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Inspirational Port Stephens quartet honoured


Four inspirational Port Stephens residents have received a helping hand to fulfil their individual dreams.

The quartet – Sally-Anne Marshall, Emma McMillan, Brodie Oxlade and Jacie Whitfield – were the recent recipients of the annual International Women’s Day (IWD) scholarships.

The group not only serves the community diligently, but also in the areas of social work, wellness, empowerment and healing others.

“We’re proud to continue to offer this support and look forward to seeing how this year’s winners use their scholarships to achieve their goals,” Port Stephens deputy mayor Leah Anderson said.

“Women make a valuable contribution to our community across various fields.

“When they are inspired, they fight for change and equal opportunity, support and recognition.

“It’s been wonderful to see how the recipients of our International Women’s Day scholarships have worked to impact positive change since the program was first introduced seven years ago.”

Cr Anderson also thanked the Rotary Club of Salamander Bay, who not only hosted the formal dinner but, again, sponsored a fourth scholarship in 2024.

“The theme for the 2024 International Women’s Day campaign was Count her in: Invest in Women and while progress has been made, women still face significant obstacles,” she said.

“This scholarship program highlights the amazing work being undertaken right here in our community, celebrating the social, cultural, economic and political achievements of women.

“I’d like to congratulate the 2024 recipients, as well as each of the applicants.

“You’re all playing your part to build and invest in women and strengthen their capacity to learn, earn and lead.”

2024 International Women’s Day Scholarship recipients

Sally-Anne Marshall

A dedicated and tireless social worker who has served the community of Port Stephens for eight years.

There are very few face-to-face social workers in the area but Sally-Anne has been a beacon of hope for women who have survived domestic violence, homelessness and other adversities.

Now, she is taking her advocacy work to the next level by focusing on disability, particularly those with neurodivergence. With the help of this scholarship, she hopes to continue her passion in this space and develop much-needed books and resources that will support the community.

Emma McMillan

The proud owner of the Wellness Centre in Port Stephens, with many years of experience in the wellbeing and community services industry, Emma is passionate about helping people live their best lives.

And, thanks to the scholarship, she’s taking her commitment to the next level.

She has been working hard to bring weekly wellness classes to those in need, including people experiencing hardship, homelessness, family and domestic violence, NDIS or mental health issues.

The scholarship will also help Emma to expand her initiative and offer even more support to people in our community who are struggling.

Brodie Oxlade

A courageous survivor of child abuse and post-traumatic stress disorder who is determined to turn her pain into purpose.

Brodie has an incredible story to share… and she is ready to share it with the world through a memoir that will raise awareness about these issues.

But, publishing a book is no small feat and Brodie can’t do it alone.

That’s where the Port Stephens Council IWD scholarship will assist.

Brodie will use it to help cover the costs of publishing her book, including legal checks, editing, formatting, printing and distribution.

Her memoir will be a powerful tool for raising awareness and helping others heal.

Jacie Whitfield (Sponsored by the Rotary Club of Salamander Bay)

Jacie has a passion for empowering women through their menopausal transition, post-partum recovery and infant care.

She wants to bring her expertise to the beautiful community of Port Stephens through workshops and classes, all of which will be available via a mobile service.

With the help of the IWD scholarship funds, Jacie hopes to level up her skills, education and training, as well as expand her marketing strategies. Additionally, the money will also be used to provide top-of-the-line equipment for her sessions.

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