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Inspiring South Australian Women’s Award

2022 Inspiring South Australian Women Recipients
The Inspiring South Australian Women’s Award, recognises an outstanding woman who has made a  significant contribution to the community. The Award is part of the Australia Day awards and honours and is jointly coordinated by the Australia Day Council of South Australia and the Office for Women.


The award is  provided by the Minister for Human Services, Katrine Hildyard MP, who is responsible for the Status of Women portfolio.
If you need assistance writing your nomination check our out our selection criteria and tips for nominating.


Nominations have closed for 2023. Thank you for nominating!


 Award Categories

  • Inspiring SA Women’s Award
  • Emerging Leader’s Award

A Commendation Award may be bestowed to encourage the future potential of the nominee.


Nominees Must

  • Be an Australian Citizen
  • Work and reside in South Australia
  • Have made an outstanding contribution  to the community


Selection Criteria

  • Achievement in their field
  • Contribution to the community
  • Acting as an inspirational role model


Process of Nomination

  • Explain the nominee’s achievements and the reasons for the nomination
  • Provide background information and any supporting materials.
  • Outline how the nominee has made an  outstanding contribution  and their service to the community. This can be but is not limited to the areas of education, health, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander initiatives, charitable and voluntary services, multicultural initiatives, arts and media, prevention of violence, sport and recreation, disability, science and medicine, business and environmental impact

Individuals and organisations may submit nominations
Sitting state and federal politicians and current vice-regal officers are not eligible

Nominations should include a written submission from the nominating person or organisation of between 500-2,000 words.


Process of Selection

  • The Selection Panel will consist of representatives from the Office for Women, a community member from the Premier's Council for Women and the Australia Day Council of South Australia
  • The Award will be announced and presented by the, Deputy Premier, Hon Susan Close MP, at the Australia Day Awards Ceremony at Government House.


Inspiring South Australian Women Award 2022 Recipient

 2022 Inspiring South Australian Women and Deputy Premier

Liz Habermann

The death of her 19-year-old son at his own hand after a courageous battle with bone cancer enkindled a smouldering fuse deep within his mother Liz Habermann. 

To honour her son Rhys’ memory, Liz determined it could no longer be allowed to stand that a young man wanting to die to escape his pain was prevented by law from doing so. Change was necessary. By reviving debate over the long dormant Voluntary Assisted Dying legislation Liz was heavily involved in a successful campaign resulting in the passing of new laws enabling eligible terminally ill people to choose whether to end their lives. While a portentous achievement, it is but one part of Liz’s extensive commitment to her own community where she resides in Wudinna with her family on South Australia’s Eyre Peninsula. Liz’s Inspiring SA Women’s Award reflects an unbounded enthusiasm and dedication to the advancement of the interests of her local community in which she is a highly regarded businesswoman. Her voluntary contributions to the district are substantial. Those contributions include support roles for local football and netball teams; the community swimming pool; involvement in residential working bees to enhance the beautification of the town with tree planting or clean-up activities; and in many events such as the annual Christmas Pageant, Australia Day, Stargazing, a local art exhibition and a festival.


Inspiring South Australian Women's Award - Commendation
Melanie McHugh

Life in a country town can be challenging for teenagers looking for ways to spend their leisure time, and sometimes it can lead them astray. Recognising and doing something about the issue in Pt Augusta is Woolworths Store Manager, Melanie McHugh, who is leading the way in engaging local youth in innovative programs aimed at keeping local youngsters out of strife. Her approach in first talking to them, then finding out what it is they most like to do, has led to several highly commended community programs producing positive results for Pt Augusta’s teens.

Inspiring South Australian Women's Award - Commendation 
Farida Ayubi

The humanitarian crisis engulfing Afghanistan is a call to the world’s community to urgently respond to an unfolding calamity. Some of us have already heeded that plea. One of them is here with us tonight. Farida Ayubi, is the founder and joint owner of a spectacularly successful restaurant in Torrensville specializing in Afghani cuisine that has hosted sold-out fundraising dinners in aid of those left behind in Afghanistan.  Tickets and donations from this and subsequent fundraisers have provided emergency relief to hundreds of thousands of displaced Afghans and even to our own homeless people here in Adelaide.


Inspiring South Australian Women Award 2022 - Emerging Leader 

2022 Inspiring South Australian Women Emerging Leader and Deputy Leader

Bianca Nilsson

Sorting potatoes in a factory in the early hours five mornings a week might inspire you to think big – or it might not. For 23-year-old Bianca Nilsson there was only one response – follow your dreams and go worldwide. In the space of a few years Bianca has gone from working graveyard shifts in a northern suburbs potato factory to a worldwide phenomenon in the music industry.  Following multiple start-ups and a number of setbacks, Bianca has turned her passion for music into a thriving business based in Adelaide, but with global reach. Her objective was to give musicians a platform in which they had full creative control. She did not want to be tied to traditional ways of marketing music and its creators. After establishing her company Renegade Records in 2015, aged just 18, as an independent recording label with artist management, music publicity and sync licensing thrown in, Bianca spent the first 3.5 years learning. The company name reflects Bianca’s attitude toward her vision: she wanted to swim against the tide of the music moguls, creating a different approach that would benefit under-recognised or exploited musicians. Spending her time reading, networking and helping a few artists to enhance her understanding of the industry’s machinations, Bianca was determined to find her own path. She directed her high-level energy into creating a business that has upturned conventional music marketing. Her business model has since been transformed from not merely a record label, but to include artist management and music publicity. She is now getting airplay on major radio stations and being placed on playlists with Sony Music FILTR while she simultaneously runs publicity campaigns for artists at extremely competitive prices that are achieving stunning results. Never one to forget her roots, Bianca lives her life large. Her youth belies a maturity of purpose and grounded ambition that is leading her to worldwide success. In her own words: “I have always wanted to make the younger version of myself proud of who I am today, and hope I can be an inspiration for other people.”




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