and laundry facilities;
  • Conducting group training for basic life skills.

With a dedicated team of over 240 volunteers and just five paid staff members, the entirely community-funded organisation serves more than 1,000 people and rescues more than two tonnes of edible food per week.

“Congratulations to Theresa who is our 2024 NSW Regional Woman of the Year. Your contribution to regional NSW is greatly appreciated by your community and you’re an inspiration to others,” said Minister for Women, Jodie Harrison.

“This award is the NSW Government’s way of showcasing the valuable work that regional and rural women do. Whether it is in charitable work, community outreach or challenging gender inequality – you are what make regional NSW the heartbeat of our state.

“The NSW Women of the Year Awards recognise the accomplishments of truly exceptional women and I look forward to following their journeys.”

A further four outstanding women from Regional NSW were nominated for the award today.

Tsukasa Hiraoka (above), the founder of Wilba the Empowerbus, a new transport service in Dubbo and Bourke that’s creating employment opportunities and empowering communities. Tsukasa’s vision is to address transport disadvantage in regional and rural NSW by providing affordable, reliable, efficient and environmentally friendly solutions to existing gaps in public transportation, and helping residents access essential services.

Dr Skye Charry.

Dr Skye Charry, who has practices, researched and consulted on sex discrimination law in rural contexts for almost 20 years. Skype co-founded S.A.C. Consulting Australia which provides bespoke gender equity programs to government, industry and the education sector in the bush and beyond.

Nicole Kiss OAM, founder of a not-for-profit auspice providing hospitals with burial clothing for babies. Her organisation now supplies more than 200 hospitals across Australia.

Nicole Kiss OAM.

Rochelle Olsen, founder of The Baby Loss Mentor, her mission is to create informed, safe and understanding communities that recognise and address the unique challenges encountered when someone navigates life after baby loss.

Nicole Kiss OAM.

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