Women in Industry 2020 Winners

The winners of the Women in Industry awards for 2020 have been announced. Women representing some of Australia’s leading companies in the industrial sector have been recognised for their achievements in their workplaces.

The 2020 Women in Industry (WII) Awards recognise and reward the achievements of women working within various industries including logistics and transport.

The annual WII event is an opportunity to highlight excellence and is a form of empowerment for women by putting the spotlight on female rising stars changing the agenda across a depth of sectors represented.

Kelly Godeau, AMGC director and member of this year’s WII judging panel, says the WII awards are an important reminder of the outstanding work that is being achieved, and a chance to recognise all women who have been nominated. “At the same time, we must pause regularly to celebrate the small wins along the way,” she says.

“We saw nominations from some of Australia’s largest businesses through to smaller companies that expressed the same large size of pride on the work their female staff contributed. The level of commitment these nominees dedicated to their roles exceeded what would be deemed necessary. It really is a proud moment for these women and our industry.”


Social Leader of the Year

Jackie Lewis-Gray – BAE Systems Australia

Rising Star of the Year

Alicia Heskett – Shell Australia (QGC)

Business Development Success of the Year

Rachael Ashfield – ifm efector

Industry Advocacy Award

Rose Read – National Waste & Recycling Industry Council

Safety Advocacy Award

Nadine Youssef – Sydney Trains

Mentor of the Year

Dayle Stevens – AGL Energy

Excellence in Manufacturing

Rochelle Avinu – Leica Biosystems

Excellence in Mining

Sarah Withell – BHP

Excellence in Engineering

Elizabeth Taylor – RedR International

Excellence in Transport

Melissa Strong – Lindsay Australia Limited


Melissa Strong, Excellence in Transport winner, says she feels very fortunate to have found an industry she is passionate about working for. She believes there is more work to be done around diversity and inclusion and providing a framework that will help businesses integrate this as part of their overall business strategy.

“The variety of opportunity within the Transport Industry is extensive, as an essential service, the current pandemic environment we are now all learning how to operate in, has highlighted to the broader community the importance of our industry,” she says. Melissa hopes to set an example in encouraging others to seek opportunities in transport. “It doesn’t matter where someone starts out, but to keep learning and be open to opportunities. You never know where it will lead you.”

Melissa Donald, NAWO Board Member, and member of this year’s WII judging panel, congratulates the 2020 winners, whose achievements can inspire more women and men to pursue careers in operations, and continue to drive better gender balance across all industries.


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