A nine-year-old who sewed pouches for bushfire-affected joeys is the youngest of nine rising stars in the newest category at the 2021 NSW Women of the Year Awards.
Minister for Women Bronnie Taylor praised the cohort of 7 to 17-year-olds in contention for ‘The One to Watch Award’ which highlights the efforts of girls and young women in NSW.
“Each and every one of these young women can be incredibly proud of themselves for standing up and standing out at such a young age,” Mrs Taylor said.
“From the nominees to the finalists, each of these future role models has had a look at the issues affecting the community around them and set their minds to making a real, practical difference.
“I was really touched to read the nominations that were submitted on behalf of these young girls, which came from teachers, employers, parents and neighbours, who spoke passionately about kindness, strength and determination.”
“These young girls are playing a significant part in helping us build a safer, stronger NSW for themselves, their families and the communities they are growing up in.”
Among the finalists are young women who supplied farmers in drought with groceries, led a robotics team and someone who represented Australia in acrobatic gymnastics.
The finalists represent much of the state including Sydney, the Hunter, Riverina, Western Plains, Central Coast and Illawarra regions.
The winner will be announced on 9 March during NSW Women’s Week 2021, ahead of the NSW Women of the Year Awards ceremony.
The awards, which are in their 10th year, provide a comprehensive and targeted approach to promoting gender equality. They are an initiative of the NSW Women’s Strategy 2018–2022 and form part of NSW Women’s Week held from 8-15 March.
- Khawlah Asmaa Albaf (14), Young
Khawlah Asmaa Albaf embraced country life and represented a minority group through the NSW Regional Youth Taskforce and United Nations youth programs.
- Daniya Atif Syed (16), Bardia
Daniya Atif Syed’s enthusiasm for technology saw her lead a robotics team and work on projects including a bionic hand to assist people with disabilities.
- Charlotte Childs (14), Heddon Greta
Charlotte Childs is the president of an Interact Club, a youth section of Rotary, which runs wellbeing and fundraising projects for her school and community.
- Molly Croft (14), Dubbo
Molly Croft displayed courage and strength through her journey with cancer, while actively participating in fundraising, mentoring and sporting initiatives.
- Izabelle Kelly (9), Dubbo
At just nine-years-old, Izabelle Kelly sewed and donated more than 100 pouches for bushfire-affected joeys and encouraged her peers to support native wildlife.
- Annabelle Kingston (17), Tootool
Annabelle Kingston launched the not-for-profit, ‘Fetch it for a Farmer’ to provide grocery vouchers for more than 20 farming families battling drought.
- Zara Matthews (13), Kariong
Zara Matthews launched an annual mufti-day at her school to raise more than $20,000 for Kenyan orphanages and is also a Fred Hollows Foundation ambassador.
- Amelia Munday (16), Berkeley Vale
Amelia Munday started a medical science university degree at the age of 13 and used her love of science to create accessibility apps such as an AUSLAN interpreter.
- Ella Treanor (17), Oak Flats
Ella Treanor showed immense resilience to overcome an extensive hamstring injury and go on to represent Australia in acrobatic gymnastics.