Thanks to the support of
As well as our category sponsors
Nominations now open
Closing 31st March 2021
Winners Announced: 29th April 2021
Please see categories below, and options to either ‘nominate’ an emerging leader, Hero or Agenda Setter and/or to ENTER YOURSELF!
This year’s awards celebrate how women have defined the year we’ve just had, and how women will take us forward into the critical decade ahead.
Once again these awards will elevate ‘emerging’ leaders who identify as female: those who get results by leading teams, businesses and agendas in a way that’s inclusive, collaborative, compassionate and courageous.
2021 Winners Announced
Public & University Sector
Angered by rising interpersonal and systemic racism, and the lack of safe spaces for people of colour to have a voice about racism, Susana initiated and convenes the NSW Anti-Racism Working Group which uses a collaborative impact approach to address racism.
Joanna is the president of Bushfire Survivors for Climate Action, a unique organisation changing the conversation around climate. Her powerful storytelling about the devastating losses of individual Australians, sidelines political brawling and instead creates compassionate engagement.
Lawyer turned technologist, Priyanka Ashraf is the Founder and Director of The Creative Co-Operative, Australia’s first 100% migrant Women of Colour owned, led and operated startup dedicated to lifting the economic access barriers faced by migrant WoC as a result of systemic racism.
Non for Profit Sector
Antoinette Lattouf is an award-winning Network 10 journalist. She’s the Director and co-founder of Media Diversity Australia. In 2019, Antoinette was named among AFR’s 100 Women of Influence. She’s currently writing a book, ‘How to lose friends and influence white people’ which will be published by Penguin Random House in early 2022.
Naureen Alam is the Senior Manager, Future Business and Technology at AGL. A change-maker in the clean energy industry, Naureen is passionate about operationalising innovation & tech to realise a sustainable energy future. In the past year, Naureen has delivered $10million value by leading a gender balanced and technically diverse team.
Mani Thiru is the APAC Business Lead within the Aerospace & Satellite Solutions team at Amazon Web Services. Mani works to enable the space sector achieve its most ambitious goals by leveraging cloud computing and transformative services like machine learning, artificial intelligence, satellite & data analytics to deliver innovation in a range of areas.
Esha Oberoi is the Founder CEO of Afea Care Services, a national disability care provider. She is an entrepreneur and self-love advocate who credits much of her success to her transformative ideology that, ‘Mental Health begins in the Heart’. Afea Care Services is a purposeful home care provider with a Mission to Empower People through love and happiness.
A/Prof Francine Marques is a National Heart Foundation Future Leader Fellow, Monash University. A medical researcher, Francine currently leads a team of 13 scientists who are working toward discovering new ways to prevent heart disease through our gut microbes. Francine’s leadership has been key to new programs to support those working in science, particularly women.
Aminata Conteh-Biger is an Australian author, speaker, advocate, special representative for Australia UNHCR and founder and CEO of non- profit organisation, the Aminata Maternal Foundation, saving the lives of hundreds of mothers and babies in her home country, Sierra Leone. Determined to “be change” while on earth, Aminata describes this as her vow to her integrity.
The Women’s Agenda Five Frontline Heroes
Professor Raina MacIntyre is one of Australia’s leading epidemiologists, who was been clear and vocal about the necessity of mask-wearing from the early stages of COVID-19. As a brilliant communicator, she’s been able to share important scientific information about the pandemic with the general public.
Bernadette Eather led the COVID-19 response for Ramsay Health Care. She supported all of Ramsay’s healthcare services to respond and prepare for the virus in Australia, and has worked with government and sector stakeholders to ensure its services remains effective and prepared. She also supported in managing the mental wellbeing of Ramsay’s 30,000 frontline staff.
Natalia Esdaile-Watts has been an SES volunteer since 2006. She helped during the bushfires and other local weather disasters as the only female team leader in her SES unit, and assisted in offering compassion, food and water to responders as well as those who’d lost everything. Natalia is also a powerful advocate for ending domestic violence.
Elizabeth Jowanie is a qualified nurse based in Wollongong. As a speaker of five languages and a former refugee, she’s been instrumental in helping others to find the care and help they need. Also a volunteer with the SES and a member of its dedicated Multicultural Liaison Unit, she uses her language skills to educate community members about how the SES can help them during floods and storms.
Louise Orr supported her 70+ team through the Summer bushfires in NSW, and has been leading recovery programs on the NSW North Coast since January 2020. During the devastating fires, her team at the NSW North Coast Local Land Services assisted people in keeping pets and livestock safe and in acquiring the assistance they need.
