WESTERN Sydney's great defender of rights for public-housing tenants, Jean Cinis, 86, has been nominated for a Woman of the Year award six months after state-government funding was cut to her organisation.
Upon hearing of her nomination, the Greystanes woman asked: "I want to know if first prize is the Bachelor of the Year!"
As head of the Western Sydney Regional Public Housing Tenants Council that was based in Blacktown for 22 years, she took the fight to the state's housing department on behalf of tenants.
The council folded late last year after its funding was axed but Mrs Cinis has continued to help tenants negotiate with the housing bureaucracy.
She funds her own operation out of Mount Druitt Hub using her pension. "I'm still doing it but I'm doing it with my Centrelink payments," she said. "The cases are getting worse and worse here in western Sydney. The number of homeless people is unbelievable."
Mrs Cinis said her nomination made her "feel good because it recognises the work I'm doing in the area is needed".
The nomination for the state government award was made by Opposition leader and Blacktown MP John Robertson.
"Jean is one of the most amazing people I've ever met," he said. "She's done so much for people people who are obviously down on their luck.
"She just doesn't let go until she gets a problem solved. If I was in a fight, I'd like her on my side."