Australian Women Online would like to congratulate all the winners of the 2015 NAB Women’s Agenda Leadership Awards which were announced at a luncheon in Sydney on 26 February 2015, in front of a sold out audience of more than 400 women and men, including guest speaker, former Prime Minister Julia Gillard.
Leading the 2015 crop of female leaders were entrepreneurs Nikki Jurcutz and Simone Kain, CarsGuide.com.au’s Lauren Williams, Airservices Australia’s Linda Spurr and Hamlin Fistula Australia’s Lucy Perry.
“These are the leadership names we will be hearing a lot more from in the future,” said Women’s Agenda Publisher Angela Priestley. “They are all innovative and talented in their own way, and demonstrating new and unique ways of getting the most out of teams and ideas.”
In the categories recognising the men and women who help women achieve, Sharon Warburton was named 2015 Mentor of the Year for her work mentoring young men and women in mining, Professor Julie Bernhardt was named Change Champion of the Year for her leadership in medical research, and Tracy Howe was named Agenda Setter, for her work raising awareness of domestic violence.
Helen Conway was inducted into the NAB Women’s Agenda Leadership Awards Hall of Fame, following Ann Sherry’s entry in 2014 and Wendy McCarthy in 2013. All of these ‘Hall of famers’ have been recognised for their long-standing contribution to workplace gender equality.
And the Winners are…
EMERGING ENTREPRENEUR OF THE YEAR
Nikki Jurcutz (Melbourne), Priority Training Group
The Priority Training Group is a registered training organisation that provides two specialist first aid training programs. PriorityCPR focuses on corporate first aid whilst Tiny Hearts provides Paediatric First Aid to new parents and parents-to-be. At age 24 Nicki Jurcutz was the youngest women in Australia to own a registered training organisation and, two years later, her goal of making first aid engaging, time efficient and cost effective is coming into fruition. In 2014 the Priority Training Group expanded interstate, tripled in size and secured a partnership with Cotton On KIDS. The business is almost entirely paperless due to its reliance on an online cloud solution and the fact students are given iPads during training.
THE AGENDA SETTER
Tracy Howe (Sydney) CEO, NSW Council of Social Services
racy Howe is a passionate and visible media spokesperson on domestic/family violence (DFV) and homelessness, who is leading a new agenda on the issue via a number of leadership roles. As CEO of the Women’s Refuge Movement (now Domestic Violence NSW), she fought off opposition to help revolutionise the provision of domestic violence services, increase funding, and broadened its role to lead a sustained conversation about the impacts of DFV. Howe was recently appointed CEO of NCOSS, where she continues to lead change to improve services and raise awareness.
EMERGING LEADER IN THE PRIVATE SECTOR
Lauren Williams (Sydney) CEO, CarsGuide.com.au
Lauren Williams is the CEO at CarsGuide.com.au. She was appointed CEO less than two years ago and has managed to transform the business and disrupt the incumbent. In her very first CEO role, Williams was forced to make difficult business decisions in the interest of turning the company around financially, and she was very successful. Revenue grew 40% in her first full financial year which was recognised by Deloitte when the business placed 10th in the top 50 fastest growing companies in 2014.
EMERGING LEADER IN THE PUBLIC SECTOR
Linda Spurr (Canberra) General Manager, Learning Academy, Airservices Australia
Linda Spurr has led a considerable reform agenda at the helm of Airservices Australia’s Learning Academy, focusing on improvement and innovation at a time of unprecedented demand, emerging workforce requirements, fiscal constraints and regulatory changes. In addition to succesfully reaccrediting as a Registered Training Organisation, under Spurr’s management the academy has yielded an increase of 62% training throughput, a 9% reduction in unit training costs, award recognition for training excellence and a 25% increase in staff engagement. In 2014 she succesfully introduced a number of initiatives to ensure the organisation can meet its future workforce requirements, improve programs and increase staff development and engagement.
EMERGING LEADER IN THE NOT FOR PROFIT SECTOR
Lucy Perry (Sydney) CEO, Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia (Australia) Limited
With no starting budget, Lucy Perry has developed the systems, infrastructure and small team at the Australian arm of Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia, and raised more than $6 million since launching in 2012. In the past 12 months, she’s developed an intern program, expanded the volunteer team to a combined 800 hours a month, and created a number of innovative fundraising and partnership campaigns. She’s a passionate and determined leader, with a goal to make the charity one of the best places to work in Australia.
RURAL/REGIONAL ENTREPRENEUR OR MANAGER OF THE YEAR
Simone Kain (Adelaide) Director, Hello Friday Pty Ltd
Simone Kain is the director of Hello Friday Pty Ltd, a creative agency based in the south east of South Australia. In 2014, while still servicing clients, Kain launched a unique character and App called George the Farmer, whose aim is to address future food security issues by educating children on farming practices and food and fibre production. The App has received national press coverage, been listed in the iTunes top 10 Australian and New Zealand educational apps for primary school students, and been written in to the Australian Schools Curriculum as being a valuable resource. Kain will be presenting on food security at the upcoming International Rural Women’s Conference in Adelaide and has been named one of SA’s most 20 innovative women.
MALE OR FEMALE CHANGE CHAMPION OF THE YEAR
Julie Bernhardt (Victoria) Co-head, Stroke Division, Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health
Associate Professor Julie Bernhardt is a medical researcher specialising in stroke, and the principal investigator of an international clinical trial. She will soon present the results of her 12-year research to the European Stroke Conference, an epic project that has seen her lead more than 50 investigators across the world and attract more than $5 million in funding. Bernhardt is leading, innovating and inspiring in an industry that is typically dominated by men, and is a founding member and chair of the Equality in Science group, dedicated to improving female workplace participation in the field.
MENTOR OF THE YEAR
Sharon Warburton (Perth) Executive Director of Strategy and Finance, Brookfield Multiplex
Sharon Warburton is the Executive Director of Strategy and Finance at Brookfield Multiplex. She successfully manages this role as well as being a personal mentor to more than 50 young women and men. She is also the founder of the online mentoring website www.steelheels.com.au. On top of this, she is a Non-Executive Director at Fortescue Metals Group (one of Australia’s largest companies), a Board member for numerous Not for Profit organisations and a Single Parent. She has worked hard to drive cultural change in our emerging leaders through mentoring and is passionate about supporting women to thrive in today’s male dominated industries. In 2014, she was named the Western Australian Telstra Business Woman of the Year.