Thursday, April 25, 2024

Moyne Shire’s inspiring women highlighted on IWD

Three women have been named winners of the Inspiring Women of Moyne awards as part of International Women’s Day celebrations.

Oonagh Kilpatrick (pictured), Kimberly Parker and Melanie Macilwain were chosen by judges, and announced at a community event at Glyph Gallery in Port Fairy this morning.

Mayor, Ian Smith and Deputy Mayor, Karen Foster, selected the winners from the extensive list of nominees.

Mayor Smith said the nominations highlighted the huge role women play across our Moyne communities.

“The calibre of nominations this year was unbelievable, every single nominee was worthy of an award, so congratulations to everyone who was nominated,” he Smith.

“We received over 80 nominations for more than 50 women, presenting remarkable women from all walks of life who inspire others and make a difference to the lives of those around them,” said Cr Foster.

“It’s so pleasing to see these women recognised. Your stories, work and lives are an inspiration to us all,” she said.

Ms Kilpatrick’s nominator said of her: “Oonagh is a passionate and dedicated dairy farmer, who actively promotes the suitability practices on farm to schools and the wider community. Oonagh often hosts open days on her farm to promote and educate students on what happens on farm but also the career pathways within the industry that are not only on farm but also beyond the farm gate.

“Oonagh also is on the Food and Fibre Great South Coast board and actively promotes not only dairy but food and fibre for our region both here in the region and also interstate. She
understands and value the food and fibre industries in our region for not only those on farm and directly employed in the industries but the flow on to the wider community.

“Oonagh is the type of person who attracts others to her in a crowded room, people want to engage with her as she exudes enthusiasm and passion for our industry and is also a woman who empowers other women to grow and further their capabilities.”

Ms Parker’s nominator said of her: Kim moderates the Mortlake Community Facebook Page
which is no mean feat, given the number of people who think that laws don’t apply on the
internet. She organised the “Yes” vote campaign for Mortlake and has done many other things too numerous to mention which have been of benefit to the town.

“She is kind, caring, thoughtful and selfless, exactly what we need in women of Moyne. She makes our town a better place.”

Ms Macilwain’s nominator said: “Mel is a one-of-a-kind sort of woman. The type of person
you meet and instantly want to surround yourself with. I met Mel by chance, a local mum who was up for a chat and willing to make new friends. I soon realised Mel connected so many people in different ways.

“In 2023 Mel started the Port Fairy Running Club. She saw a gap in our community and thought – ‘why not bring all these running locals together?’ And she has done just that. Twice a week the group meets – beginners, experienced runners and it’s become a wonderful, open and fun engaging running group. It’s changed my favourite activity from a solo run to a social event and helped me connect with so many other wonderful people in our community.

“Mel 100% donates her time, the group is open to anyone who wants to join, it’s totally free, she has engaged local runners to speak, lead sessions, invites and welcomes parents to bring kids who participate and she will always give up her own progression or goals to ensure whoever is sitting at the back is not left alone.

“Mel is also a local artist, has run workshops at the Port Fairy Women’s Weekend, donated
artwork and raised money for local charities and volunteers her time at Park Run. Mel is a
wonderful addition to the Moyne Community inspiring health and fitness, socialisation and great community spirit!”

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