Our Nominees

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Aimee Rogers. In her role as Geology Manager, Aimee manages the only department within Northern Star Resources with 50% females. She has achieved this by identifying key roles that can be filled on a flexible and part-time basis to encourage women to return to work after having a family. By coaching and mentoring her team and peers, Aimee has built a high-performing Geology team who deliver high-quality results. She implemented a Graduate Geologist program to retain geologists, which has positively impacted voluntary turnover rates. She provided on the job mentoring and training to employees, enabling unskilled, local workers to get their foot in the door in the mining industry. Aimee volunteers her time for community events to foster interest in the field of Geology, including the GEMIA Careers Expo and Heartwalk 2018.

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Alison Barnes. With a demonstrated ability to dive deep into new technologies, Alison presented an articulate business case for the purchase of a robotic system after only 3 days on the job!  She quickly came up to speed with robotic control software and hardware systems and led a team of Woodside staff on an intensive course at the Johnson Space Centre as part of their collaboration with NASA. In her current role as Head of Robotics, Alison leads Woodside internal trials of robotic equipment on operational sites and Woodside’s external collaboration partnerships with local WA Universities, NASA, University of Texas, CSIRO, University of Queensland, and Clearpath Robotics amongst others. Her robot has already been deployed to handle hazardous situations on a mine site. She is passionate about STEM careers and regularly host kids in the robotics lab. She developed and deployed activity sheets for school kids to try to solve a real business problems using robotic solutions. Alison is a community volunteer at Ronald McDonald House Charities, and an Emerging Leader in Philanthropy team member for Perth Children’s Hospital Foundation in Perth.

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Alexandra Myer. Faced with the challenge of a lack of STEM subject selections when she started her new career as a computing teacher at Ashdale Secondary College in 2013, Alex used her industry background to create and implement inspirational new courses for the students. She established an after-school AV club and provided meaningful experiences by engaging students in successful real-world projects, some of which have received national recognition. Alex consistently demonstrates a fresh, innovative approach to improving education outcomes and strives to make a lasting impact that reaches beyond the College. Alex was the driving force behind the inaugural Ashdale STEM expo which inspired over 1700 visitors and involved many partnerships from both industry and further education, resulting in newspaper articles, letters of recognition and praise for her leadership of this outstanding whole-school initiative.

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Allyson Woodford. With extensive experience in the Oil and Gas industry, Allyson is a champion of continuous improvement. Through positive leadership, empowered teams and innovation she has been responsible for implementing nearly $100M in change initiatives on a site with ~400 people. Over the years her knowledge and innovative solutions have resulted in significant cost savings. Allyson is a vocal and passionate proponent of diversity, women in STEM, young leaders and innovation. She was an inaugural mentor for the UQ EAIT Meet a Mentor program, set up a Technical Women's Network and has regularly been invited to be a panel speaker, moderator, conference speaker on topics such as risk, women in STEM, first-year engineering and chemical engineering worldwide. One of her proudest achievements was the creation of an Emerging Leaders Development Program for Caltex Australia. The initial intake was the most diverse cohort ever created within the refinery: 50:50 male to female; 50:50 engineer to non-engineer and more than 20% of the cohort coming from a non-English speaking background and one member who gave birth between the final two sessions.

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Alysia Kepert. Alysia is a passionate leader in agricultural education with an extensive national network of agriculturalists and educators who is committed to supporting and building the future capacity by increasing the agricultural literacy of everyone she meets - students, teachers, politicians, the general public, colleagues and others in a range of connected industries. She has a vision for the future of the agricultural industry, especially around attracting and retaining youth within it. She embraces challenge and continually looks for effective and efficient ways to integrate the agricultural context into existing curriculum delivery. At every opportunity, she gives willingly of her time to share her extensive knowledge. She has volunteered her time on weekends to run a series of teacher tours to help support the new food and fibre curriculum in WA. She helps external stakeholders to reach their target teacher audiences more effectively. Alysia is a member of AgConnect, an organisation consisting of young people working in agriculture where she shares her experience with the up and coming agriculturalists. In her role as President of the Agricultural Educators Association of WA, she has developed a scholarship to attract tertiary agriculture graduates to undertake a diploma of education to become agriculture teachers.

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Amy Kapernick. Amy is a freelance developer who has forged her path by starting her own business at only 20 years of age. With several academic awards to her name, she regularly shares her knowledge with her peers and the next generation of developers by mentoring, coaching, teaching and feeding into the tech community in many ways. Amy can be found volunteering her time with Fenders, Perth Web Girls and YOW! Conference as well as sharing her knowledge and experience on her blogs. Amy will be a keynote speaker at the upcoming ACS diversity dinner.

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Angela Pak. Angela is the Partner in charge of the WA Technology Risk and Cyber Security practice at KPMG. Angela is a highly respected practitioner in the WA tech risk/cyber community who often flies ‘under the radar’ due to the sensitive nature of her work. Angela has recently returned to the firm after 14 months on maternity leave and it has opened her eyes to the challenges of balancing family and career.  Angela is currently leading a number of strategic initiatives at KPMG to increase gender balance in a male dominated technology practice with particular focus on career planning, career progression while on maternity leave, flexible work arrangements and connected communities for female technologists.  Angela is active in a number of industry groups having previously presented at conferences held by the Australian Institute of Internal Auditors, Business Continuity Institute, Australian Computer Society and Information Systems Audit and Control Association.  Angela is a role model who inspires and mentors emerging leaders as well as cyber-security resources nationwide. Angela is a champion for KPMG’s Diversity and Inclusion strategy and is passionate about both gender and cultural representation in the workplace.

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Anita Pages-Oliver. As a 20 year veteran of the recruitment industry and the founding director of Sense Group, Anita is passionate about helping people and businesses connect on a personal level and aspire to succeed.  Authenticity is the name of Anita’s game and she not only thrives to achieve this personally, but inspires the whole Sense Recruitment team to be the same.  In the 20 years since joining the IT Recruitment Industry, Anita has earned the respect and admiration of the industry, both employers and jobseekers alike.  She shows a unique ability to understand roles, companies and the personalities involved to provide a perfect match for all concerned.  Ensuring that her business is all about people before profit, she has enabled and shaped careers, making it all about the person - in the most human sense - whilst in the process running a successful Tech driven business.   A big believer in diversity in the workplace, she has promoted and developed women in IT - and her own businesses - to become renowned for this amongst the Perth Technology market.   Anita couples this with innovative mentorship with programmes such as “Rare Birds”, “GoGirlGoForIT” and “Just Start IT” which promoted and facilitated young women to take an active interest in IT. Sense Recruitment, under the guidance of Anita, has become one of the most well known brands within the recruitment market in Western Australia.  It would be hard to find any key influential person in Perth that doesn’t know or hasn’t worked with Anita.  

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Anle-Marne Pretorius. Anle manages a consulting team for Empired delivering technological solutions all over Perth. Her leadership team is currently 50% female and happy to report that she has an ever-growing contingent of female consultants joining her team. She is a passionate leader who leads by example, pushing her own boundaries in the same way her team pushes the boundaries of technology. She is the vice-chair for ACS-WA and co-chair for ACS Diversity and an active advocate for equality and STEM education.

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Anne Furey. Anne is one of Australia’s leading specialist in the preparation of competitive Government Grant applications and provides services to clients across all sectors, ensuring that the application meets the requirements of the grant program to a high level. Anne is well known in the innovation community and is one of Australia's most successful writers of competitive grant applications having secured innovation clients more than $20 million funding to support commercialisation activity.  With a focus and commitment to assisting business and NFP clients such as WiTWA to secure government funding to meet their objectives, Anne continues to be a leading supporter of the WA innovation community.

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Anya Nova. Anya is a crypto economist at Power Ledger which is one of Australia’s most exciting and respected blockchain companies.   Power Ledger’s goal is to help everyday people get access to clean and cheap energy. Power Ledger completed Australia’s first Initial Coin Offering, raising $34 million dollars in addition to receiving a further $8 million dollar contribution from the Federal government for its Smart Cities program.   Crypto economics is an emerging field that combines blockchain technology, financial markets, business models and game theory. As a crypto economist, Anya has an exciting job of trying to master all of the above, understand what’s essential and what’s not and design new cutting-edge software products for Power Ledger’s customers.  Much of her time is spent coming up with ideas for things that have not been done before. Prior to her role as a crypto economist, Anya ran a startup accelerator for young tech businesses. She was instrumental in attracting 50 technical and business mentors to support startups in getting their ideas to market and providing seed investment where it was needed most.  Anya is particularly proud of the 3 women-led startups that graduated the challenging 6-month program and went on to launch their offering. She was there with the female founders every step of the way through the ups and downs of establishing an early stage business. Having been a founder herself, Anya found that compassion for the entrepreneurs came naturally. Prior to running an accelerator, Anya launched her own tech startup which helped women get anonymous professional support in times of crisis.  When not reading about blockchain technology or speaking at blockchain events, Anya does yoga and have volunteered as a yoga teacher at the Association for Refugee Survivors of torture and trauma.  

