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Port Stephens quartet recognised on International Women’s Day


Four inspiring Port Stephens residents were recognised at a formal International Women’s Day (IWD) luncheon this week.

Twenty-one-year-old Tara Kirby-Campbell, Menindee Simon, 34, and Morgan Martin, 23, were awarded Port Stephens Council IWD Scholarships at the function on Wednesday 8 March.

East Ward councillor Leah Anderson also announced a fourth grant, which was sponsored by the Rotary Club of Salamander Bay, to much-loved audiologist Simone Jolly.

The 54-year-old hopes to expand her Jolly Good Hearing mobile service in the region.

“The theme for the 2023 International Women’s Day campaign is Embrace Equity,” Cr Anderson said.

“Equity isn’t just a nice-to-have, it’s a fundamental right for all.

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

“We’re so grateful for the contribution of a fourth scholarship, sponsored by the Rotary Club of Salamander Bay.

“I’d like to congratulate the 2023 recipients, as well as each of the applicants.

“You’re all playing your part to get us to Embrace Equity… and deserving of recognition.”

Port Stephens mayor Ryan Palmer echoed those sentiments.

“Women make a valuable contribution to our community across a range of different fields, including the arts, culture, environment, business, community, health and sport,” he said.

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

“We’re proud to continue to offer this support.

“I look forward to seeing how this year’s winners use their scholarships to achieve their goals.”

2023 International Women’s Day Scholarship recipients

Tara Kirby-Campbell | Raymond Terrace

  • The 21-year-old owns a music education company for students in Newcastle and Port Stephens with the goal of making music accessible to all, regardless of monetary or other barriers. After struggling with a disability herself as a young person, Tara devotes her heart and soul to ensuring that barriers of chronic health, disability, sexuality and finance are seen as learning opportunities, rather than a struggle. Tara currently offers three scholarships to students who show great potential, but are restricted by disability or finances. With her International Women’s Day scholarship, Tara will award an additional three scholarships to encourage young women, particularly those who have autism and ADHD to pursue music lessons, not only as a lifelong skill, but also for therapeutic measures.  

Menindee Simon | Karuah

  • The 34-year-old plans on using her scholarship to start the first Aboriginal women’s basketball team in Karuah. She hopes that the women who play will be role models for their kids, showing them it’s okay to have a go. There’s already a team of eight ready to play and, with this scholarship, they’ll be able to subsidise the cost of registration, game fees and uniforms and access transport to get to and from the training facilities. It’ll also be great for their health, connection and community and their confidence as they get out into the community and play in competition. Now, instead of just watching the men’s team play, they’ll be participating and inspiring future generations of girls.

Morgan Martin | Brandy Hill

  • The 23-year-old wants to support young woman to find their first job through a program called Resume Recuperation. Using this scholarship, Morgan will launch the program, and run low-cost workshops to assist young women find their first job and navigate their career pathway. From resume writing to career planning, how to search for a job and interview skills training, Morgan will hire a venue, advertise and prepare the materials for the workshops and will also offer each participant a follow-up service with one free 15-minute individual coaching session post-interview.

Simone Jolly | Tanilba Bay

  • The 54-year-old started her business, Jolly Good Hearing, providing mobile hearing testing service for children in Port Stephens and the Hunter region to try and help reduce the long waiting lists for hearing tests for children. With this scholarship, Simone will expand her services to offer a mobile earwax removal service to the ageing population in both nursing homes and private residences. The aim is to reduce GPs workloads, provide faster results, and allow the opportunity for ear pathologies to be detected quicker.

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