Sue Pollock, manager at the Raymond Terrace-based Port Stephens Family and Neighbourhood Service, is a well deserved winner of the Port Stephens Woman of the Year for 2021.
For more than 20 years Ms Pollock, who was named the local winner of the 2021 International Women’s Day award by federal and state MPs Meryl Swanson and Kate Washington, has been helping the lonely, disadvantaged and victims of violence.
Ms Pollock is a dedicated advocate for women and children escaping domestic violence and for supporting the most vulnerable in society. But most of all, she is the strength and influence behind her 33 hard-working staff.
“Right now my biggest responsibility is to support the staff and structures we have in place so that we can best serve and support the growing number of clients who depend on our service,” said Ms Pollock, who has a degree in applied science and counselling.
“Our staff workload has increased, partly as a result of the pandemic, particularly in areas of homelessness and domestic violence… in fact in the last six months my main focus has been on supporting staff with stress related issues.”
Ms Pollock said it was for this reason she would be accepting the ‘Woman of the Year’ award on behalf of her team, including social workers, psychologists and trainees, and the “so many amazing women who, despite being subjected to violence or homelessness, keep plodding on, putting one foot in front of the other in the face of adversity”.
She said it was a very humbling experience to receive the award as part of the International Women’s Day (March 8).
The service provides programs in the areas of homelessness, domestic and family violence, youth and family counselling and casework, early childhood groups, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural knowledge, emergency financial relief assistance and more.
Ms Washington said that Ms Pollock was a worthy winner.
“Sue has been on the frontline for years, quietly helping local families when they need it most, and keeping vulnerable people safe,” she said. “On behalf of the thousands of women and children in Port Stephens who have been supported by Sue and her team over the years, we recognise her hard work and dedication, and acknowledge her service to our community.”
Ms Swanson described Sue Pollock as a highly dedicated community leaders who worked “miracles” taking what little resources the service have and providing the community with vital support.
“I am glad that she is being recognised for her dedication to our community in this way. Sue is a fantastic recipient of this award.”