Congratulations to all our 2022 WiT Awards finalists

The annual WiT Awards celebrate excellence and recognise the valuable contribution of women and champions of change from across Queensland’s STEM community.

This year we introduced a new Inspiring Diversity in STEM category – one of 14 WiT awards – to highlight industry leaders who are champions of gender diversity, equity and inclusion in the workplace. It’s the first time WiT has offered an award that is open to all genders and it reflects how our community attitudes are changing. We welcome the inclusion of our first male finalist and look forward to seeing more male leaders who support women being nominated in the future.

A total of 40 finalists were shortlisted across all categories after a robust two-stage judging process. More than 60 independent judges from industry, government and academia were involved in assessing a record 500 award nominations this year.

WiT Chair Iyari Cevallos said this year’s awards theme, Writing the Future, is a tribute to the outstanding contribution women are making to help define, shape and grow Australia’s digital economy.

“As we celebrate and reflect on 25 years of WiT it is as important to focus on the future,” she said.

“I believe we have the ability and responsibility to dream big, to visualise achievements for the women still to come, to continue to increase our energy and momentum in leading and motivating current and future generations of women.

“We’ve created an opportunity to rally around our outstanding talent, unlock their potential, promote each other and ourselves – impacting our community in a way that creates positivity beyond the event itself.”

A huge thank you to our nominees, judges and volunteers for their tireless and inspiring contribution. Stay tuned as winners are announced on Friday 16 September 2022.

We welcome and value feedback from the community. Contact us to provide feedback.

Meet our 2022 WiT Awards finalists

2022 Employer of Choice Award (Enterprise to Corporate) - Finalists

WIT_Image_FINALIST TILE Optus

Optus

Every great moment can be traced back to one simple word – yes. Every small step forward. Every monumental change. It all starts here. At Optus, we see the world not as a fixed reality, but as a work in progress. With a tweak here, a tweak there – great things can happen. A place we can make better, in moments big and small. The potential is at our fingertips. Maybe it’s asimple shift, like creating a way for people to donate data to kids in need. Or bigger, like improving the way people connect. We look for paths forward by first believing in better, then making it happen. Because we know nothing can change without action. And action starts with one word. YES.

Optus believe in empowering our people to build a diverse, equitable and inclusive Optus where they can bring their whole selves to work. Optus is committed to developing and maintaining a workplace and culture which encourages and supports the diverse nature of our people and their personal circumstances. Flexible working arrangements are an option available to help our people balance work and other responsibilities. This may involve elements such as part-time work, job sharing, remote work, and flexible hours. Optus is committed to continuously reviewing policies and strategies related to flexible working arrangements. Informal flexibility is also available as and when required. AOptus support a model of blended ways of working. Our leaders work remotely, lead by example when attending to family and additional care responsibilities. Optus also have leaders with formal work arrangements in place who work compressed work weeks.

Optus have a focus on increasing the number of women in leadership positions across the organisation. Optus offer a multitude of programs to support female talent development. Some of these programs include Women in Leadership, Emerging Executive Women Leaders, Women Rising partnered with Cisco, Optus University partnership to provide on-the-job micro credentials, mentoring programs, tech talks & panel discussions. To provide additional opportunities for women internally as well as contribute to the broader advancement of women in STEM, Optus partner with organisations such as Vogue codes, Women in Technology & Females in Information technology and Telecommunications.

QUT_EOCCorporate_WINNER

QUT

Queensland University of Technology has a history of extraordinary achievement. And a future of great promise. Early on in her tenure, QUT Vice-Chancellor, Margaret Sheil a pioneering science leader committed to making QUT the most gender equitable university in Australia. With two major campuses in the heart of Brisbane, and advanced online learning options, QUT is one of Australia’s most visionary and purpose-driven universities. The university for the real world is dedicated to fast-tracking real, measurable change, fuelling the career ambitions of students and researchers from all over the world, through practical, industry-aligned collaborations and work-integrated learning.

Empowerment of Indigenous Australians is a priority, especially through our Carumba Institute for Indigenous research, and the Oodgeroo Unit which supports our students. Our pioneering advocacy for inclusion gives thousands of students access to university every year. Our commitment to sustainability and the environment is demonstrated in programs converting solar energy to hydrogen fuels and minimising the greenhouse gases linked to our activities.

By creating diverse teams of researchers, leaders and professionals, we open doors to new opportunities for women in STEMM and provide new perspectives across all of our disciplines. Being part of a university so confident of its place in the world which delivers lifelong learning opportunities for students, and real benefits for staff, partners and the community is truly inspiring.

go1_EOCCorporate_HC

go1

Go1 is on a mission to unlock positive potential through a love of learning. Go1 makes learning easy with thousands of online courses in one simple solution. Designed for workforces with a diverse range of training and development needs, Go1 provides access to top training providers, all in one subscription.

Go1 allows you to find the right content, in the right format and deliver it to your learners in the right system. We also prioritize learning for our own employees – with one of our core values being “Learn On,” Go1 employees have full access to the Go1 platform and a generous L&D budget. Our culture of coaching and giving feedback also ensures we learn from each other every day and provide opportunities to grow our careers with Go1.

Go1 understands that the ways of working have changed. We offer flexible, remote, and hybrid work options with the best-in-class technology and reimbursements to make the home office feel like the Go1 offices worldwide. If employees decide to come to the office, they are treated to barista coffee, snacks, weekly lunches and they might meet one of our friendly office dogs. But the best part about working for Go1 is the people – everyone cares about each other and is eager to jump in to support their colleagues if in need.

Aligned with our ‘one team’ value, we work collaboratively to solve any challenge, and acknowledge and celebrate the contributions of other colleagues and colleagues within our team.

2022 Employer of Choice Award (Small to Medium) sponsored by Pipefish - Finalists

Sponsored By pipefish-logo-on-light@2x (002)
WIT_Image_GWI

GWI

GWI is a Brisbane born and operated management consultancy specialising in using data, information and digital transformation to solve complex business problems.

GWI is an equal opportunities employer — with a very strong female contingent — and supportive of a flexible work environment. GWI proudly have a 50/50 gender split and 18 women in STEM function roles. The GWI team are extremely passionate advocates for the next generation of female tech leaders. GWI have been long-term sponsors of the Tech Girls Movement Foundation which supports young women and girls by giving them the skills and confidence to pursue a career in STEM and have also provided six scholarships to deserving individuals through the CQUniCares GWI Scholarship.

GWI managing partner Michelle Teis was last year awarded the national ‘Data Leader of the Year’ award by Women in Digital. She passionately leads our data practice in which we enable our customers to deliver achieve their goals through supporting them with outstanding technology solutions.

GWI’s sense of social responsibility guides everything that we do. We have partnered with Ecologi as a Climate Positive Workforce. We are committed to positively impacting the environment and tackling CO2 emissions through planting trees and funding carbon reduction programs around the world. 96% of our team believe there is a positive culture regarding flexible work and different sexes, genders and LGBTIQ+ inclusivity.

WIT_Image_FINALIST TILE MATER RESEARCH

Mater Research

Mater Research’s vision is to translate research discoveries and integrate them into improved healthcare. Our mission is to discover new knowledge central to the Mater mission, translate this knowledge into practice and integrate outcomes into improved healthcare and educational practices. Our bench to bedside philosophy sees us working across Mater Health’s hospitals, and our partners The University of Queensland, the world-class Translational Research Institute, and Health Translation Queensland.

