Hills Council’s Women of the Year

Five outstanding winners have been named in The Hills Shire International Women’s Day 2022 Awards. Women Of The Year

The awards, organised by The Hills Shire Council, celebrate the achievement, success, strength and resilience of women, and the unique and positive contributions they make to supporting the community and include two dedicated local teachers.

Hills Woman of the Year – Rose Garofano

Rose Garofano has been a passionate and dedicated teacher in the Hills area for over 15 years. She’s had a strong impact on young people who’ve struggled at school – mentoring them and motivating them to finish school, and gain credentials to help them with their next career pathways.

She is also a strong female leader who has advocated for women at risk through her fundraising efforts and has also participated in a number of community events and fundraisers, including the Mother’s Day Classic, Hills Relay for Life, International Women’s Day and a White Ribbon Day walk.

Community Women of the Year – Beena Rizal
Beena Rizal has been a mathematics teacher for 20 years. In this time, she has been a pillar of support to her students. Shel helps her students during her breaks – assisting them with their enquiries, supporting them and offering her room as a safe space where they can voice their academic struggles.

She has tutored hundreds of students across The Hills to achieve top results, and attend selective high schools and universities. And also spends time providing support to students across six local schools.

Senior Women of the Year – Carol Harding
Carol Harding is passionate about women’s rights, in particular, women and children living a life free of violence.

Carol has supported countless women and children to escape family and domestic violence and homelessness through her decades of work at St Michaels Family Centre, The Hills Domestic Violence Prevention Network and on the Board of The Sanctuary.

Carol is also a foster mother and has donated much of her time to supporting sporting teams and organisations through various roles, including coaching and sitting on the executive board.

Young Women of the Year – Sophie Hirst
Sophie Hirst is a volunteer and tee-ball coach. She played at the NSW State Championships in 2020 and after suffering a serious leg injury in 2021, overcame that to play again in the Club Teams in 2022.

In 2021, she was awarded the Ray Williams Encouragement Award and was also the Sport House Captain during school.

Business Women of the Year – Professor Nicole Brooke
Professor Nicole Brooke is the CEO at the Australian Community Industry Alliance (ACIA), which advocates for quality management in aged and community care, and disability.

In addition to this, she has helped out locally, participating in community events and fundraisers. She has also assisted countless organisations and government departments on positive and groundbreaking initiatives that aim to create change.

Hills Mayor, Dr Peter Gangemi congratulated all the finalists and winners saying they were an inspiration.

“We had so many strong applicants, which is a testament to this community and all the women working hard to make a difference and to pave the way for future generations,” he said.

Women Of The Year