Be inspired by the women changing business.
The most influential women in business are the ones who set a new bar for success, and in turn, inspire others to follow. With a 25 year history of celebrating amazing women in business, the 2020 Telstra Business Women’s Awards is proud to continue empowering these women with opportunities to achieve even more. Learn all about this year’s finalists below, and join them on their journey to future success.
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Join us in Canberra at the 2020 Telstra Australian Capital Territory Business Women’s Awards evening, where we’ll be recognising the women changing business for the better and setting a new bar for success.
Join us in Melbourne at the 2020 Telstra Victorian Business Women’s Awards evening, where we’ll be recognising the women changing business for the better and setting a new bar for success.
Join us in Hobart at the 2020 Telstra Tasmanian Business Women’s Awards evening, where we’ll be recognising the women changing business for the better and setting a new bar for success.
Join us in Brisbane at the 2020 Telstra Queensland Business Women’s Awards evening, where we’ll be recognising the women changing business for the better and setting a new bar for success.
Join us in Darwin at the 2020 Telstra Northern Territory Business Women’s Awards evening, where we’ll be recognising the women changing business for the better and setting a new bar for success.
Join us in Perth at the 2020 Telstra Western Australian Business Women’s Awards evening, where we’ll be recognising the women changing business for the better and setting a new bar for success.
Join us in Adelaide at the 2020 Telstra South Australian Business Women’s Awards evening, where we’ll be recognising the women changing business for the better and setting a new bar for success.
Join us in Sydney at the 2020 Telstra New South Wales Business Women’s Awards evening, where we’ll be recognising the women changing business for the better and setting a new bar for success.
“To me, life is about experiences and the more we challenge ourselves with new ideas, new people and new ways, the more we learn about ourselves and the world around us.”
Working to create gender equality in society, Femeconomy Director, Alanna Bastin-Byrne, is advocating for female leadership in business.
“I’m passionate about empowering communities to take charge of their future and I’m so proud that I’ve grown Pollinate into a successful and locally-run company that is helping women.”
As an inspired renewables engineer, Alexie Seller founded Pollinate, empowering women to start businesses that offer solar lights, cookstoves, and other life-improving products to their impoverished communities.
“Gardens heighten our senses without thought, sight, smell, touch, taste and sound. I have a vision of community improvement through sustainable horticulture."
More than 20 years ago, Alison Flakemore entered the garden and landscape industry with an old van, a lawnmower and basic hand tools. Today, Alison’s Garden and Landscape is an industry leader.
“I believe our organisation has a pivotal role to play in our community. Not only to support our member organisations delivering alcohol, tobacco and other drug programs but to raise awareness of drug related issues.”
As Chief Executive Officer of Alcohol, Tobacco and other Drugs Council of Tasmania, Alison Lai is dedicated to addressing complex social issues that influence policy, raise awareness and change community attitudes.
“Tattoos can be a painful reminder of a life that one desires to leave behind. Removing unwanted tattoos can be a major step forward during the recovery process and can help restore dignity, self-esteem and self-worth.”
Volunteer, mentor and director, Amanda McKinnon is helping shift perceptions in the tattoo industry and offering people affordable tattoo removal to move forward with their lives.
“My approach to business goes beyond 'ticking compliance boxes', and that’s what makes me unique and effective. I truly want everyone to feel valued and appreciated, and that their opinions and experiences are heard."
Amanda Morton is living out her life mission of highlighting the importance of diversity and inclusion in the workplace. She creates a work environment that fosters innovation, creativity and equal opportunities.
“I grew up in developing countries with extreme poverty and witnessed similar suffering in wealthy nations. It created a burning desire in me to make a difference in society.”
Driven by purpose, values and collaboration, it’s no surprise Andrea Jackson was asked to be the Chief Executive Officer of The MaraWay.
“I love working in the global offshoring industry, a sector that requires cutting edge innovation, a global mindset and a commitment to disruption.”
Angela Vidler is Managing Director of Diversify Offshore Staffing Solutions - a digital-focused outsourcing provider that connects businesses with workforce talent in the Philippines.
“I am passionate about promoting the conversations between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people to build a space of trust and honesty, leading to greater understanding and respect for the culture of our country.”
As inaugural CEO of the for-purpose organisation, Anjie Brook is proud to deliver impactful leadership programs for Aboriginal people that are guided by Elders and embedded in culture.
“Australian teachers and students deserve the best media experiences for their educational needs. We utilise technology as a vehicle to connect with students and teachers to inform and inspire them.”
As Head of Education at the ABC, Annabel Astbury delivers unique digital content to classrooms across the country, helping Australian students to better understand their place in the world.
“I'm passionate that everyone should have access to safe water and sanitation, regardless of location. I have built a company that provides trusted water expertise to develop safe, sustainable and implementable solutions.”
Annalisa Contos, Principal of Atom Consulting, is passionate about water. Her business has become a strong voice on water and sanitation management, providing solutions throughout the public and private sectors.
“Through my work, I endeavour to deliver outcomes for industry and the community that enable informed decision making, generate social and economic outcomes and affect positive change.”
As Chief Plant Health Officer, Anne Walters is responsible for the strategic direction of plant biosecurity in the Northern Territory and works nationally to drive reform and improvements to the plant biosecurity system.
“Out of Tasmania, we sell a product on the global market, and provide a platform to educate equine owners everywhere about the benefits of leaving their horses barefoot.”
Annette Kaitinis is the Co-Founder and Director of Scoot Boots, a manufacturer of protective, lightweight equine hoof boots. She is a strong advocate for the health and wellbeing of horses.
“My success is driven by helping, supporting and developing others within my workplace and in the Albany community. Advancing access to quality and culturally appropriate services for Aboriginal people matters immensely.”
Asha Bhat represents more than 5,000 Noongar people. She is passionate about shedding light on the issues they face, and securing proper constitutional recognition for all Indigenous Australians.
“I am privileged to have the best of both worlds. As a clinician I help individual women improve their health, and as a researcher I work to improve health at a population level.”
Professor Jacqueline Boyle is an academic obstetrician and gynaecologist. She is dedicated to public health, serving as Deputy Director at the Monash Centre for Health Research and Implementation (MCHRI).
“My successes are driven by wanting to help others be better today than they were yesterday, and better tomorrow than they are today. The key is to keep moving forward.”
Barbara Brown has led a diverse career through different management and health roles. With the executive team at St.LukesHealth, she works to develop strategies ensuring the best outcomes for members and her own team.
“I am passionate about the building industry and want to ensure we are committed to providing a superior service at the best possible price, while having a positive impact on the community.”
Bec Hammet is General Manager of SH Build, a construction business specialising in remote building construction, that she founded with her husband Scott in 2008.
“The most inspiring thing about what I do is working with a dedicated and passionate team that really want to make a difference in society. We’re shaking up the traditional fundraising approach, and I’m proud of it.”
Belinda Dimovski draws on a varied career in the pursuit of organisational transformation. Across partnerships, marketing and communications within the Australian Red Cross, she aims to reshape fundraising for the better.