Mater has always done things differently, since our founders, the Sisters of Mercy, opened the first Mater Hospital in 1906. They established private hospitals around Queensland to subsidise care to disadvantaged people and were the first Mater researchers, establishing a culture of research and innovation which paved the way for our Institute. Building on the legacy, Mater Research is a recognised leader in medical research collaborating with healthcare and research partners turning scientific discovery into better outcomes for patients and the broader community.

Mater Research believe that equal opportunity is crucial for success, and diversity underpins excellence. We are committed to pursuing gender equity and advancing opportunities for women in medical science. We adopt a range of diversity strategies to provide equitable opportunities, including our annual ‘Strategic Grant for Outstanding Women’, which provides funding to potential women researchers. We also have a strong focus on supporting research to improve women’s health, ranging from our ‘Mother and Baby’ program to women’s specific cancers within our ‘Cancer’ program.

The organisation has many eminent women researchers and emerging leaders. Two-thirds of our research group leaders and Executive team are women. We closely monitor remuneration and utilise benchmarked salary scales to ensure pay equity. We use central support roles to ensure promotion of high numbers of quality nominations of our women to prestigious awards such as the WiT Awards, Research Australia awards, and other award/recognition schemes. Mater Research provides flexible family friendly working arrangements to all employees prioritising
wellbeing of employees and their families. These behaviours are modelled by our Executive and Senior managers.

WIT_Image_FINALIST TILE SATIVUS

SATIVUS

Sativus Pty Ltd was founded by sisters Dr Kylie Hewson and Dr Bridie Schultz in 2018, to equip researchers, managers, and investors with the skills, information, and support to create,
manage and communicate their best possible science.

At Sativus we encourage our staff members to identify and pursue their areas of interest and provide them with autonomy in developing and managing projects to address the Sativus
mission. This ensures a positive and engaging work environment where people thrive. We support and encourage their own career aspirations through policies and flexible approaches to work that are directed by the employee, so work doesn’t interfere with the other important aspects of life. These arrangements include alternative work schedules, working full-time or on a contract basis, and working remotely, to reduce the stress associated with commuting and managing home duties. We create accessibility for employees across different locations and time zones. Just as great science can only be produced through diversity on input, so too is the approach to working with Sativus. Our passion for science and education is reflected in our commitment to offering staff professional development opportunities (within the company and from external sources).

At Sativus, staff are actively encouraged and directly provided opportunities to attend networking events and other professional development activities designed to improve their skillset and capability. We have created a culture, underpinned by policies, to ensure a fulfilling, enjoyable, and supportive work environment. Our mission is clear and relevant to how we engage staff: to grow quality science and scientists by supporting skills development and providing support to all who operate in the science sector, including those that conduct, manage, and invest in science.

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SixPivot

SixPivot is a professional development consultancy. Our primary business is building Software as a Service software for corporate, government and startups. We also provide consulting on best software practices, solution architecture and building software for the cloud. Our developers are some of the best talent globally and we work with companies to help them innovate, and build  both internal products and products for their customers. We are purposefully different in the way we do business. We are a professional development consultancy, of exceptionally talented software developers who rank among the best in the world. Driven by a sense of purpose and doing the right thing. We’re true to our craft, believing anything is possible and care deeply not only about technology, but about our customer’s team and about the business they are creating. We’re not just consultants, we know how to build products throughout the lifecycle because we build our own. We’re different because we teach you to “fish”, we help you build software and we make sure you’re self-sufficient and leave when the job’s done. We’re always there when you need us, and available when you call. We provide consulting on best software practices, solution architecture and building software

2022 Community Impact Award sponsored by Go1 - Finalists

Sponsored By GO1
MichellePukinic_Community_WINNER

Michele Pikunic

Passionate, motivating, innovative, and enthusiastic are words often used to describe Michele Pikunic, a STEM Teacher and STEM advocate at Worongary State School on the Gold Coast. From butterflies to esports, from rockets to robotics, Michele has introduced many highly engaging and innovative programs which have increased student engagement and participation in STEM. Michele is passionate about technology and being able to equip her students with skills necessary to live and work successfully in the twenty-first century and beyond. For the past 8 years, Michele has been introducing her primary school children to the world of robotics. She started with 4 children in the class and now has 20 children participating in her robotics classes.

Her activities have also spilled over to the parents of these children, leading to the development of an innovation hub. Her robotics education activities are supported by several industry partners, including CSIRO STEM professionals. Michele is also currently working in partnership with the Queensland Museum and their Learning Officer to empower students to participate in Project DIG and undertake scientific enquiry to explore megafauna from Queensland’s past. As part of the initiative, students have been able to access Queensland Museum Network’s world-class collections and participate in digital engagement sessions with renowned Palaeontologist Dr Scott Hucknall. Students will also host their own STEM event and through the use of technologies such as iPads, augmented reality (AR) and 3D printing be able to communicate their findings to the school community and beyond.

Community Impact - Katie Richards

Katie Richards

Katie Richards is a legal tech entrepreneur focusing on the global access to justice issue via her public self-service legal platform Law On Earth. With nearly 20 years’ experience in the legal industry, both in Australia and internationally, and Katie’s love of systematising and tech-enabling business functions to create extraordinary efficiencies, she was able to make a flying success of her first legal tech startup Virtual Legal, Australia’s most awarded online law firm.  Her second legal ed tech startup Law On Earth is taking the world by storm changing lives as she can reach thousands not just a few.

As a mentor to many young entrepreneurs and students, Katie has been a guest speaker at QUT, JCU, Bond University and Harvard. She has been awarded Young Entrepreneur of the Year for Business News Australia, Suncorp Innovator of the Year and one of the Brisbane City Council Lord Mayor’s Global Entrepreneurs.

She is on the QUT Advisory Board and mentors several accelerators. Outside of business, Katie is a fitness fanatic and has run marathons in 4 continents around the world and loves to cook, play the piano and travel. Contributing to the community has always been a high priority for Katie and each of her entrepreneurial ventures over the years have been directed at social impact

JulieCichero_Community_HC

Dr Julie Cichero

A question about how to objectively measure the thickness of drinks used to treat people with swallowing problems led Dr Julie Cichero into the world of chemical engineering and food technology. Her research and collaborative efforts have paved the way for a national, and international initiative to reduce choking risk in vulnerable populations.

Dr Julie Cichero excels in translating knowledge to make it accessible to others, building teams and helping people work together around a common ‘why’. Julie’s work as a clinician, helping
people with stroke, cancer or dementia to eat and drink without choking inspired her research and brought clinicians, chemical engineers, food technologists and pharmacists together. Julie
has worked as a researcher, post graduate educator and industry consultant bringing medicine and science together for better outcomes for people with chewing and swallowing problems
(dysphagia). Julie was key to developing common standardised terminology for foods and drinks that reduce choking risk in people with conditions such as stroke, dementia, cancer, Parkinson’s disease, and cerebral palsy.

Julie has been Co-Chair of IDDSI for 10 years and is a clinical expert for the Aged Care Clinical Standards Expert Working Group for the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care and has represented Speech Pathology Australia for the Australian Department of Health National Congress on Food, Nutrition, and the Dining Experience in Aged Care.

Julie currently works at Mater Research leading research professionals, and the clinical trials unit while helping researchers to conduct research with the highest ethical standards, research governance and integrity.

