Women's Agenda Leadership Awards
Nominations are open for the 2019 Women’s Agenda Leadership Awards!
We’re on the hunt for some of Australia’s most talented emerging female leaders, across a diverse range of categories.
This is your chance to nominate a friend, colleague, family member, mentor or mentee who you believe deserves more recognition for her incredible leadership work.
It’s also your chance to nominate yourself!
Nominations close July 24. Scroll down for full category lists and entry forms.
This year’s award categories include:
EMERGING FEMALE ENTREPRENEUR OF THE YEAR
EMERGING FEMALE LEADER IN PROFESSIONAL SERVICES
EMERGING FEMALE LEADER IN THE GOVERNMENT & PUBLIC SECTOR
EMERGING FEMALE LEADER IN THE NFP SECTOR
EMERGING FEMALE LEADER IN TECH
EMERGING FEMALE LEADER IN SPORT
EMERGING FEMALE LEADER IN SCIENCE, MEDICINE & HEALTH
EMERGING FEMALE LEADER IN CORPORATE
EMERGING CHANGEMAKER OF THE YEAR
2019 AGENDA SETTER OF THE YEAR
WITH THE HELP OF OUR PARTNERS
Some of our previous winners
For the 7th year, Women’s Agenda is hosting an exclusive luncheon on Friday September 13 to announce the winners of the Leadership Awards and celebrate emerging female talent. This is your opportunity to applaud the winners, hear from a number of inspiring female leaders and network with judges, finalists and the Women’s Agenda community. Enjoy a two-course meal at a stunning location, and celebrate women’s leadership success.
DATE & TIME
Friday 13th September 2019, 12.15pm-2:45pm
This Years Speakers
Linda Burney MP
Tickets for this event SELL OUT every year. With a huge line-up of inspiring speakers, don’t miss your opportunity to attend the event of the year.
Meet our 2019 Judges
Shirley is the CEO of the GO Foundation and the Deputy Chair of YMCA NSW. Shirley started her career as a lawyer at the New York law firm of Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton. After working in Japan and across Asia for 8 years with Cleary Gottlieb, and as Regional Counsel for JP Morgan Investment Management, Shirley returned to Sydney. Over the next 10 years, Shirley wrote a biography for a World War 2 Prisoner-of-War and took on a series of community-based roles. She then returned to banking and finance joining the legal team at BT Financial Group and Westpac Banking Corporation. Prior to joining the GO Foundation, Shirley was Counsel in the Treasury team at Westpac.
Shirley is a member of the International Women’s Forum and a member of the Risk and Audit Committee of YMCA NSW.
She lives in Sydney with her husband of almost 25 years and their three children.
Neela Janakiramanan is a reconstructive plastic surgeon who spends most of her time playing with power tools to fix hands and wrists, while accidentally teaching, mentoring, writing, and fighting the patriarchy as a regular contributor to Women’s Agenda and other publications. Shecompleted her medical degree at Monash University in 2003, immediately commenced surgical training and was awarded Fellowship of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery in 2014.
Suzy is Twitter Australia’s Managing Director, responsible for leading the strategy, revenue and operations across the organisation. Previously, Suzy ran Twitter Australia’s online sales business for almost three years which experienced strong growth under her leadership. Suzy is passionate about helping Australian businesses and brands integrate new digital technologies, currently focussed on helping them understand the value of Twitter as the best place to see what’s happening in the world.
Pip Marlow is Chief Executive Officer Customer Marketplace. She is responsible for driving customer focus into all aspects of Suncorp’s business including strategy, customer care, partnerships and innovative solutions that add value for customers.
Prior to joining Suncorp in 2016, Pip was the Managing Director of Microsoft Australia for six years.
Pip is a non-executive director of the Rugby Australia, sits on the Vice-Chancellor’s Advisory Board at UTS and is a member of Chief Executive Women, an organisation committed to supporting and growing women in executive positions.
Pip enjoys working in a vibrant, collaborative environment, and is an advocate for flexible and diverse workplaces that empower people through trust and accountability.
Born, raised and educated in Palmerston North, New Zealand, Pip lives in Sydney with her Scottish husband and her two daughters, Sophie and Lucy.
