NSW Women’s Contribution Award
I felt very honoured and humbled to be awarded the 2023 NSW Women’s Contribution Award in the category of supporting women’s health by Resilience Together Association. This award was set up to recognize contribution of women in CALD (Culturally and Linguistically Diverse) Communities. Connie a good friend from my overseas student era, who is now an active CFS member once suggested to nominate me for ‘Australian of the Year’! I laughed and thanked her for believing in me. Shortly after that conversation, I read about a 2021 UNSW Mental Health Prize awarded by the Department of Psychiatry, UNSW. I called Connie and said, “Perhaps we could give this a go!’ We answered all the questions – research impact, national and international and national contribution. I was able to ‘secure’ five supporting letters from the then Mayor of Willoughby City Council, the Professor at Yale University who invited me to join his research team as my post-doc study; the President of Eastwood Chinese Senior Citizen Club … All I was thinking at the time was to reach the finalists. I was by no means to ‘taste the glamour’, but just wished to draw awareness of how challenging it was to advocate for better mental health services in community with English as a 2nd language (non-English speaking carries negative connotation). When I found out later that of the 6 finalists shortlisted, none was from CALD background, it was totally non-representative of the 51% of Australians who were either born overseas or have at least one parent born overseas (ABS Census 2021). Earlier this year, I heard about this NSW Women’s Contribution Award. I called Connie once again and said, ‘Let’s try again!’. ‘
It was a nice surprise that my name was announced as a co-winner. I truly believed every finalist is as deserving as me to the award. I was humbled by all the great work all these women tirelessly advocating for what they believe is the right thing to do. Not for their own good but for the building a community for the common good. I hope this award would help take CFS to the next level and reach out to the multicultural society. I would like to thank the CFS Committee and our members to help CFS gain its charity status. I would like to share this honour with all of you.