2022 Sonja Bernhardt The Heart of our Values Award - Finalists

WIT_Image_FINALIST TILE Sumaira Husnain

A/Prof Sumaira Hasnain

A/Prof Sumaira Hasnain is a National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Career Development Fellow and Senior Research Fellow at Mater Research, where she heads the Immunopathology Research Group. Sumaira has an interest in chronic inflammatory diseases such as pulmonary fibrosis, inflammatory bowel disease and diabetes as well as infectious diseases.

In 2014, A/Prof Hasnain defined a new paradigm in immunology. She made a discovery that immune factors released from our white blood cells can improve the quality of the proteins we produce in disease. Her team developed drugs using these immune factors, attached to proteins that can target them to the live and patented this technology. Her team is doing work to confirm this drug is safe and effective with the aim of treating patients with fatty liver disease to improve their quality of life and reduce the burden on our healthcare system.

The high potential of her innovative work has been recognised through the formation of a venture capitalist funded spin-out company, Jetra Therapeutics and award of 2 follow on patents. In addition to her research, A/Prof Hasnain has made contributed significantly to scientific service, in particular to promoting equity, diversity and inclusion.

Community Impact - Michele Pikunic

Michele Pikunic

Passionate, motivating, innovative, and enthusiastic are words often used to describe Michele Pikunic, a STEM Teacher and STEM advocate at Worongary State School on the Gold Coast. From butterflies to esports, from rockets to robotics, Michele has introduced many highly engaging and innovative programs which have increased student engagement and participation in STEM. Michele is passionate about technology and being able to equip her students with skills necessary to live and work successfully in the twenty-first century and beyond. For the past 8 years, Michele has been introducing her primary school children to the world of robotics. She started with 4 children in the class and now has 20 children participating in her robotics classes.

Her activities have also spilled over to the parents of these children, leading to the development of an innovation hub. Her robotics education activities are supported by several industry partners, including CSIRO STEM professionals. Michele is also currently working in partnership with the Queensland Museum and their Learning Officer to empower students to participate in Project DIG and undertake scientific enquiry to explore megafauna from Queensland’s past. As part of the initiative, students have been able to access Queensland Museum Network’s world-class collections and participate in digital engagement sessions with renowned Palaeontologist Dr Scott Hucknall. Students will also host their own STEM event and through the use of technologies such as iPads, augmented reality (AR) and 3D printing be able to communicate their findings to the school community and beyond.

_WINNER Kellie Heart of Values

Kellie King

Kellie King more than 30 years professional experience in Technology and is distinguished thought leader in business and technology – particularly in Robotic Process Automation (RPA).

Currently she’s the CEO of Business Improvement Consultants, a Queensland based consultancy company that guides organisations through their transformation journey.

Prior to this, Kellie was the Head of Operational Excellence at Bupa where she was responsible for their transformation from legacy systems to state of the art technology. In 2017, introduced Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and Chatbots to Bupa, using the Brisbane office location as the greenfield site to learn, grow and develop customer facing solutions to remove bottlenecks and increase speed of processing insurance claims, and reducing risk of errors.

She was also the Global Director of IT at Tyco, heading their business transformation initiatives. Kellie has held global positions in Australia, Hong Kong and the United States and has a proven track record of creating a clear vision and inspiring those around her to thrive in a changing environment. Her passion to create innovative solutions and develop winning propositions has been recognised and awarded in the tech industry.

Her lifelong passion for coaching and mentoring girls to become their best selves, extends outside of business and into sport where she is a respected netball Coach, President and Chair of the Board. Kellie is a Master Black Belt in Six Sigma and Lean process improvement.

WIT_Image_FINALIST TILE Bridie Schultz

Dr Bridie Schultz

Dr Bridie Schultz is committed to addressing the lack of support, career opportunities, mentoring, and professional development for Australia’s mature aged, disabled, culturally and linguistically diverse, and rural female STEMists.

Many years of working in the scientific industry inspired Bridie to focus her career on making significant improvements in how science is communicated to a variety of audiences and is passionate about ensuring that all research investments are capitalised on for the benefit of the industry, and the broader community. For the past nine years, Bridie has been working with Australian Research and Development Corporations (RDC’s), Universities and private enterprises, with the primary objective of improving the accessibility of information generated from scientific research

In 2018 she co-founded Sativus Pty Ltd with her sister Dr Kylie Hewson to equip researchers, managers, and investors with the skills, information, and support to create, manage and communicate their best possible science.

Bridie lives by the principle that knowledge is only useful if it is shared – inspiring her to focus her career on making significant improvements in how science is communicated to a variety of audiences and is passionate about ensuring that all research investments are capitalised on for the benefit of the industry, and the broader community.

At Sativus, she led the design, development and implementation of GEMS – an online learning program by scientists, for scientists, to help each other Grow, Evolve, Mentor and Succeed. The online learning platform aims to increase scientists’ knowledge and skills in 70 different areas related to science project management, science communications and other essential skills such as collaboration, career diversity and applying for awards – all the skills scientists need to be successful but are often not formally taught.

Couple this with the ability to communicate science and improve the accessibility of the outcomes, and you create science that has impact. Every scientist supported through the Sativus GEMS program has benefited from developing these skills, which helps improve their positive impact on the community.

WIT_Image_FINALIST TILE Amy Mullins

A/Prof Amy Mullens

A/Prof Amy Mullens is a researcher, teaching academic and practicing clinical psychologist from the University of Southern Queensland who has dedicated her career to improving the wellbeing of people from marginalised communities – including those from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds and sexually or gender diverse individuals – through research, clinical practice, leadership and advocacy.

A/Prof Amy Mullens has held numerous research, clinical and governance roles over the past 20 years. Her contributions as a leader, researcher, educator and provider of clinical/health psychology services have had a meaningful impact in the community and industry. A/Prof Mullens has worked across government, private and NGO contexts delivering psychological interventions via individual, group, and workshop formats; having worked directly with thousands of clients across her career. A/Prof Mullens has provided clinical supervision for more than 500 psychologists to date and trained hundreds of health professionals and an estimated 1700 health professional students during her career. The impact and reach of A/Pro Mullens’ impact has also created a ripple effect through the numerous organisations where her input has directly influenced models of care, quality of health service delivery, clinical supervision, applied research, novel health promotion and clinical governance;

2022 Up-and-Comer Technology Award sponsored by PwC - Finalists

Sponsored By PwC
WIT_Image_FINALIST TILE Fatimah

Fatimah Almathami

Fatimah Almathami is currently a doctoral candidate in the Faculty of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering at the University of Queensland. Her research is centred on the
barriers to diversity and inclusion, specifically as experienced by women in IT/IS and the exploration of ways to overcome those barriers and enhance the participation of women in these
crucial forward looking industries.

Being a finalist in the 2021 Women in Technology Awards has opened the door for Fatimah to deeply explore her own academic ambitions and equally to examine how she can raise awareness for the rightful place of women in the field of technology. Her major interests are technology, gender studies and gender equity in STEM and the empowerment of women. She was honoured to receive the Tech For Girls – RISING STAR AWARD  as recognition of her continuing commitment to achieving lasting diversity and inclusion in the ICT industry.

