Founder of Newcastle not-for-profit organisation, What Were You Wearing awarded Newcastle Woman of the Year for 2023

Founder of Newcastle not-for-profit organisation, What Were You Wearing awarded Newcastle Woman of the Year for 2023

Newcastle trailblazer, Sarah Williams was awarded Newcastle Women of the Year 2023 by Newcastle state MP, Tim Crakanthorp earlier this week.

Sarah founded What Were You Wearing (WWYW) in 2021, starting as an exhibition of the outfits that survivors were wearing when they were assaulted.

Since then, the organisation has grown immensely to a team of more than 50 volunteers.

Sarah admits that she was blown away by receiving the award.

“I want this award to be a sense of hope for survivors, although you can go through the worst of the worst, you can come out the other end okay,” Sarah said.

“Justice can look different for everyone, for some, it is going through the court system and for others, it is simply sharing their story.

“Sexual assault and domestic violence statistics are going up, but I feel hopeful that we are making change.”

Sarah is passionate about supporting survivors and providing a safe space for them to share their stories and since 2021, WWYW have received over 20,000 survivor stories from all over New South Wales.

Newcastle State MP, Tim Crakanthorp said Sarah was very deserving of the recognition.

“There wasn’t just one nomination that came in for Sarah, there were several,” Tim said.

“That really demonstrates the impact she has had in our community.

“Personally, I get goosebumps when I hear her speak. I know that there are even bigger things in the future for both her and What Were You Wearing?”

Among Sarah’s many initiatives, WWYW has recently launched a petition, calling for mandatory spiking and sexual violence training for security and bar staff in all licenced venues in New South Wales.

The petition, which needs 20,000 signatures to be debated by legislative assembly, ends on 2 March 2023.

IMAGE | Sarah Williams being awarded Newcastle Woman Of The Year by Tim Crakanthorp, with the support of the WWYW volunteers.

What Were You Wearing

What Were You Wearing are a community organisation based in Newcastle that are focused onproviding awareness, education and advocacy against sexual assault. 

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