The Australian Women’s Weekly and AGL Energy hosted the 6th annual
Women of the Future (WoTF) awards ceremony at Quay, Circular Quay on Wednesday.
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 about 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 per cent of its population that is female. It is not
acceptable for us to have, in 2018, less than 25 per cent of female parliamentarians.”
Bishop delivered a powerful address which was met with 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.
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
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 a male-dominated industry, and how women do not 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
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
Technology, Entrepreneur and Business, and Community, Health and Charity, with the
winner of each category receiving over $70,000 in chase and prizes to help further their
causes and follow their dreams.
Twenty-three-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 including 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,” said 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 said: “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