One of her guiding interests is to encourage female school students in her homeland of Saudi Arabia to explore and engage in study in areas like technology not previously considered. Fatimah’s work in community outreach service reinforces the importance of practical, manageable, immediate solutions to the barriers faced by women in the IT sector while working towards the bigger picture of gender equity and challenging traditional attitudes.

Fatimah’s passion for empowering women in STEM study areas is being supported by the opportunities she has for raising awareness in cross-cultural contexts. She is a serving member of SIGGRAPH Asia 2020 Diversity and Inclusion committee and looks forward to continuing to make a difference for women in technology

She has achieved Bachelor and Master’s degrees from the University of Queensland majoring in Information Technology, Computer Science and International Relations.  She has also completed a Graduate Diploma of Research Studies in IT from Griffith University where she was awarded the Griffith University Award for Academic Excellence.

WIT_Image_FINALIST TILE Jordan

Jordan Watson

Jordan Watson is a Cybersecurity professional in the Graduate Program at NTT in Australia, with a strong enthusiasm for innovation and IT. She considers herself to be highly motivated and a hard worker, and an important part of her personal integrity to lead by example. This approach extends into my Jordan’s life more broadly, and she’s passionate about the importance of giving
back to the community.

Jordan has delivered technology services to every continent, bar Antarctica. Her skills include data migrations, penetration testing, network security hardware and software,
on-premise and cloud server builds, and has her NV1 Security Clearance. She’s also a member of the Intergenerational Leadership Program at NTT, oversee the graduates within NTT’s Queensland branch, assists with NTT’s employee satisfaction program, and is a trained first aid officers.

Jordan volunteers her time time to NTT Queensland’s outreach work, where she presents to a variety of university and TAFE students interested in IT and cyber security.

RachelHuang_Up&ComerTech_WINNER

Rachel Huang

Rachel Huang is passionate about addressing world’s biggest problems through technology and innovation. She does this by addressing unmet markets with her tech start-up companies, supporting industry innovation as a part of KPMG’s consulting service, and volunteering her time to supports others to professionally develop themselves and pursue their passion. Rachel is well regarded in the entrepreneurship ecosystem as a young innovator and a leader.  She works with start-up founders to help them raise capital at The Network Loop, and helps industry clients fund their technology innovation with her team at KPMG. Rachel was Previously CEO and founder of Powersphere – a hardware company that designs innovative wind-turbines to aid renewable energy generation in urban settings.

Rachel is currently in her 5th year of Biological and Chemical Engineering with a dual degree in Biomedical Science at The University of Queensland. In 2021, she was UQ’s Chief Student Entrepreneur a, representing student entrepreneurs and inspiring entrepreneurship throughout the university. She’s also a scholar in UQ’s Andrew N. Liveris Academy for Innovation and Leadership.

Rachel is a thought-leader and mentor in the start-up ecosystem and is a frequent guest speaker on various panel events (from government, university, to public events).

2022 Emerging Achiever Science Award sponsored by Griffith University - Finalists

Sponsored By Griffith2021
BrookeWilliams_ScienceEmergingAchiever_WINNER

Brooke Williams

Brooke Williams is an emerging researcher whose research has taken her to some exciting places overseas. However her \commitment to advancing research in Queensland has led Brooke back to The University of Queensland (UQ).

Brooke’s research focusses on finding innovative solutions to conservation problems at the environment-human interface. Balancing conservation with human needs is an increasingly important area of science and she addresses these challenges in two ways. The first is through strategic planning where she designs tools to effectively allocate conservation action, largely through mathematical optimisation.

The second is by developing metrics and assessments to quantify how human activities impact biodiversity and ecosystem services (the services that nature provides to people
such as fresh drinking water), and how to improve outcomes. In her postdoctoral research position she is focussing on the development of new tools to improve outcomes for ecosystem
services that are impacted by global trade, and to help guide koala conservation on private lands.

She has worked on several conservation and planning projects globally and across Australia, Central and South America, and Africa with various conservation groups including the Wildlife
Conservation Society, The Nature Conservancy, and the International Institute for Sustainability

WIT_Image_FINALIST TILE Enakshi

Enakshi Sinniah

Enakshi Sinniah is a PhD student at the Institute for Molecular Bioscience, University of Queensland (UQ). Her research uses stem cells to generate beating cardiac muscle tissue as a
model of human heart development in a dish. Taking an interdisciplinary approach of computational and developmental biology, Enakshi’s work focuses on developing innovative methods to identify genetic drivers of cardiovascular development and disease.

Overall, her research aims to aid drug discovery and develop new therapies to tackle heart disease. She has received multiple international awards in recognition of her work, including a Children’s Hospital Foundation Grant and the International Society for Stem Cell Research (ISSCR) Zhong Mei Chen Yong Award for Scientific Excellence 2020.

Alongside her research, she is passionate about science outreach and takes pride in advocating for equality in STEM. For the past 4 years, Enakshi has been a volunteer coach in the Curious Minds Program, where she has personally mentored 4 high school girls from underprivileged and rural backgrounds with a passion to pursue a future career in STEM.

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A/Prof Jasneek Chawla

A/Prof Jasneek Chawla is a paediatric respiratory and sleep medicine specialist at The Queensland Children’s Hospital, and a clinician researcher at The Child Health Research Centre, University of Queensland. Jasneek’s research interest is in understanding how sleep treatments can improve day-to-day function in children. Her PhD has focused on sleep in children with Down Syndrome.  Jasneek is now expanding her research, collaborating nationally to develop early sleep interventions to improve outcomes in children with neurodisability. This is an understudied area as children with neurodisability are often excluded from large-scale research. Jasneek aims to be a pioneer in this field with the goal of developing national guidelines for the management of sleep issues in these vulnerable children.

Locally, Jasneek established and leads the Paediatric Sleep Medicine Research Group, a collaborative network of academic and clinical researchers. She represents her speciality as a board member for the Australasian Sleep Association in the position of chair of the Education Sub-Committee. Jasneek engages with the community through this ASA role, actively participating in patient advocacy and policy development.  Jasneek is also a speaker for the sleep health foundation, has a strong partnership with Down Syndrome Queensland, and is the president and founder of a children’s charity, Little Lives Australia.

2022 Digital Mover and Shaker Award sponsored by NTT - Finalists

Sponsored By NTT
Jessica Korte FINALIST

Dr Jessica Korte

Dr Jessica Korte is passionate about the ways good technology can improve lives. To ensure technology is “good”, she advocates involving end users in the design process; especially when those people are members of minority user groups, who are typically excluded from such processes. Her philosophy for technology design (and life in general) is that the needs of people who are disempowered or disabled by society should be considered first; everyone else will then benefit from technology that maximises usability.

Her research areas include Human-Computer Interaction, Machine Learning, and Participatory & Collaborative Design. Jessica was drawn to research by a desire to explore some of the ways technology and design can empower and support people from marginalised groups. She has worked with Deaf children and members of the Deaf community to create a technology design approach, and successfully organised and run international workshops on Pushing the Boundaries of Participatory Design. Jessica’s current Fellowship is the Advance Queensland TASDCRC Fellowship. The goal of this project is to create a personal assistant (like Siri, Alexa or Google Home) that responds to Auslan signing, and signs back to users.