2021 Awards Categories
Please note, most categories require participation in online judging sessions. You can access our Q&A on the awards process below.
Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year
Awarded to a woman with at least a 40% share in a business that either started since July 2019 or has successfully made a significant pivot/transition during the 2020 period, in response to either the bushfires or COVID-19
Emerging Leader on Climate Action
Awarded to a woman who is driving significant action – through research, activism, engagement etc – on climate change, helping to position Australia and the world for the critical decade ahead.
Emerging Leader in the Private Sector
Awarded to an emerging leader in the private sector who can best demonstrate growth, courage, compassion and inclusivity in her field since January 2020
Emerging Leader in the Public & University Sector
Awarded to an emerging leader in the public & university sector who can best demonstrate growth, courage, compassion and inclusivity in her field since January 2020
Emerging Leader in the NFP Sector
Awarded to an emerging leader in the not-for-profit sector who can best demonstrate growth, courage, compassion and inclusivity in her field since January 2020
Emerging Leader in STEM
Awarded to an emerging leader in STEM who can best demonstrate growth, courage, compassion and inclusivity in her field since January 2020
Emerging Leader in Health
Awarded to an emerging leader in the health sector who can best demonstrate growth, courage, compassion and inclusivity in her field since January 2020. This award includes health research.
Emerging Leader in Tech
Awarded to an emerging leader in the technology sector who can best demonstrate growth, courage, compassion and inclusivity in her field since January 2020
Agenda Setter of the Year
Awarded to a woman who has set a key new agenda over the past year: leading to better outcomes for others and driving change on a significant issue.
Five Heroes from the Frontline!
We’ll be naming five female heroes as part of our 2021 Awards, celebrating women who led on the frontline during the pandemic and bushfires crisis. You’re invited to nominate female leaders here (and nominate yourself!) across any part of the frontline: including emergency services, healthcare, cleaning and sanitation, supermarkets, early childhood education & more. Please only include women based in Australia.
Five Heroes from the Frontline!
We’ll be naming five female heroes as part of our 2021 Awards, celebrating women who led on the frontline during the pandemic and bushfires crisis.
You’re invited to nominate female leaders here (and nominate yourself!) across any part of the frontline: including emergency services, healthcare, cleaning and sanitation, supermarkets, early childhood education & more. Please only include women based in Australia.
We’ll be selecting the five heroes based on nominations received here, and naming them as part of our awards ceremony. We’ll be aiming to recognise women across five different areas. There will be no finalists in this category, and those recognised will informed prior to our awards ceremony and invited to attend.
Hall of Fame
This entrant is awarded to an inspiring female leader who has led on creating smarter and more inclusive organisations and a better planet for decades.
A Women’s Agenda panel will choose the recipient of this special award.
Our judging panel is chaired by the internationally experienced leader and diversity advocate, Shirley Chowdhary. We are so excited to be announcing a huge lineup of judges across different industry sectors. We’ll be announcing the full list on Wednesday the 3rd March.
Advocate for women in sport, founder of online sporting blog LadiesWho, and host of two podcasts with ABC Grandstand.
Co-founder and CEO of Verve, Australia’s first ethical superannuation fund designed for women, by women.
Candice Yu-Kuin Lam
Engineer and Technology Resource Management Partner at BHP where she’s working to shift the gendered culture of engineering.
Principal Lawyer who manages the Employment and Industrial Relations Practice of Maurice Blackburn’s Sydney office.
A trailblazer who started up a roaring success, and as a result, change the way the world handles waste management.
Founder and CEO of Missing Persons Advocacy Network which supports the families of missing people and connects with corporate partners to promote the stories and faces of those missing.
Karlie Alinta Noon
Science, Medicine & Health
2019 Young Australian of the Year Finalist and the first Indigenous woman in Australia to graduate with a double degree in mathematics and physics.
Dr Kudzai Kanhutu
Science, Medicine & Health
infectious diseases physician, telehealth Clinical lead and Deputy Medical Information Officer at the Royal Melbourne Hospital.
Associate lecture, undertaking a PhD in education at Macquarie University with a focus on Indigenous women in academia.
Surveyor General of New South Wales, where she is the leader and regulator of the land and mining surveying profession.
Co-founder and National Coordinator, National Indigenous Youth Education Coalition.
Dr. Cathy Foley
Chief scientist at the CSIRO, using her position to make Australia both globally competitive and sustainable.