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Bex Hirdman. As a professional working in digital forensics, Bex thrives on facing new challenges every day, helping clients who have lost all hope of obtaining access to critical information and demonstrates tenacity in her search and analysis of digital evidence to assist with fraud and misconduct investigations. Bex is passionate about helping women succeed in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) careers and is always willing to help people develop their knowledge, skills and confidence. This includes mentoring high-school students attending the Girls Programming Network at Edith Cowan University and providing encouragement and career advice to members of the Australian Women in Security Network (AWSN). Bex has demonstrated thought leadership by sharing her knowledge of digital forensics and cyber-security through presentations at community forums and events held by AWSN and the Australia Information Security Association. As the current Chair of the Inclusion and Diversity Committee at BDO in WA, Bex is focusing on addressing unconscious bias and improving the representation of women in leadership positions. This year, Bex implemented the first workplace integrated learning program at BDO for Computing and Security Science students with the aim of providing a positive and enriching environment for university students to develop their professional skills with valuable, hands-on industry experience in cyber-security and digital forensics.

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Brenda Lai. As co-founder of social enterprise Unocart, Brenda epitomises the concept of personal determination. She is a passionate advocate for the WA start-up ecosystem and often mentors other women in this space. Brenda shares her knowledge and experience by volunteering to speak at a variety of events such as ProductTank and has helped to inspire the next generation by speaking to students at WiTWA’s Techtrails incursions. Brenda can also be found giving back to the wider community by donating her time to Food Rescue and OzHarvest as well as ensuring that a percentage of the profits from Unocart are directed towards helping to feed the homeless.

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Brenda van Rensburg. Brenda is currently studying law at Murdoch University with a focus on cyber law, as well as completing a full-time TAFE course in Cyber Security. She is passionate about all things STEM and inspiring the next generation of kids with technology, coding, space technology and entrepreneurship. She is the founder of AustraliaLearningCode.com and through her SpaceTripreneur and TechCamps4Kids programs, she has the school holidays filled with exciting STEM activities. Through collaboration with schools and communities, Brenda is teaching, sharing and inspiring West Australians young and old with her love of STEM.

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Cairo Malet. As a woman in Cyber-Security, Cairo has always been keenly aware that her industry lacks diversity. With only 10% females in her field, she has worked hard to not only make her own way, but to help other women to do the same. In her role as acting WA Chapter Lead for the Australian Women in Security Network (AWSN) Cairo not only organises numerous AWSN events but also promotes other welcoming and inclusive events to help connect and develop Perth women working or interested in Cyber-Security. She actively encourages and assists women looking to break into the field by sharing advice along with her knowledge and experience. Cairo volunteers her time to speak at various events (including DDD and ECU’s Digiweek for students) to educate and encourage the wider community to consider a career in cyber-security.

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Camille Woodthorpe. As an avid futurist Camille is passionate about frontier technologies, and VR/AR is her current area of speciality. She believes there is tremendous potential in these technologies and is dedicated to focussing her career on these opportunities and the benefits that they can impart on the world. She was the lead developer on a world-first consumer VR experience experience for the first aid industry for the medical industry, designed to reduce pain and anxiety in patients, and worked on VR safety training for WA’s mine workers amongst other innovative projects designed to improve the world we live in. Camille is a strong advocate for mentoring in STEM, actively pursuing opportunities to mentor others and striving to raise interest and awareness in STEM. She was a mentor and Diversity Project manager at CoderDojo WA, setting up coding clubs in female-only schools and researching initiatives which could be taken to attract and retain young females to the world of coding. She has also been a regular volunteer STEM mentor for ‘The Innovators Tea Party.’ Camille actively pursues speaking opportunities with an overall aim to raise awareness and excitement about fields such as VR and Games Development. She believes STEM will drive our future and intends to continue sharing its potential with the younger generation, role-modelling how women can excel in technical positions.

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Cettina Raccuia. As the Innovation Capability Manager for RAC WA, Cettina shares her skills, knowledge and innovation processes to help various business units solve issues using new approaches. Cettina is always willing to help teams with their challenges and, even with a full workload, she accepts opportunities to help support the innovation community both internally and externally. Her understated style sees her working hard and often letting the team or the project shine. Cettina has demonstrated exceptional leadership, mentored leaders and created beneficial partnerships both at RAC as well as the broader Western Australian innovation community. She has also mentored in a range of innovation and entrepreneurship events across WA including the Curtin Ignition program and Social Impact Startup Weekend. In her speaking and mentoring roles, her talents in critical thinking and creativity shine through. She is genuinely interested in contributing to the greater good and has a strong sense of social justice in her working and voluntary roles. She is known for her strong work ethic as well as her humour and playfulness

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Chelsea Williams. Chelsea has led a diverse career, spanning Academic Research, Engineering, Product Management, and Innovation. The theme of Chelsea’s career has been helping people transform their work leveraging innovative methods and technologies. An example of Chelsea’s determination has been the development and adoption of a mobile application to assist frontline staff at South32’s operations. She also established teams at South32’s Worsley operation for innovative robotics, and work planning solutions, and has led many organisational firsts, such as utilising DevOps, Continuous Delivery, and Design Thinking. The robotics team are now using various robotic technologies to completely remove personnel from many high-risk activities. Some quirky examples of Chelsea’s leadership are, using a Lord of the Rings themed futurespective to help the team anticipate the road ahead, giving “cat meme” awards to a person who has shown tenacity in solving a problem, and mentoring high school students to consider STEM at the Innovator’s Tea Party. Overall, Chelsea is a passionate leader who excels at building high performing teams by empowering team members to maintain a focus on learning, development and coaching.

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Chris Erikson. Perhaps the greatest testimony to Chris Erikson’s tireless commitment and contribution to innovation is her latest appointment as Program Director Automation at Roy Hill where she is instrumental leveraging technology in new and innovative ways at Roy Hill. Here she is faced with significant opportunities on a daily basis but significant opportunities also bring with them notable challenges and Chris thrives on addressing these not only with tenacity, determination and grit but especially with a good dose of innovation. Chris is a forward thinking, visionary, strategic thinker with the ability to bring disparate groups together and forge common interests among a range of industry players. She is an enthusiastic and positive leader and her solutions focused approach to opportunities and challenges, often in the face of opposition, has seen her deliver cross-functional collaboration across planning and operations.

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Claire McGregor. Claire started her career as a veterinary surgeon before training herself in multiple IT fields whilst working for UK-based e-commerce start-up, MedicAnimal.com. She then established Perth's first tech accelerator program, a chapter of the Founders Institute, which she ran for its first two years. Claire became a founder and entrepreneur when she joined Stuart Hall to form Appbot and has since grown that business to serve over 35% of the world's top charting app developers, 98% of which are outside Australia. Claire is a regular speaker and participant in female founder sessions for the start-up community. As part of the organising team for the first StartupWeekend in Perth, Claire is seen as a leader in the local start-up community. She is always keen to help new founders and particularly female founders on their journey. Claire is highly sought after and respected by her peers in the WA start-up ecosystem, having mentored more than 30 start-ups.

Claire Rushe. Upon completion of her Masters in Engineering at Cambridge University, Claire spent the formative years of her career at the Ministry of Defence in the UK, before moving into Investment Banking. Her 11 years there were split between the Equity Trading desk and Transaction Banking division, both in London. In 2016, Claire relocated to Perth to establish the Australian branch of Chematek – a global Chemical and Water company, head-quartered in Italy. For the first six months, she conducted a feasibility study on the nationwide demand of oils & lubricants, constructed financial forecasts, created strategic plans, travelling across Australia and overseas to present her findings. Since then, she has grown the company to a team of seven, with staff in WA, NSW and VIC.  As an advocate for equality amongst genders, Claire established an extra parental leave policy where parents, irrelevant of gender, are entitled to an extra 4 weeks holiday per child, in addition to usual government provisions. Alongside her full-time role, Claire is a Director of Jungle Sports, a children’s sports company. Encouraging and educating families on how to lead active, healthy lifestyles is a mission that she strongly believes in. Whilst in the UK, Claire was a “Sherpa” (mentor) in the Stemettes program – encouraging and supporting young women in the last few years of school to progress into STEM subjects and careers. This program mainly focused on schools from lower socio-economic backgrounds.

