Main Image

08 March 2024

Zaneta Mascarenhas MP
Federal Member for Swan

Hon Kate Doust MLC
Member for South Metropolitan Region

Lyndsey Fitzgerald
Jacaranda Community Centre



8 March 2024

The achievements of local women in the electorate of Swan have today been recognised at the inaugural Swan International Women’s Day Awards and Breakfast by Zaneta Mascarenhas MP and Jacaranda Community Centre. International Women’s Day (IWD) is recognised globally to celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women.

Over 220 people attended the Swan IWD event held at Mineral Resources Park in Lathlain to come together as a community to celebrate International Women’s Day and congratulate all the nominees and winners.

The winners of the 2024 awards are:

  • Swan Woman of the Year Maryann Tsai, Como, presented by Zaneta Mascarenhas MP. Maryann is the founder of Reach Her, a not-for-profit that supports and empowers women from diverse backgrounds to improve their confidence, mental and physical well-being and help create a sense of belonging by helping them gain employment.


  • Swan Young Woman of the Year Chloe Perez, High Wycombe, presented by Hon Hannah Beazley MLA, Minister for Youth and Local Government. Chloe has excelled in the sport of Taekwondo and has demonstrated amazing leadership skills and work ethic far exceeding her young age of 16. Coming from a culturally diverse background (Filipino), Chloe is also a role model for many other culturally diverse students, particularly children who are new to the country.


  • Swan Scientist of the Year Dr Parwinder Kaur, Queens Park, presented by Geoff Baker MLA. As a proud Indian-Australian, Dr. Kaur has not only excelled in her field but has also made amazing contributions to the community. Through initiatives such as DNA Zoo Australia, Dr. Kaur leverages STEM to address pressing societal issues, encouraging fresh thinking and innovative solutions.


  • Swan Senior Woman of the Year Joan Sutherland, Redcliffe, presented by Cassie Rowe MLA on behalf of Jacaranda Community Centre. Joan is part of an amazing team who support and individuals doing it tough. In the last three months, Joan and her team have provided 45,000 meals to families and individuals. Her determination to overcome obstacles and turn the Haven in Vic Park into a staple for local people doing it tough is inspiring.


  • Swan Sportswoman of the Year Michele Burton, Kensington, presented by Isabella Lewis, Vice-Captain of the West Coast Eagles AFLW. Michele is influential, inclusive and inspirational in her involvement in the establishment of the amazing Women’s Football Program at Perth Football Club. Michele goes above and beyond in everything she does; nothing is too much trouble, and it is never someone else’s job.


  • Swan Social Cohesion Award Sobia Shah, Victoria Park, presented by Professor Colleen Hayward AM. Sobia founded the Professional Migrant Women's Network (PMWN) to provide equal work opportunities for professional women from culturally and linguistically diverse, refugee, asylum-seeking and/or marginalised backgrounds. As a Muslim woman her journey serves as a beacon of hope, demonstrating that despite significant obstacles, positive change is achievable.


Quotes attributable to Zaneta Mascarenhas MP:

“Today is an amazing show of strength in community and what we can achieve when we come together. There are so many amazing women in Swan, and I was so delighted to work with Jacaranda Community Centre to bring the community together to recognise them and celebrate the incredible work they do.

“It was fantastic to see federal, state, and local community leaders, teachers, multicultural community organisation, aged care, police officer, teachers, sporting clubs, and local charities all here.

“All the nominees are amazing women and I am inspired by their stories. Whether providing 45,000 meals to people doing it tough, creating employment pathways for migrant women, making scientific discoveries, or developing opportunities for future AFL sport stars, these women are making a huge difference to the local community.

“But the day is not just about recognising the winners and nominees; it’s about recognising the hardworking and dedicated women who help others and drive change to ensure that women are counted and heard.”

Quotes attributable to Lyndsey Fitzgerald, CEO, Jacaranda Community Centre:

I would like to thank the community for embracing this event and acknowledging the important work that women do.

“Jacaranda works closely with many women who find themselves in difficult and vulnerable situations. Sharing their experiences, elevating their voices, and recognising their work on International Women’s Day is an important reminder that we need to keep working hard to improve the lives of vulnerable women.”

Quotes attributable to Kate Doust MLC:

“As a member of the judging panel for the Swan International Women's Day awards, I am both honoured and humbled to have had the opportunity to learn of the remarkable contributions of all our nominees.

“I extend my heartfelt congratulations to everyone who was nominated and to each of the final award winners, your achievements are an inspiration, and a reminder of the impactful roles’ women play across the Swan electorate. Congratulations on this well-deserved recognition, and may you continue to lead and inspire with your remarkable contributions.”

MEDIA CONTACT: Melissa Robinson 0403 953 162