Marina Go is Chair of Suncorp Super Netball and Ovarian Cancer Australia, a non-executive director of Energy Australia, Autosports Group, 7-Eleven, Pro-Pac, and The Walkley Foundation, Chair of the Advisory Board for the Centre For Media Transition at the University of Technology Sydney, a director of PWC’s Diversity Advisory Board, and author of the business book for women, Break Through: 20 Success Strategies for Female Leaders. Boss magazine named her as one of 20 True Leaders of 2016. Marina has over 25 years of leadership experience in the media industry, having started her career as a journalist. She is a founder of the female leadership website Women’s Agenda and food magazine disruptor Australian Good Taste, a former Editor-in-chief of ELLE and Dolly magazines and Crikey Publisher. Marina is the former Chair of the Wests Tigers NRL Club and Private Media CEO. She has an MBA from The Australian Graduate School of Management and is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
Jenny has 22 years’ experience in the higher education sector with her career dedicated to expanding educational opportunities across regional Australia. This dynamic senior leader is passionate about students and ensuring their journey with CSU is insightful, inclusive, inspiring and impactful.
Jenny joined the Charles Sturt University (CSU) Vice-Chancellor’s Leadership Team in November 2017 from CQUniversity Australia in Rockhampton. She brings with her a wealth of senior leadership experience overseeing student support services and governance within a multi-campus regional university.
Dai lives and breathes diversity and inclusion. Her mission is to help build an inclusive society where mainstreams institutions and organizations genuinely reflect the diverse community we live in.
Born in Saigon, Vietnam, Dai spent many years in refugee camps in South East Asia before being accepted for resettlement in Australia. Her childhood experiences and growing up with a dual identity – being a Vietnamese in an Australian and western cultural surroundings, helped to shape her perception of life.
Dai speaks, consults, and help organisations understand the economic and social benefits of leveraging diversity and inclusion as part of their business development, market innovation and corporate responsibility. She founded DAWN, a platform that gives voice to diverse and inclusive talent who are shaping today’s society.
Dai currently serves as an Advisory Board Member to Multicultural NSW, a Government statutory body; she’s an Ambassador for Fairfield Relay for Life, and NSW Cancer Council Greater Western Sydney.
Dai is also a breast cancer survivor.
Andrew Cleary began his career as a lawyer, moved to legal executive search and eventually transitioned to a career in media as a producer on ‘Squawk Box Europe’ for CNBC. He has worked as a journalist at Bloomberg News in London and at the Australian Financial Review in London and Sydney. In 2013, after three years writing about the airline industry, Andrew joined Qantas’ investor relations team. In February 2014, he began running the investor relations function.
Since then, Andrew has led Qantas’ Alliances division, managing complex deal negotiations with airlines from around the world. Recently, Andrew has become Executive Manager at Qantas Loyalty – running the end-to-end customer experience, program design and operations of the Qantas Frequent Flyer program which has 12.5 million members.
Chris Bath is a freelance journalist, TV & radio host, with more than 30 years’ experience as a reporter and news anchor.
She has fronted news bulletins since she was 21, working at Radio 2UE, Prime TV Albury, NBN TV Newcastle, the Seven Network & ABC. Chris has interviewed pop stars and Prime Ministers, hosted national television coverage of tragedies and triumphs and danced to AC/DC under a mirror ball on Dancing With The Stars. At present Chris anchors Channel Ten’s National Weekend News & hosts ABC Radio’s Evenings show four nights a week, as well as anchoring special broadcasts like the ABC’s Invictus Games coverage. In between she’s birdwatching, and planting trees & shooing wombats off her veggie garden in the lower Hunter Valley.
Holly Kramer is the Deputy Chairman of Australia Post and a Non-Executive Director on the Boards of Woolworths and Abacus Property Group. She also sits on the boards of Western Sydney University, the GO (Goodes-O’Loughlin) Foundation, community-owned telco Southern Phones and ASIC External Advisory Panel. Holly’s previous boards include AMP Limited, Nine Entertainment and 2XU. In her executive career, Holly was the CEO of apparel retailer Best & Less, where she was responsible for transforming the business and returning it to growth and profitability. In that role, she was responsible for approximately 200 stores and 4300 employees across Australia. Prior to Best & Less, she was an executive at Pacific Brands, running the Workwear and Homewares Divisions, and Telstra, where she held the roles of Group Managing Director- Product Management and Chief of Marketing. She has also held management positions at ecorp Ltd and Ford Motor Company (in Australia and the US.) Holly has a BA with Honours in Economics and Political Science from Yale University and an MBA from Georgetown University. She is a member of Chief Executive Women and was the recipient of the 2016 AMI’s Sir Charles McGrath award for Marketing.
