The work of the Deadly Sista Girlz has been recognised with a Premiers Excellence Award.
The work of the Deadly Sista Girlz has been recognised with a Premiers Excellence Award. Frank Redward

Divas, leader win Premier's Awards

COFFS Harbour’s Deadly Sista Girlz and Coffs Harbour City Council’s Aboriginal community development officer Robert Waters have won NSW Premier’s Awards for Leadership in Aboriginal Communities.

The Deadly Sista Girlz won the Health and Wellbeing: Body and Mind Award and Mr Waters the Youth Leadership: Leaders of the Future Award.

The Deadly Sista Girlz, a group of Coffs Harbour women, develop women’s health and well-being activities and encourage community participation.

They also provide exercises and events that improve the lifestyles of women in the Coffs Harbour region.

Noelene Skinner, who formed the group 14 months ago with her sister, Fiona Hyland, said all the Deadly Sista Girlz were ‘over the moon’ with the win. Eighteen months ago, she and her sister applied for The Biggest Loser TV reality show and made it to the final cut, but not into the show.

Instead they decided to go home and get fit and become involved in a healthy living program.

Today there are 54 members of the deadly Sista Girlz, aged from 16 to 63, and their activities range from a news- letter and website to trips to Melbourne and Sydney as well as evening and weekend exercise and activity sessions.

Robert Waters, 31, received his award for his significant contributions to empowering the community he lives in. He is a staunch advocate of self-determination within Aboriginal communities and as a result he is a valued member of many committees in Coffs Harbour.

Robert has been a very strong advocate for the Gumbaynggirr people. He consults with a wide range of people and always with the Gumbaynggirr Elders and because of this he has their trust and respect.

The NSW Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Paul Lynch, in announcing the Awards winners, said the awards recognised the tireless effort of Aboriginal people in New South Wales in building stronger communities.

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