“Clear vision, values, listening and communication are all important as a leader. Hard work keeps things moving forward. Embracing courage and adaptability enables stepping outside comfort and into growth.”
Beth Taylor founded Territory Hands after a long career in physiotherapy. Specialising in hand therapy service and training, she is committed to the care she provides and the team she works alongside.
“Nothing is more rewarding than helping people get home to their families at the end of the day. It’s the people of St John that drive my passion, offering their time to assist those in need.”
As the Chief Executive Officer of St John Ambulance, Bianca Russell believes selflessness, dedication and positive relationships are the key to success.
“I’m passionate about educating the young minds of tomorrow and creating an environment that not only promotes great academia but also the values of acceptance, perseverance, respect, faith, grit, service and optimism.”
As Principal of Canberra Christian School, Bree Hills is making a positive impact through education and is influencing and shaping the lives of tomorrow’s leaders.
“I know we are making a difference in the community, working with young people to cultivate positive growth through skills, knowledge and mentorship.”
Brigid Koenig is General Manager of The Sammy D Foundation, a not-for-profit organisation that educates and empowers young people to make positive life decisions for a stronger community.
“I believe that if we can educate our community to think better, eat better, move better and give better, we can create significant change in the health of our community.”
Caroline Shaw has grown her career around improving the health of others. Her company, Live Well, combines physiotherapy with other mental and physical wellbeing services in pursuit of a holistic approach to good health.
“I took on this endeavour at a stage in my career when many would have been happy to stay safe and work for others. I love leading people and pleasing customers while having a positive impact on the health of Australians.”
As a cardiac scientist, Carolyn Jensen drives innovative solutions to healthcare problems. She founded Cardio-Jenic from a belief that an Australia-based company could react quickly to develop the health products people need.
“I have always wanted to help those around me to achieve their best. Especially women and mothers, who can do whatever they put their minds to.”
Casey Taueki envisioned Magic for Mums after she had her first child. She has since dedicated her life to providing families with a helping hand, offering a range of housekeeping services.
"Architecture is a wonderful mix of science and art. Creating places for people to live, work and interact is an important way to make a meaningful contribution to society.”
Cassandra Keller, architect and co-founder of Clarke Keller, is a fierce advocate for quality design. She works to ensure that community-building outcomes are achieved through good, people-focused design.
“I am passionate and driven about achieving outcomes in my current role as it focuses on creating new economic and social value in Northern Tasmania.”
In her role as Executive Director Northern Cities for the Tasmanian Office of the Coordinator-General, Catherine is responsible for managing initiatives that aim to establish Launceston as Australia's leading regional city.
“I never sat down and said ‘I want to be CEO’; my career has been about seizing opportunities as they come along and working hard. I surround myself with good mentors and network with great people to learn from them.”
An active and driven CEO, Chantale Millard works to champion Longtable Group’s premium South Australian food offerings across the country, and offers mentorship and opportunity to the wider business community.
“I believe vulnerability is a key, yet underrated, trait for any leader. One doesn’t need to be tough to be strong; the ability to share vulnerability is a strength of character many leaders lack.”
In her role as General Manager, Charlotte Mills oversees Western Australia’s three codes of racing: Thoroughbreds, Harness and Greyhounds. She is ever-stimulated by the challenges of her position.
“We don’t exist to develop and train Olympic gymnasts. We are challenging the traditional view of gymnastics by offering children with diverse backgrounds and varying abilities the opportunity to succeed at their own pace.”
Chelsea Caple’s business, Summersalt Gymnastics, offers children and teenagers a supportive environment to learn gymnastics and develop fundamental movement patterns to help them skyrocket in all aspects of life.
“We make an impact because Indigenous and non-Indigenous people work side by side as a team, to support Aboriginal artists and art centres and keep our art, country and culture strong.”
Christina Davidson is the CEO of Arnhem Northern & Kimberley Artists Aboriginal Corporation - a peak support and advocacy body that builds and empowers the career pathways of remote Indigenous artists and art workers.
“I want to support and encourage the growth of STEM as a career choice for girls and directly contribute to upskilling other technology entrepreneurs in Australia.”
Without a traditional business background, Claire McGregor has co-founded a profitable software company, Appbot, without external capital.
“Engaging with the arts literally lights up the brain. It improves learning outcomes, breaks down barriers, builds connections between people, and improves emotional intelligence.”
Claire Spencer, Chief Executive Officer of the Arts Centre Melbourne, oversees more than 1,000 staff, five performance venues, and numerous community and education programs.
“Law has not traditionally been a space that accommodates women, especially those returning to work after having children. I wanted Her Lawyer to offer women a career in law in a non-traditional way.”
Breaking away from the common models and stereotypes of law, Courtney Bowie built Her Lawyer - a legal practice dedicated to empowering ambitious women in business and providing a space for a team of female lawyers to thrive.
“I am committed to the implementation of positive organisational change and coaching, developing and helping others in the police force excel, particularly women.”
Dale Frieberg has dedicated her life to the Queensland Police Service. Currently Commander of its Integrity and Performance Group, her 30 year career has spanned a variety of roles across an array of disciplines.
“My purpose is to show young women in rural areas that their path to their future is not confined by their present circumstances or their traditional roles.”
With a determination to succeed, Danielle overcame all barriers to become Mayor of the Kyogle Council where she now advocates for equality between rural and metropolitan areas.
“For me, people are the most important part of the leadership equation. Being able to draw on the skills and experience of others, and to support them in return, has always been my goal.”
Deborah Coakley’s career to EGM, Funds Management at Dexus has been diverse and non-linear. With more than 20 years’ experience managing businesses, Deborah applies a humanistic approach to her work.
“I consider myself a genuine student. I'm always seeking opportunities to learn so that I can improve myself, and thereby be the best I can be for my employees, clients and family.”
After nearly twenty years of working for two of the world’s largest communications businesses in the USA and Asia Pacific, Dena Vassallo created SOCIETY, a marketing communications agency where people come first.
“I hope to demonstrate the capacity of women in senior corporate roles in Australia, and highlight that where your career starts does not necessarily define what path it will ultimately take.”
At Celsus, Di Mantell has had a hand in the construction and establishment of the new Royal Adelaide Hospital and its operations over the coming decades. She leads with her belief in the importance of caring for others.
“Having worked in a diverse range of industries, I have learned to think outside of the box and make decisions differently. I now understand the fine line between commercial decisions and human impact.”
Coming from a long line of female leaders, Dominique Lamb is the fearless and compassionate Chief Executive Officer of the National Retail Association.
“I help people realise their leadership potential - to find, change or embrace their purpose. I expose them to diverse thinking, insights, comforts and discomforts, with a goal to help them grow.”
In her work at Leadership WA, Dominique brings leaders together from corporate, not-for-profit and government sectors in a collaborative environment to inspire and enhance exemplary leadership.
“If the achievements of volunteers are not shouted from the rooftops they will remain invisible. Countless young women have sought my advice and support - by empowering me, you empower them.”
