Thursday, April 25, 2024

Blacktown honours top female staffer

Blacktown City Council has named Council Community Communication and Engagement Officer, Nicole Castillo, as 2024 Staff Woman of the Year as part of International Women’s Day celebrations last week.

The Council also announced Angela Van Dyke, the CEO of North West Community Services in Riverstone, as its 2024 Woman of the Year.

The awards were presented by the Mayor, Tony Bleasdale OAM, and the Chairperson of Blacktown City Council’s Women’s Advisory Committee, Councillor Julie Griffiths at an International Women’s Day Breakfast at Bowman Hall.

Matildas star football player, Kyah Simon (above) returned home to Blacktown to address the International Women’s Day breakfast as the keynote speaker, reflecting on her past and the development of women’s sport during her playing career.

“Council has adopted the annual International Women’s Day Breakfast event as an opportunity to highlight the achievements of many of our talented, intelligent, and community-spirited women in Blacktown City,” said Mayor Bleasdale.

Nicole Castillo.

“I’d also like to thank our outgoing Blacktown City Woman of the Year, Emie Roy and Staff Woman of the Year, Alicia Talbot for their service in the role over the last 12 months.

“The Blacktown City Woman of the Year Awards recognise the outstanding achievement of women within the local community through voluntary or paid work. It’s with great pleasure that we present Angela Van Dyke and Nicole Castillo with this award, a well-deserved honour,” he said.

Councillor Griffiths said Council had received nearly 50 nominations for the Woman of the Year award.

“On International Women’s Day we celebrate all our women and their contribution to the daily life of Blacktown City,” she said.

“It fills me with great pride to serve on a progressive council which actively encourages, supports and promotes female participation and representation. I serve proudly alongside three outstanding female councillors, whose passion for their communities never ceases to amaze me.

“Last year we saw the return of Council’s Women’s Forum. It was a great success with more than a hundred women empowered to have their say on the issues and plans that affect their lives here in Blacktown City. The forum will return this year.”

In a statement, the Council said that Staff Woman of the Year, Nicole Castillo was passionate about facilitating community engagement and improving channels of communication between residents of Blacktown City and Council.

“Her work in planning and running a diverse program of Council community forums builds higher engagement levels contributing to a thriving, informed and engaged community, and a better-informed Council,” the Council said.

“Nicole actively engages, teaches and mentors other staff to enable their participation in forums and understanding the importance of community consultation.

“Nicole worked with sustained dedication and creativity to deliver a successful Women’s Community Forum in July 2023.

“Nicole worked together with Councillor Julie Griffiths and other team members to deliver a forum for the women in Blacktown City to work together with Council, to discuss the challenges, issues and hopes for the future for women in our city.

“Nicole’s work ensures a diverse range of perspectives are heard when it comes to the governance and the management of our City,” the Council said.

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