ACLW’s ‘Sustaining Women’s Empowerment in Communities and Organisations’ (SWECO)
Objective and Overview
ACLW’s ‘Sustaining Women’s Empowerment in Communities and Organisations’ (SWECO) Award aims to honour male and female individuals and groups who have developed a sustainable initiative to empower women in a community or organisation. The Award was established in 2011.
SWECO award has 3 categories
- Empower women in a community or organisation in Australia
- Empower Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women in a community or organisation in Australia
- Empower women in a community or organisation abroad
- Carol Hanlon – WINNER OF CATEGORY: Empowering Women in a Community or Organisation in Australia: Carol Hanlon is recognised for her work establishing the BPW Business Incubator Women in Business Online Training & Mentoring Project and in developing the business skills and business growth potential of women in new or existing small businesses.
- Maternity Choices Australia: WINNER OF CATEGORY: Empowering Women in a Community or Organisation in Australia: Maternity Choices Australia is recognised for enabling women to become effective and informed maternity consumer advocates and developing a Consumer Representative Training Program to achieve this.
- Antoinette Braybrook – WINNER OF CATEGORY: Empowering Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Women in a Community or Organisation in Australia: Antoinette Braybrook is recognised for her work ensuring excellence of operational service delivery to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander victim/survivors of family violence and for raising awareness amongst key stakeholders for early intervention and prevention programs to curb family violence in Aboriginal communities.
- Australian Indigenous Leadership Centre (AILC) – WINNER OF CATEGORY: Empowering Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Women in a Community or Organisation in Australia: The Australian Indigenous Leadership Centre is recognised for its ‘Governing Girls Master Class’ series which provides knowledge and skills that help Indigenous women transition from entry and middle-level organisational roles to more senior leadership roles.
- Tracey Sawyer – WINNER OF CATEGORY: Empowering Women in a Community or Organisation Overseas: Tracey Sawyer is recognised for her work developing and facilitating the Permaculture Training Project to empower Massai women in Tanzania to become first-time farmers, improve family nutrition and enter the local economy.
- Matthias Tomczak – WINNER OF CATEGORY: Empowering Women in a Community or Organisation Overseas: Matthias Tomczak is recognised for his work developing SAWA-Australia and enabling SAWA-Australia to empower women in Afghanistan through education, training and funding.
2014 SWECO Winners
- Women’s Health Goulburn North East (WHGNE) in Victoria was awarded for developing aNo Interest Loans Scheme (NILS) specifically for disadvantaged women exiting family violence and for assisting financially disadvantaged women since 2009 through mentoring women to regain their financial confidence and capability, and reduce their financial dependence on abusive ex-partners.
- Raise Foundation in Sydney was commended for theBump Program for young mums aged between 13 and 23 that brings women together across the generations, challenges stereotypes, empowers with education and inspires girls to be the best women they can be, hence breaking the cycle of social, economic and emotional disadvantage.
- Women’s Legal Service (Tasmania) Inc was commended for their Girls Gotta Know, an interactive mobile website app and an Australian first for the delivery of legal information and resources to young women aged 14-24.
- The Jewish Taskforce Against Family Violence (JTAFV) in Victoria was awarded for their book WILL MY RABBI BELIEVE ME? Will He Understand? that provides culturally appropriate and sensitive ways for the clergy and professionals to respond to disclosures of family violence, abuse and sexual assault.
- Nasiba Akram was commended for sponsoring Afghani refugee women and children in the camps of Pakistan and India and empowering female members of the Australian Afghan community to do the same as well as for strengthening educational opportunities for boys and girls within war torn Afghanistan.
2013 SWECO Winners
- Organisation Category
- SWECO Gold Award Winner – The National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples (Congress) – The National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples (Congress) is commended for establishing gender equity as a founding principle in its Constitution and for implementing this principle in its management and governance of the Congress.
- SWECO Silver Award Winner: Angela Yin – Angela Yin is commended for her self-appointed leadership, commitment and dedication to raising awareness and celebrating the achievements of women through the establishment of Queensland Justices Association International Women’s Day project.
- Community Category
- SWECO Gold Award Winner – Julie Verner-Mackay – Julie Verner Mackay is commended for her self-leadership, and for designing and developing a program in response to stakeholders needs. Her motivation to give women the opportunity to access a leadership development program that focuses on self-leadership and enables women to recognise their capacity to lead using their innate strengths, are exemplary.
