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Rob Altemeyer, MLA Wolseley
May 13, 2009

Noëlle DePape

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize Noëlle DePape, a 2009 recipient of the YMCA-YWCA Women of Distinction award, and also a local resident of the Wolseley constituency.

The YMCA-YWCA Women of Distinction awards program is now in its 33rd year of celebrating the talent, achievement, imagination and innovation of Winnipeg women who have made a unique and exemplary contribution to the development of others in our community.

Nearly 60 women were nominated this year, 10 of whom were honoured last week as award recipients.

It is my pleasure today to speak to just some of Ms. DePape's many accomplishments and to highlight the qualities that make her an inspiring winner in the 2009 Business and Professions award category.

Noëlle DePape is the executive director of IRCOM, the Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization of Manitoba. This remarkable agency provides not just transitional housing but multiple other social supports to new Canadians, just arrived to our part of the world.

She has previously worked with the Red Cross in the Balkans, with UNICEF and in a Palestinian refugee camp.

She was nominated for the Women of Distinction award by her own staff at IRCOM, which speaks volumes for her ability to work with people as equals.

Ms. Dorota Blumczynska led the nomination process and saw a uniqueness in Noëlle that was unmatched. She nominated Noëlle because she saw her capacity to inspire people, to turn followers into leaders and leaders into visionaries.

Noëlle influences people to follow what they believe and encourages them to follow their passions and to be led by their hearts and their vision. She has played an absolutely crucial role in changing the image of IRCOM and building up their core capacity by reaching beyond their own walls into the community at large.

I was very pleased to see such a well-deserving candidate shine through the competition when I attended the awards banquet. Noëlle is a positive force for change in our community. She encourages us to believe that we gain strength by working together. I would ask all members to join me today in congratulating Ms. Noëlle DePape for her contribution to the community and for being an exemplary Woman of Distinction.