Inspiring South Australian Women’s Award 2024

Published: September 5, 2023

2024 Inspiring South Australian Women’s Award


The Inspiring South Australian Women’s Award recognises an outstanding woman who has made a significant contribution to the community. The Award is jointly coordinated by the Australia Day Council of South Australia and the Office for Women. The Award is provided by Katrine Hildyard MP, Minister for Women and the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence.


Award Categories:

  • Inspiring South Australian Women’s Award
  • Emerging Leader’s Award

A Commendation Award may be bestowed to encourage the future potential of the nominee.


Nominees must:

  • Be an Australian Citizen
  • Work and reside in South Australia
  • Have made an outstanding contribution to the community
  • Sitting state and federal politicians and current vice-regal officers are not eligible
** Nominations for 2024 will close on 1 November 2023.
Read more about 2023 Inspiring South Australian Women’s Award Recipients
Inspiring South Australian Women’s Award 2023

Provided by the Hon Katrine Hildyard MP, Minister for Women and the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence through the Office for Women.

 This Award was introduced by the Australia Day Council and the Office for Women to recognise the outstanding contributions by women to the community during the current year or over several years. The criteria also include achievement in their relevant field and their ability to act as a role model in the community.


Inspiring South Australian Women’s Award 2023:

Sarah Paddick

Sarah’s kindness has assisted vulnerable women find confidence and self-worth during and after incarceration. This kindness has supported many women obtain dignity through securing meaningful work as well as empowering them to reach their full potential and change the trajectory of their lives. As a director of her own successful architecture business for almost 30 years Sarah’s skills and experience has supported over 100 projects in secure facilities across South Australia and nationally.  Through the acquiring of this professional knowledge Sarah felt compelled to give back and support other women to transform their lives after incarceration. Sarah co-created the U-Turn Charitable Foundation, a not-for-profit social initiative that focuses on improving outcomes for incarcerated women on their release, by creating meaningful and long-term employment pathways. This program supports women to develop their skills and gain experience within the building and construction industry. It provides the invaluable opportunity to work alongside professional contractors whilst receiving industry accredited training. U-Turn enables women to take control of their lives, build confidence, feel valued and achieve their own success. “Sarah Paddick changed my life. Being given a term of imprisonment the shame and embarrassment I felt, let alone genuinely thinking I’m in prison I’m 33 years old and my life is over. Sarah gave me a chance to work on the building team, I gained so much for being able to “work” every day, when I was released I was offered a position within Mossop Construction in their head office, I’m now a facilitator for programs and work back in the women’s prison teaching our women to believe in themselves and there is more to life,” participant of the U-Turn Program.


Inspiring South Australian Women’s Award – Commendation 2023:

Madelyn Duckmanton

After the loss of her daughter, Letitia, to Ovarian Cancer, Madelyn Duckmanton was determined to continue the legacy of the young wife and mother, by raising awareness and vital funds to support research into early screening for Ovarian Cancer. In 2016 Letitia and her committee coordinated the first Adelaide Silver Style event raising $75,000 in support of the Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation. Determined to build on her daughter’s work Madelyn and her supportive committee members staged successful fundraising gala events across 2018 and 2019. Madelyn then went on to establish the not for profit, South Australian based charity, Letitia Linke Research Foundation Inc. The foundation aims to increase overall community awareness of the signs and symptoms of Ovarian Cancer and to raise funds that supports research to find an early detection test and more directed and personalised treatment for women with Ovarian Cancer. Drawing on her background as a Senior Healthcare Manager in Pathology, Madelyn leads a team of dedicated volunteers.  The Letitia Linke Research Foundation is currently funding two research projects at the University of South Australia, one working on an early detection test and the other focused on patient specific treatment.


Inspiring South Australian Women’s Award ‘Emerging Leader’ 2023:

Zainab Kazemi

Zainab Kazemi was 13 when she arrived in Australia with her family after fleeing Afghanistan, 10 years later she has become a respected multicultural advocate here in SA. From her own lived experience as a new arrival Zainab was inspired to advocate and support refugees and new migrants particularly women in finding their voice and sense of belonging in their newly adopted country. Zainab is an emerging community leader and through her voluntary participation in the Afghan Association of SA, she has championed the rights of new migrants and refugees as well as those who are unable to escape Afghanistan. Zainab’s passion to promote her culture is evident through her involvement in Youth Parliament, organising events and fundraisers that create awareness of human rights and raise vital funds for Afghani families locally and internationally. Zainab empowers young women particularly from refugee backgrounds to pursue their dreams to ensure they have equal opportunities across all areas of their life.


The Awards are proudly supported by Local Government Association of South Australia, MGA Insurance, On the Run (OTR), Sarah Constructions, Community Bridging Services Inc. and the Government of South Australia.