TWO Novocastrians have been named among the top 100 most influential women in the country because of their contributions to the community.
Hunter Institute of Mental Health director Jaelea Skehan is a finalist in the local and regional category, and co-founder of Bus Stop Films, Genevieve Clay-Smith, is a finalist in the young leaders category of the Australian Financial Review and Westpac 100 Women of Influence Awards.
Ms Skehan works tirelessly to promote mental health and well-being and has developed programs to help reduce mental illness and suicide.
‘‘Locally and nationally we must have a vision that includes less people developing mental illness and less people experiencing the psychological pain that may lead them to consider taking their own lives,’’ she said.
Ms Clay-Smith is a writer and director and uses her role through Bus Stop Films, a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to giving people with a disability the chance to act and be involved in professional filmmaking.
She is also the co-founder of Taste Creative, which provides students with work experience and employment opportunities on film sets.
‘‘I hope that my nomination inspires people to think about how they can create inclusion in their workplaces, if we can help people with disabilities engage in the film industry, it’s possible in any industry,’’ she said.
Winners will be announced on October22.