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100 Women of Influence award winners for 2013

21 October 2013

The Australian Financial Review and Westpac 100 Women of Influence award winners for 2013

Overall Winner and Innovation Winner: Professor Adele Green, Senior Scientist, QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute

Board/Management: Belinda Hutchinson, Chair, QBE Insurance Group; and Rebecca Dee-Bradbury, President Developed Markets Asia Pacific, Mondelez International

Global: Dr Julia Newton-Howes, Chief Executive, CARE Australia

Diversity: Deanne (Dee) Gibbon, Director Workforce Diversity, Royal Australian Air Force

Social Enterprise / Not-for-Profit: June Oscar, CEO, Marninwarntikura Fitzroy Women’s Resources Centre

Business Entrepreneur: Catherine Harris, Chair, Harris Farm Markets

Public Policy: Professor Marian Baird, Professor of Employment Relations, The University of Sydney Business School

Philanthropy: Sam Meers, Executive Director, Nelson Meers Foundation

Young Leader: Sophie Ryan, CEO, Sony Foundation

Local/Regional: Su McCluskey, CEO, Regional Australia Institute

100 Women of Influence category winner biographies:

1. BOARD/MANAGEMENT – Joint Winners

Belinda Hutchinson, Chairman, QBE Insurance Group

Belinda Hutchinson originally studied architecture but soon after realised she was more suited to economics, discovered accounting and found her true profession. She graduated with a Bachelor of Economics in 1976 and has gone on to make a significant impact on the corporate world as one of Australia’s most sought-after female directors. After seven years working for the audit firm Arthur Andersen, here and in the US, Belinda made news in 1992 when she was appointed as the only woman on the Board of Sydney Water. She has since been an active participant on a number of business boards including Telstra, Coles, AGL, Energy Australia, plus community organisations such as St Vincent’s Health Australia and The Salvation Army. A career highlight was when Hutchinson was appointed as Chair of the global insurer QBE in 2010, making her one of just a handful of female chairs in Australian corporate life. Belinda has also established a family foundation with her husband to support a variety of community-based projects, including The Hunger Project in Malawi, Africa, which provides assistance to 10 villages through a food bank and microfinance program. They have also supported a Not-For-Profit scholarship in 2010-11 of the Global Executive MBA within the Business School at the University of Sydney.

Rebecca Dee-Bradbury, President Developed Markets Asia Pacific, Mondelez International

Rebecca Dee Bradbury is President, Australia and New Zealand for Mondelez International (previously Kraft Foods) and is leading the businesses through a stage of transformational change. Prior to joining Kraft Foods at the start of 2010, Rebecca managed the Barbeques Galore business, vastly growing the organisation which now includes over 180 retail outlets across Australia and the United States. Previously, Rebecca held senior positions within a number of global entities, including Maxxium, a global spirits and wine distributor, where she led and grew the business as Chief Executive Officer for the Asia Pacific region. During this time, Jim Beam re-staked its position as number one in the market under her leadership. Rebecca's experience also includes roles at Lion Nathan where she nurtured innovation and grew significant global brands, including some of Australia's most iconic. Prior to this, as a member of the leadership team at McDonald’s, Rebecca focused on accelerating growth at unprecedented levels. She sits on the Board of the Benevolent Society who work to support children at risk.

2. GLOBAL

Dr Julia Newton-Howes, Chief Executive, CARE Australia

Julia Newton-Howes became Chief Executive of CARE Australia in October 2007. As CEO she has focused on ensuring gender equality and women’s empowerment are central to CARE’s programs.

She has emphasised the importance of measuring the impact of CARE’s work, on improving systems to ensure effective use of funds and on growing the number of Australians who understand the importance of supporting women to overcome global poverty.

Julia is on the Board of CARE International and is Vice President of the Australian Council for International Development (ACFID). She is also a Member of the AusAID Business Engagement Steering Committee and a Member of the Lowy Institute for International Policy Advisory Panel for the G20 Studies Centre.

Julia joined CARE Australia from AusAID, where she was the Assistant Director General. While at AusAID, she was posted to Vietnam as Counsellor (Development Cooperation) and was an adviser for two years to Australia’s Executive Director to the World Bank, based in Washington DC.

Julia was born in India and spent her early life in Zimbabwe, leaving to attend Imperial College at London University, where she obtained a bachelor degree and PhD in science. After spending a number of years in scientific research in Australia, Julia decided to pursue her passion for development.

3. DIVERSITY

Deanne (Dee) Gibbon, Director Workforce Diversity, Royal Australian Air Force

Deanne heads Air Force’s Directorate of Workplace Flexibility and Diversity (DWFD), where she is implementing a range of initiatives that are designed to encourage previously untapped demographics to join the Air Force.

In her role at the Air Force, she presents a unique perspective on women in non-traditional roles both within and outside Defence.

4. SOCIAL ENTERPRISE/ NOT-FOR-PROFIT

June Oscar, CEO, Marninwarntikura Fitzroy Women’s Resources Centre

June is a Bunuba Woman from the Central Kimberley region. She became a Women's Resource Officer with the Junjuwa community early in her career and chaired the Marra Worra Worra Resource Agency until 1991, when she was appointed Commissioner of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission. June is a strong advocate and activist for the recognition, rights, preservation and promotion of Indigenous Australian languages. In addition, she is a member of the Kimberley Aboriginal Law and Culture Centre, comprising senior men and women who are the custodians and teachers of Aboriginal law, ceremonies, dance and songs. She's also instrumental in making the voices of Indigenous Australian women heheard at the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (March 2009).

