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Congratulations to Sue Ashton, Local Woman of the Year for her work with koalas!

✦ The Port Macquarie electorate Local Woman of the Year 2024 has been awarded to Sue Ashton in recognition of her tireless work with Koala Conservation Australia.  

Can you imagine an Australia without koalas? This highly beloved icon of Australia has been under threat and any effort to protect and preserve them deserves to be highlighted.

Sue Ashton Koala Ambassador is Local Woman of the Year 2024, Photo: | Brilliant Online Australia Singapore UK | Brilliant Online
Sue Ashton Koala Ambassador is Local Woman of the Year 2024 (Photo: Coastbeat)

Sue Ashton stands out as a strong presence that is making a difference to the lives of these furry marsupials. And she rightly deserves the honour and award of Local Woman of the Year 2024!

Member for Port Macquarie, Leslie Williams commended Sue Ashton for the honour, recognising her passion and the positive impact she has made in our community. 

“This is a well-deserved honour for Sue and acknowledges her unparalleled commitment and ongoing contribution to our local Koala Hospital over many years,” Mrs Williams said. 

Sue Ashton Local Woman of the Year Port Macquarie, Photo: NRMA Insurance | Brilliant Online Australia Singapore UK | Brilliant Online
Photo: NRMA

Believe it or not, there is actually a Koala Hospital right here in Port Macquarie! Sue Ashton has been a Volunteer at the Port Macquarie Koala Hospital since August 2017. In her efforts in koala care, Sue has worn many hats as a koala rescuer, as Media Coordinator, President, and has been the Chair of the Koala Conservation Australia Board for several years. 

Sue was instrumental in applying for and securing a significant NSW Government grant that has allowed the Koala Hospital to embark on the journey of developing a new Koala Hospital on the existing site, which aims to be a world class tourist attraction with over 200 volunteers running the facility.


Sue led the team at the Koala Hospital through the difficult period of the black summer bushfires – a time when the Koala Hospital staff and volunteers were deployed to rescue and care for scores of fire affected Koalas. 

Sue is also a member of FAWNA caring for many sick or injured wildlife at home and providing homecare for young orphaned koalas. In her spare time she is a keen member and supporter of the Wauchope Bonsai Club!  Nature clearly runs in her blood!


Be it fires, flood or pandemic Sue is a true trailblazer, leading with good grace, composure and compassion – for flora, fauna, especially her beloved koalas, and people.  

“Sue is an inspiration for other women in the community to realise their potential and make strides to ensure the Hastings is an empowering place for women to live, work and visit,” Mrs Williams said.  


The Local Women of the Year Awards is part of the NSW Government’s initiative to recognise the accomplishments of women as part of NSW Women’s Week 2024, running 4-10 March, coinciding with International Women’s Day on 8 March. 


Recipients of the Local Woman of the Year Awards will be hosted at the NSW Women of the Year Awards Ceremony at the International Convention Centre in Sydney on 7 March 2024. 


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