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Clare Mould. Clare has built her career at the intersection of two historically male dominated fields - law and technology.  And has done so without compromising her compassion, professional empathy and commitment to her family, friends and mentees. Clare re-entered the legal profession after a short career break as a new mother, working part-time from her bedroom, and developed her skills and down-to-earth reputation whilst being the sole bread winner for her young family. No matter what the challenge thrown at Clare, she always responds with positivity, respectfulness and humour. Clare has built a reputation as being an expert in the tech and start-up arena, and boasts innovative clients in the blockchain, biotech, AI and online peer-to-peer platform and development operations spaces. When dealing with these clients, Clare demonstrates her expertise in her ability to explain complex legal and technological concepts to her clients and colleagues in simple and digestible terms. She is a vocal supporter of women in law and tech (and is particularly passionate about intersectional issues facing women of all backgrounds trying to forge a career in legal and technological fields). She collaborates with other women in the industries to achieve best results, share knowledge and develop resilience networks, and will always be the first to champion other women and introduce them to new networks. Her generosity of time and knowledge knows no bounds, and she takes young women in tech under her wing beyond just law, but also in marketing, communications and business development.

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Colleen Burgers. As a consultant, Colleen convinces a profit-driven industry to spend money on environmental obligations to ensure that they do not leave a legacy of pollution for future generations. Colleen believes that managing is about telling people what they should do and when, while leading means to share the enthusiasm and excitement of scientific discovery and allow others to forge their own path. She is also a firm believer that there are no fundamental differences in any person’s ability for understanding, there is merely a requirement for patience and good teaching. Colleen’s approach to training her colleagues is to empower them with knowledge, not just to conduct a task by learning the steps, but to understand the rationale behind vitally important field sampling methods so that the pride and ownership of a task performed well can be shared by the entire team. She strongly believes that the best leaders are the people who are able to show the most kindness and patience, not necessarily the ones who make all the right decisions. There are no stupid people, only stupid acronyms.

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Danielle Hewitt. After discovering that she had an aptitude for customer discovery and an ability to quickly build rapport with people, Danielle recently transitioned from her role as an Experimental Scientist to a new position as a Technology Transfer Advisor. In this role, she uses her skills and capabilities to understand problems in the mining sector to help colleagues develop industry-valued technologies. Her ability to speak both “science” and “business” enables her to transfer information in both directions. Danielle uses the same tools and frameworks to help others in her community. As a Director for the not-for-profit organisation, Southern District Support Association, Danielle is utilising the same concepts to help guide their strategic thinking.  She is also facilitating a business model development workshop for the Servant Leadership team at Mount Pleasant Church of Christ to help plan for the church’s future. Danielle is also using her knowledge and experience to mentor a team at UWA.

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Danielle Meyrick. As a chemist, soon to be doctor of medicine, and Chief Scientist with GenesisCare Theranostics, Danielle is passionate about accessible, affordable, progressive and compassionate medicine. She inspires others with her determination, skill, intelligence, compassion and most of all empathy for others and her general approach to life. She established the radiopharmaceutical chemistry program for radionuclide therapy for neuroendocrine tumours in Western Australia, thus facilitating the first access for patients in Australia to this novel therapy, a milestone for the field. Whilst at UWA, she established the radiopharmaceutical chemistry research program and radiopharmaceutical syllabus as part of the Masters of Pharmacy.  More recently, Danielle has been instrumental in establishing novel therapeutic nuclear oncology services in sites across Australia as Principal Radiochemist and Chief Scientist for Theranotics Australia. Through her international relationships, she has paved the way for the international referral of patients with metastatic prostate cancer to Pretoria, South Africa for therapeutic intervention not yet available in Australia. At the same time, she is working to establish the above intervention in Australia through GensesisCare, thus allowing the first access to Australian patients with cancer. She is co-investigator on two multi-centre landmark clinical trials in the emerging medical field of nuclear oncology and spearheads the growth and development of the theranostic paradigm domestically and internationally.  With a strong commitment to giving back to her profession, she has served on councils and committees for the Australian Institute of Nuclear Science and Engineering, ANSTO, and the Western Australian Curriculum Council and  Theranostics International Scientific Advisory Board, to name a few. Danielle has contributed to projects ranging from fundamental chemistry, extractive metallurgy through to nuclear oncology. She also has co-developed a sodium-ion battery technology solution with fellow Murdoch University colleague with the potential to provide cost-effective storage for sustainable energy technologies such as solar and wind power.  She has a specific interest in inspiring young scientists (e.g. addressing graduands at Monash Science School, Melbourne) and she has mentored young women through the Smith Family mentoring program and continues to mentor young girls, boys, men and women informally.

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Deanne Renting. Through her 15 year career in a variety of roles within the Oil and Gas industry, Deanne has not only found herself the only female in her team, but at times she has also been one of the few native English speakers. Spending time working in The Netherlands, Thailand and California as well as Australia, Deanne has demonstrated the ability to build relationships and communicate in various cultures and environments to achieve business results. One of her key strengths is bringing together individuals with diverse experience and backgrounds to solve complex industry problems. Deanne is a strong advocate for diversity in the workplace and has held various active roles in Chevron’s employee networks, including founding chair of Chevron’s XYZ network in Australia and past global advisory board member for this network. Chevron’s XYZ network supports employees in the X and Y generations through career development, mentoring and networking initiatives. Deanne has also mentored numerous technical professionals in the oil and gas industry, particularly women who are seeking to expand their leadership capabilities, and she is a regular speaker at internal and external events promoting diversity.

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Debbie Chiffings. As Executive Director of the Perth Children’s Hospital Project, Debbie was responsible for driving all aspects of the project which led to the successful opening of the new hospital. Through resilience and determination, she overcame the many challenges and built trust and respect as a leader. Debbie encourages diversity and has demonstrated her support of women and young people like in technology, science and innovation.

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Debbie Long. Debbie is an experienced and exceptional program manager who has a reputation for consistent, high-quality delivery, often in difficult circumstances, thanks to her strong commitment and meticulous attention to detail. She has won employee recognition awards for her inspirational project management, leadership skills and outstanding project contributions.

Deborah Yates. As an early career teacher, Debbie has shown an outstanding commitment to her own and others personal growth, proving herself capable against every challenge that has been thrown her way. A broken neck in a car accident only saw her come back more determined than ever. Debbie has made significant contributions in inspiring girls to choose STEM education pathways through her focused and innovative design of initiatives. She led the planning, development and implementation of the STEM Girls Day Camp ensuring it aligned with all aspects of the STEM curriculum. The program focused on increasing students’ global awareness and the use of STEM to solve real-world issues. This program has since formed the basis of a state-wide STEM learning project. Debbie also led a series of STEM Champions after-school workshops for parents and their children from the Cluster primary schools.
Debbie’s commitment to employing innovative and inclusive teaching strategies underpins every aspect of her planning and classroom practice. She has a passion for creating engaging units of work that are effective in inspiring her students and improving their learning. At the core of everything Debbie does, is her desire for all students to achieve success.

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Diane Harley. As a Mine Control Superintendent , remotely dispatching heavy machinery from Perth for a mine 2000kms away in the Pilbara, Di continuously inspires her team by demonstrating perseverance, determination, and bravery. Her regular feedback ensures that the whole work crew understand that they are valued and that their issues are being addressed. Di is highly respected by her peers and those reporting to her. Her mentoring skills and support of females in the workplace, particularly those with young families or returning from maternity leave has resulted in her leading the best developed and strongest team on site.

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Divya Dayalamurthy. Divya was the only woman in her team when she started her career in Cybersecurity eight years ago at Dimension Data, Australia. Divya is a skilled CyberSecurity Specialist who views all challenges as an opportunity to learn and increase her knowledge. Her passion for the cyber industry encouraged her to work towards her PhD in Cybersecurity at ECU. Believing that we need to develop a culture of cybersecurity awareness, she has conducted many sessions with fellow employees and students to explain its importance in layman's terms. In the spirit of giving back to her homeland, and the belief that encouraging women to enter cyber-security and ICT should start in school, she shares her knowledge and experience with her friends in India, thus enabling them to deliver cyber-security awareness and training in the schools and colleges.  Here in Australia, Divya volunteers her time as a mentor/speaker through technology development programs and study experience at ECU. Being a member of the Tamil Association of Western Australia (TAWA), she has participated in many cultural programs to help promote culture and language. She constantly seeks to gain further knowledge and exposure in her field with the hope of being able to give more back to society.  

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Emma Tongue. Emma has degrees, in both Mechanical Engineering and Naval Architecture and 20 years’ professional experience. Her initial experience in the marine industry comprised of core naval architecture and mechanical engineering work for various ship building yards in Western Australia, including Austal Ships. In 2009 Emma began work for a small consultancy as a Senior Naval Architect for the offshore oil & gas industry, working for Companies including Woodside, Santos, AWE and Shell and Banks such as ING, DVB and SMBC. Emma is currently Project Design Authority for the Pacific Patrol Boats at Austal Ships. Responsibility includes the technical design of the vessel to meet Client specification, contract and national and international standards and regulations. The PDA drives and delivers the selection of equipment, production of drawings and technical documentation, supervises and develops team members, supports the production, commissioning and delivery of the vessel. Emma seeks to adhere to values of “do the job right”, a high regard for personnel health and safety and maintaining a positive working environment. Emma’s experience has always involved working in a team, whether with design colleagues, production, management/ admin, suppliers, regulators, surveyors or clients. She provides ECU students with a female role model as she lectures in Ship Design and Production, with her ability to delve into complex technical problems and develop solutions. Emma is happy to share her knowledge by mentoring younger engineers.

