National Council of Women of New South Wales, Our Awards
Our Awards

NCW NSW Australia Day Award | Jean Arnot Award | NCW NSW Recognition Award | NCW NSW Dame Marie Bashir Peace Award

The dedicated women of NCW NSW continue their unbroken service to women’s welfare and social justice by offering scholarships and awards.
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NCW NSW Australia Day Awards

It is the aim of NCW NSW to encourage women to undertake further studies, which will eventually lead to the elevation of the role of women in society.  The Australia Day Awards are made possible through generous sponsorship by organisations and individuals.  The individual studies of the chosen awardees range across a wide field in accordance with the preference of their sponsors and the diligence of universities is seeking out candidates who fulfil the requirements of our criteria. 

The selection process is undertaken by the faculty of the participating university or specific body, subject to final approval by the Sponsor and the NCW NSW Awards Committee.

Contact us for authorised access to archive of NCW NSW Australia Day Awards.

Jean Arnot Award

Miss Jean Fleming Arnot, MBE, FLAA. (1903-1995) was educated at Fort Street Girls High School and hoped to attend University and study science. This could not be realised because of her father's poor health and the need to assist financially in her home. Consequently Jean started as an apprentice librarian at the State Library in 1921.  Through application, study and hard work Jean Arnot moved through the library system to become acting Mitchell Librarian and head catalogDescription of photo hereuer prior to her retirement in 1968.

Miss Arnot was loved and admired by all her library colleagues. Her many acts of kindness earned her their respect and loyalty,

As the family bread-winner Jean became aware of the disparity between male and female rates of pay. This led her to undertake the campaign for equal pay for equal work from the early 1930s.

For 42 years, Jean Arnot earned less than male employees - even subordinates.  Sadly, it was only in the last 5 years of her employment that she benefited from her efforts to achieve equal pay for equal work in the Public Service.

Miss Arnot took an active role in many women's organisations, her trade union and professional association.  She was a former President of the Sydney Business and Professional Women's Association and National President of the Australian Federation of Business and Professional Women's Associations. Miss Arnot was also very active in the National Council of Women, NSW. Elected President in 1960 she served in that capacity for six years, followed by three years as Vice President. During this period she wrote the history of NCW NSW. She was elected Honorary Life Vice President of the NCW in 1972 in recognition of her contribution to the advancement of women. Jean was Honorary Life Vice President of the Pan Pacific and South East Asian Women's Association and a member of the Board of Directors of The Women's Club.  Fittingly, Jean was awarded the MBE in 1965.

In 1993 National Council of Women of NSW and the Federation of Business and Professional Women of Australian and supported by thDescription of photo heree State Library, joined together to plan the celebration for Jean's 90th birthday.  Because of the great success on that occasion and at Jean's suggestion, the committee decided to continue with a Jean Arnot Annual Luncheon which remembers Jean's contribution to the struggle for equal pay for equal work and honours ladies in their 90th year and older for service to their community. The function initiated by Val Buswell OAM (BPW Australia) and Joan Elliston AM (NCW NSW). Val and Joan were co-convenors of the lunches until Val's passing in 2005 and Joan continued this tradition with great distinction assisted by Marlene Arditto and others until 2011. Since then, a committee of NCW NSW and BPW Australia members with assistance from the State Library, have organised the luncheon.

The family of Jean Arnot is delighted that this tradition is being continued and that The Jean Arnot Memorial Fellowship awarded to outstanding librarians can act as a continuous reminder of Miss Arnot's contribution for all women.

Archive of Recipients of Certificates of Appreciation for improving the conditions for women and children in their communities is accessible upon authorised request.

NCW NSW Recognition Award

Every year at the Foundation Day Luncheon, we celebrate the advancement of women. It was on 26 June 1896 that Margaret Windeyer called a meeting at Sydney Town Hall to discuss forming a Description of photo hereNational Council of Women in New South Wales (NCW NSW). As a result, the first General Meeting of NCW NSW was held on 26 August 1896, with Vicountess Hampden, wife of the Governor, accepting the position of President.  She served in that position until 1899.

The societies and organisations, affiliated with NCW NSW since that first year, have continued to change over the years and the focus of advocacy has changed. The work of the first Council was advocacy for equal pay for equal work, the inclusion of 'domestic arts' in the school curriculum and libraries and kindergartens for the young.  Today, we are still advocating for equality of opportunity and our emphasis is on women in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics).

Each year, nominations are invited from individual members and members of affiliated organisations of a woman whom they consider worthy of recognition. These nominations are considered by a committee. The selected women are honoured with certificates, recognising their commitment to the common goal of working to advance the status of women and children.  They display the diversity of their dedication to that goal and provide an example of the many different ways a goal can be reached.  Each awardee exhibits the strong characteristics of NCW NSW's founding leaders.

Archive of NCW NSW Recognition Awards accessible upon authorised request.

NCW NSW Dame Marie Bashir Peace Awards
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The NCW NSW Youth Awards, now known as the NCW NSW Dame Marie Bashir Peace Awards, were revamped in 2010 to honour the example set by long time member of NCW NSW, Dame Marie Bashir, when she was Governor of NSW.   These awards are open to all girls in New South Wales from school years 10-12.  The Principal of each school is invited to nominate one student from their school whom they consider has made a significant contribution to harmony or social justice through displaying leadership in fostering harmonious relationships and peace.


Archive of NCW NSW Dame Marie Bashir Peace Awards accessible upon authorised request.

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