The Australian Women’s Weekly AGL Women Of The Future Awards

Posted 6 September 2018 in Announcement

The Australian Women’s Weekly and AGL Energy hosted the 6th annual Women of the Future (WoTF) awards ceremony at Quay, Circular Quay.

The prestigious event, which celebrates inspiring young women who are making a difference, featured WoTF judge and Member for Curtin The honourable Julie Bishop, in her first public address since resigning as Foreign Minister.

Her 20-minute address to the audience gave a compelling overview of her thoughts around what’s desperately wrong with the current workplace environment in Canberra and why we should be ashamed of the dearth of female parliamentarians in Australia.

The Honourable Julie Bishop commented: “Recent events have given rise to a much broader debate around the workplace culture in Canberra. Allegations of bullying, intimidation harassment, coercion and the unfair and unequal treatment of women. Unacceptable workplace practices are the responsibility of us all to identify, to stop it, to fix it.

“I firmly believe that no nation will reach its potential unless it fully embraces the talent, skill, energy, intellect and ideas of the 50 percent of its population that is female. It is not acceptable for us to have, in 2018, less than 25 percent of female parliamentarians.”

This was followed by a topical and lively panel discussion between; ABC journalist, Sarah Ferguson; Ronni Kahn, founder and CEO, OzHarvest Australia and Sunrise co-host Samantha Armytage.

Ms. Bishop, who sat next to her partner David Panton at the event, delivered a powerful address which was met with huge applause and concluded with a message to the young women of Australia to believe in themselves and not let others determine who they are or what they do.

The panel spoke about what it took to make a great leader, particularly for women. Sarah raised the importance of females putting their emotional intelligence as well as their intelligence first. Ronni Kahn, spoke of the need for a laser like focus and not allowing yourself to be distracted from your main focus in order to engineer change. The difficulties of navigating your way around a male dominated industry, and how you didn’t have to act like a man to make it to the top.

 The Australian Women’s Weekly AGL WoTF patron, the Honourable Dame Quentin Bryce then took to the stage to participate in an inspiring Q&A with event host Virginia Trioli, co-host of ABC News Breakfast.

The Australian Women’s Weekly AGL WoTF initiative is a key component of the The Weekly’s long-standing commitment to support and promote the female leaders of tomorrow. For the first time, nominees entered across three unique categories: Innovation and TechnologyEntrepreneur and Business, and Community, Health and Charity, with the winner of each category receiving over $70,000 in cash and prizes to help further their causes and follow their dreams.

23-year-old Ally McLean took home the Innovation and Technology award, thanks to her ground-breaking work promoting women’s progression in the male-dominated gaming industry. Her mentorship platform The Working Lunch, pairs entry-level women with experienced women in the industry.

Jasiri Australia founder, ACT’s Caitlin Figueiredo, took centre stage to pick up the Community Health and Charity award. A survivor of gender-based violence, Caitlin co-founded Jasiri Australia at just 21 to educate women on resilience and skills to both avoid or stop assaults.

Within the Entrepreneur and Business category, Melbourne’s Sarah Moran was the overall winner. Sarah is the co-founder of Geek Girl Academy, an initiative that aims to place one million women into the tech start-up industry by 2025.

These three remarkable young women were awarded by a panel of Australia’s most influential women; returning WoTF judges The honourable Julie Bishop, MP; Ita Buttrose; Lisa Wilkinson and The Australian Women’s Weekly Editor-in-Chief Nicole Byers, along with new judges Tanya Plibersek; Lisa Harrington, Executive General Manager, Stakeholder Relations, AGL; and Ronni Kahn.

Principal sponsor AGL was impressed with the calibre of award finalists. “It’s been wonderful to see such a talented group of women recognised for their ideas and passions,” says AGL General Manager Product and Marketing, Alison Wild.

The Australian Women’s Weekly’s Women of the Future is a fantastic recognition of the younger female generation’s innovation, so AGL could not be more pleased to be a collaborator with this prestigious program.”

The Weekly’s Editor-in-Chief Nicole Byers is understandably proud of the 2018 WoTF campaign, saying “To say we were impressed by the calibre of entries in this year’s awards is an understatement. All nine finalists have accomplished so much, breaking ground in their respective fields, and it’s truly exciting to anticipate what they’ll do next.

“I’d like to sincerely thank AGL, our patron and the award judges, panellists and of course, finalists, for allowing The Weekly to keep telling the stories of Australian women. We look forward to continuing on our path to deliver a bright female future.”

The October issue of The Australian Women’s Weekly, featuring the AGL Women of the Future Awards winners is on sale Monday, 10th September. #womenofthefuture18

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