Susan recently joined Tribal Warrior Aboriginal Corporation in Redfern as their General Manager working alongside a dedicated team of individuals.
Susan has close to 20 years experience working in corporate and not-for-profit roles focused on Human Resources, strategy and community engagement. Her passion is working with others to find the balance between business and social outcomes.
Susan holds a Masters of Business Administration (Leadership and Innovation) with the University of Canberra and is a mum to a four year old daughter and two year old son.
Shivani Gopal is the Founder and CEO of The Remarkable Woman; an organisation founded to accelerate the path towards equality, for women and for the world.
Since founding the social enterprise Shivani has gone on to win the Top 50 Small Business Leaders award and is recognised as a leading feminist and business thought leader, helping women navigate through their careers, businesses and financial success.
In her professional career, Shivani has won the prestigious Female BDM of the Year award from Money Management in 2014, is currently undertaking her MBA at the University of Sydney and holds a Masters Degree in Commerce(Financial Planning).
Shivani’s passion for empowering women comes from a personal place, crediting her financial independence as a life raft to being able to make life choices that were right for her. “Money is critical for the choice it affords you. It is the financial foundation you need to change your own world”. Shivani has also observed the gender pay gap at the very coal face while helping women renegotiate their salaries. While she has been able to successfully coach women to secure up to a huge $80,000 more to their pay packet, she notes that women often get paid less not just in base salaries but also in bonuses. “With discretionary earnings, women often miss out, because as unfortunate as it is – sometimes it’s not about the work, it’s about what you can negotiate”.
Linda Soars is a Clinical Associate Director with NSW Health Agency for Clinical Innovation and has held a number of leadership roles in health connecting and creating new ways of working between primary, community and acute care services.
Driven by principles of equity and equality, she has partnered with clinician groups and teams across NSW to re-design, re-imagine and program manage more efficient, patient-centric and holistic models of patient centred care. Over the last 10 years, Linda using her combined nursing and management experience has launched the regional Chronic Disease Management Program for over 5000 patients in South Eastern Sydney, reduced unplanned hospitalisation in Western Sydney for integrated care patients by 33% and enabled the NSW health award nominated Thinksulin insulin app, for over 2000 junior doctors and nurses.
Liam Timms has been an influential player in Australia’s property investment landscape for more than two decades.
He is currently the Fund Manager of Lendlease International Towers Sydney, a $4.3billion wholesale property fund, a portfolio of award-winning commercial properties including 2019 Australian Development of the Year ‘International House’ and International Towers, Tower Two & Tower Three within Sydney’s most dynamic urban regeneration precinct – Barangaroo. Liam is the driving force behind a unique curated tenancy model focused on diversity, community and sustainability with the Fund recognised by The Australian Financial Review as the 21st Most Innovative Company in Australia and New Zealand in 2018.
Gill Callister, Professor (Practice), Associate Dean at ANZSOG and 2019 Public Service Medal recipient, has dedicated her career to improving public policy and service delivery.
From 2015-2018, Gill served as Secretary of the Victorian Department of Education and Training (DET).
Prior to joining DET, she was the Secretary of the Victorian Department of Human Services (2009 -2014), where she led policy, legislative and service delivery reform. This followed a range of senior roles in the Victorian Public Service and a ten-year stint in the community sector working with children, young people and families.
Gill is the most recent past President of the Institute of Public Administration Australia (IPAA) (Victoria). Her leadership in public policy was recognised in 2013 when she was named in the Australian Financial Review’s 100 Women of Influence, and received a Sir James Wolfensohn Public Service Scholarship to attend Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. In October 2014, Gill was awarded the IPAA National Fellowship award and a Monash University Fellowship and in 2017 was named as one of the top 50 women in the Victorian public service.
