Australia’s most iconic magazine, The Australian Women’s Weekly, together with Qantas, is pleased to announce the 2017 winners for the fifth annual Women of the Future awards.
This year’s Judges’ Choice winner is Saskia Hampele, founder of Gift Box, a social enterprise that distributes tampons to homeless women in Australia. Saskia, 33, from Melbourne, was appalled to discover homeless women were using newspapers, old rags, socks and even dead leaves to manage their periods. Through a Gift Box membership, tampons are donated one-for-one to homeless women.
As the recipient of a $25,000 scholarship fund and a Qantas travel bursary valued at $25,000, Saskia is confident she can grow awareness of the issue. “The Women of the Future scholarship will let us market and advertise Gift Box, which means more subscribers and more women we can help,” she says.
The Judges’ Special Mention winner, Mikayla Ivanov from Brisbane, and the People’s Choice winner, Emily Whish-Wilson from Melbourne, have also been recognised for their incredible efforts. Both have been awarded with a $12,500 scholarship fund and $12,500 Qantas travel bursary. Mikayla is the co-founder of The Tippy Toe Co., a ballet school for children with special needs, which also provides an inclusive environment for its students and parents. Emily is the creator of Bustle Bags therapy backpacks for children with autism and high anxiety. With their scholarship funds, Mikayla hopes to train additional teaching staff, purchase equipment and introduce new programs, and Emily will travel for research and development.
Judged by some of Australia’s most distinguished women, including the Minister for Foreign Affairs, The Hon. Julie Bishop, Ita Buttrose AO OBE, Lucy Turnbull AO, Lisa Wilkinson AM, Yassmin Abdel-Magied, Qantas’ Olivia Wirth and The Australian Women’s Weekly’s Editor-in-Chief, Nicole Byers, the scholarship program, which awards and celebrates young female talent and entrepreneurship, has unearthed some of Australia’s most spirited and dynamic young women, passionate about science, medicine, body image, education, health and the arts.
“This year’s finalists provided our judges with an extremely challenging task. Each of the women is achieving incredible things in her field and will inevitably go on to instil positive change in the community. We are so delighted to award Saskia Hampele, Mikayla Ivanov and Emily Whish-Wilson in this year’s program,” says Nicole Byers.
The winners of The Australian Women’s Weekly Qantas Women of the Future awards were announced today at a luncheon at The Langham hotel, Sydney. The event was hosted by Lisa Wilkinson and attended by The Hon. Dame Quentin Bryce in her role as Patron of the awards, together with The Hon. Julie Bishop, Ita Buttrose, Lucy Turnbull, past and present winners, nominees and guests.
The November issue of The Australian Women’s Weekly, featuring the winners and finalists is on newsstands tomorrow.
The Australian Women’s Weekly and Qantas would like to congratulate the other seven finalists: Laura Dagley, medical research scientist developing cheap and reliable blood tests; Apajok Biar, advocate for South Sudanese youth; Whitney Yip, co-founder of a social enterprise to protect children from sexual abuse; Lauren Shuttleworth, founder of a print and stationery social enterprise to fund education for girls in the developing world; Pip Harvey Ross, works to build housing for abandoned and orphaned Tanzanian children; Karlie Noon, astrophysics student, Indigenous astronomer and mentor to Indigenous youth; Robyn Papworth, creator of sensory gardens for children with special needs.