Faye Bendrups is Vice Chair of the National State Emergency Service Volunteers Association, representing volunteer frontline responders across Australia. In her work, she advocates for their welfare and recognition.
“Historically, functional neurological disorder (FND) has been overlooked and people with the most complex and disabling symptoms have been left with no care or support. I am raising awareness and creating systemic change.”
Dr Katherine Gill’s career is dedicated to those with experience of functional neurological disorder (FND). Through FND Australia Support Services, her passionate advocacy has championed social advances in this cause.
“Simply having an impartial and responsive place to ask for help is changing the culture in the medical industry. We hope to ensure medical students graduate to be happy and healthy doctors.”
Dr Meg McKeown has dedicated herself to working in highly diverse capacities across her medical career. She co-founded Sportula Microgrants in response to student suicide in the medical sector to provide much-needed support.
“I have introduced new governance and tools to enable families of children with cancer to learn about the impact on fertility and be able to freeze eggs, sperm and reproductive tissue in the hope of future parenthood.”
Dr Yasmin Jayasinghe is a leader in paediatric gynaecology, serving as Clinical Lead of the Fertility Preservation Service at The Royal Children's Hospital supported by The Women's Hospital and University of Melbourne.
“I started Global Education Academy to make my dream of teaching for understanding come true. Education gave me the power to overcome my tough circumstances, and I want to inspire others in the same way.”
Dr. Majeda Awawdeh is Founder and Managing Director of Global Education Academy - a learning centre modeled on her PhD research into cognitive load theory and mathematics education.
“We want to help women and teenagers become more confident behind the wheel through hands-on workshops filled with knowledge, fun, liberation and empowerment.”
For the last 13 years, Galmatic Owner Eleni Mikatos has helped tens of thousands of Australian women and teenagers gain more confidence behind the wheel through hands-on, interactive car maintenance workshops.
“There is nothing more rewarding than seeing a young person light up because they have their dream job, a stable income, accommodation, confidence and purpose.”
Elizabeth Reid is Executive Officer of YouthWorX NT - a not-for-profit youth employment organisation that connects young Territorians to the world of work.
“I genuinely care about my clients and the outcomes I achieve on their behalf. Clients place a great deal of trust in their solicitor, and I take that role very seriously.”
Elyse Powell, Founder of Bells Line Legal, transformed her business into a respected law practice in less than a year. Elyse is passionate about providing affordable and effective legal services to society’s most vulnerable.
"Through inspiring and helping other women to take on further education or leadership positions, I aim to contribute to a more gender balanced and equitable society."
Facing her own health issues, Emma Brown was inspired to make a difference in the health sector. Today, she’s doing exactly that as Finance Director at MedicalDirector - a digital platform enabling doctors to provide better care.
“I believe that I have the opportunity to turn employment programs into something that helps drive change and positive outcomes for Indigenous Australians.”
As the Community Development Program Manager at the Arnhem Land Progress Aboriginal Corporation, Emma Kelly helps support Indigenous Australians make self-determined choices about their future.
“I’m hoping to make a real difference in the lives of parents, their babies and indirectly, the environment by creating high-quality, eco-friendly cloth nappies.”
Eunica Shaw is passionate about making a social and environmental difference. She is the Chief Executive Officer of ALCMENA, which offers an intuitive nappy system and products with innovative designs.
“I landed what I thought was my dream job in corporate management. I couldn’t help but think about the inequity in the world, and my responsibility to use my education and experience to find solutions to these problems.”
Felicity started management consultancy Spark Strategy to use business as a force for good. Thriving on accountability, she is passionate about leveraging her business thinking for social outcomes.
“I want us to work towards being an energy platform of the future, by transforming our electricity and gas networks - embracing a net zero emissions future.”
Fiona Wright has dedicated her career to Evoenergy, responsible for electricity and gas distribution throughout the ACT. Together with the CEO and Executive team, she works to set the business’ future direction.
“I am passionate about creating an environment where people feel courageous enough to speak up and be part of building a great workplace.”
Gabrielle Iwanow brings extensive experience from across the globe to her role. As General Manager of Prominent Hill at OZ Minerals, she is responsible for mining, processing and associated infrastructure.
“I started my business so that I could control my own future. Being able to give that to other people too is what gets me out of bed in the morning.”
Gemma Renton is Owner and Founder of Vine Street Digital - a digital marketing agency that she started when she was just 24 years old.
“Finding the right bra and wig is paramount to a woman’s breast cancer recovery, and I am proud to walk her through her choices sensitively and empathetically.”
Cancer survivor Gillian Horton was inspired to create a lingerie store where women diagnosed with breast cancer could shop just as they had before their diagnosis.
“My passion comes from the natural environment and everything it encompasses. I want to be part of making a difference to the world’s environment, and for that change to happen now.”
Glenys Tarrant co-founded a small engineering company which evolved into Micronised Mineral Solutions. The business helps manage and repair the environmental effects caused by the mining and industrial sectors.
"I am passionate about helping people succeed, be it helping tenants find a home, helping landlords create wealth, or helping my team grow and develop professionally and personally.”
Hannah Gill is Managing Director at Independent Property Management. A highly regarded professional and advocate for the property industry, she regularly speaks at conferences across Australia and internationally.
“I want to spark an honest debate about vulnerability and self-doubt not being a weakness, but a weapon we can channel to build businesses that make the world a better place.”
Hannah Spilva is the Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of LVLY, an online flower gifting company. The all-female team has grown significantly since 2015, and gives back by supporting community initiatives.
“I’ve not followed a traditional education path. I’ve deliberately explored experiential learning, which has offered me the opportunity to get a hands on approach in a broad range of operational activities.”
Heidi Prowse is a positive force to be reckoned with. As Chief Executive Officer of Mental Illness Education ACT, she aims to change the social stigma associated with mental health within the ACT community.
“People with a disability can be unseen and unheard in society, so much so that many people never even meet someone with a disability. There is no one-size-fits-all solution to empowering individuals living with disability.”
Helen Killmier established Guidestar to improve quality of life for people with disabilities and mental health issues. As a community psychologist, her career has centred on human rights, social justice and empowerment.
“You can see the positive impact a McGrath Breast Care Nurse has on those dealing with their diagnosis. We want to ensure everyone has access to this support for free, no matter where they live in Australia.”
Holly Masters, CEO of the McGrath Foundation, leads the team to raise money to fund McGrath Breast Care Nurses who provide invaluable supportive care to women and men experiencing breast cancer.
“Business to me is built on the success of teams. I believe in allowing team members to thrive in an innovative, supportive environment. Failure is a learning opportunity, and success is a measure of hard work.”
Imogen Page has risen up the career ranks at a rapid pace. With a CV spanning retail, start-ups and not-for-profits, she now leads the Northern Tasmanian Student Futures team at the University of Tasmania.
“I wanted to create an environment where my team can be their authentic selves. Recruitment isn’t about hammering the phones, it's about shaping and impacting the direction of peoples' lives.”
