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  • Writer's pictureDave Layzell MP


Sixty-nine new names, including nine from the Upper Hunter electorate, have been added to the 2021-22 Hidden Treasures Honour Roll which pays public tribute to the girls and women across regional, rural and remote NSW who have given their time and energy to helping others in their community.

Coordinated by the NSW Rural Women’s Network, the 2021-22 Hidden Treasures Honour Roll recognises volunteering contributions made in those years.

Member for Upper Hunter Dave Layzell congratulated the nine recipients, who are from across the electorate, for their inclusion in the latest Hidden Treasures Honour Roll including:

· Danielle Fordham – Paterson;

· Valarie Smith – Gresford;

· Peree Watson – Branxton;

· Yasmin Jimmieson – Muswellbrook;

· Anne Mason – Muswellbrook;

· Ruth Van Bezouwen – Muswellbrook;

· Patricia Kirkby – Merriwa;

· Marie Scott – Merriwa; and,

· Sharee Witney – Merriwa

“There are some great stories among this year’s awardees like Danielle Fordham, a former Tocal College student who is now Tocal’s Alumi officer,” Mr Layzell said.

“Yasmin Jimmison is a former Muswellbrook Young Citizen of the Year and is currently a member of the State Emergency Service’s Muswellbrook Unit while Patricia Kirkby was named Merriwa’s 2021 Citizen of the Year.

“Sharee Witney played a significant role in the vaccination of Merriwa and district residents against COVID-19 and Peree Watson has made contributions to various organisations including Hunter Medical Research Institute, the Leukaemia Foundation and Got Your Back Sista.

“Women like Danielle, Valarie, Peree, Yasmin, Anne, Ruth, Patricia, Marie and Sharee play an important role in community development and making rural NSW a great place to live. It is so important we honour their contributions to ensure that voluntary work is valued and respected.”

Minister for Women Bronnie Taylor said Whether it’s supporting individuals or groups within their communities through volunteering in aged care, emergency services, environmental management, health, sport, education and tourism, women are often the unsung heroes behind the scenes of the programs that keep our communities connected.

“They do this freely and without fanfare but they are the backbone of our communities and our society simply wouldn’t function effectively without them, so it’s incredibly important to take the opportunity to sing their praises and celebrate their significant contributions,” Mrs Taylor said.

Hidden Treasures is a project of the Rural Women’s Network, a state-wide initiative of Women NSW that is funded by a $3.7 million investment from the NSW Government.

For more information and a full list of the 2021 and 2022 Hidden Treasures Honour Roll awardees, visit


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