Killarney Vale’s Sharon Cheer has taken out the 2020 Community Business Women’s Network (CBWN) Resilience Award.
Hosted by regional suicide prevention charity and CWBN project founders, the Iris Foundation, the award honours women from across the LGA who have displayed extraordinary resilience to overcome hurdles in their personal or professional lives and who’ve ‘bounced back’ effectively from the toughest times, a skill that has never been more important to the collective mental health of our local community.
Nominations were put forth by members of CBWN, with nine selected as finalists for this year’s award.
Each had the opportunity to share their inspiring stories of resilience on August 19 during the awards gala at Toukley’s The Ary.
The event was opened by Wyong MP, David Harris, with a special presentation from Gosford MP, Liesl Tesch, who’s own story of overcoming challenges keenly aligns with the ethos of the awards.
Cheer was named as this year’s honouree for her dauntless commitment to making the Central Coast a more diverse and inclusive place for people with disabilities to work in.
Born with only 5 per cent hearing, Cheer works as a Job Centre Australia (JAC) trainer for the Central Coast.
She has worked hard to manage the challenges that her hearing impairment presents to not only thrive in her role but to also champion workplace diversity and inclusion in the region.
Prior to joining JAC in 2007, Cheer worked in a factory for 20 years and relied on lip reading to communicate.
It was isolating and is the exact type of situation that Cheer is now actively helping jobseekers with disability to avoid.
Now 13 years on, Cheer is still helping people overcome barriers to employment and for many jobseekers, she is a shining example of what can be achieved when employers take the time to understand disability.
Cheer has also helped dozens of employers come to this realisation and is particularly passionate about equipping employers with the tools and knowledge to better communicate with people with hearing impairments, which in turn helps create a more diverse and inclusive environment.