ElisaBayraktarov_WINNER

Dr Elisa Bayraktarov

Dr Elisa Bayraktarov is a conservation scientist who mobilises and interrogates data to craft solutions to environmental problems. Elisa is an expert in producing trends to report on the state of Australia’s threatened birds, mammals, and plants , and on how we can optimise the restoration of our marine and coastal ecosystems to be more affordable and successful. Her research at UQ (2014-2020) translated ecology and data into policy impact by building digital innovation tools for data visualisation and environmental reporting. She collaborated closely with researchers, businesses, non-governmental organisations, and policy makers to achieve real-world impact for the environment by creating Australia’s Threatened Species Index – a data-driven web visualisation tool which – very much like a stock market index – reports on how Australia’s threatened species are going.

In 2020, she transitioned to the role of Program Manager at Griffith University where she works at the interface between science and digital innovation and specialise in building virtual laboratories for the environment. As a rising Technologist, Elisa leads a team of 10 agile software developers, scientists, science communicators, trainers, and data analysts to build the platform of choice for environmental problem solving called EcoCommons. EcoCommons Australia is a $5m-3yrs investment from the Australian Research Data Commons and 8 partner organisations to deliver a platform that empowers researchers and policy-decision makers to protect and restore the planet by providing ecological data, robust scientific workflows, and a flexible digital
research infrastructure.

MugeFialhTeixeira_HC

Dr Müge Belek Fialho Teixeira

Müge is a passionate academic, designer and researcher that believes technology and innovation is the key in tackling the challenges of climate change. By disrupting day to day practices with technology enabled, customised, sustainable, and aesthetic design solutions, she believes we can create better futures. Since being employed by QUT in 2017, as a post-doctoral researcher after a year of moving into Australia, Müge has been climbing ladders in academic positions to lecturer and senior lecturer as a digital mover and shaker in the areas of design robotics, advanced manufacturing, and parametric design. Throughout this time, Müge was invited to become a Chief Investigator in Design Robotics Project funded by IMCRC (Innovative Manufacturing Corporate Research Centre), won 3 Women in STEM grants, led cutting edge research projects funded by QUT’s Centre for a Waste Free World, presented in many industry events, and participated in the CareFactor 2020 entrepreneurship program.

As a design lead in ARM Hub, her research projects include mass customised, advanced manufactured, and technology embedded aged care furniture; customized and 3d printed assistive technologies for people with spinal cord injuries; sustainable fenders for marine environments; and AR/VR adoption in Architecture Engineering and Construction (AEC)
industries.

Müge is mentoring students from engineering and architecture, including her PhD students, to use industrial and collaborative robotic arms in creating bespoke architectural elements. Following principles of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths), Müge is part of programs that find novel ways to engage high school and university students with Design Robotics.

2022 Rising Star Science Award - Finalists

WIT_Image_FINALIST TILE Alison Peel

Dr Alison Peel

 

Dr Alison Peel is a veterinarian and wildlife disease ecologist whose work aims to understand the root drivers of bat viral dynamics and ways in which we can pre-empt and prevent ‘spillover’ of bat viruses into animal and human populations.

Dr Peel aims to amplify the impact of this research and lead transformative change in surveillance and preventative solutions. She works in a large collaborative team across continents, disciplines, career stages and genders to understand how human environmental impacts affect bat and human health, and how our deep understanding can be applied to other systems globally to prevent the next pandemic. This may be as simple as planting some trees and letting nature do the rest; though a deep understanding of the mechanisms linking natural and human systems is key to success. Our understanding of these processes in Australia is better than any comparable system in the world. We have the science to identify countermeasures that harness natural ecosystem processes to prevent new viruses emerging and solve the environmental and health crises we have created.

As we face serious threats of pandemics and climate change, Alison feels that now is an opportunity to step into higher leadership in this space in Australia, where she can present her research and advocate for greater investment in sustainable solutions to these threats to humanity.

Alison trained as a veterinarian at the University of Sydney (2003), and then specialised as a wildlife veterinarian at the Royal Veterinary College and Institute of Zoology, London, UK (2007). Her PhD at the University of Cambridge (2012) was on the population genetics and epidemiology of zoonotic viruses in African fruit bats.

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Dr Claudia Benham

Dr Claudia Benham is a Lecturer and Australian Research Council DECRA Fellow at the University of Queensland, where she studies climate grief – emotional responses to the loss of important ecosystems or places due to climate change. Her world leading research examines how communities in the Great Barrier Reef are experiencing and responding to climate grief after
events such as coral bleaching, and translates this into policy guidance.

Claudia’s research interests have been shaped by her previous work as an environmental policy professional in the Australian Government, where she worked across a range of areas including monitoring of the Queensland Coal Seam Gas industry.

Dr Benham also teaches environmental regulation and policy to the next generation of environmental professionals in Queensland. She is passionate about conducting applied research that has real benefits for people and Queensland’s environment, and works with natural and social scientists as well as government and non-government organisations to jointly achieve better outcomes for people and the environment.

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Dr Marie-Luise Wille

Dr Marie-Luise Wille is an academic working in the interdisciplinary field of medical physics and biomedical engineering and has designed the world’s largest biodegradable tibia bone implant for an Australian patient. Her focus is in translational research and improving the bench-to-bedside workflow with the help of enabling technologies and combining medical imaging, 3D printing
and software development.

Since 2019 Dr Wille has been the Deputy Director of the Australian National University led ARC Training Centre for Multiscale 3D Imaging, Modelling and Manufacturing – which has the mission to train the next generation of PhD students and ECRs in digital materials and to be industry 4.0 ready. She manages the QUT side of the Centre, which includes 6 industry partners, 14 Chief Investigators, 10 HDR students, 5 Postdocs and 3 staff members.

Marie-Luise is passionate about Women in STEMM and has been the chair and vice-chair for the IEEE Women in Engineering Queensland Section Committee for the last 6 years. In 2018 she was awarded the Volunteer of the Year award and in 2019 received the Outstanding Woman in Engineering award in 2019 by the IEEE Queensland Section.

 

2022 Professional Technology Leadership Award sponsored by Technology One - Finalists

Sponsored By TechnologyOne
WIT_Image_FINALIST TILE Kellie

Kellie King

Kellie King more than 30 years professional experience in Technology and is distinguished thought leader in business and technology – particularly in Robotic Process Automation (RPA).

Currently she’s the CEO of Business Improvement Consultants, a Queensland based consultancy company that guides organisations through their transformation journey.

Prior to this, Kellie was the Head of Operational Excellence at Bupa where she was responsible for their transformation from legacy systems to state of the art technology. In 2017, introduced Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and Chatbots to Bupa, using the Brisbane office location as the greenfield site to learn, grow and develop customer facing solutions to remove bottlenecks and increase speed of processing insurance claims, and reducing risk of errors.

She was also the Global Director of IT at Tyco, heading their business transformation initiatives. Kellie has held global positions in Australia, Hong Kong and the United States and has a proven track record of creating a clear vision and inspiring those around her to thrive in a changing environment. Her passion to create innovative solutions and develop winning propositions has been recognised and awarded in the tech industry.

Her lifelong passion for coaching and mentoring girls to become their best selves, extends outside of business and into sport where she is a respected netball Coach, President and Chair of the Board. Kellie is a Master Black Belt in Six Sigma and Lean process improvement.