- SWECO Silver Award Winner – Sarah Patricia Valentine = Sarah Patricia Valentine is commended for her self-appointed leadership and shaping her desire to empower other women personally and professionally in Bellarine, Victoria through the Bellarine Business Women venture.
2012 SWECO Winners
SWECO’s first round of winners were commended for their leadership, determination and collaboration in establishing significant initiatives for women in the community and in the workplace.
- Kat Armstrong was honoured for her leadership in establishing the Women in Prison Advocacy Network (WIPAN) and its highly valued mentoring program which has an 82% success rate in keeping women out of prison
- Ludo McFerran was commended for the introduction of domestic violence entitlements to periods of paid leave and other rights in industrial instruments
- Karen McFadzen was recognised for her initiative to achieve gender diversity at the executive level in Cisco Technical Services Team across Asia Pacific, Japan, and Greater China
- Yolanda Vega for establishing the Australian Women Chamber of Commerce and Industry (AWCCI)
- The Transport and Logistics Workforce Advisory Group (TLWAG-Q) & the Transform Team in the Department of Transport and Main Roads Queensland were recognised for the Women Take the Wheel Project to encourage women to pursue a career in the Transport and Supply Chain industry
- Winners received certificates and prize money. The 2012 Award was sponsored by commercial sponsors
This Award has received Statements of support from the following distinguished individuals upon its commencement in 2011.
- The Hon Karen Struthers MP, Minister for Community Services and Housing and Minister for Women, Queensland Government
- The Hon Pru Goward MP, Minister for Family and Community Services and Minister for Women, New South Wales Government
- The Hon Victor Dominello MP, Minister for Citizenship and Communities and Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, New South Wales Government
- The Hon Gail Gago MLC, Minister for Regional Development, Public Sector Management, Consumer Affairs, Government Enterprises, Gambling and Minister for the Status of Women, South Australian Government
- The Hon Joy Burch MLA, ACT Minister for Women, community services, Arts, Multicultural Affairs, Ageing, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs
- The Hon Sharon Bird, MP Federal Member for Cunningham
- Ms Quentin Bryce AC, former Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia
- The Hon Gareth Ward MP, Member for Kiama, Deputy Government Whip
- The Hon Shelley Hancock MP, Speaker of the Legislative Assembly
Eligibility Criteria for SWECO
- Sex: Female or Male
- Age: 18 or older
- Nationality: Australian or with Australian permanent resident status
- An individual who has won the SWECO Award previously will be ineligible.
- Only one application per organisation will be accepted.
- Any individual, who works for ACLW, or is a relative of the judges, or works in the organisation of the judges will not be eligible for an award under this program.
SWECO Judging Criteria
SWECO Applications in both categories of Community and Organisations will be evaluated by the Judges according to the following criteria:
- Leadership: the applicant should demonstrate their leadership skills employed in effectively developing, implementing and evaluating an initiative for achieving and sustaining empowerment of women in a community or organisation.
- Sustainability: the applicant must describe how the initiative has sustained empowerment for women within the community or organisation, how it will continue in the future and expected outcomes.
- Impact on women’s empowerment: the applicant should clearly articulate the specific intended effect on women in terms of their economic and social empowerment as well as the actual impact the initiative has on women.
- Capacity: the applicant should demonstrate their capacity to collaborate with others to seek and utilise assistance and expertise to develop and implement their initiative.
- Measurable and/or Non-Measurable results: the applicant should provide either quantitative evidence (eg statistics) to show progress toward the stated goal or qualitative evidence such as the milestones reached toward their stated goals.
There will be 4 rankings in each category:
- One First place or Gold Winner
- One Second place or Silver Winner
- One Third place or Bronze Winner
- A Highly Commended Winner
Winners receive prize money, a trophy and an ACLW SWECO Certificate. Online and off-line publicity of the winners and their initiatives will also be provided. All of the winners are honoured in ACLW’s Honour Roll.
- Major Sponsor of 2014 SWECO: Minter Ellison
- Sponsors of 2012 SWECO:
- Shopfront University of Technology, Sydney
- Sydney Business School, University of Wollongong
- Target Australia