Winners announced for 2017 Sunshine Coast Inspiring Women Awards

Winners announced for 2017 Sunshine Coast Inspiring Women Awards

Two hundred people enjoyed a sparkling night of celebrations to honour this year’s winners of the Sunshine Coast Inspiring Women Awards thanks to local MP Fiona Simpson and a host of local companies.

Four Award winners were selected from almost 100 exceptional women who were nominated for the significant contribution they make in serving others as carers, volunteers and leaders in our local community.

Awards Patron and Founder Member for Maroochydore Fiona Simpson recognised the unsung heroines of the Sunshine Coast community in celebration of International Women’s Day.

The winners are: 

Carmel Crouch, Community Leadership Award Winner – sponsored by Think Money. 
A disability advocate and passionate community leader,
Carmel has been creating opportunities for people with a disability on the
Sunshine Coast for almost 30 years as Managing Director of STEPS Group
Australia, a not for profit organisation which seeks to give all individuals
equal access to the support and services that allow us to lead fulfilling,
happy lives.

Marilyn Holness, Community Volunteer Award Winner – sponsored by White’s IGA.

Chair of the Restart In a Safe Environment (RISE) project of the Zonta Club of Caloundra which seeks to provide women and children access to safe housing and support.   A volunteer for Zonta for over 26 years
in roles such as Club Secretary and Club President, she has also been involved in a range of proactive strategies to raise awareness of and combat violence in the community.

Samara Welbourne, Young Leader Award Winner – sponsored by Suncoast Christian College.

A 16 year old business owner, author and social entrepreneur who has raised significant funds for humanitarian work in Bali and locally for Sippy Creek Animal Refuge Centre.  Samara is raising $20,000 to build a
library in Bali. 
Sharon Fulwood, Carer Award – sponsored by Sundale.

While caring for a son born with Spina Bifida and having two other children with complex needs, Sharon has passionately served as a team manager for wheelchair basketball and various other charities and sporting
groups.  She has been the driving force behind the Spinners Tournament for the last 11 years.

Ms Simpson said that the judges had an interesting time reading the nominations for the many women who give their time and skills to encourage and inspire others.

“The Sunshine Coast is blessed to have such a dynamic group of women who are dedicated to investing into others and strengthening our local community.

“It’s important they receive the recognition for all that they do to support others.”


Phone: 07 5406 7100

Suite 1, Corner First & Memorial Aves
Maroochydore QLD 4558