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Prof Peta Wyeth

Professor Peta Wyeth believes in the power of technology for good. She first embarked on her PhD studies to discover new ways for pre-schoolers to access the true delight and power of information technology, studies that twenty years later inform her leadership role in a multi-million dollar national research centre for Australian children to be healthy, educated and connected in a digital world. On that journey, she has personally engaged with over 4000 students in classrooms, helping to create the new generation of IT professionals. Now as a university leader, she has shared her vision with her team and brought their wealth of experience and creativity to deliver remarkable outcomes for QUT students, staff, University and partners. Together, they have delivered a transformation of teaching and curriculum at QUT that engages more students than ever before and created fresh new study and research opportunities to deliver the benefits of technology.

In 2021, Professor Wyeth was appointed as the Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Science at QUT with more than 450 staff and 5,000 students. She is the leader of the Learning and Teaching, Research and Engagement portfolios that support the Faculty’s six schools, with specific responsibilities in achieving equity and diversity for staff and students. She was previously Head of the School of Computer Science at QUT, successfully leading 48 academic staff to deliver education and research outcomes that exceeded the organisation’s expectations. As Academic Program Director for Information Technology (2014-2019), Professor Wyeth led curriculum development and teaching improvements that saw QUT more than double its number of IT students while achieving the best student feedback nationally for learner engagement. As a Professor of Computer Science, she is internationally recognised for her work in making technology engaging, creative and healthy for children and people with disabilities.

Professor Wyeth strives to change the technology professions to one where more women feel valued and included. She has created initiatives ranging from changes in teaching practice to new employment strategies to enhance gender inclusion and diversity. She has personally acted as mentor for dozens of young women seeking to make their way both professionally and academically.

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Sarah-Jane Peterschlingmann

Sarah-Jane Peterschlingmann is the Managing Director and Owner of ATech, an international award-winning technology company that helps large corporates, start-ups and government deliver mission critical websites and digital solutions.

Sarah-Jane left her home town of Cairns with a push bike, a duffle bag of clothes and just six hundred dollars to her name to pursue a career in information technology. She has built her career from an executive assistant position, achieving her Bachelor of Information Technology majoring in Artificial Intelligence from Central Queensland University in 2005 and a Master of Property Studies from theUniversity of Queensland.

Starting as a web developer, Sarah Jane helped to grow ATech from humble beginnings to multi-million dollar revenues with an impressive list of high calibre clients including Virgin Australia, Seqwater, The South Australian Government, and Brisbane City Council. Sarah-Jane achieved this while raising two children as a single mother.

Sarah Jane has established a reputation as an industry speaker on the topics of entrepreneurship, technology, innovation, and leadership in male dominated industries – having spoken at events for WIT, Australian Computer Society, Women in Digital, River City Labs, Queensland Government, QUT, Griffith, and more. She has also held seats on the CQUniversity ICT Advisory Board as well as the Australian Computer Society and WIT executive committees.

Sarah-Jane is passionate about empowering others to find the best within themselves by working with her key strategies of Focus, Belief, Education & Dedication. In her own time, she volunteers as a mentor to many aspiring female technologists as well as entrepreneurs.

 

WIT_Image_FINALIST TILE Sheridan Greer

Sheridan Greer

Sheridan Greer specialises in disruptive event management. She brings more than 12 years’ experience managing real time operations of the network through effective utilisation of all available resources including ITS, CCTV and other information gathering systems.

Sheridan is astute in optimising technology to achieve strong community outcomes. She played a key role in the 2018 Commonwealth Games, and recently applied her expertise to contribute to the Queensland flood mitigation and recovery effort by leading and coordinating multi-disciplinary teams including technical committees across agencies such as QPS, Emergency Services, Brisbane City Council and Brisbane Metropolitan Traffic Management Centre (BMTMC).

She also mentors staff within the real time operations, technology and road safety areas. Sheridan is currently acting in the role of Program Manager (Operations) where she plans, coordinates, and manages the concept planning, development, and implementation phases of the road operations projects to ensure completion in accordance with required timeframes, cost, quality, and service standards.

2022 Research Leader Science Award sponsored by The University of Southern Queensland - Finalists

Sponsored By UniSQ_Logo_Vertical_Gold-Plum_RGB
WIT_Image_FINALIST TILE Irina Vetter

Prof Irina Vetter

Prof Irina Vetter is the Director of the Centre for Pain Research at the University of Queensland, and is an internationally recognized expert in pain mechanism, neuropharmacology and ion channel research.

She is  interested in understanding disease-specific pain pathways to enable the development of mechanism-based analgesics, and am a world expert in ion channel pharmacology who uses venom-derived toxins as tools and drug leads to unravel the contributions of these transmembrane proteins to peripheral neuronal excitability. Using gene expression analysis and pharmacological approaches, Prof Vetter’s work has identified novel putative analgesic targets for burns pain, breast cancer-induced bone pain and vincristine-induced neuropathy, and has made key contributions to our understanding of the molecular mechanisms leading to cold pain symptoms in chemotherapy-induced pain and the fish toxin disease ciguatera. Her research has also led to patenting of novel venom-derived drug leads that have significant potential to be developed as novel analgesics.

Irina’s goal as a teacher and mentor is to develop independent, creative and collaborative scientists and health care professionals who are critical thinkers and effective communicators. She  encourage the scientific curiosity of her students and postdocs and strives to support their individual career aspirations. She leads by example and places particular emphasis on scientific rigour, industry and community engagement as well as effective team work and collective excellence.

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Prof Kerrie Wilson

Professor Kerrie Wilson is one of Australia’s leading researchers into the science, strategy and policy of environmental conservation and management. My research program has delivered novel insights and tools to identify where maintaining or restoring natural ecosystems will support conservation and produced ground-breaking approaches for planning in conservation and agricultural landscapes.

Professor Wilson’s research has been published in high impact journals such as Nature and Science and involves collaborations with government agencies and NGOs at local, national and global levels. Kerrie is the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Sustainability Strategy) at QUT, a role in which she provides whole-of-university academic leadership of sustainability initiatives, and has also played leading roles in several large collaborative projects within Australia and internationally. Kerrie’s research leadership credentials have been recognised through appointments to numerous national and international scientific committees, including UNESCO and the Australian Heritage Council.

Kerrie’s research has had an impact in many countries and regions, ranging from the Gold Coast Hinterland to the temperate forests of Chile and the tropical rainforests of Borneo. She has
received numerous national awards, including the Prime Minister’s Prize for Life Scientist of the Year, the Australian Academy of Science Nancy Millis Medal for Women in Science, two ARC
Research Fellowships and an Australian Museum Eureka Prize for Outstanding Young Researcher.

Kerrie is grateful for the privilege of supervising and mentoring dozens of brilliant PhD, Masters and Honours students, who have gone on to high-level research and management roles in universities, government agencies and NGOs.

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A/Prof Sumaira Hasnain

A/Prof Sumaira Hasnain is a National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Career Development Fellow and Senior Research Fellow at Mater Research, where she heads the Immunopathology Research Group. Sumaira has an interest in chronic inflammatory diseases such as pulmonary fibrosis, inflammatory bowel disease and diabetes as well as infectious diseases.

In 2014, A/Prof Hasnain defined a new paradigm in immunology. She made a discovery that immune factors released from our white blood cells can improve the quality of the proteins we produce in disease. Her team developed drugs using these immune factors, attached to proteins that can target them to the live and patented this technology. Her team is doing work to confirm this drug is safe and effective with the aim of treating patients with fatty liver disease to improve their quality of life and reduce the burden on our healthcare system.

