Winners of the 2018 Women's Agenda Leadership Awards

Winners of the 2018 Women’s Agenda Leadership Awards

Today we announced the winners of the 2018 Women’s Agenda Leadership Awards in Sydney.


Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year: Melissa Goffin, co-founder of Red Gum BBQ.

Judges’ comments:

“We think she has the potential to be the next Carmen Creswell. This is a business with purpose and values. She understands the supply chain, her customer and b corp certification – and watch out for those BBQ sources. She’s a great role model for changing careers, she moved from school teacher to running a business.”

Public Sector: Billie-Jo Barbara, HR Director in NSW Department of Planning and Environment Cluster.

Judges’ comments:

“Over the last 12 months Billie-jo has shown inclusive leadership in transforming teams and systems within the Department of Planning & Environment cluster. She has contributed to the Department being seen as an innovative and progressive agency within the public services. She’s also showing genuine leadership in the NFP area, being on the board of Carers NSW.”

Emerging Leader in Science, Medicine & Health: Dr Caroline Ford, Head of Gynaecological Cancer Research Group, UNSW

 Judges’ comments:

“She took an idea and created a real initiative.

She has a firm view of what she wants to achieve and how her leadership will drive it.

She is very focused on women’s diseases and making a difference for women of diverse backgrounds.

Her inclusive leadership and disrupting terms of thinking.”

Emerging Leader in Technology: Ros Harvey, Founder of The Yield

Judges’ comments:

“Ros is driven by such a fantastic purpose ‘to feed the world, without ruining the planet’. It was so amazing to see a technical female leader who is building and scaling amazing products, but also so driven on leading with purpose, being driven by values and truly creating a diverse culture.”

Agenda Setter: Tracey Spicer

Tracey’s work over the past 12 months has been outstanding and a catalyst for change. She has been a driving force of Australia’s #MeToo movement.

Agenda Setter: Highly Commended: Vanessa Zimmerman

Emerging Leader in Finance and Corporate: Katherine Gobbi, CEO of EMLife

Judges’ comments

“Katherine is a pragmatic, strategic and empathetic leader. She is determine and also entrepreneurial and not afraid to be authentic. Her focus is on the human – the customer – and making a lasting impact on the insurance sector.”

Emerging Leader in Professional Services: Bec Brideson, Head of Bec Brideson

Judges’ comments

“She is genuinely disrupting the industry and is working in a traditional male-dominated industry to help build a much needed female lens.” 

Emerging Leader in the NFP Sector: Andrea Goddard

Judges’ comments

“She’s grown a model from scratch and she has created impact with sensational early results. She has created real impact for indigenous women in the community and created better outcomes.

She is driving change and results.

She combines drive, passion, humility and grace.

She has achieved results for year 12, indigenous girls with 96% of them completing year 12.”

Female Employer Initiative of the Year: Stryker

“The Stryker Women’s Network is genuinely changing the lives and leadership potential of women in the organisation in a number of different ways.”


You can see all our finalists here.

Thank you to all our judges including: Dr Kirstin Ferguson, Sally Loane, Nicole Brown, Paul Zahra, Pip Marlow, Dai Le, Dr Jessa Rogers, Kate Mills, Nicole Brolan, Dr Darren Saunders, Jenny Roberts, Georgie Dent, Suzy Nicoletti, Marina Go, Catherine Fox, Conrad Liveris, Nick Steiner, Dr Neela Janakiramanan and Shirley Chowdhary


Stay Smart! Get Savvy!

Get Women's Agenda in your inbox