THREE Parramatta women from diverse backgrounds are nominees in the The University of Western Sydney's 2013 Women of the West Awards, which honour women's contributions to the region.
Principal of Our Lady of Lebanon College at Harris Park, Sister Marlene Chedid entered the Maronite Sisters of the Holy Family at age 15 and travelled from Lebanon to Australia in 1978 to help develop the congregation's local schools. The Parramatta resident is described as a compassionate leader and good listener who continues to serve at masses and runs a Maronite community radio station talkback program.
Group manager of city services at Parramatta Council, Sue Coleman, was nominated for her leadership skills. The Parramatta resident joined council's executive management team in 2007. She implemented a 2009 review of council's city operations unit — which includes cleaning, property maintenance, roads and building services — that has improved service costs for ratepayers and introduced the first loan program for e-readers in a NSW library.
North Parramatta resident Mariah Okeroa was nominated for the 2013 Young Women of the West Award for charity work and advocacy for Maori and Pacific Islander youth.
She is a senior member of Maori cultural performance and language group Te Huinga Waka Juniors Kapa Haka, member of the NSW Youth Advisory Council, and sole youth representative on the Young Offender's Advisory Council.