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NSW WOMAN OF THE YEAR | Sharks’ Jen Armstrong

NSW WOMAN OF THE YEAR | Sharks' Jen Armstrong

Cronulla Sharks Stadium Operations Coordinator Jen Armstrong was on Wednesday awarded the NSW Premier’s Award for Woman of the Year, by State leader Mike Baird.

Founder of ‘The Beauty Bank’ – the Sharks signature charity partner for 2016 – Armstrong won out over five other finalists, having assisted over 3,000 victims of domestic violence and abuse since 2013.

A survivor of domestic violence herself, Armstrong’s work aims to bring light into the lives of those who may be going through a dark time, by providing them with a few of life’s ‘little luxuries’.

A third year student at Western Sydney University studying a Bachelor of Business and Commerce degree with majors in Sport Management and Advanced Business Leadership, Armstrong is also the mother of two small children, and the provider of foster care for a third child.

“When I was called on stage I kept checking the plaque to make sure I had really won," Armstrong said.

"This award is great motivation for me to keep spreading the message about the Beauty Bank to encourage new businesses and Australians to donate and support the cause.

"Sharing the story of my survival of domestic violence to the public was uncomfortable at first, but it’s important I acknowledge the past to help other survivors rebuild their lives."

With Armstrong also the crowned the Local Woman of the Year for Cronulla, Sharks Group CEO Lyall Gorman praised Armstrong and said that she was very worthy of taking out the higher honour on Wednesday.

“Jen winning this award is so incredibly and richly deserved. Everyone here at the Club is very proud of her work and her charitable efforts, and I speak for all in saying that we are very excited for her,” Gorman said.

First partnering with the Sharks ahead of the Women in League Round last season, Armstrong hoped her own experiences enabled others to stand up against cases of domestic violence.

“The whole idea of The Beauty Bank came from me receiving an anonymous gift of ‘fancy’ body wash two Christmas’s ago,” Armstrong said of the charity.

“Those nice little things, if you’re having a tough time, it’s going to put a smile on your face – hopefully."

The Beauty Bank will feature as the Club’s Game day Charity Partner in Round 22, when the Sharks host the Raiders at Shark Park.

For more information on The Beauty Bank, click HERE.

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