Khawlah and Steph sit at a table and smile at the camera.

Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke has congratulated Khawlah Albaf for being recognised as a finalist in the newest category at the 2021 NSW Women of the Year Awards.

Ms Cooke said Khawlah Albaf had been selected in the ‘One To Watch’ category for her ongoing advocacy for rural and regional people.

“Khawlah deserves to be a household name throughout the Cootamundra electorate for her continued work to make our communities great places to live,” Ms Cooke said.

“She has proudly served on the NSW Regional Youth Taskforce, she has received a Harding Miller Scholarship to support her through her studies, she’s a member of the Hilltops Youth Council, she was named the Rural & Regional Champion by CMRC in Women’s Week 2020 and she has participated in the United Nations Youth Junior leadership weekend and the UN Youth NSW state conference, and is a Prefect at Young High School.”

“I am so proud she calls the Cootamundra electorate home and wish her a huge congratulations for her achievements so far, which are especially remarkable given how young she is.”

Minister for Women Bronnie Taylor praised the cohort of 7 to 17-year-olds in contention for the award which highlights the efforts of girls and young women in NSW.

Each and every one of these young women can be incredibly proud of themselves for standing up and standing out at such a young age,” Mrs Taylor said.

“From the nominees to the finalists, each of these future role models has had a look at the issues affecting the community around them and set their minds to making a real, practical difference.

“I was really touched to read the nominations that were submitted on behalf of these young girls, which came from teachers, employers, parents and neighbours, who spoke passionately about kindness, strength and determination.”

“These young girls are playing a significant part in helping us build a safer, stronger NSW for themselves, their families and the communities they are growing up in.”

The finalists represent much of the state including Sydney, the Hunter, Riverina, Western Plains, Central Coast and Illawarra regions.

The winner will be announced on 9 March during NSW Women’s Week 2021, ahead of the NSW Women of the Year Awards ceremony.

The awards, which are in their 10th year, provide a comprehensive and targeted approach to promoting gender equality. They are an initiative of the NSW Women’s Strategy 2018–2022 and form part of NSW Women’s Week held from 8-15 March.

For more information, visit: women.nsw.gov.au/news-and-events/women-of-the-year