Powercor Game Changer Announced

11 May 2017

Respected Geelong based Mental Health Advocate Nicci Wall has been named the inaugural Powercor 2017 Game Changer Award winner. The Game Changer Award was created to recognise and celebrate women from across regional Victoria who lead the way by driving and embracing change in their communities.

Melissa O’Neill, Powercor’s General Manager, Corporate Affairs said Nicci was a worthy winner, selected from a strong field of nominees from across the company’s network area.

“Nicci was recognised as an inspirational Game Changer making a big difference in her community.

“Through her involvement in mental health advocacy, Nicci has been building awareness and reducing stigma in her community since early 2002 and has set up various mental health support groups,” Melissa said.

Nicci said she was speechless when told of her selection as the inaugural Game Changer.

“I’m usually a pretty outgoing person, but when Powercor called to tell me I’d won there was just silence at my end of the phone while it took a few moments for it to sink in!

“I do what I do in the community because having faced the challenge of living with bipolar for many years I think it’s important for me to be out there increasing awareness and understanding around mental illness.

“Suffering from a mental illness can be isolating and a very lonely place and if I can be helping the people challenged with it to better understand their own situation, find support and drive tolerance then I feel like I’m doing something rewarding,” Nicci said.

As part of the award, Nicci receives a $5,000 contribution towards a leadership development program and $5,000 to the charity of her choice in the Geelong region. Nicci will also spend the weekend in Melbourne to attend the Powercor Country Festival AFL Blockbuster game between Essendon and Geelong football clubs at the MCG on the 13th May, as well as tossing the coin before the two teams go to battle.

Nicci said the $5000 donation will go to local not for profit group, Mind Work Geelong to support their work in helping individuals and families living with mental health conditions to reach their full potential in their community.

“I’ve been associated with the wonderful team behind Mind Works Geelong for over a decade now and truly respect the work they do for people needing support, as well as helping educate others on issues faced by someone with an illness.

“Funding is always hard to come by in this space so I’m pleased that I can put the $5000 donation to such a worthwhile cause.

“As a Geelong footy club member I’m also pretty excited to get the chance to stand on the MCG alongside Club Captain, Joel Selwood and toss the coin. I just hope I do the right thing for Joel and the boys and get them off on the right foot.”

Powercor created the Game Changer Award as part of the broader Country Festival partnership with Essendon and Geelong football clubs. The Country Festival concept is geared around taking time out to reflect, recognise and celebrate the important contribution from country Victoria to the prosperity and vibrancy of the state and the nation more broadly.

Melissa O’Neill said Powercor felt strongly that creating the Game Changer Award, which calls out the work of strong country women, had a very logical connection to the overall intent of the Country Festival program.

“It’s been a wonderful second season for the Country Festival partnership and the Game Changer Award is now a very important part of that.

“We look forward to bringing the Country Festival back bigger and better in 2018,” Melissa said.