A DEDICATED community volunteer and a long-serving Kiama councillor and former mayor have been honoured as the respective winners of the 2013 South Coast and Kiama Women of the Year as part of International Women’s Day celebrations.
Violet Lord has taken out the South Coast award and Sandra McCarthy the equivalent for the Kiama electorate.
For more than a decade Mrs Lord has co-ordinated the Nowra East Public School Good Starts Breakfast Club five days a week, ensuring that more than 60 children have a nutritious start to their day.
A member of the NEPS parents and citizens association for more than 40 years, she continues to be active in the organisation, assisting students, teachers and school staff.
In addition, she and her family have fostered numerous children over the past 40 years.
South Coast MP Shelley Hancock said that at almost 80 years of age, Mrs Lord was a role model in the South Coast community.
Earlier this year she received the Red Cross Emma Geelan Award as a dedicated supporter of underprivileged children.
“I congratulate Mrs Lord on her significant achievements, she is a worthy recipient for the South Coast Woman of the Year,” Mrs Hancock said.
In the Kiama electorate the honour went to former mayor of 12 years Sandra McCarthy.
She is held in the highest of esteem in her local community after a 17-year career in local government, including a record 12 years as mayor.
As mayor, she served the Kiama Municipality with great distinction and achieved a lot for the local community with some of the highlights being the redevelopment of the Kiama Showground pavilion, the award-winning upgrade of the Kiama Library and the Kiama Coastal Walking Track.
She also served the wider Illawarra community through her role with Healthy Cities Illawarra and as chair of the Southern Councils Group.
Also a hard-working and dedicated teacher, Mrs McCarthy taught locally at Kiama High School.
Kiama MP Gareth Ward said he could not have nominated a more deserving recipient.
“Sandra is an inspiration to other women and is a fine example of what strong will and dedicated leadership can achieve,” he said.
“Among her many achievements, I was personally impressed with her leading role in the celebrations of 150 years of Kiama Municipal Council.
“I hope this award doesn’t just pay tribute to a greater leader in our community, but inspires other women to follow in Sandra’s most creditable and extraordinary footsteps.”