Alison McLaren, the policy manager at the Parramatta-based Urban Growth NSW, has been named Woman of the West 2013.
Mariah Okeroa of North Parramatta is the new Young Woman of the West.
“To all of the women you are incredible women and I can’t believe I’m standing up here,” Ms McLaren said upon receiving the award from former minister for women, Faye Lo Po, at the University of Western Sydney’s annual International Women’s Day celebration today, March 8.
Today is International Women’s Day, the one day in the year we devote to celebrating all things female.
During her acceptance speech Ms McLaren thanked her “strong mum” and all the women who were unafraid to dream big.
“Hillary Clinton was told she couldn’t be an astronaut so she became secretary of state,” she quipped.
The Winmalee resident was nominated for the UWS award for her former work as president of the Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils and her tireless advocacy on issues as diverse as transport and infrastructure, population planning, affordable housing and equity of health outcomes in greater western Sydney.
Ms Okeroa received hers for her charitable work and advocacy for Maori and Pacific Islander young people in greater western Sydney, including her involvement in Te Huinga Waka Juniors Kapa Haka, a Maori cultural performance and language group.