The high potential of her innovative work has been recognised through the formation of a venture capitalist funded spin-out company, Jetra Therapeutics and award of 2 follow on patents. In addition to her research, A/Prof Hasnain has made contributed significantly to scientific service, in particular to promoting equity, diversity and inclusion.

2022 Sue Wickenden Innovator of the Year Award - Finalists

WIT_Image_FINALIST TILE Bridie Schultz

Dr Bridie Schultz

Dr Bridie Schultz is committed to addressing the lack of support, career opportunities, mentoring, and professional development for Australia’s mature aged, disabled, culturally and linguistically diverse, and rural female STEMists.

Many years of working in the scientific industry inspired Bridie to focus her career on making significant improvements in how science is communicated to a variety of audiences and is passionate about ensuring that all research investments are capitalised on for the benefit of the industry, and the broader community. For the past nine years, Bridie has been working with Australian Research and Development Corporations (RDC’s), Universities and private enterprises, with the primary objective of improving the accessibility of information generated from scientific research.

In 2018 she co-founded Sativus Pty Ltd with her sister Dr Kylie Hewson to equip researchers, managers, and investors with the skills, information, and support to create, manage and communicate their best possible science.

Bridie lives by the principle that knowledge is only useful if it is shared – inspiring her to focus her career on making significant improvements in how science is communicated to a variety of audiences and is passionate about ensuring that all research investments are capitalised on for the benefit of the industry, and the broader community.

At Sativus, she led the design, development and implementation of GEMS – an online learning program by scientists, for scientists, to help each other Grow, Evolve, Mentor and Succeed. The online learning platform aims to increase scientists’ knowledge and skills in 70 different areas related to science project management, science communications and other essential skills such as collaboration, career diversity and applying for awards – all the skills scientists need to be successful but are often not formally taught.

Couple this with the ability to communicate science and improve the accessibility of the outcomes, and you create science that has impact. Every scientist supported through the Sativus GEMS program has benefited from developing these skills, which helps improve their positive impact on the community.

WIT_Image_FINALIST TILE Katie Richards

Katie Richards

Katie is an award winning legaltech entrepreneur, lawyer and educator and innovator. She is the CEO and Founder of Virtual Legal and Law on Earth and possesses nearly 20 years’ experience in the legal industry, both in Australia and internationally.

Katie built Virtual Legal, one of the first ever online law firms in Australia, experimenting with tech she discovered through attending tech events in Hong Kong, USA and the UK. She built one of the first legal chatbots in Australia and taught the Law Society and many lawyers at their conferences how to use AI in chatbots to safely guide clients without giving actual legal advice which is prohibited

Katie is passionate about giving Australians and people around the world equal access to legal help when they need it most – which inspired the creation of edtechtelelaw platform Law On Earth.  Law on Earth’s platform is a social enterprise that can save up to 90 per cent of the costs of accessing legal assistance. Hundreds of articles, videos, guides and other materials in the platform’s learning centre are available for free – empowering more people with greater access to high quality, trusted legal information and assistance.

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Mellissah Smith

Mellissah Smith is the Founder and Solutions Architect for Robotic Marketer – a world-first AI-powered marketing strategy technology platform that automates the development of marketing strategies, execution plans and provides an AI-powered management and reporting dashboard. The disruptive technology uses machine learning, big data and AI to power the performance of marketing departments around the world. The prototype was developed out of QUT under the direction of Dr Richi Nayak.

Mellissah is an Adobe Insider, a Top 100 influencer in Entrepreneurship and has been named in the Top 100 marketers globally. She’s also been published in major media publications such as Huffington Post, BRW, Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, Australian Financial Review and more.

Mellissah is also Editor in Chief of marketing/entrepreneur publication, Marketing Eye Magazine & writes for a number of editorials including Business First. She has 20k followers on LinkedIn, and 80k+ on Twitter.

2022 Inspiring Diversity in STEM Award - Finalists

AssocProfKymRae_InspiringDiversityinSTEM_WINNER

A/Prof Kym Rae

Associate Professor Kym Rae openly identifies as a physically disabled member of the STEM research community. Despite her personal challenges, she continues to work tirelessly in health research with the vision that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families have a right to equitable health outcomes compared to the rest of the Australian communities. She develops research programs through long-term foundations of mutual respect and communication with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities that ensure community voices and priorities underpin research projects. Her outstanding track record in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health research allows her to partner with communities to co-design research projects that meet community health needs and Government priorities.

Associate Professor Kym Rae is the Principal Research Fellow in Indigenous Health at Mater Research and is continuously collaborating with the Aboriginal community-controlled health sector across the country. She is nationally and internationally recognised for her expertise Indigenous maternal infant health. Her past longitudinal cohort of Aboriginal mothers and children went for 10 years and remains the largest cohort of its kind internationally. In 2020 she relocated to QLD and is growing new programs of work in partnership with the Aboriginal community-controlled health sector of QLD.

She is deeply committed to growing research skills within community and has personally mentored ~15 Aboriginal researchers as team members as they have attained further qualifications and grown their research and leadership expertise. She is currently mentoring six Early Career Researcher and five Indigenous researchers.

She is holds a significant number of committee appointments including on two different Reconciliation Action Plan Committee’s, the Equity and Diversity Committee (Mater) and co-Chair of the Indigenous Project Management
Committee (National Stillbirth Centre of Research Excellence).

While Kym’s personal passion is about the health equity for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, as a disabled woman in STEM Kym recognises that she is a distinct minority and holds that responsibility seriously. It is deeply important to Kym to be ‘visible in the STEM field’ to let women who have disabilities see that it is possible to attain leadership roles and improve outcomes for others despite personal challenges. Kym achieves through taking on every speaking opportunity she is given and openly discussing disability and managing a STEM career.

WIT_Image_FINALIST TILE Simon Button

Simon Button

Simon Button is a digital leader who values all voices and champions diversity and equity in the organisations he leads. He thrives to create teams with high levels of diversity to drive increased creativity and higher orders of innovation. Nothing gives Simon greater satisfaction than leading teams by giving people the time and space to develop, learn and deliver outstanding outcomes under his stewardship. He believes that one of the most important responsibilities modern, contemporary digital leaders have is to lead and mentor and shape tomorrow’s technology and business leaders so that you have a constant supply of talent and succession.

Simon is an accomplished senior executive with more than 30 years’ experience leading technology teams to drive strategic use of technology to deliver outstanding customer experiences and organisational growth. He is the current Group Chief Technology Officer at the Qscan Group and was previously the Chief Information and Strategy Officer at RSL Queensland, where he led the transformation of this 100-year-old iconic organisation into a modern, state of the art business delivering a range of health and wellbeing, accommodation, financial and employment services to the 220,000 strong veteran community in Queensland.

Simon is also a founding director of Hummingbird House Foundation, a not-for-profit that successfully delivered Hummingbird House, Queensland’s only children’s hospice to support Queensland kids who have life limiting illnesses.

 

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A/Prof Amy Mullens

A/Prof Amy Mullens is a researcher, teaching academic and practicing clinical psychologist from the University of Southern Queensland who has dedicated her career to improving the wellbeing of people from marginalised communities – including those from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds and sexually or gender diverse individuals – through research, clinical practice, leadership and advocacy.

