Women shaping Australia's future

IT is great to see two local women recognised among the nation’s most influential women but the Australian Financial Review/Westpac 100 Women of Influence awards do more than just shine the spotlight on a handful of women like Orange’s Ellie Brown and Jan Savage.

Mrs Brown would be familiar to most people in business in Orange and in recent years to lovers of horse racing.

As a past president of the Orange Business Chamber she was one of the driving forces behind the CGU Outstanding Business Awards. 

When the time came to look for fresh challenges Mrs Brown was convinced to join the board of Racing Orange and help the Towac Park club get back on track after the break up of the Golden West Race Club partnership with Bathurst.

And if that wasn’t enough to keep the mother of two busy, she has pursued her passion for business through a position on the board of the NSW Business Chamber.

Mrs Savage is well known across Orange and the central west for her determination to see accommodation provided for patients travelling to Orange for radiotherapy. Many people have been responsible for turning the vision for the Cancer Care Western NSW lodge into a reality but Mrs Savage has led the way in the regional fundraising effort that paid for the construction.

Mrs Brown and Mrs Savage find themselves in the elite company of women from almost every field of endeavour, from public policy and social enterprise to leaders in business, innovation, science and philanthropy.

The wider purpose of the awards is to highlight for the community the outstanding contribution that a great many women are making to Australia.

It is important for younger women to realise there are role models out there, and far more than just those in high-profile positions that attract media attention.

The list of the 100 Women of Influence for 2014 that starts on page 12 today reminds us that women are occupying leading roles in every field imaginable and they are helping shape the Australia of the future.

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