Gill holds Bachelor degrees in Social Work (with Honours) and Arts
Jenny Brockie is one of Australia’s most respected and experienced journalists and broadcasters. She currently hosts the SBS program, Insight, where she leads a lively forum discussion on a single topic each week.
Jenny’s extensive media career began at the ABC and spans television, online, radio and print. She has won a swag of media awards including the coveted Gold Walkley, two AFI Awards, a Logie, a Human Rights Award and three other Walkley Awards.
She has also received 8 United Nations Association of Australia Media Peace Awards for her work on Insight.
Justin has been an active participant in the evolution of the Australian in-house legal sector since joining it as graduate lawyer in 1987. Over the ensuing decades, Justin has amassed deep experience in the leadership of legal teams and change management in areas as diverse as team culture, engagement, high-performance, efficiency, innovation, technology and wellbeing.
Justin was a 30-year member of in-house legal team at Westpac Banking Corporation, acting in a range of advisory, leadership and practice management roles that at various times supported each of the Westpac Group’s retail, institutional and wealth management businesses.
He then joined lexvoco as a Director, Legal Operations to consult to in-house legal teams on business process improvement, before recently taking up the role of in-House Lawyer with AIME Mentoring, an indigenous corporation focused on building mentoring bridges between universities and schools to help in overcoming educational inequality.
Justin is a true believer in the power of industry-based conversations, and is a member of ACC Australia, CLOC and the AICD. He is a member of the NSW Law Society’s In-House Corporate Lawyers Committee, and also participates in mentoring programs for young professionals through ACC Australia, UTS and the NSW Law Society.
Mikaela Jade is a Cabrogal Environmental Biologist, technologist and CEO of Indigital. She works with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities to revitalise, preserve and promote Indigenous cultures through cutting edge digital technologies.
Mik knows that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures have a huge role to play in shaping Australia’s future particularly in the digital innovation and climate change agendas.
She has worked on some of Australia’s largest environmental investments, led public sector innovation in the Australian Government and now works in partnership with Microsoft and Shared Path (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Organisation) on developing and delivering Australia’s most ambitious Indigenous remote area technology training program, Digital Custodians.
Mik is a mulit-award winning professional who has been named as one of Australia’s top 9 influential female entrepreneurs in 2019 for her work shaping Indigenous digital futures.
She is a delegate of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (New York), a Tribal Link Alumni (New York), an Australian Rural Leadership Foundation Alumni, and serves on the Microsoft Reconciliation Action Plan Advisory Board. Mik is a champion of female businesses, gender equity and cultural diversity.
Emerging Female Entrepreneur of the Year
Emerging Female Leader in the Private Sector
Emerging Female Leader in the Government / Public Sector
Emerging Female Leader in the NFP Sector
Emerging Female Leader in the Technology Sector
Emerging Female Leader in the Legal Sector
Agenda Setter of the Year
Hall of Fame Entrant
Hall Of Fame
We have so far inducted five women into our Hall Of Fame. All of these women have contributed significantly as leaders in business and the community, and have helped create more diverse and inclusive workplace cultures.
Elizabeth Broderick is an absolute inspiration. Her work has touched and changed the lives of women across the world, and has significantly raised the benchmark for gender diversity across Australian workplaces. When she officially stepped down as Sex Discrimination Commission in 2015, we knew she absolutely had to be the next woman inducted into our Women’s Agenda Hall of Fame. Broderick’s work supporting women hasn’t stopped. She’s still speaking all over the world, still convening the Male Champions of Change group that she founded, and still offering advice and knowledge to those who’re willing and determined to commit to making change within their own communities and workplaces.
Following a long and successful legal, business and public sector career, Helen Conway joined the Australian Government’s Workplace Gender Equality Agency where she pioneered a number of programs in improving diversity outcomes across Australian workplaces.
All of these women have contributed significantly as leaders in business and the community, and have helped create more diverse and inclusive workplace cultures.
Ann Sherry has cracked numerous glass ceilings, played an instrumental role in developing paid maternity leave in corporate Australia and fought for gender equality all through her career. We’ve all benefitted from her decades of work.
