GO Foundation CEO Shirley Chowdhary has been recognised for her outstanding work in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community, securing a place as a finalist in the Australian Financial Review 100 Women of Influence Awards.

Co-founded by Sydney Swans greats Adam Goodes and Michael O’Loughlin in 2009, the GO Foundation provides scholarships to Indigenous students in kindergarten through to university.

This year’s list of 100 Women of Influence was whittled down from 833 entries, with finalists selected based on commitment to encouraging other women in their industry, confronting unfairness, striving for a more vibrant society and a number of other areas of criteria.

Chowdhary, who’s also the Deputy Chair of YMCA NSW, said her selection gave her a tremendous sense of fulfilment.

“Being chosen as one of the 2019 100 Women of Influence is such an honour,” Chowdhary said.

“It is so humbling to be in the company of women who are all doing incredible things and who are working to create a better future.

“My roles at the GO Foundation and as Deputy Chair of YMCA NSW are such a privilege, and I am so grateful for all the men and women who forged the well-trodden path before me, on whose shoulders I stand.

“Whilst this recognition is an immense honour, I am only here because of all the people who believed in me.”

Each of the 100 women were selected under one of 10 categories: board and management; global; business and entrepreneur; local and regional; social enterprise and not-for-profit; diversity and inclusion; public policy; innovation; arts, culture and sport; and young leader.

Chowdhary was selected under the category board and management, and the winners of each division and the overall 2019 Woman of Influence will be announced at a gala dinner in Sydney on October 22.

Chowdhary’s passion for the GO Foundation is immeasurable.

“Adam and Michael have such an incredible vision at GO. With our very experienced Board, led by Swans Board member Sam Mostyn, our ambassadors – including Anita Heiss, Brooke Boney and Dan Sultan – and our patron Linda Burney, I have no doubt that our organisation and scholarship numbers will continue to grow,” Chowdhary said.

“Every day we see the impact our programs are having on our students: the excursions they can attend for the first time, the laptops, the books and uniforms they can buy and the opportunities they are getting.

“It’s hard not to bounce out of bed every day and want to change the world! The GO Foundation is still a young organisation and we have so much work to do. There isn’t enough time in each day!”