Bush welfare campaigner wins top NSW award
Monday, 27th September, 2010
A champion for women and indigenous communities whose welfare service touches more than half of rural NSW has won a Telstra Business Award.
Sister Margaret Flynn, CEO of the catholic welfare organisation CentaCare Wilcannia-Forbes, was named the winner of the White Pages Community and Government Award at the 16th Telstra NSW Business Women’s Awards in Sydney.
Sr Margaret launched the service in 1996 with a budget of just $3000. Today she manages a budget of $16 million and CentaCare branches at Bourke, Forbes,Macquarie/Barwon , Narromine and Broken Hill, serving an area that covers 52 per cent of NSW.
Of CentaCare’s 125 staff members, 85 per cent are women and 20 per cent are Indigenous. A former school principal and family counsellor, Sr Margaret also worked as a Loreto Sister volunteering in soup kitchens, refugee centres and shelters for the homeless.
She also has a successful track record for lobbying government to provide funding for remote ruralareas of the State. Telstra Country Wide Western NSW AreaGeneral Manager Darren Smith said the leadership and achievements of Sr Margaret should provide inspiration for women throughout the State.
“As the founding CEO of CentreCare Wilcannia- Forbes, Sr Margaret has been responsible for the development of the business from its inception in 1996 - shaping its culture and ethos and responses to the needs of rural and remote communities, including Indigenous communities, across the western half of NSW,” Mr Smith said.
“Judges were impressed with the way she has fostered an environment of trust and integrity to build a strong leadership team that has a reputation for responsible business management and stable and professional structures.”
The NSW winners proceed to the national finals of the Telstra Business Women’s Awards which will be announced in Melbourne on November 11.