Wendy McCarthy’s had a groundbreaking career in business and community leadership, and has for decades committed to helping women achieve. She’s pioneered on a number of firsts, including as founder of the Sydney Women’s Electoral Lobby, and been a passionate advocate for education and empowering and mentoring women to achieve career success.
All of these women have contributed significantly as leaders in business and the community, and have helped create more diverse and inclusive workplace cultures.
Our awards celebrate leadership provided over the past 18 months, from 1 July 2018 to June 2019 (Extended to three years for Entrepreneurs). Please ensure your application is specific to this time period and offers clear and specific examples of what your leadership has achieved.
Emerging leaders are rethinking existing paradigms regarding how we live and work. They’re determined to reshape their industry and create a smarter and more inclusive future.
Age, job title, level of experience or background does not determine a leader’s ‘emerging’ status in these awards. Rather, we ask nominees to specifically highlight what their leadership has achieved over the past year and evidence, and they have influenced positive change and how they have grown during that period – since January 2018 until 2019.
Please note, nominations for the ‘Agenda Setter’ award do not need to meet our ‘Emerging’ criteria. This award is open to emerging and established female leaders.
All individual award nominees must:
- Meet the set industry requirements of the specific award entered
- Be able to demonstrate significant change and growth over the past 18 months
- Meet the definition of ‘Emerging’ (aside from those nominating for the Agenda Setter of the Year Award, or the Employer Award) See definition above.
- Be able to attend the judging session on the 12th of September as well as the awards ceremony on the 13th September in Sydney. (Finalists in the Agenda Setter category will be interviewed separately to this judging session)
- Be an Australian resident
- Not be employed by Agenda Media.
We look for emerging leadership that’s change-making, aids growth and is inclusive.
Offer clear and specific examples relevant to the designated awards assessment time period – the past 18 months.
- Get to the point quickly: Your story is important, but it’s the results you can demonstrate that will ultimately see your application shine
- Demonstrate how your leadership is facilitating change
- Demonstrate the growth your leadership has created
- Indicate how you’re advocating for a more inclusive culture
- Proven revenue and growth figures will aid your application – please note, these may be checked and clarified by our judging team
- We’re not looking for great writing in these applications, but rather clear examples of what you have done.
Answers to the most commonly asked questions about the Women’s Agenda Leadership Awards are below. Please contact us if you still have any questions here.
Aside from national recognition, our finalists in the individual categories also receive:
* One ticket to attend the Awards luncheon ceremony on the 13th September
* The opportunity to become part of our awards alumni
* The opportunity to meet an excellent line-up of judges and finalists
* Your story featured on Women’s Agenda, plus plenty of additional media opportunities
In the Agenda Setter category, yes. While it’s not a numbers game, multiple quality nominations will give the judges more material to work with when determining the list of finalists and later the winners. However, you do not need to enter yourself more than once.
The Women’s Agenda Leadership Awards are run by the team at Women’s Agenda, a daily news publication for career-minded women published by Agenda Media Pty Ltd.
Agenda Media is a private Australian company.
It’s free! Yes, really. Thanks to the support of our incredible partners.
Yes. Each award is judged independently. However, we do encourage you to consider which category best represents your work.
You can nominate a female leader within five to ten minutes. However, if you are nominating yourself — or providing more information after being nominated by someone else — we recommend you spend a little more time on your application.
Yes. Previous award winners and finalists will not be treated differently during the 2019 judging process and we encourage all nominees to enter again. However, we remind all nominees that judges will be considering information provided that’s relevant to their work over the past 18 months
Changing jobs does not make your award invalid as we ask you to address your work over the previous 18 months and we judge finalists and winners based on this period. However, should you have a change of organisation, job, position or contact details we ask you to get in contact firstname.lastname@example.org so we can update our records.
There is a two-tiered approach to judging these Awards – firstly involving a Women’s Agenda working panel and then our list of external judges – and a number of steps we undertake before determining our overall winners.
- As we receive hundreds of nominations, a Women’s Agenda working group will determine our short-list of finalists according to the criteria provided for each award.
- All finalists will then be contacted by Women’s Agenda to let them know they’ve been shortlisted for the Awards, and to verify details provided in their nomination forms. This may involve a short (10 to 15 minute) telephone interview and reference checks.
