Sally Smith Award

Do you know a person who has demonstrated outstanding effort in promoting the education, awareness, wellbeing and welfare of people with Prader-Willi Syndrome?

About Sally Smith

(Committee Member of PWSA Victoria 1979-2011 Life Member)

Sally Smith is a unique, rare individual who cares about humanity and is passionate about supporting people with Prader-Willi Syndrome and their families. She is a mother of two boys and a loving wife to Peter.

The PWSA Victoria was established in 1978 and Sally (who joined in 1979) was the only committee member WITHOUT a PWS child. Sally’s interest in PWS came about when she was working in 1977 as a special education teacher in Western Australia where she worked with a child with the syndrome.

Sally’s time has been voluntary and her dedication to supporting PWS families and organisations who are struggling to deal with the syndrome, the constant behavioural problems and stress that it brings, is truly outstanding.

Sally has spent all her teaching career working with students with special needs including students from non-English speaking backgrounds, students at risk of abuse, students in isolated areas, and for the past 30 years has worked in special schools.

It is important in recognition of Sally that the award given will be to enhance the education of the recipient, to demonstrate the importance of education in our lives and to reflect Sally’s love of reading.

About the Award

The Sally Smith Award is presented in honour of Sally Smith who was a committee member of the PWSA Victoria for 32years.

During this time, Sally assisted many PWS families by educating them and their extended families about PWS and strategies on how to prepare and deal with the syndrome. Sally also spent time educating many schools, respite service providers and organisations across Australia about PWS and how to help the PWS person out of a crisis and stressful situation.

The award will be given to a person in recognition of outstanding effort in promoting the education, awareness, well-being and welfare of people with Prader-Willi Syndrome and will be presented each year, at the Prader-Willi Syndrome Association of Victoria Christmas Party.

The recipient must be either a person with Prader Willi Syndrome who has done amazing work to support other people with PWS or who had achieved outstanding success in their life OR anyone who has given over and above what anyone would expect to support people with Prader Willi Syndrome.

The nominated person will receive the Sally Smith Award and a $200 gift voucher to Amazon books or a voucher of choice but must be for educational purposes.


Financial Members of PWSA Victoria are able to nominate themselves, their child or others who have contributed significantly to the PWS community in accordance with the guidelines below.

  • Nominees must be over the age of 6.
  • For nominees under the age of 16 years, the consent of a parent or guardian will be required.
  • Committee Members of the day will be excluded from nominating themselves or their families but can nominate others.
  • Committee Members of the day will be responsible for the final decision as to who the recipient will be.
  • The selected recipient will be contacted one week ahead of the PWSA Victoria Christmas Party to gain acceptance of the award.
  • The selected recipient must agree to the following:
  • The recipient is expected to be available to participate in person at the Award Ceremony at the PWSA Victoria Annual Christmas Party to receive the award;
  • The recipient must be prepared to pose for photographs which will be used in marketing and promotion for PWSA Victoria; and
  • The recipient will be excluded from being nominated for the award for the following 10 years.

Criteria for being nominated

  1. A person who has gone over and above the call of duty to assist a PWS family or families.
  2. A person with PWS who has shown outstanding effort in education, sport, music, drama, dance, art, etc. and/or contributed to the well-being or recognition of other people with PWS.

Sally Smith Award Nomination Form

The nomination form is available below, and applications will close on the 20th of November.

Past recipients of the Sally Smith Award

Robyn Maguire (2021)

Robyn Maguire was instrumental in establishing Go Orange, which has now become an annual global awareness event for Prader-Willi Syndrome.

Go Orange is a locally created campaign – in 2013, there was no particular awareness day or month and therefore foundations for any fundraisers or official awareness colors had not yet been established. This gave way to some creative thinking.

In 2013, the Maguire Family, who were great supporters and very heavily involved with the PWSA Victoria, developed and produce a colorful campaign that would allow the PWSA Victoria to bring awareness of Prader-Willi Syndrome to a whole new audience, and thus Go Orange was born!