Jackie Rahilly is Director of Appoint Recruitment - a boutique recruitment agency that she founded in 2016 driven by her passion for the industry.
“The most important thing I do as a leader is cultivating my team. Their training and development enables them to be sources of ideas and I capitalise on the inspiration that comes from these different points of view.”
For three decades, Jane Oppenheim has led the scientific development of Ego’s dermatological products, which improve the skin health and the lives of more than seven million people in 24 nations every day.
“I am passionate about the ability for leaders to make a difference in government for our communities. An authentic, brave and truthful voice with heart is what our people need to do their best work.”
Group Executive Business Performance at Sunshine Coast Regional Council, Jeanette Allom-Hill, is responsible for a portfolio including Finance, IT, Human Resources, Procurement and Property Management.
“I believe I am making an impact on the innovation capability of government that is unique, and that will enable us to improve liveability, sustainability and productivity across our Australian cities.”
Jemma Greene is dedicated to spearheading initiatives for the betterment of the community in her role at the City of Canning. Her progressive thinking keeps the council ahead of the challenges it will face today and tomorrow.
“Our planet needs urgent help, and the impacts of climate change are severe. I have a commitment to my children and myself to know I’ve done all I can with my unique experiences to mitigate that risk.”
For over 30 years, Jennifer Lauber-Patterson has been pioneering solutions to combat climate change. As Managing Director of Frontier Impact Group, she works to improve climate prospects for future generations.
"The way we do physiotherapy is raising the bar of the profession. We are moving our staff, clients and the community towards their best quality of life. I could not be prouder to be a part of what Life Ready stands for."
Jessica Ellison is Chief Operating Officer and Director of Life Ready Physio, which offers physiotherapy services ranging from home visits and corporate work to a huge variety of in-clinic services.
“My personal challenges have made me fiercely passionate about other womens’ experiences of health as a whole, in particular, those of rural women.”
Jessica Fishburn is committed to the health of her community. Her physiotherapy clinic services educate and give back to Hamilton locals.
“Starting from scratch, bob Hair was never just a salon. My goal was to establish an important and impactful local business, with a focus on giving back.”
Jessie O’Donoghue always knew she was destined for the hair and beauty industry. In the past 15 years she has built a reputation as a stylist and now a founder, giving back to clients, staff and the community.
“I have ensured that Pint of Science increases the visibility of women and other underrepresented groups in STEM. We empower our volunteers to build their skills and knowledge to engage more communities in STEM.”
Approaching diversity and equity with the perspective of “you can’t be what you can’t see,” Jirana Boontanjai’s not-for-profit organisation has achieved consistent equal representation of women as STEM professionals.
“We’re delivering a significant boost to the vibrancy and liveability of Darwin city through activations, events, marketing and a drive to encourage business investment.”
Jo Smallacombe is the Director of Activate Darwin - a team responsible for the revitalisation of the city through an array of placemaking, marketing and regulatory reform initiatives.
“My particular leadership approach is one of entrepreneurship, calculated experimentation and nimbleness, taking advantage of opportunities but always balancing these with the needs of our clients and the arts community.”
Jo Thomas, Chief Executive Officer and Creative Director of Metro Arts, supports and mentors artists to realise their creative potential, present their work to audiences and help build their careers.
“Data is the raw material powering our 4th industrial revolution. Consumers need new tools to control and determine how and when their personal information is used, creating safety and value.”
Joanne Cooper is the Founder and CEO of ID Exchange, an Australian innovator enabling individuals to realise the value of their personal data, while protecting their privacy.
“Finance isn’t necessarily the place people think of when they talk outcomes, however everything we do can impact so many. I love knowing that if we get things right, we can make a difference for everyone.”
As Director General at the Department of Finance, Jodi Cant reports to the Minister and Treasurer and leads 1,000 staff. At the head of a central agency, her dedicated work influences Western Australia’s entire public sector.
“I am responsible for facilitating opportunities for children and young people to have their views heard about matters that impact their lives and social issues that are important to them, an important protective mechanism.”
As one of four commissioners in the ACT Human Rights Commission, Jodie Griffiths-Cook is working towards a child safe and child friendly Canberra.
“I aim to balance business goals and outcomes, social responsibility and a personal best culture, built on diversity and inclusion.”
Jody Grima is Executive Director, Service Delivery at Service NSW. Driven to create a diverse and inclusive workforce, she is a passionate advocate for the development of her teams and individuals.
“I aim to lead the way Australian schools address cyber safety, and show young women that innovative ideas and grit are powerful tools for thriving in the world of business.”
A young founder with an all-female executive team, Jordan Foster is an expert in the field of cyber safety and a specialist in the treatment of gaming addiction in Australia.
“My passion is to drive economic development in East Arnhem to create a sustainable and prosperous future for the region, in which Yolngu are leaders and partners in economic life.”
Jordy Bowman is the Chief Executive Officer of Developing East Arnhem Limited - an independent, not-for-profit economic development corporation based in the Northern Territory.
“I love food and feeding people, and am driven by the desire to do things better, for my family, the planet and my local community.”
Joyce Ceravolo is Business Development Manager of Ashton Valley Fresh, a family-owned juice producer based in the Adelaide Hills.
“I believe the best things in life are free, and everything else should be fairly traded. In launching Eloments, we’ve created a for-purpose, for-profit business, where ethical decision making is the norm.”
From her early years in California, Julie Hirsch has had a passion for progressive causes. After becoming Deputy Director of a climate action organisation, she co-founded Eloments, the world’s first natural vitamin teas.
“My focus is largely on human success because I believe our people are our greatest assets and establishing a positive culture is critical to business success. Our culture is what makes our business successful.”
Julie Verner-Mackay’s role as Human Success Director of aXcelerate is crucial because she believes that, without a commitment to staff, staff don’t have a commitment to their clients.
“In my career, I’ve always been passionate about supporting our most important resource, our people. It is our vision to enable these people to stay in their own home for as long as possible.”
Justine Barwick has worked within the community sector for more than 20 years. As Chief Operating Officer at Family Based Care Tasmania, she helps provide day-to-day home and community assistance to those who need it.
“Transparency is important to build trusted working relationships. My philosophy in leading is to over-communicate and ensure that employees understand why they are doing what they do.”
With a strong background in people, culture and change management, Kate Berry was appointed as the first Chief People Officer of Discovery Parks, one of Australia’s largest regional accommodation businesses.
“My goal as a leader is to bring my staff together to achieve a common purpose with clear and constant communication of the organisation's vision, purpose and objectives.”
Kate Daley, General Manager Retail and Energy Procurement at Enwave Australia, prioritises constant development in her career through a desire to learn and grow as a leader.
“My commitment to social justice, to listening and learning, to excellence, and to the community have all shaped the leader that I am today. I am dedicated to making the world a better place.”
Through her work at Justice Connect, Kate Fazio has been pivotal to designing and implementing radically new and successful approaches to delivering free legal services.
