Member for Maitland Jenny Aitchison MP has awarded Amorelle Dempster, Maitland’s 2018 Woman of the Year tonight at a gala International Women’s Day Dinner hosted by the Women’s Network Hunter NSW in conjunction with BPW Cessnock Maitland.

The Local Woman of the Year awards enable all local State MP’s to select one woman doing outstanding work in their community to be recognised through this program. This award is presented in conjunction with the NSW Women of the Year Awards.

Ms Dempster is the leader of Slow Food Hunter Valley and international councillor for Slow Food Australia and has been an outstanding advocate for farmers, growers and the general community. She has travelled nationally and internationally to encourage local communities to produce more of their own food requirements.

In Maitland, Ms Dempster’s involvement in the Slow Food movement has seen the launch and establishment of the very first Earth Markets in the Southern hemisphere. Through her local business she offers farmers a platform to expose their excess produce direct to the wider community. Her café also supports the preparation and donation of thousands of meals per year for the homeless and disadvantaged.

Ms Dempster has worked tirelessly campaigning for community to look toward sustainable regional solutions as urban populations expand into traditional agricultural land.

Ms Dempster’s work calling for communities to prioritise cultivation of local food production was highlighted on ABC Women's Work and she regularly promotes the Slow Food movement in local, regional and national media.

Ms Aitchison also paid special tribute to the five women who had won the award in previous years: Naomi Rees, Pennie Kearney, Yvette Cavanagh, Michelle Davies, Samantha Meyn.

Quotes attributable to Member for Maitland, Jenny Aitchison:

“I was delighted to present Amorelle Dempster with the 2018 Maitland Local Woman of the Year award.”

“As I go about my work in Maitland I am always inspired by the women in our community, and this year for me, Amorelle was a standout.”

“Everyday women of all ages across Maitland make immense and valuable contributions to their community, and these annual awards are an opportunity to publically acknowledge and celebrate these inspirational women.”

“This annual award recognises the important work of women across NSW in a variety of fields, from charities to businesses and community groups.”

“The award is well-deserved recognition for the enormous contribution Amorelle has already made, and of her ongoing commitment to our local community.”

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