Winners announced at ‘reimagined’ YWCA Hamilton Women of Distinction Awards


Published March 8, 2021 at 3:28 pm


Just days before Internation Women’s Day, over 1,000 viewers tuned in to watch the YWCA Hamilton’s first-ever virtual Women of Distinction Awards.

The reimagined awards, emceed by Juno-winning musical artist Terra Lightfoot (who also performed), celebrated the accomplishments of women in six different categories: Frontline worker; Heath Care Hero; Pandemic Innovator; Community Champion; Young Trailblazer; and Lifetime Achievement.

“We knew that our Women of Distinction Awards would look a little different this year, due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic,” said the YWCA in a blog post on its official website. “With that in mind, we decided to pivot our event to shine a light on the women of Hamilton and Halton who faced the many challenges posed by Covid-19.”

Over $60,500 was donated during the event, bringing the total to more than $230,000 for the YWCA.

The evening (Mar. 4) also included a special tribute to the Honourary Woman of Distinction, Abrar Mechmechia. Each year, this award is given to a woman who has accessed our programs and services and subsequently gone on to inspire and lead women in our community.

Abrar spent years living in Aleppo, Syria, finishing her psychology degree and offering trauma counselling to children during the civil war. After arriving in Hamilton in 2017, Abrar participated in YWCA Hamilton’s Woman Alive program in order to help her mental health while she made the transition from Syria to Canada.

Since then, Abrar has started her own trauma counselling practice in Hamilton and led two different programs during COVID-19 aimed at helping newcomer women and youth protect their mental health during the pandemic.

Full list of winners:

Honourary Woman of Distinction: Abrar Mechmechia

Frontline Worker Hamilton: Olivia Mancini

Frontline Worker Halton: Christina Mulder

Health Care Hero Hamilton: Dr. Elizabeth Richardson

Health Care Hero Halton: Andrea Pohl

Pandemic Innovator Hamilton: Andriana Lukich

Pandemic Innovator Halton: Lisa Lunski

Community Champion Hamilton: Lisa Nussey

Community Champion Halton: Julia Hanna

Young Trailblazer Hamilton: Joëlle Kabisoso

Young Trailblazer Halton: Ashwini Selvakumaran

Lifetime Achievement: Colleen Mulholland

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