“As a female Detective Chief Superintendent, I’ve seen the positive effect that my position has had on other aspiring female police officers. I’m proud to champion, mentor and coach them to realise their full potential.”
Detective Chief Superintendent Katherine Innes is one of the most senior women in the Queensland Police Service. As the State's highest ranking Detective, she leads responses to serious organised crime in all crime classes.
“I want women to choose careers in finance and have greater representation and peer support. I want them to see my path as one they can take and then progress much further than I have.”
Katherine McConnell is Chief Executive Officer and Founder of Brighte, a rapidly growing financial services company with a predominantly female C-level executive team.
“Throughout my career, I have learnt to be innovative, resilient, courageous and resourceful in order to stay ahead of the game.”
As Practice Owner and Operations Manager at City Dental Tas, Kathrine Fernando is passionate about making a difference to the dental industry.
“Access to legal help should be a basic human right because it has such a significant impact on people’s daily lives.”
To help Australians access basic legal counsel, Katie Richards created a self-service legal platform that uses technology to replicate the full client-lawyer interaction for up to 90 per cent less cost.
“My approach to business is to build diverse teams where inclusiveness, trust and respect thrive. I’m also a strong advocate for anti-bullying, domestic violence prevention, mental health and gender equality.”
Managing Director of recruitment firm Adecco Australia, Kelly Van Nelson’s purpose is to help improve employment conditions and motivate others to be the best version of themselves every day.
“My personal vision is to make IT more relatable to businesses, rather than a mysterious 'black box' that is complicated and confusing.”
Chief Information Officer at Flinders University, Kerrie Campbell, is primarily responsible for all IT systems including HR, Finance, Websites and CRM's, cybersecurity and network infrastructure.
“I am passionate about what I do because my company was created from my own life experiences as a child. I had my first vision for Standing Strong as an 18 year old and have spent the last twenty years bringing it to life.”
As Founder and CEO of Standing Strong, Kim has made it her mission to help kids build strong minds, strong bodies and strong hearts. She is passionate about being able to build a support network for children and families.
“I work alongside my team, understanding their daily highs and lows. It’s not about how old you are, it’s about skills and ability.”
Passionate about assisting organisations to attract talent, Kim Padmore became a Director and shareholder of recruitment agency People2People at age 27, and led the opening of the Perth branch.
“I am motivated by change, making improvements and experiencing new challenges. I have constantly made decisions to move into new areas and roles, looking for challenges, problems and growth.”
As Chief Executive Officer at Hunter Valley Coal Chain Coordinator Limited, Kirsten Molloy plays a key role in supporting material improvements in infrastructure to maximise efficiency within the coal chain industry.
“We are raising the bar in the industrial testing industry, delivering increased value for clients, introducing new technology, providing career paths, reducing injury rates and increasing diversity.”
Kristen Walsh is Group General Manager, Industrial, for ALS Limited, a global testing, inspection and certification business.
“Good people are essential to good business. If you hire the right people, you won’t need to worry about the business growing — just managing it as it does.”
As the Director of Canberra-based consultancy Parbery, Kylie Burnett is building a successful business by rolling up her sleeves, leading by example and staying true to her core values.
“I have a dedicated team, a growing network of supporters, a clear vision, purpose and strategy, and a firm commitment to culturally appropriate, ethical and sustainable development.”
Kylie Shae OAM is Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Motivation Australia, a charity that works with governments across Asia Pacific to improve the conditions of people living with disabilities.
“I want to show women that it is possible to be more than a wife and a mother. We need to put our hands up and say ‘we absolutely contribute to the success of these businesses… we’ve got this!’”
After a career in financial services, Laura Hutchinson’s role at Hutch Air provides refrigeration and air conditioning services over a 1,000km radius from Darwin. She also spearheads her own projects within the company.
“My goal is to be an authentic leader for a significant Australian business where I can make a difference to society, and inspire people to believe that anything is possible.”
As Chief Financial Officer at Coles Group, Leah Weckert leads all finance functions for the business, giving her substantial influence over where one of Australia’s largest retailers focuses its money, efforts and resources.
“Showing that I am human, honest and above all have a heart enables the formation of deeper relationships, and in turn, dedication, loyalty and greater teamwork”
A passionate advocate for food safety as a central pillar to the success of the Australian food industry, Leah Williamson is Technical Manager at True Foods, a leading supplier of wraps and baked goods.
“My mission is to help people become less overwhelmed and more in control by utilising simple resources already at hand.”
Leanne Baker is a high school math teacher, online influencer and owner of Leanne Baker Daily - a business that promotes organisation with planners and online courses.
“Supporting people with a disability to reach their unique potential, and removing barriers that limit their participation in everyday life, has a profound impact on the whole of the community.”
Occupational therapist Leanne Healey founded Everyday Independence in 1997 aiming to help people with disabilities live everyday lives.
“I believe in enhancing the living conditions of Aboriginal people through increased health, education, employment, social justice and economic development. In many cases, this all starts with adequate housing.”
Leeanne Caton is Chief Executive Officer of Yilli Rreung Housing Aboriginal Corporation - an Indigenous housing group that services more than 200 properties in the Darwin area.
“As a young female scientist, artist, business owner and community volunteer, I am passionate about encouraging other women to step outside their comfort zone and do something different.”
A marine scientist working for the Australian Seafood Industries, Lewa Pertl was instrumental in saving the Australian oyster industry from a catastrophic disease outbreak that wiped out millions of the molluscs.
“I am in a privileged position to make a real difference to people’s lives because of the work Leisure Networks does every day. We are changing the community, impacting the lives of both our team and the people we serve.”
As Chief Executive Officer of Leisure Networks, Libby Mears works to engage and connect people with disability into employment, volunteering and social networks.
“My strengths are in communicating and influencing decision-makers, and I strongly believe in ensuring the next generation of female leaders are properly supported for success.”
As the Chief Executive Officer of Australian Pathology, Liesel Wett has spent more than 15 years working in national organisations negotiating better health services for all Australians.
“I approach every business I work in as if it were my own, and take pride in the guidance I give our team. Being able to contribute to others’ journeys in their work life brings me great satisfaction.”
As General Manager of Corporate Services at Enwave Australia, Lisa McConnon oversees all HR, IT and marketing functions, helping shape the company’s culture and strategy.
“I’m proud to work for an organisation that is committed, as I am, to empowering people with disabilities to live a rich and independent life.”
Liz Cohen, Chief Executive at Cara, aims to provide high quality, value for money services for people with disabilities.
“Teaching young women is so important. I want the girls in our classrooms to know that as women, they must support each other on the journey to leadership and expect nothing less than that from the women around them.”
Principal of Merici College, Loretta Wholley, knew from Grade Three that she wanted to be a teacher or a nun. She never joined a religious order but has used her faith as an influence in her teaching roles.
“Business can be challenging at the best of times. It’s important for women to realise that everyone is going through their own struggles, and to seek out other women who have achieved success for guidance.”
Louise Hvala founded Alifery as part of the wider Gatehouse Group. Alifery is an online platform delivering freelance opportunities to the legal profession, giving people freedom in their lives.
