We were thrilled that some of the nation’s most influential women gathered in Sydney today to see The Weekly celebrate its Women of the Future awards and announce its winners.
At an event hosted by the Today show’s Lisa Wilkinson, distinguished guests included Dame Quentin Bryce, Anna Bligh, Sylvia Jeffreys and Jesinta Campbell, all in attendance to see who would take home the top 2016 awards.
Now in its fourth year, the Women of the Future awards celebrate dedicated and inspirational young women. Our two outstanding winners take home a $20,000 fund each, to help them achieve their goals.
The Weekly is pleased to congratulate the Judges’ Choice winner, Georgia Richards, and the People’s Choice Winner, Lauren Rowe.
Judges’ Choice winner: Georgia Richards, 22, Chronic Pain researcher and scientist.
At just 22, Georgia Richards is on a mission to improve the quality of life of those who live and suffer with chronic pain.
“I work in medical research for Australian military veterans,” explains Georgia, currently working on a Veteran Mental Health initiative into Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and how veterans make the transition from military to civilian life.
“This study opened my eyes to the problem of chronic pain,” says Georgia. “I was amazed at the number of people with this condition and the suffering it brought to their lives, not to mention the $35 billion per annum it costs our economy.”
The judges were impressed with Georgia’s passion and dedication, and also her determination to bridge the gap between scientific knowledge, patient understanding and medical practice.
Recently, Georgia’s research was selected for presentation at the 16th World Congress on Pain Conference in Japan.
People’s Choice Winner: Lauren Rowe, 26, Gifted Life
Lauren Rowe was just 19 when she underwent a double lung transplant.
Born with cystic fibrosis, Lauren says that while her condition doesn’t define her, “it does drive me to make the most of every second I have.”
Acting graduate and avid social media participant, Lauren has created a not-for-profit, Gifted Life, to help raise awareness of organ donation.
At the same time, Gifted Life supports people on their transplant journey. “Ninety per cent of recipients experience guilt, anxiety, and depression,” explains Lauren, who provides Necessity Bags to transplant hospitals around NSW.
“Transplant patients are often admitted to hospitals unexpectedly and require toiletries,” says Lauren, who also sends Gift Bags to those experiencing health difficulties.
“One Australian on the transplant waiting list dies every week because an organ is not available in time,” reveals Lauren. Her goal is to raise donation rates so every person on the waiting list receives “a second chance at life.”
Lauren also impressed the judges with her tenacity and compassion, and is a runner-up in the Judges’ Choice awards.
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