Meet the finalists of the 2017 Women’s Agenda Leadership Awards

Meet the finalists of the 2017 Women’s Agenda Leadership Awards

We’re getting ready for our biggest ever Leadership Awards event in early October, today naming our stellar line-up of 35 finalists.

These finalists are from a wide range of sectors and backgrounds but share one key thing in common: they have achieved remarkable, game-changing successes in the 2016/17 Financial Year, which our 2017 program plans to celebrate.

Those in the ‘emerging’ categories have been identified as leaders who’ve stepped up into new roles or projects in the past financial year, and are well on their way to being the household female leadership names of the future. Our emerging entrepreneurs have been recognised for businesses they’ve founded in the 2016/17 financial year.

We received hundreds of nominations for these awards, and more than 100 alone in the Agenda Setter category which specifically celebrates women (no matter what their leadership level) who are personally setting a new agenda– offering smart solutions to difficult social, business and community challenges.

Our aim is to shine a spotlight on all these finalists in the coming weeks and months. Expect to read more about their stories on Women’s Agenda, and to hear more from them across the wider media in the years and decades to come.

We’re putting more than a dozen inspiring women on stage at our upcoming leadership luncheon. Tickets available here

Emerging Leader in the Not-For-Profit Sector powered by Suncorp:

Morgan Koegel, CEO, One Girl

At 25, Morgan is not only the youngest member of the One Girl team, but also CEO of the organisation committed to educating girls across Sierra Leone and Uganda.

Ursula McGeown, CEO, Dress for Success Sydney

Ursula has focused her team on facilitating impactful career programs that support women to achieve sustainable employment outcomes.

Jennifer Star, Tara.ED

Jennifer founded the International Education NGO at age 21, aiming to promote sustainable quality education through teacher training, resource mobilisation and infrastructure development in rural and remote areas of India and Bangladesh.

Maryann Wright, Co-founder, Women In Theatre and Screen Australia

Maryann’s led a team bringing thousands of female creatives together across Australia.

Emerging Leader in the Public Sector powered by Charles Sturt University:

Dr Danielle Kennedy, Director of AIM, CSIRO

Danielle leads the CSIRO’s Active Integrated Matter Future Science Platform, which is set to create ground breaking physical technologies that leverage digital advancements.

Sarah Nelson, GM Operations and Engagement, Sydney School of Entrepreneurship

Sarah has overseen the launch of the school as a destination for next gen Australian entrepreneurship, building a team to realise the full potential of the new partnership between 12 tertiary institutions.

Dr. Jess Melbourne-Thomas, Research Scientist, Australian Antarctic Division

Jess is a Project Leader with the Antarctic Climate and Ecosystems Cooperative Research Centre, where she is the youngest and only female project leader.

Ainsley Barahona Santos, GM of Talent & leadership, iCare NSW

Ainsley is driving cultural change in a workforce that is doubling in size, by introducing world-class learning and leadership programs and technology.

Emerging Leader in Tech powered by SEEK

Sharon Blesson, COO, Xref

Sharon is bridging the gap between IT and business, with specialised skills in both delivery and operational environments.

Mathilde Desselle, Project Manager QUT

Mathilde is working towards the creation of Australia’s first biofabrication institute (3D printing for medicine), in partnership with Metro North Hospital and Health Service.

Dr Lucy Palmer, Laboratory Head, Florey Institute of Neuroscience and mental health

Lucy is leading a fast-growing laboratory focusing on understanding how the brain interprets our external world and what this means to our daily functioning.

Sarah Hayward, MD, Calastone Limited

Sarah’s bringing more women into her team to deliver bulk automation services.

Vaishali Vijay, Director, Capgemini

Vaishali’s team helps create insightful Business Intelligence solutions for clients across industries, to aid better data driven decisions.

Emerging Leader in Arts, Design and Architecture powered by RMIT

Lisa Howard, Studio Principal, Taylor Cullity Lethlean

Lisa leads a team delivering large scale, industry-leading open space designs, and also mentors the next generation of emerging leaders through her lectures.

Beth Toon, Director and GM, Place Design Group

Beth has won recent acclaim for her innovative, ground breaking work developing a new industry communication model based on the combined insights of planners, designers and communications professionals.