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Erica Urquiaga. Laying the groundwork for her successful cookie empire off the back of a workplace injury while working as a process technician, Erica displayed extraordinary tenacity and doggedness to get her business set up. She is often the only baker in the room at various innovation, entrepreneurship and even mining events. Erica has helped out various fundraisers and fellow business owners through cookie donations and guidance to help them establish and grow their causes and business endeavours. She actively provides recommendations and introductions across parties within her network to help them out. Having been through the experience of starting a home-based food business, she is always ready to help out whenever anyone has a question - be it with food-related businesses or any aspects of the startup life; she is always ready to assist in any way she can. Erica also volunteers her time to programs such as the Curtin Ignition Entrepreneurship program to encourage other business owners to pursue their dreams. She is dedicated to bringing joy and happiness to those who get to enjoy her treats and uses the profits to spread joy and happiness further by hosting an annual Christmas party in the Philippines for children who would miss out on Christmas cheer.

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Erin Langworthy. As a leader in a multi-national conglomerate, Erin is passionate and dedicated to bringing safety to the workplace in every engagement. A near death experience whilst overseas [Google it!] commenced her journey to campaign for Safe Travel with the Australian Government which encouraged young travellers to use technology to make informed decisions. A mere 7 years into a career in Mining, her experience across technical and operational roles has earnt Erin respect and rapport with her diverse team and colleagues, engendering her as a technically competent and authentic leader with a true culture of care. This passion brought unique opportunities to drive successful business transformation programs within BHP, more recently being promoted to Development Superintendent at Olympic Dam, often entrusted as acting Duty Manager for the whole Mine (over 1,000 personnel). Erin is an active member of the Inclusion and Diversity Council within BHP, working to reform the challenges many, including her, experience as large companies embark on the diversity journey. Erin also assists with retention of female employees by acting as an informal mentor and having 1:1 discussions with new starters to help foster a more inclusive work environment. Outside of BHP Erin mentors students through the UWA Career Mentor Link Program with a strong focus on increasing female involvement in the resources sector. Erin is also actively involved in promoting female participation in STEM pathways and subject selection through Santa Maria’s Career Day, the Get Into Resources program and volunteering for Leading Youth Forward, a program developed to provide guidance and improve the lives of at-risk Perth teenagers through coaching, mentoring and activity days.

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Fadzi Whande. Fadzi is a Global Diversity and Inclusion Strategist and award winning social justice advocate.  Over the course of her career, Fadzi has received both international and local recognition for her efforts to champion inclusion and diversity, most recently being named a 2018 Western Australian of the year. Over the course of her career she has been involved in numerous programs and initiatives that promote inclusion and diversity including being appointed an Australia Day Ambassador, serving as the National Human Rights Program Manager for the United Nations Association of Australia, board member of the Museum of Freedom and Tolerance, diversity committee for White Ribbon and Australian Computer Society and Ambassador of the philanthropic 100 Women. Driven by her personal experiences, and motivated by a sense of responsibility, Fadzi started a leadership and mentoring program, Sofa Sunday to ensure that young women from diverse backgrounds would not have to go through some of the challenges she faced as a women of colour. Sofa Sunday is an intimate program for young women from diverse communities to connect, communicate and create lasting impact together. Fadzi’s work primarily focuses on addressing systemic and institutionalised barriers held towards historically marginalised groups and she is a sought after speaker, facilitator and moderator.

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Professor Giacinta Parish. Gia is the Associate Dean, Research - Faculty of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences at UWA, where she is recognised as highly successful, credible and internationally respected and published academic. She has demonstrated commitment, flexibility, adaptability and self-discipline throughout her career. She works to articulate and achieve a vision by bringing people on board with collaborative focus (internal and external), high expectations of professional behaviour and personal excellence, and always seeking to be informed by expertise and best practice. Gia is an inspirational, female role model in STEM and strives for excellence, social justice and integrity in her chosen field and broader life context. She is particularly driven to ensure she actively mentors and coaches others, including female students and undergraduate engineering students.

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Grace Mugabe. After years of working in an industry leading multinational mining corporate as a Senior Site Accountant, Grace decided to find a way to merge her love for accounting and helping other women by starting a purpose driven business called Financially Empowered. Witnessing women trapped in situations and relationships they couldn’t leave for financial reasons made her even more resolute. She realised that if she could help women improve their financial acumen it would empower them to take back some control of their situation. Grace facilitates financial workshops to empower migrant women, high school girls, female entrepreneurs and women in corporate roles equipping them with commercial acumen skills to enable them climb the corporate ladder. Through her speaking engagements, she encourages women to never let their age, gender, race or any other descriptive term influence what they want to achieve. From a young age, Grace has been involved with numerous community initiative and is currently the Treasurer on the Advisory Board of 100 Women - a philanthropic giving circle which provides impactful grants for women round the world.  Every year Grace facilitates free financial literacy workshops for women in Zimbabwe.

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Gry Stene. Gry Stene is an award-winning thought leader in digital transformation and agile product management. She leads businesses through significant change and transformation by translating between ‘geek speak’ and business. Through her 30 remarkable and passionate years in the industry, Gry has pioneered technological innovation for social change. One of very few female software engineers, Gry has actively created diverse teams, collaborating closely with recruiters and HR to change processes to encourage women and other underrepresented groups in technical roles. She is on a mission to bring Arts into the STEM landscape to create 'STEAM powered' roles and organisations, where technical skills, creativity and compassion coexist to create better products. Gry’s passion for diversity, inclusion and social change as a fundamental component of technological innovation is evident in her keynote speaking, as well as in her mentoring roles with The Smith Family, Rare Birds, Just Start IT and WIMWA (Women in Mining Western Australia). She strives to be actively involved with groups and organisations that encourage diversity and inclusion such as Women on Boards and WiTWA. Gry can be found mentoring and generally helping out at coding and entrepreneur events such as Startup Weekend, and is excited to have been selected to speak at TEDxUWA this year.

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Harriet Mellor. Harriet is passionate about helping businesses to achieve their goals through technology. She prides herself on challenging the norm, is always looking for the latest technologies to help overcome business challenges and is often the first to bring new products to Perth. Harriet has a ‘can do’ attitude and goes out of her way to educate and ensure that everyone can take advantage of new technology. She champions gender diversity by inspiring primary and secondary school girls to discover the roles they could fill in the IT industry. She is pro-equality and would love to see woman recognised as peers rather than in a separate category.

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Heather Jenkins. Within the ASC-W Engineering Department, Heather is one of five female technical staff amongst a department of 50 and is highly respected for her knowledge, technical capability, unrelenting perseverance and resilience throughout the business by consistently rolling up her sleeves and getting things done. Heather is often seen resolving conflicts and handling difficult and stressful situations with remarkable patience and admirable tact. She actively volunteers as the HSEQ representative and as a Fire Warden. Heather is a champion and quality advocate of STEM projects (i.e. Subs in Schools program) impressing on fellow members of ASC-W the importance of the program and how it aligns with the future needs of our business. Heather utilises her experience in the Graduate program by supporting and guiding the next generation of graduates. Her patience, kindness and superior technical knowledge ensures that graduates at ASC are successful. Heather focuses on supporting all graduates but goes above and beyond to ensure our female graduates are nurtured and supported as their introduction to our business can sometimes be difficult in such a male-dominated environment.

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Hilary Goh. Starting her career as an exploration and mine geologist, Hillary quickly turned into a serial entrepreneur. Through a series of start-ups, she has focussed on tackling business and industry challenges, helping to get new technology into the hands of people who really need it across the mining industry. In 2017 Hilary started the Perth Machine Learning Group to build a community of machine learners that teach, learn and share together. She has grown this community to over 400 people, gained sponsorship from major WA businesses and demonstrated that the skills learned through the group are impacting local businesses bottom lines. Hilary also set up and ran Perth’s sold-out inaugural Women in Machine Learning Workshop to encourage more women to get involved in the field and provide them with an easy access point.

