Locals receive Woman of the Year award

San Remo’s Oana McBride has been named Swansea Local Woman of the Year for 2023 and Te’re Melrose received the award for The Entrance electorate at this years award ceremony in Sydney yesterday.

Yasmin Catley and Oana McBride.

10 March 2023


YASMAN CATLEY, Member for Swansea, nominated Oana McBride for her role in improving palliative care services on the Central Coast.


For more than 12 years, Oana has been a strong advocate for this cause, following her good friend Elsie’s battle with breast cancer.


Despite working as a physio and nurse at the Royal North Shore Hospital, Oana left to dedicate her time and efforts towards establishing a palliative care unit at Gosford Hospital by lobbying lawyers and other relevant stakeholders.


She also collaborated with Lions Clubs across the Central Coast to raise funding and presented a 10,000-signature petition to the NSW Minister for Health in 2019, calling for a palliative care unit to be installed at the hospital.


Oana’s consistent efforts paid off, as Elsie’s Dream Palliative Care Unit opened at Gosford Hospital in 2020.


Over the past couple of years, the unit has thrived and made a major difference to the end-of-life care of many patients.


Despite enduring her own battle with Bechet Disease, Oana continues to advocate for the creation of more palliative care services on the Central Coast, including at Wyong Hospital.


Oana will received her award at yesterday’s ceremony at the Grand Ballroom in Sydney’s International Convention Centre, along with other local recipients from across the state.


Yasmin Catley said “Oana is an asset to the community and a very deserving recipient of the Swansea Local Woman of the Year award.


“For years she has fought hard for better palliative care services for locals, and she achieved just that with the opening of Elsie’s Dream.


“Oana is an outstanding woman who has made a difference in the lives of many across our region. I thank her for all of her hard work and advocacy.”

David Mehan and Te're Melrose.

There was also congratulations for Te’re Melrose (popularly known as ‘TJ’), who was Local Woman of the Year for The Entrance electorate. Ms Melrose received the award for her tremendous efforts as the creator and driving force behind the not-for-profit organisation Doggie Dates NSW Ltd.


The NSW Local Woman of the Year Award is an annual event that coincides with International Women’s Day. This event recognises and celebrates the achievements of women and the contributions they make to their local communities.


Ms Melrose established the organisation in 2015 that reaches a diverse range of participants including retirees, young people, families, and people with physical and or mental health challenges. Ms Melrose's goal is to connect the community through regional based dog walking groups.


The organisation currently has 6 regional groups, one of which is on the Central Coast and interacts with the community via walks and social media posts. Ms Melrose has designed these groups to be safe and to help foster inclusiveness, socialisation and friendships; as well as providing education in responsible dog ownership.


Ms Melrose also volunteers with Paws Pet Therapy and regularly visits organisations such as aged care facilities, groups supporting children, young people with special needs and those who have experienced trauma.


“I was delighted to attend a recent Doggie Dates event with my dog Gruff and present Ms Melrose with her certificate,” said Member for The Entrance, David Mehan.


This group is much more than just a dog walking group. The benefits to individual health and wellbeing are evident with the growing popularity of Doggie Dates on the Central Coast.”


“I was honoured to attend the official 2023 NSW Women of the Year Awards ceremony in Sydney with Ms Melrose yesterday to celebrate her wonderful achievement,” said Mr Mehan.

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