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Do you know a Canberra Woman of Spirit?

Alexandra Tolmie

For the past nine years, Lifeline Canberra has recognised women of the ACT and region who have overcome diversity, given back to the community and become an inspiration to those around them through two awards: the Women of Spirit Award and the Rising Women of Spirit Award. This year, Lifeline Canberra has partnered with Bond Hair Religion in Kingston to present the 2015 awards.

The Women of Spirit Award honours a woman who, in overcoming her personal adversity, has made a positive change in society and inspires others to make a difference in their local community.

Bond Hair Religion salon owner, Jenni Tarrant, received the Women of Spirit Award in 2013 and has been a strong supporter of the awards since. Jenni is a tenacious survivor. After enduring nearly a decade of childhood sexual abuse, Jenni has spent most of her adult life helping others, including as a long-time supporter of Bravehearts—an organisation that educates and protects children from sexual assault.

The Rising Women of Spirit Award will encourage and recognise an individual who has recently overcome personal adversity, has not had a significant period of time to give back to the community, and yet has still achieved amazing outcomes.

In 2014, Niki Van Buuren received the Rising Women of Spirit Award. Niki was caught in the 2003 Canberra bushfires while trying to save her horse and suffered burns to 66 per cent of her body. She has since gone on to become a popular Canberra teacher, writer and nationally competitive horse and carriage driver, whose courage in performing at such a high level against adversity is truly inspiring.

Nominations for these awards will be officially opened at a launch event at Bond Hair Religion on Monday, 11 May 2015. Nomination packs will be available online after the launch event.  Nominations will close on Monday, 27 July and will be assessed by the Nomination Committee, comprising of Gillian Adamson, Natalie Forrest, Carrie Graf, Jenni Tarrant and Pauline Thorneloe.

An Awards Luncheon will be held on Wednesday, 2 September 2015 at the National Portrait Gallery.

If you would like to support the awards or receive a nomination pack when they become available, find out more here or email [email protected].


Alex Tolmie

Alex is the founder and co-chair of the Department of Education and Training Women's Network and a mum of two gorgeous little girls. She has overcome big challenges as a new mother and now loves to help others become confident, joyful mamas themselves. She blogs about her experience at More about the Author

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