Sonam Choden, a Bhutanese migrant who has been working at Calvary Hospital throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and helped lead the push for fairer wages for her colleagues, has been named as 2021 ACT Woman of the Year.
Ms Choden works to support her husband and two children, who are in Australia on student visas.
“Sonam is an incredible woman who has brought awareness to women who have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19, and she has advanced gender equality and respect for migrant women in her workplace,” said ACT Minister for Women Yvette Berry.
Dhani Gilbert and Liz Stephens also had their contributions to Canberra recognised at the 2021 ACT Women’s Awards, being awarded the 2021 ACT Young Woman of the Year and 2021 ACT Senior Woman of the Year, respectively.
At just 18 years of age, Dhani has been an instrumental member of Canberra’s Indigenous community in her advocacy for a just and sustainable community as a proud Wiradjuri woman.
“Dhani is an exceptional community activator and advocate,” said Ms Berry. “She contributes to improving the lives of women and girls in the ACT through her active contributions to the Canberra community.”
Liz has been working hard to improve the lives of queer women through her organisation, Diversity ACT, by bringing the community together and coordinating events to support the LGBTQI+ community.
“Liz is a positive, tireless community volunteer for the queer community who has brought women together to connect and make friends for life,” said Ms Berry.
Last year’s ACT Woman of the Year recipient was Cindy Mitchell, who was recognised for her work empowering women through entrepreneurship.