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Two women from opposite ends of the technology spectrum have been named Queensland’s most outstanding achievers at the 2018 Women in Technology Awards in Brisbane. (Friday 14 Sept)

The ICT Outstanding Award went to Sandra Slater, Chief Information Officer for the Department of Transport and Main Roads. A career public servant, Sandra leads one of the biggest IT teams in Queensland government with more than 400 technical staff and contractors. She has been a champion for gender diversity in technical professions throughout her 28 year career with the department.

The Life Sciences Outstanding Award was presented to Associate Professor Allison Pettit, Director of the Biomedical Research at Mater Research Institute-UQ for her ground breaking work in bone disease and her contribution to the advancement of female science researchers.

The WiT Awards are the biggest and longest-running showcase of their kind in Australia, attracting a record field of entries this year from all branches of ICT and life sciences – including medical researchers, inventors, scientists, computer engineers, start-up innovators, employers and entrepreneurs.

More than 600 guests gathered at the Royal International Convention Centre as the winners were announced in 12 categories including employer-of-choice awards for both small and large business. The awards acknowledge young achievers at the start of their career in ICT or life sciences, to rising stars and industry leaders at the top of their field.

The Life Science Research Leader Award went to Professor Mia Woodruff for her world-leading work in biofabrication and the use of 3D printing to produce human tissue.

The Sue Wickenden Entrepreneurial Startup Award was presented to 25 year-old CEO Alex Moss who has invented an earpiece that predicts cognitive fatigue helping to save lives in high pressure work environments, such as the mining, oil and gas and space industries.

Employer of Choice – Corporate was awarded to PWC, with the Super Retail Group, representing brands like BCF, Rebel and Supercheap Auto was highly commended. Online legal services provider Virtual Legal won the title in the small business sector.

Keynote speaker, Dr Kirstin Ferguson, is a leading Australian company director, author, award-winning expert on leadership and corporate culture, and commentator on diversity and inclusion. She said the awards were an important opportunity to acknowledge the outstanding contribution women were making in technology and to encourage greater diversity in non-traditional areas.

“Every woman recognised at the WiT Awards should feel incredibly proud of their achievements, expertise and contributions to the technology industry and deserves their time to shine,” she said.

“Each finalist has demonstrated the courage and personal leadership to put themselves forward to be recognised, to be role models to others and to be prepared to celebrate their successes.”

Women in Technology Co-Presidents Dr Alison Rice and Joanna Field said the WiT Awards were one of the biggest showcases for women in the country.

“WiT has been celebrating women’s achievement in technology and life sciences for more than two decades.

“The WiT Awards recognise the outstanding achievements of Queensland women, many of whom are pushing the frontiers of science and technology worldwide.

“Our scientists are leaders in world class research and our entrepreneurs and expert professionals are breaking new ground in IT, digital technologies and online services. This is the calibre of women that have been recognised since the WiT awards began.”

“Australia’s future will be built on technical skills so it is vital to encourage and inspire young women by showing them great role models and demonstrating how rewarding a career in science and technology can be.”


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