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Jean Iwanyk. With her past education, work experience and passion for IT Security, Jean had a dream of offering Cyber Security courses within the VET system. This led to her creation of two VET courses in Cyber Security for South Metropolitan TAFE, as well as a unique Certificate III for use with VET in schools, providing an opportunity for high school aged students to experience, learn and become passionate about a future in Cyber Security. Jean is currently completing further study in in the field of adult education to enhance her learning environment, ensure it is culturally inclusive and acknowledges the diverse needs of learners. She has facilitated several projects with the aim of allowing her students to graduate with a portfolio of work and references providing them with a competitive advantage when seeking employment. These include; formation of teams for the CySCA 2018 challenge, encouraging a women’s team to support the #womenincyber theme of CySCA 2018 and developing Industry Integrated Projects that provide authentic learning tasks for students through their project management units.

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Jeanne Boles. Backing herself after 12 years with a leading Oil and Gas service company, Jeanne has overcome multiple obstacles to build her reputation and develop her own companies. Throughout her career, Jeanne has been actively involved in mentoring others, and in more recent years has enjoyed volunteering to share her knowledge and expertise in a variety of ways including; inspiring students at WiTWA’s Techtrails incursions, running motivational workshops in support of Lifeline, and speaking on Diversity at a Women in Oil and Gas event.

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Jemma Gifford. Jemma relishes her role as a Business Analyst helping people make technology work for them. She is passionate about understanding her customers needs and making sure they get the most out of their solutions.Jemma has navigated the obstacles of balancing a career, family, study and community responsibilities and takes pride in providing mentorship, support, encouragement and guidance to others by sharing her experience and knowledge.

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Jemma Morris. Jemma demonstrates determination and tenacity whilst bucking the trend of being a woman salesperson in the IT & Telecommunications sector. Demonstrating inclusiveness and an approachable nature she has built a reputation amongst her peers and vendors as someone who is happy to share her knowledge and experience. Jemma is seen as an emerging leader because of her drive for continuous improvements in her work environment.

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Jennifer Reyes. Jennifer was at the forefront of Industrial Artificial Intelligence research and product development before clients even realised they needed this technology. She forged a path whereby her small start-up in Perth now has distribution through 8 countries internationally and some of the biggest companies in the world as her clients. Demonstrating incredible personal strength, determination and perseverance, Jennifer juggled the requirements of being a new mother, dealing with the rigours of treatment (and its significant side-effects) for advanced stage cancer with progressing the needs of a new start-up. Jennifer’s business (VROC) hires a very diverse team and at one stage even had a completely female development team. With skills in this new technology difficult to come by, Jennifer has mentored and trained graduates from local universities, recent migrants to Australia, as well as local students and professionals. Jennifer is an inspirational role-model to all.

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Jo Saunders. Making a difference to people on their career journey particularly in STEM is what drives Jo. Whether working with industry experts at the top of their game, organisation leaders and their teams, or talented students about to step into their career, she loves it when they 'get' just how important their personal brand is, and where LinkedIn fits in for them. Her dedication to ensuring that she knows every detail about using LinkedIn to help her clients, has seen Jo rank #4 on the Klout LinkedIn expert list and named on the top 200 Global LinkedIn Practitioners list. Jo set up a brains trust for a select group of LinkedIn experts around the world, to enable knowledge sharing/trouble shooting in order to better help clients. She is the Perth host of LinkedIn Local a global movement which is all about connection through using LinkedIn. Jo loves to help people see their blind spots, identify their natural talents and find their voice, using technology as a vehicle to reach those who they are born to make a difference to.

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Josephine Muir. As the Associate Director of the Marshall Centre for Infectious Diseases at UWA, Josephine has established new collaborative partnerships, broadened the Centre’s revenue base and championed key research projects. She has built a reputation for managing people, problems and money which she does with professionalism, integrity and creativity. Josephine is an inspiring leader and mentor, providing formal and informal coaching to support staff at the Marshall Centre. She is generous with her time and knowledge. Her leadership has recently been recognised by UWA’s Office of Innovation who have engaged her to mentor research teams across the university. As part of UWA’s innovation drive, Josephine helps researchers, staff and students create impact through enterprise.  She enjoys mentoring individuals and teams, sharing her experiences in sci-tech accelerators to increase the impact of research through the development of skills in innovation, entrepreneurship and creative thinking. Josephine is a regular volunteer at Science Café, an initiative designed to encourage high school students to pursue STEM careers. She also contributes to UWA’s mentor program for new undergraduates.

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Kate Kirwin. As the Programs Co-ordinator at Spacecubed, Kate is responsible for providing opportunities for innovators through accelerator programs and hackathons; facilitating capability for innovation and business growth in regional areas; building community impact through partnering with schools and social enterprises; and fostering corporate innovation. Having project managed more than 20 innovation events, Kate’s impact on Perth’s start-up ecosystem has been extensive. Now in her second year as Program Coordinator for the Plus Eight program – a partnership with the Australia-wide muru-D accelerator – Kate has also had the chance to have an impact on the state of the start-up industry nationally. Kate is a passionate advocate for women in STEM and innovation. She is the founder of Perth Web Girls, an organisation that seeks to create technology and entrepreneurial career pathways for women by helping them develop coding skills. Kate has worked to send Perth Web Girls into regional WA, allowing women in what is one of the world’s remotest regions access to up-skilling workshops, facilitated by mentors from the industry. Kate has also partnered with Bankwest to create, find funding for, and facilitate a coding workshop for female staff members. With numbers of women in technical roles and as start-up founders at only around 25%, the importance of encouraging women to participate in up-skilling for these industries – and in the process making their career portfolio more future-proof – cannot be over-estimated. Kate is directly addressing this issue by making widespread change at a grassroots level in Western Australia

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Katherine Lewis. Living in the remote town of Onslow, Katherine juggles the everyday pressure of an operating plant environment with family life and contributing to the local community. In her role as Operations Assistant at the Wheatstone LNG plant, she approaches her work with determination and enthusiasm, inspiring her team to do the same. Katherine has always had a passion for mentoring both in and out of work. She takes her position as a role model at work seriously and has spoken on many panels and events within the Chevron diversity networks to share her experiences with others. She is also a mentor both formally and informally to a number of up and coming engineers with whom she shares her experience both technically and on navigating their careers. Katherine has a passion for inspiring young girls to reach their potential and in her time volunteering as a Girl Guide leader has loved seeing her guides skills and confidence grow over their years in the organization.

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Larissa Elliot. Challenges faced as she was growing up shaped the resilience, determination and grit that drive Larissa to ensure that she espouses her values and passions today and every day. In her management position at EY, she is dedicated to the diversity of thought, excellence, consistency and fostering effective leadership. Larissa designed & rolled out a development program called “Owning Your Potential” to early career female consultant and senior consultant ranks in EY's Oceania region providing tools to build confidence, resilience & ‘own’ their potential resulting in tangible impacts to the women who participate. Larissa acts as a visible and vocal role model at EY, formally and informally mentoring a number of women through facilitating the program. She demonstrates the innovative thinking/foresight to change things that must be changed without waiting for permission to do so. Outside of work, Larissa has been closely involved with several organisations giving back to the community including 100 Women, Perth SOUP, and Dreamfit Foundation.

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Leisa Aitken. Passionate about ICT and STEM education, Leisa assisted in the establishment of the Ashdale STEM Focus Group and subsequent STEM Institute which develops students’ skills in emerging technologies and creative thinking. She is an advocate for the early immersion of girls into STEM education. Leisa believes that ICT access and high-quality ICT education is key to ensuring students have a successful future regardless of their background. Recognising that some found the introduction of new technologies in their homes daunting, she initiated workshops to enable parents to understand its impact and to feel more comfortable with their children’s use of technology. Leisa has assisted in the development and delivery of STEM initiatives to students at Ashdale Secondary College and the wider community including an annual STEM Girls Day Camp, STEM Champions Workshops for parents and STEM Expo for the community. She is on the Techtrails sub-committee, ensuring that students from many other WA high schools also have the opportunity to connect with STEM role models and are encouraged to pursue STEM careers.

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Lily Jovic. Lily did not grow up in circumstances of privilege, but she thrives on tackling challenges and is succeeding through determination, resilience and optimism. She supports those around her to overcome personal and professional obstacles of their own. Lily demonstrates leadership in her field through her steadfast and outspoken commitment to diversity, representation, sustainability and equality. Through the introduction of Atlastrend panel discussions, she is demonstrating leadership in the wider community. Lily is a constant champion for other women, and always encourages others to be the best version of themselves.

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Louise Capper. Recognised as a technical expert in testing and project management, Louise actively shares her knowledge and experience with others. She mentors university students and graduates as well as staff within her organisation. Louise embraces change and leads by example. She sits on her company’s Diversity and Inclusion committee and is responsible for their NAIDOC week celebrations, IDAHOBIT activities and many more. Louise leads discussions with empathy and tact where others may feel uncomfortable.

