OUR women are incredible.
That was never more evident than in Griffith on Wednesday when The Area News celebrated International Women's Day with a luncheon at the Ex-Servicemen's Club.
Laughter and tears flowed when guest speakers Denise Hearn and Joany Badenhorst told their incredible stories of courage and strength before awards were handed out to recognise the work of three other wonderful women.
Andrea Jordan was awarded the most admired business woman, Marika La Riva the most admired young achiever under 30, and although not in attendance, Catherine Lane was named the most admired community advocate.
Mrs Jordan, who works at Griffith Base Hospital, said she was both surprised and humbled to receive the honour.
"There are a lot of women out there in this community who do wonderful things," she said.
"I work with great people who make me look good."
Meanwhile 22-year-old Miss La Riva, who had a kidney transplant in 2001, raised the highest amount for Kidney Transplant Australia of any individual right across Australia last year.
"I am shocked that anyone would think to nominate me," she said.
"I had no idea, but it's lovely to receive this award."
Mrs Hearn, who is one of Griffith's most passionate Relay for Life advocates, told the crowd of more than 60 how a diagnosis of stomach cancer 17 years ago had changed her life.
"I've always had strong women in my life, my mother, my grandmother and my sisters and they have taught me that even though it is hard sometimes, you have to get on with it and be strong," she said.
Eighteen-year-old Miss Badenhorst lost her leg in a farming accident at the age of 10 in South Africa.
Her amazing attitude to life had the whole room awestruck. She has already won gold at previous Paralympics games and now has her sights set on competing in the Korean winter Paralympics for snowboarding in 2018.
"I think it's good to look on the bright side of life," she said.
"A lot of people see it as a negative but it's totally how you interpret it. I believe everyone has a disability, mines just physical. Having a disability means you just have to work harder for what you want."