23 October 2015

Two incredible YWCA Canberra leaders have been honoured with an Edna Award, recognising their contribution to the ongoing journey towards equality for women.

Executive Director, Frances Crimmins, and valued member, volunteer and former Board Director, Betty Ferguson, have been presented with esteemed Edna Ryan Awards for their service to advancing the status of women in the ACT.

The awards were created in 1998 in honour of Edna Ryan, who fought for equal wages and conditions for Australian women for over 30 years. The awards recognise women from NSW and the ACT who have made a feminist difference, whether it is in the community, workforce, arts, government or sport.

Ms Crimmins was recognised for her leadership and advocacy on behalf of Canberra women and girls.

“I am delighted to be awarded an Edna and join an incredible line-up of former recipients. I relish the opportunity I have to provide a strong voice for women and girls in Canberra, and look forward to continuing to speak out on issues affecting them,” she said.

Frances is passionate about gender equality. Under her leadership, YWCA Canberra has twice achieved the Employer of Choice for Gender Equality citation from the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA). She was also recently named a Gender Pay Equity Ambassador by WGEA.

As Human Resources Manager at Calvary John James Hospital previously, she also achieved a citation as an Employer of Choice for Women, after instituting an organisation-wide training program to boost the skills and confidence of non-clinical staff. Her advocacy on the prevention of violence against women, particularly through the Respect NOW campaign, has had national impact.

Ms Ferguson has a long history in improving the status of women through her extensive involvement with the YWCA movement.

“YWCA Canberra is nearly 90 years young – we have constantly evolved to meet the changing needs of women and girls in the community, and that’s what first drew me to the organisation,” Ms Ferguson said.

Following a successful full-time career in IT, accounting and public administration, Ms Ferguson applied her financial and management expertise to mentor and train other women. She has led financial workshops for YWCA Canberra for nine years, and served as Treasurer on its Board in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013 and 2014. As Treasurer, Ms Ferguson significantly contributed to YWCA Canberra’s future financial sustainability through her development of a comprehensive investment policy.

Ms Ferguson has demonstrated her commitment to supporting young women by personally funding two scholarships for young women to attend YWCA Canberra’s She Leads Conference in both 2014 and 2015.

Ms Crimmins and Ms Ferguson will be presented with their awards at a ceremony in Sydney this evening.
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Frances Crimmins and Betty Ferguson are available for interview.


Media contact: Karan Gabriel 0429 210 881 or 6175 9954.
About YWCA Canberra: YWCA Canberra is a feminist, not-for-profit community organisation that has been providing community services and representing women’s issues in the Canberra community since its establishment in 1929. YWCA Canberra employs more than 300 staff across the ACT, and delivers 30 quality programs in children’s services, community development, housing, youth services, women’s leadership, advocacy, and training. Represented in 122 countries, the YWCA has a global reach of 25 million women and girls. As part of this international movement, YWCA Canberra works for a world where reconciliation, justice, peace, health, human dignity, freedom and care for the environment are promoted and sustained through women’s leadership.

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