Monash awards empowered women

Women from across the City of Monash in Victoria have been recognised for their outstanding contributions to the community at the inaugural ‘Empowering Monash Women Awards’.

Current Monash Mayor Stefanie Perri said that this was just one way that the City could recognise women who are leading, inspiring and making things happen in Monash.

“We had so many remarkable nominations and reading through all the nominations made me incredibly proud to be a Monash woman. Congratulations to everyone who was nominated and particularly our inspiring winners,” said Councillor Perri.

Nominations were received in two categories; ‘25 years and under’ and ‘open age’. This year, both categories had joint-winners.

Year 11 Huntingtower School student, Bareetu Aba-Bulgu received the ‘25 years and under’ Award for her extra-curricular work.

Bareetu is a crew leader for the Reach Foundation, volunteers for the Salvation Army, helps run the Oromo Community Cultural Exhibition at Federation Square and was actively involved in establishing a strong relationship between Huntingtower School and a remote Aboriginal community in the Northern Territory.

Sudanese student, Elizabeth Kuoth also received the ‘25 Years and under’ Award for her work with the Southern Ethnic Advisory and Advocacy Council (SEAAC).

Elizabeth moved to Australia when she was 11 with her two younger brothers and has been their sole carer since she was 18. She has been a Southern Ethnic Advisory and Advocacy Council (SEAAC) Youth Committee Member for two years and has aspirations of becoming a police officer.

MonashLink social worker, Helen Wirtz received the ‘open age’ award for her internationally and nationally recognised work for preventing violence against women. Helen has been a tireless advocate for the rights of women in the community.

Roshan Bhandary, Program Manager at inTouch Multicultural Centre Against Family Violence, also received the ‘open age’ Award for her work around the world aimed at preventing family violence. Roshan worked closely with marginalised women in her home country of Nepal before continuing her work in the United States and Australia.

Councillor Micaela Drieberg presented the Awards, saying she was overwhelmed by the dedication of the women whose work was being acknowledged. “It’s incredibly inspiring to hear about the work all these women have done to support our community. There’s no doubt they are all very deserving winners.”