The 10th Women in Industry Awards recognised outstanding women across the industrials sector, acknowledging exceptional work and dedication.
Recognising and celebrating the women who are driving change in the industrials sector is an important step in breaking down barriers and creating new possibilities for the next generation.
Each year sees the Women in Industry Awards seek to do just that – and the 2023 iteration was no different.
Held in Melbourne on June 8, this year’s awards celebrated nominees and winners across 11 categories.
The awards acknowledged the hard work and dedication of all women across industries such as mining, road transport, manufacturing, engineering, logistics, bulk handling, waste management, rail and infrastructure.
Business Development Success of the Year
Recognising an individual who has created new growth opportunities for their organisation to expand and generate greater revenue, Stefanie Frawley was the worthy winner of this award.
Frawley is the Director Portfolio Management at TMX, an end-to-end supply chain consultant. She received the award for her introduction of the portfolio management service, something Frawley identified was a gap in the market for her clients.
The service helped to attract new customers and expand TMX’s revenue streams.
Excellence in Construction
This category recognises an individual who has made a positive contribution to one of the many facets of the construction industry.
Trudy Grimshaw, director at the Department of Treasury and Finance, Western Australia, took home this award for her contributions to construction in the public health sector.
Grimshaw has been involved in the construction of many major WA health projects, including Perth Children’s Hospital, Telethon Kids Institute and the Bunbury Hospital redevelopment.
Excellence in Engineering
The award for Excellence in Engineering recognises an individual who has shown leadership in engineering, technological excellence and innovation.
Elsa Antunes took home the 2023 award for her work in pioneering low-energy, cost-efficient and small-scale carbon devices.
“You know, this is not just about women, but how we are making an impact in society,” Antunes said in her acceptance speech.
As a senior lecturer in mechanical engineering at James Cook University, Antunes collaborated with Griffith and Flinders University to secure $600,000 in funding for the Australian Research Council Discovery project.
Discussing her nomination prior to the awards, Antunes thanked her mentors and colleagues.
“This was not possible without the support of my nominator Clair Stark, my mentors Rabin Tuladhar, Ron White and Colin Raston, my colleagues and especially the amazing work of my students and postdocs at James Cook University,” Antunes said in a LinkedIn post.
Excellence in Manufacturing
Kristi Riordan, co-founder and chief executive officer of Harvest B, took home this award, which recognises an individual who has thought ‘outside the box’ to implement an outstanding personal contribution to their business and the wider manufacturing community.
Riordan co-founded Harvest B in 2020 as an Australian start-up that develops and manufactures wholesale plant-based meats.
“Thank you to Women in Industry for your 2023 awards night, and the work you do to recognise the important role of women across highly technical industries,” Riordan said.
“For 20 years, I’ve worked in industries around the world where women are underrepresented. As a society, we have moved the needle toward greater gender participation in highly technical and well-paid professions, and yet there is still much left to accomplish.
“Today, women make up only 27 per cent of Australia’s manufacturing workforce. One of the biggest challenges I hear from other manufacturing leaders is the difficulty in hiring qualified employees to fuel their growth.
“Moments such as this re-energise me with the potential for the future we can create with more women leaders and a more diversified economy.
“Let’s keep telling the stories of women in industry to raise awareness, build confidence and grow access to bring more women into industries where they belong.”
Excellence in Mining
The Excellence in Mining award recognises an individual who has made a positive contribution to one of the many facets of the mining industry. The worthy winner of this year’s award was Ashara Moore, portfolio lead at BHP.
Moore, who was “honoured’ when named a finalist of the award, commenced her career as a site engineer, working on projects across Australia. Her experience led her to her current role where she leads her own team of project managers and engineers.
“I would love to start with thanking Weir Minerals for sponsoring this award,” Moore said in her speech.
“The video that they played this evening really embodies how I feel about resources. And as you can see, they spoke quite a lot to STEM (science, technology, engineering and math).
“And it’s something I’m very passionate about as an engineer … and a PhD student in sustainable management in the mining sector.”
Moore has established cultural and improvement initiatives at BHP and is actively involved in volunteering and championing fundraising initiatives. She also gives guest lectures on mine operations at Griffith University.
