Lifeline Central Coast has announced the six Central Coast women who have been nominated for the upcoming Lifeline Steel Magnolia Award.
The nominees are: Ms Marie Andrews, Ms Wendy Malonyay, Ms Jilly Pilon, Ms Petah Ralph, Ms Donna Robertson and Ms Ingrid Scott.
Ms Andrews, of Ettalong, was the Central Coast’s first female parliamentarian.
Ms Andrews was elected as the Member for Peats in the NSW Parliament in 1995 and remained in that position until 2007 she became the Member for Gosford.
She held that seat until 2011.
As well as serving the community as an MP, Ms Andrews has served as a Life Member of the Clerical and Administrative Branch of the Australian Services Union (ASU) and was that branch’s deputy president in 1995.
She has represented the Union at the NSW Labor Council and the ACTU.
Her election and dedication paved the way for other female politicians on the Central Coast.
Ms Malonyay of Avoca Beach raised her two children after the death of her husband.
Her daughter, Kate, was murdered by an ex-boyfriend in Sydney in 2013.
She works with the Homicide Victims Support Group and fundraises for the yet to be built Grace’s Place, a world first trauma recovery centre for children and young people who are affected by the homicide of a loved one.
She also speaks to trainee Police and detectives on the impact of homicide from a family member’s perspective.
Ms Malonyay’s story was featured in the 2016 ABC Four Corners documentary,L
Ms Pilon of Wamberal lost her 10-year-old son, Banjo, in a skateboarding accident in 2015.
She and her family arranged for Banjo’s organs to help six other people.
They helped directly raise $25,000 and obtained bi-partisan political support for another $500,000 for the construction of a skate park in Wamberal, proposed to be completed late in 2017
She has also supported her eldest son, Fletcher’s musical aspirations.
He won 2016 Australia’s Got Talent.
She is an advocate for Donate Life and Transplant Australia.
With her family, she participated in the 2016 Transplant Games.
Ms Pilon was also the Liberal candidate for the 2017 Gosford by-election.
Year 12 is tough, but Ms Petah Ralph of Point Clare continues to face more than her fair share of challenges.
When she was in Year 7, she lost her mother to breast cancer.
Her alcoholic father squandered money raised by the community and then kicked Petahand her younger sister out of home when Petah was entering Year 11.
Her grandmother took her and her sister in but was unable to cope financially.
Ms Ralph is determined to live independently and continues to strive at school.
She was a Zone finalist in the Lions Youth of the Year Awards and is a prefect and member of the Student Representative Council at Henry Kendall High School.
Ms Robertson of Erina, was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2009 and was initially very private about her diagnosis.
In 2012 she volunteered to be on a new Cancer Council Relay for Life committee for Gosford Shire.
She left the meeting as Chair and continues in that role.
Over the five years since, Gosford City Relay For Life has raised more than $305,000.
During that time, Ms Robertson has bravely shared her story to help others.
She is a passionate advocate to ensure governments take action to reduce cancer risk and improve access to care and treatment.
She also participates in other fundraising campaigns such as Biggest Morning Tea, Pink Ribbon Day and Daffodil Day.
Her other passion is educating and mentoring youth through her job as Librarian at Central Coast Adventist School.
Since 1990, Ms IngridScott of Somersby has provided care for abused children who needed permanent placement through Barnardos.
In 1992 Ingrid adopted a troubled teen.
She maintained contact with him after he left home and has been involved as a grandparent with his young family, and since 2014, has had the permanent care of her 14-year-old grandson.
She is also the registered carer of a mentally ill woman who lives in a cabin next to her.
She has cared for the woman since 1998, when she was a teen.
Ms Scott has researched the chronic effects of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and is also a local Scripture teacher.
An independent judging panel will determine the finalists and winner.
CEO, Ms Gillian Summers, congratulated the women on being nominated.
She said they were all unsung heroes who, despite adversity, found the courage and inspiration to give back to their community.
“It is important to recognise these women, for them, but also to give hope and inspiration to others in our community,” she said.
“Women often work tirelessly without asking for recognition,” she added.
The Award winner will be announced at aspecial Steel Magnolia luncheon at Splash Terrigal on April 28.
The special guest speaker at the event is Ms Chelsea Bonner, who is at the forefront of changing the face of fashion by introducing the industry to a more holistic and healthy approach to model representation through her modelling agency, Bella Management.
Ms Summers said by attending the luncheon, people will also be supporting Lifeline’s local lifesaving crisis support and suicide prevention services.
Apr 28, 2017
Craig Eardley, Lifeline