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Women Achievers 2014

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On Sunday, 30th November, NCJWA W.A. section, held their bi-annual Women’s Achievers meeting. In an exhilarating evening, three exceptional and inspiring W.A. women were honoured. Our National President, Di Hirsh, OAM, flew in from Melbourne especially to attend the function, in which funds were raised for the University of Haifa Ethiopian Women’s Scholarship Fund.  She was warmly welcomed by Jill Green who was the MC for the evening.

Di gave a very edifying speech, in which she spoke of her interfaith encounters, and the importance of listening to the narrative of different faiths. Di gave special thanks to the W.A. branch for being resilient in a tough and sad year, in which Angela Davis OAM, had passed away. Di paid special tribute to Ester Steingiesser, President of the W.A. branch, saying “that Angela would be proud of you”. Di extended an invitation to the younger women in the audience to join NCJWA and carry on the legacy of the organization.

Our Achievers were: Alecia Benzie, who is presently Executive Manager Philanthropy at WASO. She spoke eloquently about her family, childhood, schooling and her varied and successful career. Alecia emphasized that fund-raisers need to have honesty, competence, and an open heart and an open mind.  To fundraise genuinely, one needs to talk about the cause, and not the money.

Jackie Jarvis who entertained the audience with delightful anecdotes about her Irish father, and English mother and her early work experience as a 15-year- old-Westpac employee. She married the Bank Manager! However, the “bank manager” decided to become a farmer. Jackie then discovered the agricultural life, and was recently awarded the Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation’s (RIRDC) 2014 W.A. Rural Women of the year. Among Jackie’s many achievements was a pilot program in which assisted resettled humanitarian refugees find employment in agriculture in W.A.

Lynda Fisher who is currently the Principal of the Carmel Primary School, as well as President of W.A.’s Independent Primary School Heads Association. She was also the Professional Development Award Winner for 2014. Lynda was a finalist in the National Excellence in Teaching Award and has done research into Frontal Lobe Brain Dysfunction. Lynda spoke candidly of  her vision for educating and to “never lose contact with the big people in little bodies.”

Jill Green extended thanks to all who made this event so successful, including Ester Steingiesser, President; Noreen Sher, Co-Chair of the Haifa University Ethiopian Women’s Fund;  the W.A. State Committee; volunteers from NCJWA;  WIZO and Aviv caterers; and Yonit Silman, photographer.