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Lucy Cooke. Lucy is an ambassador for Austrade Taiwan having invented a software to help creative technologists communicate their ideas for Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality content called SpaceDraft. Her technical understanding of Visual Effects led her to work on feature films in the USA such as Pirates of the Caribbean, Dead Men Tell No Tales and Game of Thrones. In following her passion for building virtual worlds, Lucy has inspired others with her determination, courage and eternal optimism. Back in Australia, Lucy, along with her SaaS invention SpaceDraft, was accepted into the Village Roadshow/Microsoft accelerator in Melbourne where she was the youngest entrant and only female founder. Lucy is never afraid to speak up for injustices and has a very strong moral compass. She believes that women are just as capable of being tech entrepreneurs as men and she is determined to help open more and more doorways for young tech enthusiasts to enter the industry. Lucy always makes herself available to help others and particularly those that are trying to break stereotypes and reinvent the wheel.

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Mandy Michael. As a multiple award-winning developer and designer, Front End Development and the Web Industry is not only Mandy’s career but also her passion. Mandy is well known within the international web industry, writing for industry platforms such as Adobe, CSSTricks and Code Like a Girl and her work is featured by notable technology brands, such as Google, Microsoft and Mozilla. Her technical experience and passion for the web has made her an in-demand speaker at conferences and events both locally and internationally. Mandy is a force for integrity and fights unapologetically for her team’s wellbeing, pushes for change to encourage a supportive environment, and promotes a positive work-life balance. She is a caring, proactive mentor to her staff and the community, providing advice and guidance to help them succeed. Her desire to be part of a community of web developers who could share, mentor and learn together led her to create the thriving, welcoming and inclusive Meetup community known as Fenders. Through this, she provides opportunities, supports, encourages and promotes local developers from diverse backgrounds. Mandy was also a founding member of the Mixin conference, giving Perth unprecedented access to world-renowned speakers. She mentors and inspires others through Fenders, Perth {Web} Girls, Code Like a Girl, speaking at various High School events, as well as sharing her experiences and wisdom on social media. Mandy is a powerful force within the industry and a role model for women to enter the field.

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Marion Burchell. Marion recently took on the role of WA’s first female A/Government Chief Information Officer (GCIO), at a time of significant disruption and in the middle of multiple reviews that shaped the future of the office. Through this time of uncertainty, Marion maintained energy and enthusiasm in the team to step up to meet challenges head on using her great sense of humour and unwavering commitment to quality and high value outcomes. Marion’s breadth of knowledge spans across all areas from digital services to infrastructure, cybersecurity and data analytics.  Her experience of working with Ministers and senior executives at state, federal and international levels, and leading industry vendors, brings a keen focus on areas that matter most today, with an eye of the future. Marion’s strategic positioning has successfully elevated the profile of Digital infrastructure as a key economic driver and enabler of social inclusion and better community services. Marion mentors generously. Marion’s sense of fun combined with a measured and considered approach to everything she tackles, inspires confidence and team self-belief.

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Meagan Cojocar. As Principal Analyst at Power Ledger, Meagan has impressed her colleagues with her positive thinking and ‘can do’ attitude. Using innovative approaches, she attacks any business challenge that comes her way and emerges victorious. She is committed to self-learning and has developed an impressive grasp of blockchain technology.  With her infectious enthusiasm, Meagan is a supportive leader who shares her knowledge and inspires everyone around her.

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Professor Mel Ziman. With her expertise in both Melanoma and Huntington’s Disease, Mel established and still leads the Melanoma Research Group at ECU.  While teaching and coordinating four undergraduate units a year with hundreds of students, as well as supervising several postgraduate students to completion, she built a strong, innovative research team that now leads research in WA on the development of melanoma blood tests. These tests are set to revolutionise the way melanoma is diagnosed and treated and will dramatically improve patient outcomes. Mel is a mentor for her team of researchers and clinical fellows (80% female) and has been, and continues to be, principal supervisor of 39 PhDs, MScs and BSc Honours students, of which 24 (61%) are female. She has fostered their careers, with several acquiring postdoctoral positions in prestigious laboratories. She regularly promotes science to the community, giving talks and demonstrations to adults and school students and businesses.

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Melanie Gray. Starting her own business as a new mother, Melanie quickly came to the realisation that there is a big difference between being a Business Analyst and being a Business Owner. She overcame numerous challenges by thinking outside the square. Traditional networking events were impossible, so she created her own inclusive networking events at a play centre meaning working mums like herself could attend alongside those without children. She shared her knowledge and learning experiences with other small business owners via social media and free talks across Perth. Melanie created an effective, innovative and employee-focused workforce and actively assisted them to gain further work and experience outside of her own business. Knowing the difficulties faced by women in STEM roles, she promotes discussion around gender diversity. As a scout leader Melanie encourages young women to consider futures in technology and entrepreneurism.

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Dr Melissa Langdon. As founder of BOSSMAMA, Melissa has strong values of progressive leadership, social inclusion and a commitment to equity and diversity. Melissa has a unique ability to combine high-level insights about gender equity and women at work from academic research, her social networks and coaching/consulting services to engage with both local and global audiences. She recognises the need for male, female and non-binary champions at all levels to influence the conversation. Melissa’s advocacy includes speaking at various national and international conferences like TEDx and volunteering to speak on numerous panels for organisations like WITWA and the UWA Social Impact Festival. She mentors early career women as well as those returning from parental leave, and through her consultancy work she forges visionary new pathways and means for businesses to support gender equality at work and in society. Melissa is a bold, courageous and inspiring leader who takes real action to affect positive change.

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Meredith Cox. In her role as Business Administrator at Catalytic IT, Meredith delivers incredible customer outcomes through her innovative resourcing methods. She is seen as the glue which holds her organisation together working tirelessly with the team to ensure they have a clear understanding of their roles, responsibilities, and their future direction within the company.  With an exceptional work ethic, Meredith leads by example and inspires the team always to give their best.

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Dr Michelle Ellis. Michelle’s role at Edith Cowan University sees her encouraging and engaging with high school students (girls in particular) to help fill the void in Computer and Security Science courses and careers. She has developed several initiatives to engage students outside the classroom which include co-founding the Perth chapter of The Girls Programming Network, engaging volunteers and running workshops. Michelle’s philosophy of ‘train the trainer’ and efforts as a mentor and role model has resulted in a pool of talented individuals who can now teach, lead others and work in teams. She inaugurated the Computing, Security, Intelligence and Mathematics (CoSIM) student association which offers professional and personal development opportunities for primarily female university students. As a champion for women in technology, Michelle provides opportunities for women to lead and/or strengthen their position in the community and is supportive of programs that enhance the knowledge and skillset of women.

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Michelle Radley. As the Manager of Technology Integration, Michelle is helping to inform and shape the technology and automation strategy at Rio Tinto. She is driving the acceleration of business benefit from technology and delivering process and productivity improvement in their core mining processes. Michelle has been actively involved in the VET Strategy program to upskill and reskill the current and future RTIO workforce for the skills requirement automation and technology bring. She is a role model to young women and an active mentor to a number of men and women in the industry. Michelle strongly believes that people continue to make the difference to business success. Even as we move to a more automated world, leadership, engagement and culture will be the point of difference. Michelle’s experience balancing full-time work, a young family and a FIFO husband has shaped her commitment, as a leader, to support flexible work arrangements including work location, flexible hours, and job sharing. She believes that enabling a working environment where team members feel that they are supported both at work, and home creates a more committed workforce. She has built a team where colleagues support each other, are safer and more productive.

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Michelle Rhodes. As a director/owner of 360 Environmental and the managing director/owner of Peak Environmental, Michelle is passionate about driving and achieving excellent environmental outcomes on projects. She has worked on the environmental aspects of several State-level projects for Western Australia for both the private and government sectors. Her environmental passion was set growing up in regional Western Australia in Dalwallinu, and after being educated in Perth she is part of the reverse migration returning to the land at every opportunity.   Michelle is passionate about environmental science having completed Bachelor, Post Graduate and Masters degrees in science. She has worked in the environmental industry for over two decades mainly in the resources, agricultural and infrastructure industries. She believes that being an environmental practitioner is both a privilege and a responsibility and that we all have an obligation to look after the environment for future generations. Michelle leads by example and hopes that by sharing her experiences and mentoring young women, she is inspiring others to make a difference and protect our natural resources. Our future decision makers will make better decisions if we listen to the science, use the data we have and communicate science effectively.  The world is changing rapidly and by using science, technological innovation and big data, we can look at some of the key challenges facing us around implementing sustainable urbanisation, mitigating climate change and managing resource scarcity. Armed with several business awards, with a passion for water and the environment and as a mother of two young girls, Michelle is motivated to be the change we need to see in both sustainable development and in conservation.   Encouraging young students to take on STEM subjects, encouraging our academics, scientists and consultants to work together and partner with industry will see positive change.    The future is bright however, there is much for us all to do.