5. BUSINESS ENTREPENEUR

Catherine Harris, Chair, Harris Farm Markets

Catherine Harris is the Chairwoman of Australia’s largest independent fresh produce retailer, Harris Farm Markets, and also sits on a number of diverse boards for the Australian Government and private companies.

In addition she is a Commissioner of the Australian Rugby League Commission and a Director of The National Gallery Foundation. She also sits on the Advisory Board of the Australian School of Business UNSW and is the Honorary Consul to Bhutan.

During her career, Catherine has also held the roles of Deputy Chancellor of the University of New South Wales, The Director of Affirmative Action for Australia, a Trustee of the SCG and a Director of the Australian Defence Force Academy.

Catherine was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Business from UNSW in 2008 and is an Officer in the Order of Australia. She has also been awarded The Centenary Medal and the Australian Public Service Medal for Outstanding Public Service.

6. INNOVATION/OVERALL WINNER

Professor Adele Green, Senior Scientist, QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute

Professor Adele Green has been at the frontline of melanoma research for 20 years, long enough to see students she has inspired and mentored join the campaign against the disease which is diagnosed in 9,000 Australians every year.

As head of cancer and population studies at the Queensland Institute of Medical Research, Adele’s research focuses on assessing the impact of environmental factors in the cause and prognosis of melanoma as well as the effect of genes on the development of melanoma. Her research establishing that daily sunscreen use can halve the risk of melanoma set the benchmark for prevention.

More recently she was lead author on a study of more than 26,000 Queenslanders diagnosed early with thin melanomas which revealed a heartening 20-year survival rate for 96 per cent of patients. The study received international acclaim and has been described as a blueprint for assessing thin melanomas with a risk of metastatic disease. A brilliant mentor, Adele has also been recognised for her contribution to public health including Indigenous health and her leadership in the wider scientific community.

7. PUBLIC POLICY

Professor Marian Baird, Professor of Employment Relations, The University of Sydney Business School

Marian Baird is Professor of Employment Relations, Acting Chair of the Discipline of Work and Organisational Studies and Director of the Women Work Research Group in the University of Sydney Business School. Marian is co-editor of the Journal of Industrial Relations and is on the editorial board of the Australian Bulletin of Labour and the international journal, Community, Work and Family. She is a Fellow of the University of Sydney Senate, a member of the Women's College Council and on the Research Committee of the Diversity Council of Australia. Marian is one of Australia's leading researchers in the fields of women, work and family. She has received a number of Australian Research Council and Federal and State Government grants to study maternity and parental leave; flexibility for working parents; women and the global financial crisis; mature age workers and low paid workers; gender equitable organisational change; and work and family in regional Australia. She is widely published in Australia and internationally.

8. PHILANTHROPY

Sam Meers, Executive Director, Nelson Meers Foundation

Sam Meers is managing director and a trustee of the Nelson Meers Foundation, a philanthropic foundation which she and her father, Nelson Meers, established in 2001 as Australia's first Prescribed Private Fund. The Nelson Meers Foundation supports Australia's cultural sector, and those organisations that utilise the arts to create positive social change or to amplify significant social policy issues. In 2005, the Nelson Meers Foundation was the winner of the Goldman Sachs JBWere Artsupport Australia Philanthropy Leadership Award.

Sam is currently a trustee of the Art Gallery of NSW, a director of the State Library of NSW Foundation, the Documentary Australia Foundation and Centre for Social Impact, and a member of the Advisory Councils of the Centre for Social Impact and of the Sydney Women's Fund. Previously Sam practised as a specialist media lawyer, holding senior management positions within the media sector. She is a former deputy chair of the Australian Subscription Television & Radio Association and a former board member of the Belvoir St Theatre and the Power Institute for Art & Visual Culture. Sam served on the council of Philanthropy Australia, including as Sydney Vice President, from 2003 - 2012. She retired from our Council in June 2012.

9. LOCAL/REGIONAL

Su McCluskey, CEO, Regional Australia Institute

Su is the inaugural CEO of the Regional Australia Institute. She has extensive expertise in rural policy development, best practice regulation and governance. As well as a broad understanding of policy implementation, Su’s personal experience running a beef cattle stud in Yass, NSW, gives her grassroots insights into regional and rural issues.

Previously, Su was the CEO of the Council of Rural Research and Development Corporations, where she was responsible for coordinating the assessment of economic, environmental and social impacts of RDC investments and identifying opportunities for cross RDC collaboration. Prior to this, Su was the Executive Director of the Office of Best Practice Regulation, responsible for the Government’s regulatory reform framework. She has been a Consultant Specialist Advisor to the Office of Small Business and has held senior policy positions with the Business Council of Australia, the National Farmers’ Federation and the Australian Taxation Office.

Su is on the Government’s Small Business Advisory Committee which assesses proposed regulation which might impact heavily on small businesses and provides advice to the Government on small business issues, trends and red tape-reforms.

10. YOUNG LEADER

Sophie Ryan, CEO, Sony Foundation (pictured below right with The Westpac Group CEO Gail Kelly.)

Sophie Ryan is responsible for the management of the Sony Foundation, the charity arm of Sony Group of Companies Australia. Prior to this, Sophie was a lawyer at Allens where she worked in Mergers and Acquisitions and Commercial Litigation. During this time, she was also an International Consultant for the United Nations Office of Vienna, working in the Criminal Justice Division on drugs and crime. In this role, she went to Southern Sudan where she worked on a UN Prism Reform Project. Prior to this, Sophie worked as a research assistant for the UN Special Rapporteur for Torture – Dr Manfred Nowak. In this role, she investigated torture allegations and reported findings to the Human Rights Commission.

Gail and Sophie

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