She is responsible for one of this city’s great business success stories, and on Thursday Juliet Duffy was recognised for everything she has achieved.
International Womens Day was the perfect setting as the Dubbo-based scientist and entrepreneur was announced as NSW Regional Woman of the Year at a gala function in Sydney
Ms Duffy received the award for her role as founder of consultancy Regional Enviroscience and her mentoring of young female science graduates.
Her business, which started out of the garage of a rental property, educates people across regional NSW on how to safely handle hazardous materials.
She beat out a field of high-quality candidates, and said she was shocked when her name was called out.
“I actually thought someone else had won it because I didn’t get any tip off that it was going to be me,” she said.
“Standing next to the other women who were nominated was an amazing honour, and I think even to be nominated is recognition for the hard work they are putting in to their communities.”
After starting from scratch almost a decade ago, Ms Duffy employs more than 23 people and provides career opportunities for both young and mature-aged workers in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math’s (STEM).
Her business has branches in Wagga and Tamworth, a warehouse in Sydney and an office in Maroochydore
Importantly, it has also made the community safer by improving its access to specialised occupational and environmental hygiene expertise, normally limited to the high end of town metropolitan based consultancies and laboratories.
“I’ve got a fantastic group of people who work for me and have helped us get where we are,” Ms Duffy said.
“It hasn’t been an easy 10 years, and there’s been a lot of Vegemite sandwiches eaten.
“But I think it shows that resilience is a key asset and hopefully it’s a case of ‘watch this space’ with our plans going forward.”
Member for Dubbo Troy Grant was among those to congratulate Ms Duffy on her success
“I am thrilled to see Juliet recognised in the 2018 NSW Women of the Year Awards. Juliet is a valued member of the Dubbo business community, and a passionate advocate for regional commerce,” Mr Grant said.
Minister for Women Tanya Davies said the NSW Women of the Year Awards support the NSW Government’s commitment to building an equitable, inclusive and safe society where all women are valued and respected.
“Juliet Duffy is truly an inspiration to ambitious women and girls living in regional NSW. I commend her for all her achievements,” she said.