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Michelle Sandford. Michelle is a Service Delivery Manager at Microsoft, but she is probably better known as a technology evangelist, a developer advocate, and a brand storyteller. She rose through the ranks at the Australian Computer Society to become Women’s Chair before recently being elected as Chairman. Michelle is a passionate advocate for diversity, accessibility and inclusion, and with this focus in mind has been the driver of change in the ACS to create a more active, relevant and inclusive society. Michelle has not allowed living in one of the most remote cities in the world prevent her from making an impact on the world stage. With many accolades to her name she is an in-demand speaker both nationally and internationally and uses this platform to advocate for women and young people within the tech community and beyond. Her efforts in building a diverse and inclusive community, sharing insights and experience and helping to raise up others have led to the conclusion that Michelle is the epitome of energy, passion, persistence and relentlessness.

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Ming Johanson. With her unique ability to deconstruct complex technologies and couple them with an in-depth understanding of social media tools, Ming creates and integrates knowledge into palatable change management training to transform organisations for future focus. Ming is a regular contributor on 6PR Radio 882 with the Perth Tonight show as their Social Media Expert. She is an elected board member for the WA branch of the Australian Computer Society where she is a champion for diversity. Ming speaks publicly on a wide range of topics dealing with mental health, diversity, rising above adversity, social media and leadership. She is also an ambassador for R U OK? Day where she speaks about suicide prevention and mental health.

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Narelle Crofts. Narelle’s technical strength has resulted in a significant contribution to innovation within Rio Tinto and led to her appointment as the Operational Readiness Specialist in Rio Tinto’s greenfields Koodaiderie venture. First and foremost a team player, Narelle also displays a remarkable ability to lead from the front in inspiring ways. Competing as an Australian representative in the upcoming Half Iron Man world championships, Narelle can see the win/win solution in every situation. She inspires her colleagues with the great energy, thought leadership and equity she brings to the teams with whom she works.

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Dr Natasha Ayers. As Managing Director for AgriStart Pty Ltd, a new company supporting commercialisation and innovation for AgTech and Primary Industries, and Principal Consultant for UniBiz Connect, Tash has a sincere personal passion to support WA's knowledge and innovation economy. She is Chair for the AgTech Network, which has over 700 members. Tash is on the judging panel for the WA Innovator of the Year Awards and the Agriculture and Aquaculture Entrepreneurship Award. Demonstrating exceptional leadership, Tash has mentored countless researchers during her time working in Research Management and Training at ECU, inspiring PhD researchers to achieve their goals both in completion of their research and in their careers. She founded iPREP WA, a unique award-winning program that has connected over 100 PhD students from all 5 Perth universities to over 30 businesses. Prior to that, Tash spent 8 years as a Research Scientist in Agriculture, focusing on plant biotechnology to help discover genes for salt tolerance in plants. Tash enjoys volunteering for education initiatives such as TechTrails, PEAC, Everyday Leader, PRISM, Curtin Ignition and various regional events.

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Natasha Blycha. Natasha conceived and brought together the consortium of IBM, CSIRO, Herbert Smith Freehills and King Wood Mallesons to build a new piece of digital infrastructure for Australia -  the Australian National Blockchain (ANB).  As a technology lawyer and Herbert Smith Freehill’s Blockchain and Smart Legal Contract Lead, she is a role model who demonstrates competence and determination while balancing work, life and family. Natasha is also a founding member of 'Five', a community organisation working to make walking, running and cycling in Perth, Western Australia, easier, safer and more convenient. This organisation is creating a streamlined route of suburban safe, active streets/bike boulevards connecting Perth City to the City of Fremantle. Natasha is a mentor and inspiration to junior solicitors around the firm's national network.

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Olivia Longo. Striving to always deliver excellent customer service has seen Olivia quickly promoted through various roles into her current Business Account Manager position. Her customers walk out happy because of her fresh approach to understanding their pain points, her in-depth knowledge of the solution she presents and knowing that their feedback has been taken seriously and will be implemented where required. Olivia shows determination and willingness to learn everything she can from those around her. She approaches everything with an open mind and encourages others to think outside the box and to strive for whatever their heart desires.

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Patima Tantiprasut. As Head of Product and Design at Seven West Media, Patima strives to build positive team environments that value personal and professional growth, wellness, flexibility and work-life balance. She surrounds herself with passionate people who love what they do and always seeks the challenge of learning new things. For years she’s mentored several people in their creative tech careers and regularly volunteers her time sharing her experiences with the next generation of leaders. Patima's boundless vision and capability to execute is inspirational. She rallies scattered thoughts, people and ideas, turns them into actionable plans, and manages them through to success. Patima is not afraid to go to bat for what and whom she believes in, a quality which has earned her a reputation for being the kind of manager and friend that will always have your back. Patima consistently demonstrates exceptional and progressive leadership, encouraging diversity within the community and has worked tirelessly to create welcoming and inclusive community cultures. She’s created and orchestrated initiatives that have broken down silos and amplified the dissemination of new knowledge. She’s spoken and written about work-life balance, managing burnout and ethical workplaces at conferences both locally and internationally including Codemania (NZ), JSConf (Germany) and was recently a Keynote speaker at Web Directions. Patima's dedication to connecting web, creative and digital communities and unearthing local talent across Australia, her involvement on the AWIA Committee, Port80 and launching the Localhost meetup and roadshow, alongside organising the Mixin conference has inspired cross-discipline collaboration across the nation and has been integral in shaping engagement across the web and the creative communities within WA.

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Petrina Raitt. As Director of Green Light Environmental, Petrina leads a team of professionals to run a specialised environmental consultancy which provides high quality environmental support and value adding solutions to the oil and gas industry. She is also the founder and Managing Director of eBase, a cloud-based environmental impact assessment platform which aims to support more efficient, consistent and thorough EIA and project approvals. Over time she has become one of the most well-respected practitioners in her field, consistently delivering both business and environmental outcomes. After finding that traditional workplaces were lacking in the flexibility required for new parents, she set up her own offices to actively promote a solution for people seeking a better work-life balance. Her GLE office is a hive of activity that support flexible working, occasional drop-ins from kids and weekly yoga sessions. She ensures that the team can work from anywhere in the world at any time with cloud-based tools and collaboration options that make it easy for primary carer dads, part-time workers who value flexibility, new mum’s coming back into work life and a graduate Environmental Advisor who likes to fit in a surf wherever he can. She has been quoted as saying “My work allows me to feel like I am taking some responsibility for my own footprint within our world, but also helping to maintain and protect it for my daughter, and someday, her kids too!”

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Piri Jackson. With a strong background in business, marketing and sales in the Telco industry, Piri is consistently pushing boundaries and thinking outside the box to ensure that she provides value and innovative business solutions for her customers. Her colleagues value her selfless support and mentorship and see Piri as an inspirational role model in the male dominated Telco industry.

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Roberta Westlund. Roberta’s determination and commitment to excellence during the past seven years in Telecommunications has seen her promoted through a variety of roles to her current position as Enterprise Account Manager. Her ability to think outside the box and customise innovative solutions for her customers are a testament to her commitment to excellence in customer service. She continually strives to improve her business knowledge and exceed her targets. This has seen her take out the title of Top Sales Person in a male-dominated arena. As a role model for other women in the Telecommunications space, Roberta leads by example while supporting and encouraging her team members.

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Romella Sharp. Early in her career, a CIO told Romella that she had everything against her and would need to always be twice as good to rise above. He pointed out the obvious - that she is tiny in stature, was born overseas, spoke quietly with an accent and was female. Romella pushed all these perceived boundaries aside and has let her technical and leadership achievements speak for themselves. She broke new ground by building the first data warehouse for Wesfarmers Insurance when the term data warehouse was still in its infancy. Currently working for IAG, she is a member of one of the largest data departments in Australia and has challenged the norm by leading Eastern States teams remotely from Perth. Romella is now one of those people who can walk into an Executive meeting or a technical scrum with a presence, speaking confidently and proudly representing what can be achieved by WA women in IT. Romella is an active member of a working group within IAG that recognises and develops female leaders. She leads by example, and her commitment and drive to achieve outcomes is evidenced by her tireless work ethic. Whether she is taking time to encourage and motivate a team member with personal issues, or helping someone through a technical blocker, Romella is widely liked by her teams and recognised as the heartbeat that keeps them going.

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Ruth O’Dwyer. In her current role as a Primary School Educator, Ruth firmly believes that STEM will create a pathway to provide students with skills to succeed in the future workforce. She provides a female role model for students to showcase that STEM is fun, exciting and can cross boundaries such as art, music or robotics. Instilling the value of a growth mindset in every lesson Ruth believes that it is the ability to deal with failure that will create successful STEM innovators of the future. Sharing what she learns with others, she provides peer coaching to support teachers with STEM programming and implementing technology into the classroom. Ruth believes everyone can contribute and give back, and that if we all gave just a little bit, there would be many more amazing changes taking place.

