- Honour Roll
In the early 1990s the south east region of Melbourne faced its share of challenges, including job opportunities and community safety, yet in this environment Sandra George has earned broad acclaim for successfully tackling these hard issues.
Sandra puts the success down to an inclusive approach that has drawn on the support of wide community networks. In 1992, in response to high unemployment, she organised a regional job summit and led a team which created nearly 3000 employment opportunities in the region in the following six years.
As an experienced educator and administrator, Sandra pioneered a regional Women in Business Network in the late 1990's, which became a forerunner to a range of activities offering local working and business women encouragement, support and mentoring. Sandra has chaired the Greater Dandenong Community Safety Committee since 1995, overseeing numerous safety promotion and crime and injury prevention programs. The national award-winning 'Hand Brake Turn' program helped 500 young people find work opportunities and has been replicated across Australia. Sandra was a driving force on the Dandenong Westernport Regional Youth Committee, which began innovative outreach services for disadvantaged young people. The vision for a local youth services complex was realised when the Dandenong Visy Cares Centre was completed.
Over the years, Sandra has also found time to get involved in successful charity and community events. Sandra is also a Life Governor of the Dandenong and District Hospital and a life member of a local little athletics club. Her philosophy is one of action and empowerment.
"I have tried very much to be a role model by getting in and doing what's needed and giving women the actual 'tools' and confidence - not just theory - to implement what they've learned," she said. As a community leader, Sandra has always been there to support and empower women, young people and marginalised communities - in business, in learning and in life.