Macarthur women nominated for Women of the West awards

Sharon Robertson, Louise Sparkes Howarth, Carole-Anne Priest, Reem Qrma, and Debbie Roberts are nominated for Women of the West awards.
Sharon Robertson, Louise Sparkes Howarth, Carole-Anne Priest, Reem Qrma, and Debbie Roberts are nominated for Women of the West awards.

There is no doubt that Macarthur is full of passionate women who strive to make the community a better place.

Now four of these dedicated locals are in the running for Women of the West award.

The Western Sydney University awards celebrate the substantial contributions 20 women have made to the Western Sydney community.

This year's diverse group of nominees include people who are making a difference in areas such as: small business development, educational attainment, health promotion, community wellbeing and social integration.

Oakdale's Sharon Robertson was nominated for the Woman of the West (Community) Award.

She was recognised for her work with the Dilly Drought Drive and supporting farmers throughout Wollondilly.

"I was a bit shocked and humbled to be nominated," Ms Robertson said.

"I think it's great to be recognised for my work but it is also a little overwhelming.

"I think it's fantastic that so many women do so much behind the scenes to help their community."

Camden's Debbie Roberts said she was also humbled to be nominated for the Woman of the West (Business) award.

She was named as a finalist for the award due to her work with the Camden Region Economic Taskforce (CRET) and her health, education and organ and tissue donation advocacy work.

"I'm all about making a difference in the community whether it's through my paid work or outside my job," Ms Roberts said.

"I'm proud to be acknowledged but this award is more of a credit to the wider Camden community.

"I think people should nominate more Macarthur women for these awards because we have so many talented people in the area."

Fellow Woman of the West (Business) award finalist Carole-Anne Priest was nominated for her work to create innovative products in financial services that empower women to take control of their financial future.

The Razorback resident said it was a "great honour to be nominated".

"I think it's great to see awards that recognise the work of women in western Sydney," Ms Priest said.

"I am really impressed with the calibre of this year's finalists in the awards.

"I think Macarthur is a wonderful community and that's what brings so many great women to the fore."

Spring Farm's Louise Sparkes Howarth is also nominated in for the Women of the West (Business) award.

The talented local is the founder and 'head pineapple' at Pineapple Marketing and Promotions.

Ms Sparkes-Howarth said she was passionate about supporting businesses in the community she grew up in.

"I grew up in Ingleburn so this has been my community forever," she said.

"I think's it's easy for people to say live local, support local, shop local but if we all actually do that it could have a massive impact on other people's lives.

"It's humbling to be acknowledged as a woman of the west - but I am most passionate about helping people in my community to grow their businesses."

Macquarie Fields resident Reem Qrma said she was excited to be named as a finalist for the Young Woman of the West (18 to 30 years old) Award.

"I was nominated for my work with young refugees to help them find education and employment," she said.

"I come from a refugee background myself so I understand how hard it can be so I give them my experience and help them to overcome these challenges.

"I came to Australia as a refugee from Iraq in 2015.

"I study at Western Sydney University in Campbelltown and I love it - everyone is very friendly and supportive."

Winners of the Women of the West Awards will be announced on March 13 as part of the University's celebration of International Women's Day.