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Monday, July 22, 2024

Clarance electorate woman of the year 2024 – Cheryl Dimmock

An inspiring figure whose dedication has forged unity within her town and established a resilient community organization primed to confront increasingly severe natural calamities, Cheryl Dimmock, President of the Iluka Community Organisation Planning for Emergencies (ICOPE), has been honored as the 2024 Clarence Electorate Woman of the Year.

In a heartfelt ceremony held at the Iluka Community Hall, Ms. Dimmock received this prestigious accolade surrounded by loved ones, friends, and fellow ICOPE members, presented by Member for Clarence, Richie Williamson. The genesis of ICOPE sprang from a profound realization; after experiencing isolation for weeks during a stay near Lismore, ICOPE Vice-President Tony Belton recognized the imperative to fortify the community against such disasters. Ms. Dimmock, reflecting on the journey, recounted the formation of ICOPE in 2022, a union of 15 close friends determined to enact change.

Since its inception, ICOPE has burgeoned to over 120 members, fostering unity through initiatives like “Field of Friends” and “Balanced Connections,” breathing new vitality into the town. Accepting the award with humility, Ms. Dimmock credited the collective effort of the ICOPE team, emphasizing the recognition’s significance amidst International Women’s Day celebrations, honoring the tireless contributions of women to community vibrancy and resilience.

ICOPE’s impact transcends disaster preparedness; it has woven a tighter social fabric within Iluka. Ms. Dimmock envisions ICOPE as more than an organization, but as a beacon of hope and resilience in adversity, championing collaboration and shared purpose.

Ruth Dawson, a foundation member, expressed gratitude for Ms. Dimmock’s inspirational leadership, affirming ICOPE’s roots in love for the community. Richie Williamson lauded Ms. Dimmock’s vision and ICOPE’s transformative influence, advocating for its replication statewide. Witnessing the community’s past isolation during bushfires and floods, ICOPE emerged as a proactive response, endorsed by the Clarence Valley Local Emergency Management Committee, designating Iluka as a community-managed emergency center.

In celebrating Ms. Dimmock’s achievements, Williamson acknowledged the myriad of exceptional women shaping the Clarence Valley, underscoring Ms. Dimmock’s pivotal role in ICOPE’s development. As the community looks to the future, ICOPE stands as a testament to resilience, collaboration, and the enduring spirit of Iluka.

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