Wednesday, 18 March 2009
Werriwa Electorate: Ms Jan Nicoll
I want to take the opportunity today to acknowledge and congratulate one exceptional resident in my electorate who for the past 20 years has given young people in the south-west of Sydney an opportunity for a real future. The individual who deserves this parliament’s recognition is Jan Nicoll of Macquarie Fields. Jan, last Friday, was proudly named the winner of the prestigious 2009 University of Western Sydney’s Women of the West Award. This is an award that recognises the contribution that women make to the development of our region. The nominations are drawn from a variety of backgrounds including health services, education, local industry, volunteering, environmental groups and government and non-government organisations. This year was no exception, with 15 outstanding nominations being considered. I had the pleasure of nominating Jan Nicoll for this award for her tireless contribution to my local community and her passionate advocacy for young people and families in the Campbelltown region.
Since 1996 Jan has worked as a youth worker for Allawah House, a not-for-profit organisation that provides a safe, secure and caring environment for young women aged between 12 and 17 who are homeless or at an immediate risk of becoming homeless. She has been an integral part of the Campbelltown community and, for many years, her work through Allawah House has been instrumental in changing the life of many young people.
Jan is deeply committed to the wellbeing of the youth of Macquarie Fields, having worked for many families involved in the 2005 riots, providing them with much needed counselling support, and she continues to actively participate in various community projects including Youth Off the Streets. She also facilitates workshops for young adults in my local area.
You do not have to look far to find someone in my community who is prepared to sing the praises of Jan. Not only is she a mother of five; she has also fostered many children over the years through the Methodist and Anglican churches. There is no doubting that her achievements are extensive. However, it is Jan’s use of her own home that best commends her for this prestigious award. Jan has always had an open-door policy at her home. Members of the local community in need often find their way there. She would often go without in order to provide for someone less fortunate than her. Our community is indebted to people like Jan. She is an obvious choice for the Women of the West Award. Jan is a giving and loving human being with a spirit and commitment that has touched the lives of so many people and has given the young people of south-west Sydney a real opportunity and a real future.