Women’s Actions And Advocacy Honoured At Ceremony

VIC Premier

Exceptional Victorian women who have made significant and lasting contributions to the community are being inducted into the 2023 Victorian Honour Roll of Women.

Minister for Women Natalie Hutchins congratulated the 22 new inductees at a ceremony last night at the Arts Centre in Melbourne.

This year’s inductees include emerging leaders blazing a trail for other women in traditionally male-dominated industries and local champions working to support often vulnerable communities, as well as those motivated to bring about important changes in their fields and beyond.

By normalising women’s leadership, the Honour Roll helps to build a more gender equal society.

Among the inductees is Kate Jenkins AO, Australia’s former Sex Discrimination Commissioner who is widely recognised for her significant efforts advancing gender equality across the country.

Other inductees include:

  • Aunty Esmeralda ‘Esme’ Bamblett, a Bangerang, Wiradjuri and Taungurung woman and CEO of the Aboriginal Advancement League, a respected community advocate, educator, researcher and writer

  • Anam Javed, one of 16 Master Teachers appointed by the Victorian Academy of Teaching and Leadership who has elevated the status of women as STEM practitioners and educators

  • Shanleigh Meldrum, a volunteer with the Victorian State Emergency Service and disability advocate who is improving the awareness of deaf, hard of hearing and blind youth needs in regional Victoria

  • Akuch Kuol Anyieth, a Latrobe University academic, author and advocate and community leader supporting African-Australian women who experience family violence.

Former Victorian premier, the late Honourable Joan Kirner AC, established the Honour Roll in 2001 to celebrate Victoria’s centenary and recognise women demonstrating leadership and excellence.

More than 700 women from across the state have been recognised since the Honour Roll began. A full list of inductees is available at vic.gov.au/victorian-honour-roll-of-women-inductees

As stated by Minister for Women Natalie Hutchins

“Every year the Victorian Honour Roll of Women is helping ensure that we see and hear more about the women who have made significant, lasting contributions to the community, state or country.”

“Thanks to the honour roll, hundreds of women over two decades have been celebrated for their skills, insights, actions and advocacy – and together they play a vital role in moving us towards a more gender equal society.”

“I’d like to congratulate this year’s inductees for their incredible commitment and dedication to improving the lives of others and especially for paving the way for more women to achieve great things.”

Victorian Honour Roll of Women 2023 inductees:

Change Agent category:

  • Cathie Steele
  • Dr Esmerelda ‘Aunty Esme’ Bamblett
  • Heather Baird
  • Karen Cain
  • Manasi Wagh
  • Emeritus Professor Margaret O’Connor AM
  • Michelle Sheppard
  • Professor Wai-Hong Tham
  • Wanda Bargo Braybrook

Emerging Leader category:

  • Anushka Vandani Phal
  • Shanleigh Meldrum
  • Dr Cindy Pham
  • Thenu Herath

Local Champion category:

  • Akuch Kuol Anyieth
  • Anne Parton
  • Dr Jana Katerinskaja
  • Lalisha Thapa
  • Betul Tuna

Trailblazer category:

  • Anam Javed
  • Dr Carmen Mendez
  • Dr Catherine Barrett
  • Kate Jenkins AO

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