“The technology revolution is here, and I am privileged to provide opportunities for the next generation of leaders in this space – people that will change our world and solve global challenges.”
Co-Founder of the Women in STEM and Indigenous Engineering programs, Louise O'Reilly is developing tomorrow’s leaders by providing accessible opportunity to pursue careers in STEM.
“I am making a difference in a way I never thought would be possible. Diversity Inclusion is helping organisations reduce bullying, sexual harassment and discrimination.”
Lucinda Hewitson, Chief Executive Officer of Diversity Inclusion, is changing workplaces by helping organisations become more diverse and inclusive.
“I see fit and healthy people in Australia’s workforce give very little of themselves, and desperately wish that the world could be better. More efficient, with greater ability.”
Co-Founder of Black Diamond Aviation, Mache Collins applied years of experience and a passion for independent business management to turn a shared vision into reality.
“We work tirelessly every day to ensure that young people growing up with caring responsibilities have access to the childhood that every child deserves. I am incredibly proud of the work that we do.”
Madeleine Buchner started Little Dreamers when she was only 16, a not-for-profit organisation that aims to support the community of 490,000 young carers across Australia.
“Receiving recognition is testament to the many fantastic aged care facilities whose teams have given their hearts and souls to the care and dignity of their residents.”
As Chief Executive Officer of Medea Park Association, Margaret Williams has dedicated her career to caring for community members, taking on various roles within the healthcare sector.
“We are progressing a world-class translational research centre that will have a genuine impact on the delivery of health care and our community. I get energy from new challenges and seeing real world impact.”
Marion Eckert is Professor of Cancer Nursing and Director of the Rosemary Bryant Research Centre within the University of South Australia, where she is responsible for a team of academics and researchers.
“I am driven by social justice and a sense of service. If something requires sponsorship and advocacy I will use my influence and network to achieve the right outcome.”
QFES Director of Regional Operations, Chief Superintendent Megan Stiffler leads Fire and Rescue Service operations across a region of approximately 400,000 square kilometres in the state’s south west.
“I enjoy the challenge of analysing complex data and making difficult concepts easier to understand. As an actuary, I do this to help improve outcomes for retirees.”
As Technical Services Manager at Accurium, Melanie Dunn provides specialist superannuation advice to help Australians achieve financial security in retirement.
“Our in-house hops propagation program has assisted the reboot of a dormant industry in WA. My goal is to show that it’s achievable and profitable to produce ‘paddock-to-pint’ beer with a closed circuit of inputs and waste.”
Melissa Holland is General Manager at Rocky Ridge Brewing Co, a brewery that strives for positive change through sustainability, innovation, diversification and collaboration.
“I am passionate about making a positive impact on my students' lives. I love to teach dance and create a space that every student can feel safe in.”
Melissa Spies is Director of Moreton Bay Physical Culture Club, a female dance school that she started in 2015 while still at university.
“My passion for podiatry comes from a place of wanting to educate everyone about their feet. So many things can be done to improve foot health.”
Melissa Zacharia is Director of Pod Fit Adelaide, a podiatry clinic that she founded in 2015. Also a practicing Podiatrist, she now runs a small team across two locations.
“Since launching the business, I've found continued inspiration in knowing that what we are doing is truly different, and is redefining the way people engage with and think about their legal service providers.”
In founding Peripheral Blue in 2016, Mellissa Larkin’s vision was of a legal and consulting firm with a difference. She has embraced innovation, providing a dynamic new style of legal services to benefit her clients and team.
“I’ve come to realise my successes are not solely driven by the amount of output I produce in my role. They are a result of the person I am and the relationships I’ve built with others.”
Dedicated financial executive Michele Robinson has spent more than ten years in fast-moving consumer goods. Her role as Finance Director sees her driving the vision and strategy of Capitol Chilled Foods Australia.
“I have learnt that being a role model is powerful, and women in leadership need to lead like a female, not a male. Each gender brings something very different and important to the table.”
Michelle Baxter ASM has dedicated her career to emergency medical assistance and management. As Assistant Commissioner, she oversees the provision of pre-hospital care across Northern Queensland.
“I strongly believe that courage will bring forth experiences and insights that you may not otherwise encounter. There is always opportunity if you seek it out. Have the courage to take a chance.”
As Chief Financial Officer for the Clarence City Council, Miriam Coleman is responsible for every aspect of financial management, governance, compliance and strategy.
“If we can create businesses that are of real service, provide human connection, and give back to a cause greater than its own, we will be looking at a brighter future for everyone.”
A big believer in business with purpose, Naomi Arnold co-founded Dental On Macquarie to provide dental care that had a positive impact on patients, employees and the broader community.
“Maddie Riewoldt’s Vision is having a real, tangible impact. With nineteen ongoing medical research programs, we are transforming families’ lives.”
As Chief Executive Officer, Nicky Long is putting her unwavering vision, passion and purpose to the service of Maddie Riewoldt’s Vision - a foundation that funds medical research into Bone Marrow Failure Syndromes.
“My career trajectory has been successful because I welcome mistakes and challenges. I also dare to dream and keep my dreams alive.”
Zimbabwe-born Onica Mhaka has overcome challenges and hardships to become a Project Manager at Height Dynamics Pty Ltd.
“I attribute a lot of my success to work ethic, self-awareness and respect for others. The elements of working as a team and respecting input while challenging the status quo are critical to leading change.”
Peita de Boer’s work through Manteena Security has delivered projects for clients such as Parliament House, Defence and foreign embassies, drawing from her unique experiences in the military and with community bodies.
“Born from my own struggles, GoodnessMe Box was created out of a passion for getting others excited about taking control of their health and nourishing their bodies with pure wholefoods.”
Peta Shulman spent three years struggling with her health before realising that our society is overfed and undernourished. She created GoodnessMe Box as a solution to influence healthy eating habits.
“I have oversight of the complete academic life-cycle of our students at RMIT across Melbourne, Singapore and Vietnam. I know first-hand the importance of education and a supportive environment and network.”
As Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Education and Vice-President of RMIT University, Professor Belinda Tynan leads a team responsible for implementing strategies that impact more than 90,000 students.
“Being open to opportunities has been life changing for me. I'm not afraid to take risks. That has been vital to my development and success as a leader and has allowed me to support others to take risks without fear.”
With an academic background in the sciences, Emily Hilder joined the newly formed Future Industries Institute in 2016, leading a broad team or staff and students in nurturing partnerships between academia and industry.
“Change is hard for some, but must be embraced if we are to meet milestones and achievements to make the world a better place.”
With a 30-year career in higher education, Faye McCallum’s research expertise spans wellbeing education, education policy, rural teaching experiences and retention, and teacher education.
“I am passionate about helping and healing people, which was the driving force for me becoming a podiatrist in the first place.”
Rachael Ferguson has been the Chief Executive Officer of Synxsole since 2017 and has undertaken every role in the company, including product design to customer service.
