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100 Women of Influence nominations open for 2014
04 July 2014
Nominations opened this morning, July 4, at a breakfast launch for The Australian Financial Review and Westpac 100 Women of Influence awards.
100 guests witnessed Westpac Group CEO Gail Kelly and Fairfax Media CEO Greg Hywood pledge allegiance to continuing their awards partnership as Gail went on to announce that for Westpac’s Bicentennial year (2017) she wanted 200 Women of Influence.
If nomination growth is any indicator, reaching the target won’t be a problem
From the inaugural 100 Women of Influence, launched with then Prime Minister Julia Gillard in 2012, nominations have increased by a healthy 33 percent in 2013.
Director of Westpac Women’s Markets, Larke Riemer, added her supportive voice to the chorus of top-end business and media figures in attendance, all of who could see no reason why that growth would not continue into 2014 and beyond.
“There are so many great women leaders and influencers in this country,” said Larke.
“We want people to recognise and embrace the female talent this country has to offer and these awards provide the perfect platform to do that.
“It’s why you are all here today, for the express purpose of using your influence to get the word out: Nominate, Nominate, Nominate,” she finished.
Guests at the event included 100 Women of influence alumni, including a number of Young Leader awardees, as well as 2012 overall winner Jan Owen (CEO Foundation for Young Australians) and her 2013 counterpart, QIMR Berghofer Senior Research Scientist Professor Adele Green.
As guest speaker and 2013’s top Woman of Influence Adele Green (pictured above left with Westpac CEO Gail Kelly, right) spoke about “the ripple effect” of the award.
Her speaking engagements, for example, always prolific are even greater and have taken her outside her immediate sphere of influence: science and medicine. She believes this is directly due to the award and says it is very important to take advantage of that recognition.
One of Adele’s mantras to her colleagues and students is that significant research findings must be communicated to the wider population in a timely and accessible way for all and not left locked away in laboratories.
In relation to the award, she says, people are fascinated to hear about why she was chosen, and attached to that interest come questions about who she is, what she does, what the awards are, the importance of influence… the list is endless.
Sun cancer prevention
Adele’s research into sun cancer and the preventative measures we can employ to reduce our risk constituted much of the reasoning behind her award. Her work with her team across many years is the reason why we wear sunscreen and cover up when we are in the sun, especially in Australia where our proximity to the equator and cancer forming UV rays, and our outdoor, lightly clothed lifestyle, put us at greater risk of skin cancer. Her 30 years of research has had immeasurable benefits for generations of Australians now and in the future in the fight to prevent sun cancer.
Adele also used the opportunity to speak about her continuing research into Melanoma and quality of life, and her “pet” project, the increased risk donor recipients have of contracting skin cancer. Speaking with donor specialists form her estimations there are around 15,000 donor patients who could conceivably be affected.
Australia does not scan donor recipients for the very real possibility of developing a life threatening skin cancer and Adele would like to see this, among other procedures and protocols, changed and researched.
Yearly scanning, she believes, would make a difference. In other countries around the world – many of them nowhere near as risk prone as Australia is for skin cancer - this already happens.
In a room of willing listeners captivated by what she had to say to the point their breakfasts lay untouched, Adele was again showing what a woman of influence is.
She asked us to listen, to think, to act, to talk and make a difference and in a humorous aside to change, as Lego (the construction toy maker) has done recently, the stereotypes.
Lego has introduced a construction kit based around women scientists working in a laboratory.
Inaugural 100 Women of Influence
Gail Kelly, in introducing and launching the awards, spoke candidly about how she and her Fairfax Media counterpart, Greg Hywood (pictured above with Gail Kelly) had had some initial reservations when the awards were first mooted back in 2012.
So many award ceremonies existed, they thought. How would these set themselves apart, and truly celebrate women in a way that showcased why diversity - having women in the room and around the table - is so important for the success of business and most importantly society.
Three years later, Gail and Greg’s conclusion is they couldn’t have chosen to back a better idea. Supporting them in their ‘gut feel’ is the increase in nominations from one year to the next, as well as nationwide and global growth in recognition of the awards.
To get in on the act: nominate for 2014 at 100womenofinfluence.com.au
Below left to right: Youth Leader Annabelle Chauncy; Philanthropy Annie Crawford; Wendy Simpson, business; media personality Melissa Doyle; YWCA CEO Anna Bligh. Beneath: journalist Tracey Spicer