Blacktown Hospital Nurse, selfless volunteer and passionate mother gives her all to support multicultural health in western Sydney

Gladyss Panoncillo is a Registered Nurse at Blacktown Hospital. She cares for people at their most vulnerable during her shifts – but is also leading with compassion as a member of the western Sydney community.

This dedication to care has been acknowledged in her nomination as a finalist for the 2023 Rotary Inspirational Women’s Awards.

The Honourable Jodie Harrison MP, Minister for Women and Minister for the Prevention of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, recently announced the finalists for this prestigious award, which recognises contributions of women in urban and rural communities.

Gladyss’ work ranges from establishing a walking group supported by the Heart Foundation, to creating a carer’s support group for families with disability.

“I feel humble, grateful and surprised that I was nominated for this award,” Gladyss said.

“I created the walking group to support individuals with improving their lifestyle, creating inclusion and diversity within our communities, promote wellness and wellbeing for a happier and healthier community.

“As a nurse I see so many patients with diabetes, obesity, and cardiac issues and most of these conditions are preventable. In my spare time I wanted to give something back to the communities, so I created these social groups.”

The mother of a son with special needs, Gladyss has volunteered for Carers NSW and has organised events for parents, carers, and families of people with disability through her Rooty Hill Multicultural Carers group.

The Rooty Hill Multicultural Walking Group was established in 2021 was established to encourage a sense of community and safety while staying healthy.

“I’m excited to be nominated for this award and to celebrate the hard work and commitment of women in our community who make a positive and rewarding difference in people’s lives.”

Gladyss is also involved in a “Get Healthy Program’ in her local community where she organises Zumba classes for women and carers and gives away food hampers with fresh fruit and vegetables.

Gladyss was nominated by Blacktown Workers Club Welfare Support Officer Tina Maamari and The Ponds Primary School Principal Leonie Donaldson for the 2023 Rotary Inspirational Women’s Award.

The Rotary Awards ceremony will take place on 10 September 2023.