Media Releases

Women’s excellence in local government celebrated at Ministers’ awards

5 October 2023

Inspirational and talented women from across NSW councils have been recognised for their accomplishments at the prestigious Ministers’ Awards for Women in Local Government.

Now in their 16th year, the annual awards recognise the invaluable contribution and achievements of women in the local government sector who are helping increase the participation and advancement of women and breaking down gender stereotypes.

After receiving a record number of nominations this year, the winners were celebrated at a ceremony at Parliament House co-hosted by Minister for Local Government Ron Hoenig and Minister for Women Jodie Harrison.

The winners of the 2023 Ministers’ Awards for Women in Local Government are:

Alternative Pathways Award – Metro

Mary Boustani – ICT Systems Engineer

Inner West Council

Alternative Pathways Award – Regional/Rural

Rachael Abberton – Senior Water and Sewer Planning Engineer

MidCoast Council

Champion of Change Award – Metro

Ben Taylor – Chief Executive Officer

Wollondilly Shire Council

Champion of Change Award – Regional/Rural

Melissa Maccallum – Manager, Building and Environment

Orange City Council

Elected Representative Award – Metro

Councillor Judy Hannan MP

Wollondilly Shire Council

Elected Representative Award – Regional/Rural

Councillor Sarah Ndiaye

Byron Shire Council

Employment Diversity Award – Metro

Inner West Council

Employment Diversity Award – Regional/Rural

Armidale Regional Council

Woman of Distinction Award – Metro (shared)

Renee Traynor – Team Leader Diversity and Inclusion

Canterbury-Bankstown Council

Liz Murphy – Manager, Community Recovery

Hawkesbury City Council

Woman of Distinction Award – Regional/Rural (shared)

Lucy Kinsley PSM – Regional Library Manager (Richmond Tweed Regional Library)

Lismore City Council

Helen Plummer – Manager Asset Management

Lake Macquarie City Council

Young Achievers Award – Metro

Keira Grundy – Art Gallery Trainee

Mosman Municipal Council

Young Achievers Award – Regional/Rural

Jenna Dowell – Trainee Engineer

Upper Hunter Shire Council

Councillor Lilliane Brady OAM Award

Councillor Darriea Turley AM, Local Government NSW President

Broken Hill City Council

About the award categories:

Alternative Pathways Award – a female staff member who is breaking down gender stereotypes.

Champion of Change Award – a general manager or senior manager (male or female) who has excelled in supporting and encouraging women’s participation at their council.

Elected Representative Award – a councillor who has advanced the position of female elected representatives.

Young Achiever’s Award – an outstanding trainee/apprentice (aged 25 and under).

Employment Diversity Award – a successful council program to increase female participation in senior leadership roles or at the elected representative level.

Woman of Distinction Award – a woman who has demonstrated exceptional innovation, integrity and initiative or who has a positive influence on others.

Councillor Lilliane Brady OAM Award –determined by the minister to recognise and honour the dedication and tireless work of a female council staff member or elected representative.

For more information about the awards go to: