2024 ACT Women Of Year Announced

A passionate advocate for women in the construction sector, Joanne Farrell has been named the 2024 ACT Woman of the Year during a ceremony at the Belconnen Arts Centre ahead of International Women’s Day.

A carpenter, builder and General Manager of construction company, Kane ACT, Joanne founded the not-for-profit organisation, Build Like A Girl Australia to encourage and support girls and women find rewarding careers in the trades.

This is not Joanne’s first honour, as she is also the 2024 ACT Australian of the Year.

“I’m really honoured to be nominated and to be recognised for the work,” Joanne Farrell said.

“I just turn up every day and try and promote the industry for other women to work in and try and change that.

“Build Like A Girl works with various government and private organisations, employers, peak industry bodies, to create programs, whether their pathway programs or other types of programs to encourage more women of all backgrounds and ages to start a trade, an apprentice role, or a semi-skilled role in the construction industry.”

Mijica Lus is the ACT Young Woman of the Year and Glenda Stevens is the ACT Senior Woman of the Year.

A tireless volunteer for the Canberra community, Mijica Lus dedicates her time and effort to supporting multicultural communities and working in areas of education, media, health care and human services.

She currently leads the Aurosokwo Project which works with local charities and organisations in a range of activities from creating care packs, book drives, and medical outreach.

Glenda Stevens is a highly experienced community leader whose work history includes Chair of the ACT Council of Social Services and a former Air Force Air Traffic Controller.

She is the founding CEO of Fearless Women and works with several community organisations that focus on empowering girls and women.

Minister for Women Yvette Berry said: “Congratulations to all the nominees, finalists and winners of the 2024 ACT Women’s Awards.

“These women have all worked tirelessly to improve the status and lives of girls and women in the ACT.

“I’d also like to acknowledge and thank all the women who work in our community – often with little recognition, to make a difference and improve the lives of girls and women in the ACT.”

The ACT Women’s Awards have been held on the eve of International Women’s Day which this year is celebrating the United Nations theme, ‘Count Her In: Invest in Women. Accelerate progress’.

“We are committed to accelerating progress for women and girls in the ACT by investing in projects that support their future,” Minister said.

“Last year I released the third and final action plan under the ACT Women’s Plan 2016-26. This final action plan details what steps the government is taking to accelerate progress for women over the coming 3 years.

“We know that women remain over-represented in part-time and casual work, and underrepresented in traditionally male dominated industries.

“One way that we are investing in our women and girls is through the Understanding Building and Construction Program. Run in five high schools, it supports female students to consider a career in the construction sector.

“Another example is how the ACT Government continues to work towards making period products freely available to alleviate period poverty. Products are available at designated accessible places to all women and people who menstruate in the ACT, and we are working on improving everybody’s access to information and resources to manage their menstrual and broader health.”

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