Coffs Coast honours its women of the year

2019 Coffs Coast IWD Woman of the Year Shelley Lowe of Urunga.
2019 Coffs Coast IWD Woman of the Year Shelley Lowe of Urunga. supplied

SHELLEY Lowe from Urunga has this morning been announced as the 2019 International Women's Day Coffs Coast Woman of the Year.

Ms Lowe, an enthusiastic, inspiring and empowering mentor for women and girls of Bellingen Shire founded Shelley's Bootcamp in 2005, an outdoor group of exercise classes for women and girls in Urunga.

Shelley, who was presented at this morning's Coffs Coast IWD breakfast at C.ex Coffs, said she identified a need and introduced seniors' classes in 2015.

Numbers in the 'UCanDo' classes now exceed 460 women.

"I have the opportunity to assist women and girls in reversing some of their dysfunctional lifestyle habits and medical habits," Shelley said.

"I will continuously strive to motivate women of all age. This is my legacy to women."

Shelley received a plaque, certificate and cash prize of $1000 towards her work with women and girls.


2019 Coffs Coast IWD Woman of the Year Shelley Lowe of Urunga.
2019 Coffs Coast IWD Woman of the Year Shelley Lowe of Urunga. Supplied

The award was jointly sponsored by Coffs Harbour City Council and the C.ex Group.

The runner-up award was won by Kamla Ruthnam-Webb.

Kamla has volunteered as a mentor for the Indigenous Mentoring Experience for the past eight years.

For the past seven years she has volunteered weekly at the homework centre for indigenous children.

Kamla mentors high school girls at her home and assists girls with Centrelink to provide them with safe accommodation.

She provides business skills to young women and provides care packages to Warrina Women's Refuge.

The runner-up prize of $250 awarded to Kamla was sponsored by One Agency Coffs Harbour.

There were a number of nominations and four finalists chosen to be recognised on International Women's Day.

The other finalists were Nicole Donovan and Claire O'Halloran.

Additionally, three other awards were announced this year and celebrated at the breakfast.

Southern Cross University awarded $2,500 each to midwifery undergraduate, Weiming Wang and postgraduate PHD student at the National Marine Science Centre, Kay Davis.

A generous personal donation was made by last year's keynote speaker, Augusta Supple to a young woman commencing her career in the performing arts.

This year's winner is filmmaker Talullah Remond-Stephen from the Coffs Harbour Senior College who receives $500 towards her ongoing career in the Performing Arts.

International Women's Day in Coffs Harbour is celebrated each year as a joint initiative of Zonta Coffs Harbour Inc., BPW Coffs Harbour and Coffs Coast BWN.

This year, the breakfast attracted 360 attendees, including senior students from our local high schools.

The Zonta Young Women in Public Affairs, and Pat Funnell Award winners addressed the audience.

The keynote speaker this year was Dr Angela Jay who spoke of her journey back from a horrific attack by a former partner and her ongoing plans in obstetric medicine.

Organisers wished to thank ANZ Bank, Coffs Harbour, for its generous sponsorship of the speaker. 

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