Women’s Charter Award recipient announced

The Greater Shepparton Women’s Charter Advisory Committee (GSWCAC) was pleased to announce local Maria Brown-Shepherd as its 2021 Women’s Award recipient at ceremony held in the Queens Gardens (TBC) on Thursday 1 April.

The annual Women’s Award recognises an individual who has made a difference to women and the community. The Women’s Award is about acknowledging an individual whose actions impact upon women within the Greater Shepparton area in a positive way.

Nominations were judged using the following criteria:

  • How the nominee made a difference to the community, particularly within the Greater Shepparton area
  • How the nominee has acknowledged and embraced diversity
  • How the nominee has inspired and encouraged women

Maria was chosen as the recipient of the 2021 Women’s Award due to her outstanding commitment to the community, in particular the agriculture and multicultural communities.


Maria continues to actively support rural women in agriculture and multicultural women in her community. Operating a family orchard since 1996, Maria has built up an enormous amount of valuable skills and knowledge that she shares with the community by combining primary production with work as a training provider. Since 2007 Maria has contributed as a board member of the Shepparton and District Ethnic Council. A prime example of leadership, hard work and determination, her achievements is a model to women.

Some of Maria’s contributions include:

  • President of the Ethnic Council of Shepparton and District since 2012
  • Involvement in various committees, organisations and summits across the farming and agriculture sectors
  • Provides support and training to multicultural women in various ways.

Greater Shepparton City Council Mayor, Cr Kim O’Keeffe, congratulated Maria on her award.

“Maria exemplifies what the Women’s Award is all about. She has worked with and supported so many women within our region and her leadership and achievements are a substantial contribution to our community, she is a very deserving winner of the Women’s Award in 2021,” Cr O’Keeffe said.

GSWCAC Councillor Representative, Cr Sam Spinks, was pleased to be able to witness Maria accept the award.

“The selection of this year’s Women’s Award recipient was extremely difficult, as the calibre of the nominees was very high,” Cr Spinks said.

“The selection panel always has a difficult task, though it is very pleasing to see that there are women contributing to their community and making a difference to the lives of women. Congratulations to a deserving recipient in Maria.”

The Greater Shepparton Women’s Charter Advisory Committee (GSWCAC) is an advisory committee of the Greater Shepparton City Council, and is part of a broader network of Local Government Area (LGA) advisory committees across the state that are guided and informed by the Victorian Local Government Women’s Charter.

The GSWCAC is made up of volunteers and, with Council support, aims to increase women’s participation in key decision making forums in the community and in democratic governance. The GSWCAC supports three main principles: Gender Equity, Diversity, and Active Citizenship. For more information about the GSWCAC visit: http://greatershepparton.com.au/community/neighbourhoods/wcaac


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