Orange became the official awareness colour for Prader-Willi, May became the official PWS awareness month and the last Friday of May became the official awareness day of Prader-Willi Syndrome so that communities in schools and workplaces could celebrate together and display their support by wearing orange as a culmination of a month of awareness and fundraising. 

By 2017 Go Orange had become a global Awareness campaign! 

Countries around the world began to light up iconic buildings in orange and the PWSA Victoria Marketing department (aka Robyn) received a steady stream of requests from around the world for individualised Facebook profile frames for use in the campaign. Our daily factual posts were now being shared worldwide. 

Internationally and even Nationally very few are aware that this huge campaign was the brainchild of a couple of Victorians in Melbourne. 

After many successful years, in 2018 Go Orange campaign become a campaign that aimed to purely raise global awareness of Prader-Willi Syndrome and the campaign would no longer be a fundraising event.

Robyn had a hand in developing Go Orange and today is the only person that manages the Global Go Orange campaign. As this awareness campaign continues to grow so does the awareness, education, and advocacy for people living with Prader-Willi Syndrome.

We couldn’t think there was anyone more deserving of the Sally Smith Award this year than Robyn Maguire.

Dr. Margaret Rowell (2015)

Dr. Rowell was instrumental in starting the PWS Clinic at the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne and for also fighting to keep it open when funding issues looked to be causing the clinic’s closure.

Margaret also started the PWS Registry. We have been lucky to have a doctor on our doorstep who has spoken at most of the world conferences dealing with PWS. She has written as an expert on PWS in many publications, including a chapter on Prader-Willi Syndrome in the book “Management Guidelines: People with Developmental and intellectual Disabilities.

Greg King (2014)

Greg has been a great ambassador for PWSA and has gone over and above the call of duty to assist our PWS families.

  • Greg has increased the public awareness of PWS not only in his own Rotary community but in other Rotary clubs the district
  • Through his connection with Rotary Greg has provided opportunities for members of the PWS Association to talk to Rotary groups to further increase public awareness and education about PWS
  • Greg was instrumental in enlisting Rotary support to get PWS Apple iPad program up and going
  • Greg with his drive & enthusiasm has rallied fellow Rotarian to assist the PWS with fundraising ventures and the camps program.
  • Greg has been very generous with his time to help building networks and mentoring.

Greg’s drive and enthusiasm has greatly assisted our PWS families in so many ways. Thank you Greg .

Natalie Anderson (2013)

Sally Smith and last years recipient Erin Gumbleton presented the 2nd Annual Sally Smith Award to Natalie Anderson at the recent Family Day and AGM.

Natalie has done a lot over the years to raise awareness for PWS. She has given many talks to new families, teachers and students about PWS. She likes to share her tips on how she copes with having PWS and has helped the PWSA Vic with putting Newsletters and notices in envelopes and mailing them out.

Natalie attends Marriott Support Services in McKinnon where she helps deliver Meals on Wheels, does the mail run to the other Marriott facilities, helps out with some of the other participants and she has just started to do some volunteer work at a local childcare centre.

Congratulations Natalie, keep up the good work.

Erin Gumbleton (2012)

Congratulations to Erin who is the first recipient of the Sally Smith Award 2012 given by the Prader-Willi Syndrome Association of Victoria.

Erin was chosen due to her outstanding contribution and achievements with Special Olympics over many years. She has proven that regardless of what limitations PWS places on your life you can achieve in your own way. Well done Erin.

Erin works in a workshop two days a week and attends Murray Human Services training on two days a week where she has just completed her certificate 1 & 2 in General Education. Erin has been in Special Olympics since she was 15, taking part in Aquatics training every week and has started her Austswim Teachers course and assists with junior swimming training with Special Olympics.

Erin also enjoys playing Ten Pin Bowling where she has been selected for the Victorian Team to Travel to Cairns in October for the Trans Tasman Tournament.

Erin belongs to the Athletes Leadership Program (ALP’s) run by Special Olympics it contains four modules in Governance, Ambassador, Coach and Volunteering in this program they have a mentor who is there to guide them with the training.

Erin’s new love is horse riding and now belongs to Riding for the Disabled (RDA)

Erin, what an inspiration you are to so many.