Selfless storyteller earns award spotlight

A Cairns journalist of more than 30 years has become the story by today being named Cairns Woman of the Year.

Roz Pulley was recognised for her commitment to voicing the stories of women and girls and for her support of both her local community and others across the world in need of assistance.

The award was presented at this morning’s International Women’s Day Breakfast, hosted by Councillors Linda Cooper and Cathy Zeiger.

“Roz has a passion and a gift for sharing stories of those who face or have overcome adversity, particularly girls and women,” Cr Cooper said.

“Not only does she give them a voice, she dedicates herself to the causes they stand for and then sets in motion a series of real actions that will make a difference.

“Testament to this is her decade-long support and work to help provide a way for girls in a small Nepalese village to go to school. Roz not only has shed a light on the children of Nepal through her countless articles, but she tirelessly works towards hosting fundraisers and raising money for the cause.”

For more than 10 years, Ms Pulley has championed the Cairns Relay for Life and raised tens of thousands of dollars towards the cause.

“As a writer, when Roz unearths a young person’s success – especially young women or girls – she grabs on and promotes their achievement with unmatched fervour,” Cr Zeiger said.

“She sees her role as not only telling a story, but also advocating for these young women, to show the Far North, the state, the nation and the world, that these young women from a regional city have potential to conquer their goals and provide inspiration for countless others.”

Young Woman of the Year Ella-Rose Lawrence has positioned herself as a role model for young women in Cairns and is working to create a program to promote career and sporting pathways for girls.

“She is an ambassador for girls, encouraging them to set goals and to seek opportunities to contribute to our community,” Cr Cooper said.

A $2000 scholarship was presented to Stephanie Russell-Farnham, who is in the process of collating interviews for a collaborative book sharing inspiring women’s stories.

“Despite immense personal hardship and trauma, Stevie’s determination in life has enabled her to empathise, support and inspire other women locally and internationally through the Hope Medical Centre in Zambia,” Cr Zeiger said.

Currently completing a manuscript of Cairns women’s stories from tragedy to triumph, the scholarship will go towards securing an editor and publication of the book as testimony and legacy to educate, motivate and empower more woman.

The awards were presented by Cairns Regional Council with support from partner Bendigo Bank – which provided cash prizes to award recipients and $500 donations to the winners’ charities of choice – as well as Star 102.7 FM and Lotsa Printing.

This event is proud to support the Share the Dignity project providing sanitary items to women in need.

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