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Founder of Community Defib Project, Sophie Wills, gets Highly Commended at Women of the West Awards

Mar 19, 2021

She’s still only in her early-20s, but Sophie Wills has already achieved much beyond her years, with the successful community defibrillator program she launched saving lives and being rolled out in more and more Hawkesbury areas.


Winners – Woman of the West (Business), Julie Hughes; Young Women of the West Highly Commended, Sophie Wills; Woman of the West (Community) Highly Commended, Kylie Pussell; Young Woman of the West, Natalie Wadwell; Woman of the West (Business) Highly Commended, Gina Field; and Woman of the West (Community), Jane Stratton.


Ms Wills’ dedication – she’s also a trained paramedic who works outside the Hawkesbury – has been recognised at the Women of the West Awards where she received a Young Women of the West Highly Commended Award in the event run by Western Sydney University.

“It was an absolute honour to be recognised alongside incredibly influential women as a part of the Woman of the West Awards,” Ms Wills told the Post.


“It has been a privilege to connect with the phenomenal Julie Hughes who won Woman of the West (Business), Julie does incredible work in a very similar space, promoting the chain of survival for sudden cardiac arrest.


“I have so much to learn from women like Julie.


“It was also an honour to be recognised by Western Sydney University. Community Defib Project wouldn’t have happened without WSU. I was given the courage and support by now fellow Board Member Dr Paul Simpson, who leads the Paramedicine program at WSU


Ms Wills receives her award from guest speaker at the event, Dianne McGrath


“When I was student Paramedic at WSU, Paul gave me the courage and support to take a leap and try and make a difference for the community. Without Paul’s support, and Dr Liz Thyer from WSU, the organisation would have never begun.


“WSU provided me with not only the tools to become a paramedic, but the confidence and courage to be the woman I am today,” said Ms Wills, “leading a successful not-for-profit organisation which if I say so myself is going to go a long way.”


Indeed it has come a long way, and the Defib program is growing month on month. There are now over 30 defibrillators placed in the Macdonald Valley region, with Upper Colo also joining the program and soon to start its own rollout.


The Community Defib Project is literally a lifesaver when you consider it can take an ambulance around 45 minutes to arrive at some of the more remote Hawkesbury locations.


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