24 May 2024

Riverina event celebrates and honours 91 regional women volunteers

| Shri Gayathirie Rajen
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Minister for Women Jodie Harrison (middle) with past nominees mother and daughter dui Dr Saba Nabi and Ariba Omar.

Minister for Women Jodie Harrison (middle) with past nominees, mother and daughter duo Dr Saba Nabi and Ariba Omar. Photo: Shri Gayathirie Rajen.

Ninety-one women from regional and rural NSW have been honoured for their exceptional volunteer work and outstanding contributions as part of National Volunteer Week in the Riverina.

The women were recognised on the Hidden Treasures Honour Roll at the Thank you NSW Volunteers event at the Riverine Club hosted by the NSW Rural Women’s Network on Thursday (23 May).

Hidden Treasures is a NSW Government initiative created to recognise and elevate the invaluable volunteer efforts of women across regional, rural and remote NSW communities.

The event was attended by Minister for Women Jodie Harrison, Member for Riverina Dr Joe McGirr and past and current nominees.

Ms Harrison said it was an honour to recognise the work done by the nominees.

“You are the extraordinary women who hold our communities together. Without you, our state would not be anywhere near the place that it is,” Ms Harrison said.

“You’re the unsung heroes of NSW, our regional and rural communities, driving force, mentors and carers.”

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Ms Harrison said that in NSW, volunteering had an estimated economic impact equivalent to that of the state’s entire public service.

“You are one of 4.3 million volunteers we have in NSW … and contributed 900 million hours of volunteering in the last 12 months,” she said.

“If you didn’t do what you do, then there is no way we as a government can pick up what you do.

“The replacement cost of what you do is roughly $39.7 billion … is like hiring the NSW public service twice.”

Minister Harrison

Minister Harrison launched the NSW Hidden Treasures event as part of National Volunteers Week at the Riverine Club in Wagga. Photo: Shri Gayathirie Rajen.

Ms Harrison said women of regional, rural and remote towns could wear many hats and played important roles in their communities.

“The contribution women make through their volunteer efforts in their tight-knit communities is truly invaluable,” she said.

“The Hidden Treasures program is a wonderful way to celebrate and commend women for their selfless dedication and passion in bringing their local community together, for uplifting society and for moving industry.

“By recognising these inspirational women, we want to continue encouraging more local regional, rural and remote women to take their future into their own hands to support and advance their community.”

Nominees from across regional and rural NSW.

Nominees from across regional and rural NSW. Photo: Shri Gayathirie Rajen.

Minister for Regional NSW Tara Moriarty said the women’s dedication to volunteering in regional and rural NSW was remarkable.

“Whether it’s on the frontline with the RFS, on the fields of the local sports team, saving lives with their local surf lifesaving club or providing friendship and support to those in need week in and week out,” Ms Moriarty said

“These remarkable women see something that needs to be done, and they get out and do it.

“The work of women volunteering and leading volunteers in regional NSW is a key reason why our regional communities thrive and flourish.”

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Coordinated by the NSW Rural Women’s Network, the Hidden Treasures Honour Roll calls for nominations throughout the year from individuals and groups, charity organisations, and local members of parliament.

More than 1200 women have been commended on the honour roll since 2010.

Nominations for the 2024 Honour Roll are open. To nominate a woman as a Hidden Treasure 2024 and read the 2023 Hidden Treasures digital booklet for the list of nominees visit Hidden Treasures Honour Roll.

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