“Women live longer than men, yet most have smaller superannuation balances due to pay gaps and raising children. I am passionate about helping women understand this, and assisting them in closing that gap.”
Rachel Dobing works to demystify superannuation so that members can better understand their opportunities and enjoy a financially secure retirement.
“As a leader, I have a great appreciation for the fact that everyone is different and has different personalities, and sometimes you need to put yourself in their shoes to appreciate where they are coming from.”
Rachel Vasicek founded Francesca with her sister in 2013, selling jewellery at Salamanca Market. Since then, she’s driven the business’ digital marketing, design and operations as it has expanded across Australia.
“I say yes to every opportunity and back myself and my team to be able to find a solution. I have always strived to learn new things and see every challenge as an opportunity to grow.”
Rebecca Clare is Operations Manager and Co-Owner of PhysioWest, an Adelaide healthcare and wellbeing service. She has a vision to make a lasting impact in the healthcare industry and create better health outcomes for all.
“I’ve learnt that what we perceive as a challenge is sometimes a blessing. The ability to problem solve and think out of the box helps me as a leader.”
Rhiannon Beach’s unique approach to pet care is driven by investing in people and collaboration. Her dog daycare business, Pups4Fun, has grown from caring for a few pups per day, to more than 400 dogs per week.
“I believe in shaping and leading transformational change that delivers results and builds high-performance teams. This drives a better outcome for the wider business.”
Robyn Valmadre is General Manager of Sales and Marketing at Villa World, a residential developer that has been building houses around Australia for more than 30 years.
“I love what I do because it gives me the opportunity to deliver against my passion. I am able to build regional communities and work with different forward-thinking people and organisations.”
Dr Rochelle Macdonald is Chief Executive Officer of the Mid West Ports Authority. A Harvard Business School graduate, she has a distinguished background in geology, environmental health, engineering and business management.
“I make a difference in the world by creating better workplaces, greater leaders and more inspired teams. I thrive on helping people and businesses be their best.”
After a long career in human resources, Rosalind Cardinal founded Shaping Change in 2012. A strategic consulting service, Rosalind and her team coach leaders and organisations on ways to create great workplaces.
“I am passionate about the mining industry because of the contributions it makes to our people and country. It is fundamentally important to the progress of technology, safety and global health.”
As Mine Closure Projects Advisor at Minerals and Metals Group, Rose Lindner is responsible for planning and implementing best practice closure options.
“There is a need for change and improvement in the aged-care sector. I strive to be part of this improvement and lead my students and trainees to carry out the change.”
Roslyn Connolly is a training consultant for Work & Training. She mentors and trains aged care students in the classroom, and trainees on-the-job.
“I believe stigma can give way to care and shame can give way to respect. Those who have previously been defined by pain can be supported to redefine their future.”
Ruth Limkin, Chief Executive Officer of The Banyans Health and Wellness, brings kindness and honesty to all aspects of her work as she aims to reduce Australia’s depression and addiction crisis.
“Some of my most valuable leadership experiences have been learnt from undesirable leaders. I see them as mentors who taught me exactly what not to do.”
Aiming to support organisations holistically through mentoring and support, Sally Morris took her career into her own hands and set up a business consulting company focused on workforce planning and development.
“I hope to achieve our vision of creating a mantle of health care services that improve and help save lives in rural, remote and regional Northern Territory.”
Samantha Bennett is Acting Operations Manager of Darwin’s Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia Central Operations. An aviation veteran, she is committed to her industry and the cause of her organisation.
“We love being able to make and supply Tasmanians with a product from Tasmania that is of a high quality.”
As COO of Tasmanian Stockfeed Services, Samantha is passionate about offering Tasmanians the option to buy a quality product from a local mill rather than mainland-based products, while maintaining a competitive price.
“I’m confident in the effectiveness of the visibility system I teach. I’ve seen so many women shift from doubtful and lacking confidence in their ideas, to becoming fearless advocates for their causes and their mission.”
After working with women across the globe in the entrepreneurial space, Samantha Nolan-Smith founded The School of Visibility. An online school, Samantha empowers women to speak up and share their stories and wisdom.
“A workplace should embrace vulnerability, creativity and courage. I don't want my company to grow, I simply want my work to matter and for others to have that same opportunity.”
Samantha Truscott is Founding Partner of Allegro Education, an early intervention service provider that uses music to help children with disabilities.
“Most people take their hearing for granted. I have dedicated my entire adult life to the field of audiology and to the service of the hearing impaired.”
As Chief Executive Officer and Executive Board Member of Ear Science Institute Australia, Sandra Bellekom is passionate about working in audiology and being a part of the solution for people with hearing loss.
“I have a desire to fix anything that’s broken. Having lost both my parents to cancer early on, I am proud to play a role in changing the breast cancer death rate through research.”
Breast cancer is the most diagnosed cancer in Australia and Sarah Hosking wants to share her passion for finding a cure. As Chief Executive Officer, she delivers the National Breast Cancer Foundation’s strategy for change.
“We need to showcase female leaders in information technology and in STEM to help provide role models who inspire the next generation.”
As Owner and Director of ATech Services, Sarah Jane Peterschlingmann helps deliver world class websites and web applications to big businesses and digital agencies.
“I love sharing experiences with people, be it making coffee for a new mum that really needs it or watching people enjoy our food. It’s so rewarding seeing people enjoy themselves in the space we created.”
As Restaurant Manager at Gastown East, Sarah Mundy wants to share with women that an idea or business doesn't have to be groundbreaking to be powerful.
“I strongly believe in trying to leave the world a better place, and that my route for this is through science and technology.”
A pioneering and internationally recognised physicist, Sarah Pearce is delivering world-leading facilities for the international astronomy community in her role as Deputy Director of CSIRO Astronomy and Space Science.
“My roles have always been in large operational leadership positions in rural Australia. A core motivator has been to pave the way for other female leaders and demonstrate the difference diversity and inclusivity can make.”
Sarah Roche has lived and worked in rural Australia for 20 years. As Head of Operations for Essential Energy, her work is to lead a large team to power the majority of rural communities across NSW and Southern QLD.
“I always wanted to use strength training as a catalyst for women to help rewrite society’s opinions of their bodies and create their own meaning of the word ‘healthy’.”
Schae Zarew is the owner of The Strength Syndicate - a powerlifting facility that aims to empower people with a positive outlook on both fitness and body-image through strength training.
“Protecting the health of our loved ones is of the highest importance. I am passionate about helping one million HBF members find peace of mind at an affordable price.”
Selina Torrance is Executive General Manager of Member Experience at HBF, Western Australia’s largest not-for-profit private health insurer.
“Our mission is to help women hack their careers to advance faster, transcend their limiting beliefs, and confidently create the extraordinary life they deserve."
Shadé Zahrai is an Award-Winning Leadership Strategist, Personal Mastery Expert, Bestselling Author and Co-Founder of Influenceo Group. She’s a member of the esteemed Forbes Coaches Council and was named Mentor of the Year in 2019.