Hayley Mitchell, Design BY QU

Hayley launched her firm in August 2016, and already has a global team and 13 projects across a range of sectors.

Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year powered by Jetstar

Dr. Anna Wright, CEO and founder BanjoMaps

In January this year, Anna launched BanjoMaps, a navigation app for internal spaces particularly designed for people with visual impairment.

Dr. Catherine Ball, Co-founder, She Flies

Catherine is working with the application of drone technology across Australia. She launched She Flies at the World of Drones Congress earlier this year.

Karen Foelz, founder, Spring & Grove

Karen’s Spring & Grove is a naturally flavoured sparkling spring water with zero sugar, zero calories, zero artificial sweeteners and zero preservatives, launched in July 2016.

Stephanie Reuss & Victoria Stuart, Co-Founders, Beam

The pair formed Beam in October 2016, a technology platform connecting businesses with high calibre professional talent to career-worthy part-time and flexible work.

Emerging Leader in the Legal Sector powered by AICD

Pallavi Sinha, Principal, Lawyers with Solutions

Pallavi’s team has successfully delivered innovative and inclusive legal advice, as well as education resources to a wide variety of clients, ultimately increasing an awareness of legal rights.

Michelle Segaert, Partner, EY, Financial Services law team

Michelle’s leading a newly formed team at EY, and is engaged in co-developing an MDP service offering for EY financial services clients seeking integrated tax, legal, regulatory and advisory services.

Angela Lynch, CEO, Women’s Legal Services Queensland (WLSQ)

In the past year Angela led the delivery of Australia’s first financial empowerment app for women experiencing domestic violence, and led a social media campaign crowdfunding $125,000 for the WLSQ DV Legal Helpline.

Alison Woolsey, Director of Diversity & Inclusion, Clayton Utz
Alison has elevated the importance of D&I in the major law firm, establishing a number of goals and initiatives enabling more inclusive teams across all practice areas.

Emerging Leader in the Private Sector powered by AICD:

Heather Denman, Customer Inclusion Manager, IAG

Heather has initiated IAG’s response to domestic and family violence for customers and staff, garnering executive support and leading a cross-functional team to develop awareness and policies, and explore product and process solutions.

Karen Lawson, CEO, Slingshot

Appointed to the role in August 2016, Karen is now leading Australia’s leading corporate accelerator connecting corporates to disruptive startups for growth and scale.

Dr Mary Stewart, COO, Energetics

Mary leads a team of energy and climate change experts developing solutions for governments and businesses to deliver the reductions in greenhouse emissions we need to achieve our international obligations under the Paris Climate Agreement.

Rebecca Burrows, GM Small Business, Australia Post

Rebecca has led major work at the organisation to better recognise the true value of small businesses across Australia

Agenda Setter of the Year powered by CSU

Kristal Kinsela, Director, Indigenous Professional Services

Kristal is a proud Aboriginal woman, descendant of both the Jawoyn and Wiradjuri nations, and is setting a new agenda at the interface of Aboriginal business development, government and business procurement.

Saffron Howden, Editor, Crinkling News

Saffron co-founded Australia’s first national newspaper for kids, Crinkling News, in 2016, which is now read by school-aged children across the country. In 2017, she led a successful crowdfunding campaign raising $200,000 to secure the newspaper’s future.

Tracey Spicer, Journalist & Author

Tracey has long advocated for gender equality across the media, and has in the past year published her ‘femoir’ The Good Girl Stripped Bare and led an expansion of Women in Media. 

Anne-Marie Elias, Chief Disrupter

Anne-Marie connects communities, business, academia and the Government in Australia and abroad to empower disadvantaged communities, especially focussing on refugees, homelessness, disability and poverty.

Jenna Leo, CEO and Founder, Home Care Heroes

Jenna’s helping to solve social isolation through her social movement Home Care Heroes, which encourages everyday people to engage more in their communities by helping ill, injured, elderly and disabled people.

Danielle Kennedy, director of AIM, CSIRO

Danielle leads the CSIRO’s Active Integrated Matter Future Science Platform, which is set to create ground breaking physical technologies that leverage digital advancements.

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