Standing up for Canberra

The Chronicle: 100 Years, 100 Great Women

I hope you had a chance to have a break, and wish you all the best for a safe, happy and healthy year.

I spent mine at the coast, where I reacquainted myself with my husband, family, friends, Vitamin D and two of my favourite pastimes, cooking and reading. I’m now looking forward to continuing to work for you in 2013 and celebrating our Centenary.
Our Very Big Year has already begun in style, and one event to note is the UN Women International Women’s Day lunch on 8 March.

To honour our Centenary, UN Women will host 100 significant Canberra women at this major fundraising event. I’m on the organising committee and coordinating the nominations, so please let me know the great Canberra women you think should be at the lunch by 8 February. Nominees do not need to be high profile. They can be quiet achievers and influencers. The criteria? That they’ve made a significant contribution to Canberra and can attend the lunch.

Send nominations to and please put IWD Nominations in the subject line. And don't forget to sign up for the lunch at

Finally, I want to thank the schools that took part in my School Legends awards last year. I spent the last months of 2012 at schools presenting the awards, and it was great to meet many of you there. The awards recognise students who overcome personal or physical challenges and achieve their goals. The students are nominated by the schools, which sends a strong message that their community is looking out for them during tough times.

Many of last year’s recipients experienced significant personal hardships, yet put those challenges behind them as they arrived at the school gate with a smile on their face. I’ve received great feedback from educators, parents and students, who acknowledge the “immensely beneficial” nature of the awards to the individuals and “their development”.

The future looks bright with so many exceptional, resilient and courageous young people living in Canberra.