Clarence MP Steve Cansdell ponders who may be the woman of the year in his electorate.
Clarence MP Steve Cansdell ponders who may be the woman of the year in his electorate.

Search on for the region?s most outstanding woman



THE search is on for the Clarence electorate's woman of the year.

Women in the Clarence Valley welcome the creation of the award which is backed by State Member for Clarence Steve Cansdell.

Grafton Jacaranda Festival manager of 18 years and Grafton Show secretary of 17 years, Anne de Graaf, said an award for the region's outstanding woman was overdue.

"It doesn't hurt to give recognition to women in the community ? how would we get by without them?"

She said there were many women in the valley who did much for the community.

"Any volunteer group in Grafton, 90 per cent of them are females, they so a lot of unsung work," Mrs de Graaf said.

Mr Cansdell said residents in the Clarence electorate could nominate a woman of the year ahead of International Women's Day on March 8.

"As 2006 is the National Year of Community, I would be particularly keen to recognise a local woman with outstanding credentials in community service," Mr Cansdell said yesterday.

"Many names spring to mind, like Narelle Jarvis who has led the fight to save Coraki Hospi- tal, and Palmers Island Pit Stop owner Kris Downing, who is involved in a Daisy and Goliath battle with supermarket giants Woolworths," Mr Cansdell said.

He also encouraged children to nominate their mothers.

"We all know mum is woman of the year, every year," Mr Cansdell said.

Mrs Downing said there were many working mothers who deserved the award.

"Working full-time as well as being a mother and a wife ? women seem to do so much, knowing they have to," she said.

"I think women in small businesses do a lot and there is not very much help out there.

"It is well and truly overdue."

She said it would be an honour for somebody to show appreciation for her effort.

Nominations close on Australia Day and the winner will be invited to Sydney for a reception, where she will meet the State Premier Morris Iemma and receive a gift and certificate.

Relay for Life committee member Sarah Templeton, 19, said being nominated would be an inspiration to keep on giving.

To nominate the Clarence Woman of the Year call Mr Cansdell's office on (02)66431244.



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