Chris Cleary wins The Hills Woman of the Year

TOP HONOUR: The Hills Woman of the Year Chris Cleary received her award from US Consul General Valerie Fowler and The Hills mayor Yvonne Keane. Picture: Kirsten Pearse/KMP Photography
TOP HONOUR: The Hills Woman of the Year Chris Cleary received her award from US Consul General Valerie Fowler and The Hills mayor Yvonne Keane. Picture: Kirsten Pearse/KMP Photography

CHRIS Cleary has been named The Hills Woman of the Year on Wednesday.

M Cleary, who is the founder of StreetMed, received the award at an International Women’s Day event organised by The Hills Council and Western Sydney Women.

“It was a complete shock,” Ms Cleary said after she received the award.

StreetMed set up stands in western Sydney where  homeless people can go to get their blood pressure and blood sugar levels checked.

The organisation also assists homeless people suffering from physical and mental health, and advocates for them by taking them to places where they can get treatment.

Ms Cleary hopes the award can raise the profile of her organisation, which has not received any government funding.

“I started (StreetMed) because no one else was doing it,” Ms Cleary said.

“We get people queuing up to see us. They come to us first because they know they will get the care they need.”

Ms Cleary, who stopped working full-time to run StreetMed, has also been a State Emergency Services volunteer since 1993.

She has also volunteered for the Sister to Sister program for the past decade.

The International Women’s Day awards recognised many incredible women from The Hills region.

The Hills mayor Yvonne Keane congratulated all the winners and nominees.

“We are fortunate that our region is home to some of the most dynamic and impressive women in New South Wales,” Cr Keane said.

“We have strong and innovative leaders locally who are making a real difference in their industries and organisations.”

During the event, US Consul General Valerie Fowler was the keynote speaker, before being part of a question-and-answer panel with Western Sydney founding director Amanda Rose, KPMG Australia director Sarah Cain and The Hills mayor Yvonne Keane.

Ms Fowler talked about growing up with a twin brother and how her parents ensured that she had the same opportunities to excel as her brother.

“If we can give our daughters the same opportunities from the start, the world will be their oyster,” Ms Fowler said.

Berowra MP Julian Leeser thanked The Hills Council and Western Sydney Women for the opportunity to recognise the great work of local women.

“Our Hills women are not only changing the face of the Hills today for the better, they are inspiring strong, influential young women to be positive change-makers in our community for generations to come,” Mr Leeser said.

“Western Sydney Women is a fantastic organisation, the first to advocate for women from all parts of society all over western Sydney.

“Their mission empowers and encourages Western Sydney women to achieve in all facets of life.”

AWARD WINNERS

Woman of the Year: Chris Cleary

Young Woman of the Year: Rachael Noll

Champion of Champions: Annabelle Daniel, Maria Kovacic and Amanda Rose 

Unsung Hero Award: Justine Valencour

Business Woman of the Year: Rebecca Kidner

Business of the Year: The Laser Lounge

Business Connector of the Year: Caroline Bagga

Entrepreneur of the Year: Elena Saadie

Philanthropist of the Year: Susan Cliff

Advocate of the Year: Linda Langton

Sports Women of the Year: Amanda Hudson and Robyn Winn

Community Leader of the Year: Yan Mary Li

Artist of the Year: Dilara Niriella

Wellbeing Champion: Dr Padmini Howpage