Commenting on the awards, Weir Minerals expressed pride in its sponsorship of the category.
“Weir Minerals is proud to be supporting the Women in Industry’s Excellence in Mining category, highlighting inspirational female leaders, pioneering initiatives and exceptional talent of today and tomorrow,” the company said.
“The Women in Industry Awards align with Weir’s own global inclusion and diversity agenda to ensure we develop a culture where everyone’s voice is heard, and where we care for, respect and encourage each other, helping to champion gender equality within our business and our industry.”
Excellence in Transport
Coralie Chapman, national logistics manager at Humes Concrete Products, was the recipient of the Excellence in Transport award, which seeks to recognise an individual who has gone above and beyond to improve and positively impact the Australian transport industry.
“I love working in transport and have loved it since day one,” Chapman said in her acceptance speech.
“I’m going to leave you with just one little thing that was said to me by someone who is a very good friend, and it’s something I think every woman in this room and every man in this room can take away tonight.
“I hope that instead of saying ‘male dominated’, which can sound very threatening, especially for young women, change it to ‘predominantly male’, because it doesn’t sound as threatening and actually sounds more inviting. I think it’s a big step towards getting more women into any predominantly male industry.”
As national logistics manager, Chapman has spent time volunteering, advocating, mentoring and representing the transport and logistics industry and has a passion for encouraging women to choose transport as a career path.
This award recognises an individual who has helped shape a positive view of their industry and/or helped to create a policy change that benefits those working in the sector.
Jemma Walshe, community and stakeholder relations manager at Fulton Hogan, took home this year’s award for her work across the construction industry.
Having worked in the industry for more than 14 years, Walshe has driven several key outcomes for the sector, including positive community engagement outcomes, inclusive communications and physical and psychological safety.
Walshe is also a pioneer in establishing a “speak up” culture in the industry to encourage more people to speak out about potential safety hazards.
Mentor of the Year
This award recognises an individual who has demonstrated a commitment to developing female talent within their organisation or wider industry.
Teagan Dowler was this year’s worthy winner.
Dowler is the director and founder of the BWC, a business consultancy that specialises in equity, diversity and inclusion. Through the BWC, Dowell provides monthly online coaching and career development programs and free career resources.
She has dedicated her career to supporting women in industry, launching the Industry Chat interview series, which showcases the experiences and achievements of women across different sectors.
Rising Star of the Year
The Rising Star of the Year award recognises an individual who has shown significant promise within their chosen industry or who has reached new goals at the start of their career.
This year’s winner was Sophia Kurianski, founder and chief executive officer of Jinolo, a 3D collaboration start-up that helps industrial design and engineering teams save time and money when working with external clients and suppliers.
At just 24, Kurianski has worked with more than 100 engineers and designers in Australia, the US and the UK, and remains committed to innovation and collaboration.
“Upon starting this journey into engineering, I realised that the stereotypes are still unfortunately very real,” she said.
“And a lot of my projects at university and in the workplace have been very male dominated. I’d like to say thank you and congratulate every single woman in this room. You’re doing really amazing things and I’m just so honoured to be in a room full of such amazing women in this industry.”
Category sponsor Atlas Copco said diversity is a key contributor to a businesses’ long-term success.
“The Women in Industry Awards is a special way in which we can show our commitment to advancing the gender balance in industry,” the company said.
“As a global company, Atlas Copco recognises the link between diversity and innovation and contributing to these awards is just one way that we can show that Atlas Copco recognises the talent and achievement of females across our industry.”
Safety Advocate of the Year
Giselle Phillips, HSEQ (health, safety environment and quality) advisor at Fredon, was named the Safety Advocate of the Year for her passion for health and safety.
Phillips has been instrumental in pioneering change within Fredon by driving the use of technology to streamline compliance training and competencies, while also being proactive in delivering mental health and wellbeing initiatives.
“This is a celebration not only for me but for the team as well because we are making change in our field,” Phillips said in her acceptance speech.
“Women are not in competition with each other. We need to advocate and help each other to get where we need to be. So this is not only for me, but also for every woman that is in the room.”
Phillips was a double winner on the night, receiving the Woman of the Year award in addition to being named Safety Advocate of the Year.
This article was originally published by Australian Mining on July 3, 2023.