Frequently Asked Questions
Our awards celebrate leadership provided since January 2020. 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.
Please note, nominations for the ‘Agenda Setter’ award and our Frontline Heroes awards do not need to meet our ‘Emerging’ criteria. These awards are 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 since January 2020.
- Meet the definition of ‘Emerging’ (aside from those nominating for the Agenda Setter of the Year Award or the ‘Fronline Hero’ awards) See definition above.
- Be able to attend the online juding sessions that will occur for each of these awards, in the week prior to winners being announced. Finalists can not be named as winners if they do not participate in these virtual sessions. Finalists in the Agenda Setter category, as well as those nominating for the Frontline Hero awards do
- Be based in Australia
- Not be employed by Agenda Media.
This year, we are looking to celebrate emerging leadership that’s inclusive, collaborative, compassionate and courageous.
To do that, we suggestion that you firstly offer clear and specific examples relevant to the designated awards assessment time period – the past 18 months. And also:
- 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 inclusive and/or advocated for a more inclusive culture.
- Demonstrate how what you’ve achieved has been collaborative, or you’ve helped aid collaboration.
- Highlight how you’ve been compassionate and courageous in your leadership during this period.
- Share 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. If you need to use bullet points, please do see! We just did.
Q. Who runs these awards?
These awards are run by Agenda Media, a daily news publication for women published by the 100% female owned and run Women’s Agenda. We’ve been running these awards since 2012 in different formats, but always aiming to primarily celebrate ’emerging’ talent.
Q. When are the finalists announced?
Finalists will be announced in the first week of April.
Q. How can I stay updated on the awards process and announcements?
Sign up to our daily newsletter! Bonus, you’ll also get an awesome update on the latest news and views you need to know, delivered just in time for lunch.
Q. Is it better to be nominated, or to nominate yourself?
It’s simpler (from our end and possibly your own) for you to just nominate yourself! You won’t lose ‘points’ or be downgraded because you nominated yourself. When you’re nominated by someone else, we need to get in touch with you to confirm the nomination.
Q. I’m struggling with my category. What can I do?
Just apply. When we go through the nominations, if we think you’d be a better fit in another category – we’ll get in contact and put in a request to move you into that category instead. We’ll share a note to the judges that you applied in a different category. In some cases (say if you’ve applied for the Agenda Setter category which is very different to our ’emerging leaders’ category) we may request some additional questions.
Q. I’ve been nominated, what happens next?
We’ll touch base – in the best way possible – to get you to COMPLETE the nomination. You can either confirm that you’re happy to go ahead with the information that we’ve been provided, and or then go ahead and complete your own application (which we strongly encourage!)
Q. I want to nominate someone that I don’t personally know.
That’s fine! Please do so. You can be as brief as needed when you fill out the nomination form, giving their name and why you think they should be in the mix. From there, we’ll do our best to try and get in contact with them to apply for the awards. This, as you can understand, is not always east! But we will do our best.
Q. I have nominated someone, what happens next?
We’re going o do our best to get in contact to let them know they have been nominated. From there, it’s up to them to determine if they’d like to complete the nomination and be formally considered for the finalists stage.
Q. What if I can’t make the virtual session?
If you get to the finalists stage, but can’t make the virtual session, you’ll still be a finalists. However, you won’t be able to go on to be named a ‘winner’ of these awards. We’re making the sessions virtually to ensure they are as easy as possible to attend. It’s fine to have your kids, your cat, a puppy, a construction site, whatever it is that you need to have in the background in order to participate in this session. The judges will understand! We will also do our best to accommodate things that come up.
Q. Do winners know they have won, prior to the event?
We will inform the five women who have been selected as Heroes of The Frontline – but for all other awards, winners are not usually informed prior to our award ceremonies. However, this year we may make some allowances in order to get pre-recorded speeches and acceptance, given COVID restrictions and border issues. We will be flexible on this, but for the most part – winners will not be informed prior.
Q. I’ve been a previous finalist, can I enter again?
Q. What are your Terms & Conditions?
As well as the information on the criteria above, please note the following:
- As we do not charge individuals to enter these awards, we also can not provide feedback on awards entries. We will notify finalists they have moved through to the next stage.
- On entering, you agree that you’re information is correct at the time of entering.
- While your awards information is confidential – it will be seen by members of our judging team. We may also publish information about your entry should you be named a finalist (you will be contacted first).
- These Terms & Conditions may be updated.
Got a question not covered above? Get in contact.
Nominations now open
Closing 29th December 2020
Winners Announced: 25th February 2021