A/Prof Amy Mullens has held numerous research, clinical and governance roles over the past 20 years. Her contributions as a leader, researcher, educator and provider of clinical/health psychology services have had a meaningful impact in the community and industry. A/Prof Mullens has worked across government, private and NGO contexts delivering psychological interventions via individual, group, and workshop formats; having worked directly with thousands of clients across her career. A/Prof Mullens has provided clinical supervision for more than 500 psychologists to date and trained hundreds of health professionals and an estimated 1700 health professional students during her career. The impact and reach of A/Pro Mullens’ impact has also created a ripple effect through the numerous organisations where her input has directly influenced models of care, quality of health service delivery, clinical supervision, applied research, novel health promotion and clinical governance.

WIT_Image_FINALIST TILE Jyoti Sharma

Dr Jyoti Sharma

Dr Jyoti Sharma’s passion to support STEM education encouraged her to formulate new schemes for female researchers, STEM professionals and students from lower socio-economic and culturally diverse backgrounds. She has facilitated more than 4000 female scientists and hundreds of school students in science and technology areas across the world. She formally documented their challenges and issues so these can be addressed through policy interventions. Dr Sharma’s current research at QUT provide her with an opportunity to investigate the factors influencing the success of women scientists and culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) students in STEM. She understands how equity and diversity are significant to achieving parity in STEM for every country, and is continuously working with the common interest of policymakers to promote equity and diversity in STEM.

Dr Sharma has a professional career spanning more than 15 years of experience in handling technology lead interventions for rural populations, especially for women and minority groups, the pharmaceutical industry, and international science and technology (S&T) cooperation. Her experience includes high-quality research, vaccine development, conceptualization, formulation, and execution of the STEM programmes and policy decisions at the ground level. During her 5 years tenure in the pharmaceutical industry, she played a significant role to make India polio-free.  Dr Sharma is a recipient of several prestigious national & international awards and published more than fifty research papers on the development of transgenics, women in science, STEM education, science diplomacy, and science communication. She is an active member of different committees working for gender parity and a regular speaker at national and international conferences, workshops, and seminars. Dr Sharma holds a doctorate in Microbiology with a PG Diploma in Pharmaceutical Regulatory Affairs and Clinical Research.

2022 Technologist of the Year Award sponsored by The University of Queensland - Finalists

Sponsored By 7aca07c0-d55a-4229-8c85-361063ceae9e
WIT_Image_FINALIST TILE Huong Nguyen

Huong Nguyen

Huong Nguyen is multi-faceted technologist with more than 30 years of experience in Banking Technology. She has led the delivery of technical projects such as PayLater – MultiPay DE and BPAY – Oracle Banking Platform – LCM – PPSR. Huong loves to explore new technology and continually challenges herself to apply new technologies into practical and more broadly accessible outcomes.

Coming to Australia as a 12 year old refugee with no English, Huong embodies the can-do attitude that is inherent to the fabric of IT in Australia. She is a passionate mentor to new graduates at
Suncorp ensuring young employees embody the organisation’s values and community culture, accelerating their integration into the organization.

Huong is also actively involved in STEM program encouraging young girls to pursue careers in IT at Suncorp and QUT. During the 2022 floods which impacted communities across Queensland and New South Wales, Huong volunteered her time to call Suncorp Insurance customers to ensure they were safe and supported.

 

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Prof Kerrie Mengersen

Prof Kerrie Mengersen is a data whisperer. Traditional data analysts are “supposed to be” behind a computer, breaking data open and listening to its stories. Instead, Kerrie was in the middle of the Amazonian jungle, hunting jaguars with 360 cameras, VR, camera traps and drones, to plan a conservation corridor through Peru. Combining new technologies, statistics and real world challenges is what inspires Kerrie to get out of bed each day. Her work takes her to Southern Africa and Indonesia and the Great Barrier Reef to help conservation agencies
save cheetahs, orangutans and corals; inside an operating theatre and cancer wards to help doctors treat patients with Parkinson’s Disease and cancer; to downtown Brisbane to help industries do business better. Kerrie gets to do research in maths, stats and computing, and works with amazing experts to translate this into solving global challenges facing our society.

As a Distinguished Professor of Statistics and Director of the Centre for Data Science at QUT, Professor Mengersen leads 100+ researchers and 80+ graduate students in mathematics, statistics,
information science, computer science and domain-specific sciences across the University.

2022 Excellence in Science Award sponsored by Mater Research - Finalists

Sponsored By Mater_Logo_Research_S_RGB-Web-w600
WIT_Image_FINALIST TILE Christine

Prof Christine Anne Beveridge

Prof Christine Anne Beveridge loves supporting those around her to do the best work they can and to support women and underrepresented groups to find their voice in science. She believes excellent science can be done in an inclusive way and has built a research Centre to prove it! She is the Director and founder of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Plant Success, a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science, an ARC Georgina Sweet Laureate Fellow, a Professor at The University of Queensland and an affiliate at the Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation.

These diverse roles have enabled her to hone a high level of scientific rigour, effective communication, and to develop a positive and supportive work-place culture. Through our Centre we are working on how to make the already existing complex knowledge of plants more useful and accessible to breeders so that we can increase the rate of food production which is needed in response to climate change and the growing global human population. In prior research, we have discovered a new plant hormone and signalling roles of sugars in shoot branching – these findings and my international profile as a Thomson Reuters highly cited researcher led to my election as the first female and first Australasian president of the International Plant Growth Substances Association.

ProfKateSchroder_ExcellenceinScience_WINNER

Prof Kate Schroder

For 20 years, Professor Kate Schroder has studied the good, bad and ugly of our immune system – how immune responses protect us from infection, but also causes several serious
human diseases. Kate is an IMB Laboratory Head, and Director of the IMB Centre for Inflammation and Disease Research. Kate’s discovery research has revealed how our body
mounts an inflammatory response. She is passionate about ensuring her research findings are applied clinically, to ensure patients suffering from inflammation-related diseases can access
disease-modifying therapies.

Kate and her collaborators developed new anti-inflammatory drug candidates that formed the basis for a UQ biotech start-up company, Inflazome. In 2020, the pharmaceutical giant Roche acquired Inflazome for AUD$620 million plus milestones, in a landmark deal for academic intellectual property. Two drug candidates are now poised for Phase 2 human clinical trials as novel anti-inflammatory therapeutics.

Kate regularly works with industry to guide commercial programs, serving on the Scientific Advisory Boards for biotech and pharmaceutical companies (e.g. Inflazome, Novartis).

In addition to her passion for inflammation biology, Kate is a skilled mentor for junior researchers. She is a passionate advocate for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in academia, and is leading cultural change at IMB and UQ. She helped to establish the IMB Women in Science and Technology Fund to assist women in overcoming the barriers to their career progression.

 

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Prof Michelle Colgrave

Prof Michelle Colgrave is a Professor of Food and Agricultural Proteomics, and chief investigator on the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Innovations in Peptide and Protein
Science.

Prof Colgrave is one of CSIRO’s most exciting mid-career scientists. She has developed an international reputation in the measurement of proteins in food products and
applied this to the deregulation of breakthrough commercial products such as gluten-free barley for coeliacs and omega-3 canola to replace fish oil.

Michelle leads CSIRO’s $100M Future Protein Mission which brings together diverse science disciplines from across the innovation system to create new protein-based products, companies, and industries. She deftly communicates her science and translation through science publication and the media. She supervises and mentors early career scientists through her CSIRO and university appointments.