- Each award will be assigned a panel of external judges. Each of our judges are asked to assess between one and three Awards.
- The list of finalists will then be sent to our external judges for assessment. We will ask our judges to inform us of any potential conflicts of interest in the list of finalists they’re provided. Should there be a conflict, the judge will be removed from that award category.
- Our judges run an in-person panel interview with finalists on the afternoon prior to the awards luncheon, on the 12th September. These occur in Sydney, and must be attended.
- Our external judges are asked to independently assess each award according to the set criteria we ask nominees to address.
- Winners are NOT informed they have won prior to the Awards luncheon. All finalists are invited to prepare a short speech should they be the overall winner on the day.
The Agenda Setter Award will be judged independently from the other awards, and finalists will not need to attend the session on the 12th September. Finalists will be interviewed over the phone on another date, but will still need to attend the awards luncheon on the 13th September.
We want all our finalists to be there on the day. Women’s Agenda encourages your employer to assist with flights and accommodation, but has a limited number of flight vouchers and accommodation options available for those who don’t have this opportunity. All finalists are also provided with one free ticket to attend the luncheon.
A Women’s Agenda representative will be in contact to let you know if you’re a finalist.
Unfortunately as we expect to receive hundreds of nominations and because we keep entry free, it will not be possible to obtain feedback after the judging process has been completed.
They are on sale right now! You don’t have to be a finalist or even know a finalist in order to attend and get a lot out of this event.
We offer special rates and benefits for corporate tables. The Awards luncheon is a great event to attend if you’re looking for something interesting to do with your team of clients. You don’t need to personally know the finalists to get involved. It’s an inspiring, fun and uplifting event.
Absolutely not! The Awards luncheon is a great event to attend if you’re looking for something interesting and/or inspiring to do with a team – or if you’re simply looking for an excellent networking opportunity.
After you nominate a leader, our team will get in touch with your nominee to ask her to confirm her nomination, and ask if she would like to provide any further information. If your nominee does not confirm her nomination within a reasonable amount of time, we will be unable to progress her to the next stage.
Yes. If we are able to get in contact with your nominee, she will receive the information you have provided and will then be asked if she would like to provide further information. You can, however, select to have your name remain anonymous.
Below are the Terms & Conditions for entering the Women’s Agenda Leadership Awards:
- Entries for the Women’s Agenda Leadership Awards open 24th June and close at 6pm on the 17th July 2019. Women’s Agenda may extend this deadline by up to two days, however Women’s Agenda DOES NOT guarantee a deadline extension will be announced.
- Nomination forms must be accurate and true. Women’s Agenda reserves the right to check information provided.
- Nominations must address achievement in the past 18 months, from 1 January 2018 – other than in the ‘Entrepreneur’ category, which should refer to a business that has been acquired or started in the three years until June 30 2018.
- Finalists in the individual categories must be able to attend the in-person judging session on the 12th September in Sydney, as well as the awards luncheon on the 13th September in Sydney, however there may be some extenuating circumstances (such as illness) where we will permit absentees and enable finalists to participate via Skype. Finalists in the Agenda Setter category will not need to attend the judging session, and will be contacted to schedule a virtual interview separately to this date.
- Joint entries will not be accepted, unless those applying can clearly demonstrate they are sharing the one role. Women’s Agenda can not cover expenses for two people to attend the event in this case.
- We will endeavour to contact women nominated for these awards, however if we do not hear back within a reasonable amount of time, we will be unable to see her progress to the next stage.
- All decisions on finalists and winners are FINAL and neither our judges nor Women’s Agenda will respond to or enter into correspondence regarding these decisions.
- Those on the 2019 Judging Panel may not enter the Women’s Agenda Leadership Awards
- All judges will be asked to identify any potential conflicts of interest in the group of finalists named in the categories they are judging. Where conflicts are identified, judges will be removed from that category.
- No employee of Women’s Agenda may enter these awards
- Women’s Agenda is not responsible for any loss of entry forms.
- All entry forms will be destroyed, seven days after the awards luncheon
- Women’s Agenda has the right to disqualify any entrant who does not adhere to these terms.