Posted by SBS News
A 22-year-old woman who invested her last $200 in Nepal is among the winners of the Order of Australia medal this year. (Members will recall Stephanie Woollard as a Rotary Peace Scholar at the Rotary 2013 District Conference in Albury.) 
When Melbourne resident Stephanie Woollard visited Nepal for the first time in 2004, the then 22-year-old decided to invest her last remaining $200 of her holiday money in helping seven disabled Nepali women.
The money helped to give those women additional skills that Woollard hoped would help them lead a dignified life, away from the discrimination they experienced in their marginalised communities.
In 2006, Ms Woollard started a company called Seven Women in the Nepali capital Kathmandu. Her goal was to help the women produce items that could be sold locally and internationally.
After 13 years, the project is said to have helped more than 5,000 Nepali women, and Ms Woollard has been awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia in the general division, for her service to the international community through humanitarian aid.
Speaking to SBS Nepali, Stephanie Woollard said the award would give her an opportunity to share Seven Women’s success story with a broader audience.
“The award is a fantastic way to show what we’ve been able to create in Nepal and the (positive) impact on some of the most marginalised women’s lives in the country.”
In 2016, Ms Woollard was awarded the Inaugural International Responsible Business Award at the United Nations headquarters in the US.
“The work has led me to places I’d never imagined going, to share our model of sustainable development,” she says. “I never imagined when I first met the women, [the] seven initial women, who were operating out of a tiny tin-shed in Kathmandu that it would grow to this extent.”