“Being an educator is a privilege and working in schools is not about me, it’s about the young people we work with and their families. I’m lucky to have such a rewarding job and it’s my responsibility to be a role model.”
Shannon Carnovale is the Deputy Principal at Melrose High School and works directly with students and their families to ensure their education journeys are enriched, fulfilled and celebrated.
“To create an Australia where older people are valued, well cared for and healthy, we need more women to take on and excel in leadership roles in for-purpose health, aged and community care organisations.”
As Chief Executive Officer at Meals on Wheels SA, Sharyn Broer works to ensure accessibility to affordable services for those at risk of malnutrition and loneliness.
“It is a privilege to design, create, deliver and operate two of the most used NSW Government digital products that help people in NSW live their life.”
As Director of Digital Customer Information Services at Transport for NSW, Sherrie Killiby has helped transform the provision of digital trip planning information for millions of transport users.
“I am passionate about reducing stigma and discrimination around drug addictions. I see addiction as a physical manifestation of hurt and believe that if it’s addressed, we will be better at looking after others and the planet.”
Shirleyann Varney’s leadership of the Drug Education Network sees the non-for-profit deliver programs to combat drug-related harm. She is dedicated to reducing the stigma and discrimination associated with addiction.
“Every experience has built my resilience and values. I reflect on these moments when mentoring or guiding others through their challenges and I try to be the leader I would have needed at that time.”
As General Manager of Auto Care Works in Darwin, Sierra Feguson has taken a traditional business, flipped it on its head and brought it into the 21st century.
“I find it extremely satisfying to be involved in my local community and know that I am giving back and making a genuine difference in people’s lives.”
Simone Salter is the Coordinator of Environmental Health Services for Glenorchy City Council. She manages the environmental health section, which aims to provide a safe and healthy environment for all residents.
“I’m passionate about words, the art of communication and people in general, and my proudest achievement to date is starting Neon Black. I love that the work we do has the ability to achieve hugely meaningful results.”
Soraya Calavassy, Co-Founder of Neon Black, had an unconventional start to her career in PR. Despite this, her hard work and determination has seen her build a profitable boutique PR agency in four years.
“I am a strong advocate for Aboriginal women's rights and a driver of Aboriginal leadership development and progression.”
Sorrell Ashby is a Gamilaroi woman and the Founder and Managing Director of Guumali - a social enterprise that works to improve the economic and social support capabilities for Indigenous communities.
“Through dance, I aim to inspire and create the next generation of successful young people, building self confidence and fostering each child's passion.”
Stacey Morgan is Principal and Founder of Port Macquarie Performing Arts - a childhood dance studio supporting the next generation of performing artists. She is also a dancer herself, teaching, empowering and mentoring both her students and staff.
“I believe empowerment through knowledge is the strongest way to create resilient and talented people, organisations and societies.”
Stacey Murray is Founder of The Resume Creative, a platform that matches people with meaningful employment through resume writing services and deep human resources expertise.
“We owe it to our youth to better educate them and prepare them to contribute as adults to a globally competitive Australia.”
Stella Jinman inherited a school on the brink of closure when she became Principal of Cecil Andrews College. Today, the school boasts resilient students and teachers committed to giving Australia a brighter future.
“I have a model airplane on my desk. It’s a reminder that my team rely on me to know where we are going, and how we are going to get there.”
Suzanne Moulis uses her role at Moulis Legal to challenge stereotypes within the legal industry and re-write what it means to be a successful female CEO.
“After losing my daughter to a complex heart condition, I learned a lot about the impact that having a seriously ill child has on a family, and their community.”
As Chief Executive Officer of Stella Bella Little Stars Foundation, Suzanne Tunks provides a range of supportive programs to families in need and helps them through some of their toughest times.
“I entered the restaurant business to express my passion for good food, sharing rich cultural exchanges and enjoying new life experiences.”
Tala Sarizadeh is the Owner and Manager of the Upstairs Restaurant, a much loved high end restaurant in the remote town of Kalbarri.
“In creating a positive culture for the professional beauty industry, we have shown business owners and brands that it’s okay to speak to one another in a proactive and non-competitive way.”
Tamara Reid, Founding Director of Beaute Industrie, has created an online support community for professional beauty businesses.
“There is no greater reward than knowing that the outcome of my advice and the service provided by our business overall makes a big difference to the lives of our clients.”
Tania Tonkin is the Director of dmca advisory, a business that she has helped grow from a chartered accounting firm to an integrated advisory business that helps clients achieve their vision of financial success.
“We have grown our team of four to one hundred and developed our business from cottage to corporate, without losing our comradery, respect and passion.”
Tracey Leo is Chief Operating Officer of Humpty Doo Barramundi - Australia’s largest barramundi farm and a pioneer of aquaculture in the Northern Territory.
“I hope my example inspires females, Indigenous people, those from remote areas, those without financial or educational advantage or simply those who are struggling that anything is possible.”
Adjunct Professor Tracy Westerman founded Indigenous Psychological Services in 1998, to address the significant gaps in treatment and intervention into suicide and mental health in Aboriginal populations.
“By telling the stories behind the grain industry and having the community understand the science, I hope that more people will have trust and confidence in the industry as a whole.”
Leading a team across four states, Tresslyn Walmsley is Chief Executive Officer at InterGrain, a plant breeding enterprise. She has found success by combining her passions for agriculture, science, food and travel.
“I believe travel is more than just a leisure experience, it influences how people connect and helps them appreciate differences all over the world.”
Uli Lenitschek is the Owner and Director of Travel Experience, a Queensland-based travel agency that seeks to connect people around the world through positive experiences that break down barriers.
“We focus on empowering communities through music and creativity with a clear and distinct commitment to human rights and the crucial role of women to create a fair, more just society for all.”
Vicki Gordon established CICADA International as a not for profit charity to empower Indigenous, marginalised and disadvantaged artists and communities through self expression, self determination and creativity.
“Knowing the impact we’ve had on tens of thousands of women blows me away. When people - particularly women - are financially literate, secure and make more money, the world becomes a better place.”
Victoria Devine is Director of Zella Wealth and Founder of She’s On The Money. Her work has created a community of thousands passionate about changing their financial futures for the better.
“Through my business I am creating pathways and social programs that foster socio-economic change and gender parity in the technology consulting sector.”
Founder and Chief Executive Officer of technology consultancy Araza, Victoria Kluth, is at the helm of one of Australia’s fastest growing companies.
“Managing a team within a typically male-dominated industry like mining is challenging but also highly rewarding. I hope to inspire other women to see their future in mining.”
Joining Rio Tinto as an engineer, Yinzhu Quan was selected to be one of just six members on its Pioneer Lab - a panel working on 10-20 year-long strategies and new visions for the company.
“I’ve faced many challenges and I’ve disregarded conventional wisdom and those who said it couldn’t be done. It takes a strong sense of self-belief and the commitment to continually invest in yourself.”
Zoe Piper leads the development of IC Global - an integrated suite of innovation platforms. Her work with the CSIRO has brought both recognition and opportunities to mentor the next generation of female leaders.