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Saasha Callaghan. Saasha started her career in the fitness industry before training herself in multiple fields such as marketing, drafting and project management for the Oil & Gas Industry. She has established herself as an entrepreneur, public speaker, an active member on the Petroleum Club Young Professionals committee and Co-hosting the weekly video series of "Bow Tie Fridays". Saasha has broken the mold of traditional thinking and activity within the Oil & Gas and Mining Industries with new marketing strategies while also supporting the growth of OLEOLOGY in the latest technology of MyCelx in the water treatment niche. The technology of MyCelx is so new (thus providing new challenges) is also leading the way in the PFAS treatment and removal which is a major industry for Australia and abroad. The traditional successful path may include study within that field, but Saasha has chosen the more rocky path to run down (and not walk). Bursting out of the blocks in the fitness field Saasha then self taught in 3D modelling and Design alongside experienced engineers. Realising the marketing trend in the Mining, Oil & Gas and marine industries was mainly of the traditional variety, she helped develop several strategies to gain more exposure in the marketplace and is now standing tall from the crowd. The “Bow Tie Friday” episodes she founded are now being shared on various social media channels and are helping to develop a more personal connection with both existing and prospective customers. Saasha is currently working to develop a charity with fundraising opportunities.

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Samantha Bowen. Samantha is the Founder and Managing Director of the Acorn Network, and Board Member for NHMRC's National Institute for Dementia Research. She is an international presenter on generational engagement, host of national events, and a strong supporter of mentoring as a capacity building tool. Aged Care workplaces are known for reverse ageism and low diversity across all functions including clinical care, executive leadership and the business of care. Through Acorn, Samantha helps create a supportive environment which helps young professionals step up and shine by supporting them to develop their professional networks and build the skills they need to become tomorrow's industry leaders. Despite experiencing financial and personal challenges, and an industry that is reluctant to challenge the status quo, Samantha has continued with the vision of providing advocacy, leadership and mentoring opportunities for young people to consider and be supported in the Aged Care industry.

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Samantha Mortley. From being the only female process operator in the field through to trying drive cultural change against a 30-year ingrained mining culture, Samantha has developed resilience, focus and determination. Being in a minority group for the past ten years in the mining industry she has experienced many personal challenges within the workplace. As a result, Samantha is now passionate about driving cultural change to make the organisation more inclusive for all. Samantha is creating innovative ways to engage school-aged children in STEM and the mining industry, including onsite mentoring and technology expos at the schools, with the aim of building a more diverse and engaged local talent pool for the future. Within the community, she is helping to tackle issues such as flexible work arrangements, childcare options, gender diversity and exposure to job opportunities and the inclusion of people living with barriers into their workforce. Samantha also volunteers in areas such as fostering and rehoming of greyhounds, the Choose Respect Committee (teaching inclusive behaviour within the community) and she is learning Auslan to better understand others and increase her cultural awareness.

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Shelley Kalms. As Chief Digital Officer at Woodside, Shelley is at the forefront of their transformation to a new digital organisation. It is not easy to convince a single person to change let alone a whole organisation, but Shelley has the task of influencing the entire organisation to adopt new digital tools and ways of working. To drive this change, Shelley has had an inspiring vision, conviction of purpose, and perseverance against natural resistance and doubt. Leadership is not just about big vision and big achievements; it is also about creating the right environment for your staff to flourish. As a female leader in Woodside Shelley contributes by demonstrating behaviours at a personal level, actively mentoring future leaders at all levels, and conspicuously maintaining a commitment to family and children. She is an inspiration and role model to all women, proving that it does not have to be a choice between work and family.

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Sheryl Frame. Having started four IT-related companies herself, Sheryl has demonstrated exceptional and progressive leadership over many years. Her ability to dismiss boundaries (or, at least redefine them to advantage) is founded on her ability to think and act strategically with extreme confidence. Planning has been a mantra for her; planning that includes progressive initiatives in leadership, diversity, mentoring and inspiration, innovation and more, all of which succeed because of her thoroughness in defining foresight and vision into her strategies. Sheryl is passionate about helping female founders and ensuring women, in general, are empowered to follow their dreams and dismiss perceived barriers. She has been involved in numerous organisations that help women in business; AWISE, Australian Women in IT, Science and Engineering, WiTWA, SBE Australia, AC and several others. She has mentored dozens of businesses, both start-up and established. Sheryl is looked up to by entrepreneurs starting out and is always on hand to offer to advise and guide one through the tough road to getting a company an idea off the ground. Sheryl has been a trailblazer in many ways for young women in IT and in STEM.

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Stella Jinman. As Principal of Cecil Andrews College in Armadale, Stella has shown enormous tenacity to build a failing school (due to be shut down) into a model school in a very challenging local environment. She influenced WA and Federal politicians to build a brand-new STEM Centre at the school and be selected as the only P-Tech Pilot school in Western Australia. The school has a diverse ethnic base including a large proportion of indigenous students and has formed a direct link to the remote Tjuntjunjtarra Community near the South Australia border - with regular visits of students to Cecil Andrews College and to the Community as well. She has organised industry-based partnerships with Datacom, South Metro TAFE, Curtin University, Deloitte, HP, Austal, Civmec and Thales with regular student visits to these business premises. Skilling Australia are their industry liaison brokers. She has a hands-on approach on with her students and teachers and is continuously providing a role model to all students on the behaviour and expectations. She is removing the barriers for female students to enable them to move into any career they like, especially in the STEM career areas. Many of the outside speakers at the school are professional and successful women who inspire girls and encourage them to enter and achieve excellence in these areas.

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Susan Kreemer Pickford.Susan demonstrated her ability to overcome challenges by working as General Manager for Engineers Australia in a post GFC environment for a non-profit to rebuild a brand for the leading industry body for engineers in Western Australia. Susan plays an extremely active role beyond her job and this defines her as a leader for the engineering community. She is Chair of National Science Week in WA Coordinating Committee which aims to promote and build greater awareness in science. Susan volunteers her time to speak to and inspire students at various university and TAFE talks, as well as high school students at WiTWA Techtrails incursions and young engineers’ groups from a range of associations. Susan has been a part of numerous other committees and initiatives throughout the years including leadership programs, graduate coordinating, Toastmasters, and Foodbank. She currently mentors three young professionals within her work and many others outside her formal role. Her leadership style of leading by example inspires others to achieve their goals.

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Dr Vanessa Rauland. Dr Vanessa Rauland is an author, academic, public speaker, entrepreneur and small business owner. Vanessa works at Curtin University Sustainability Policy (CUSP) Institute as a Research Fellow, where she also supervises numerous PhD students in the fields of sustainability, renewable energy and carbon reduction. With a background in climate change and sustainability and a PhD in decarbonising cities, combined with a keen interest in innovation, STEM and entrepreneurship, Vanessa is passionate about tackling climate change through education, technology and startups. She works with Climate-KIC Australia, where she helps to deliver their Cleantech entrepreneurial activities and events. She is the Founder and Managing Director of the EdTech startup, ClimateClever, which helps students, schools and their communities to reduce their carbon footprint and save money.

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Vee Pendergrast. Vee is the Co-founder, Director and Chief Executive Officer of Stirfire Studios, a Perth based games studio. The venture was founded in late 2010 as a new “home” to support WA game developers and digital media professionals attempting to gain ground in emerging mediums including games, apps and digital platforms. Since then, Vee and her team have been instrumental in developing games for desktop, console and Virtual Reality, as well as non- gaming related VR experiences and software.  Throughout the journey of building her company, Vee has shown tenacity and determination in bringing her vision of a Perth based gaming company developing products for the global gaming industry, to fruition. Her deep passion and commitment to not only delivering exceptional and unique products is surpassed only by her unwavering vocal call for recognition and equality for members of the LGBTIQA community. Vee is a passionate champion of diversity of thought and inclusiveness. This has been further demonstrated by her work in creating a games industry network for WA - one that can deliver globally competitive games, VR and AR products. Vee's ability to champion a greater cause is phenomenal to watch, especially in light of the many challenges thrown her way.

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Vesna Moretti. Vesna is a technical specialist in naval architectural analysis. While working for in the oil and gas business she undertook a range of complex analyses which enabled resolution of significant technical issues. Since moving into the defence industry she has managed a team engineering resources resolving technical issues associated with the Collins submarines. Vesna spent most of her early career in the marine industry. She then moved into the oil and gas industry, where I met her. Through her dedication to hard work, high intelligence and her very personable character she quickly grasped the fundamentals of the new industry.  Vesna actively mentored younger members of the team of engineers she worked with. Vesna was a member of the organising committee for the Royal Institute of Naval Architects in WA. She also lectured and tutored at ECU in the Mechanical Engineering Degree - Naval Architecture units. While running these units she mentored the students and actively promoted them in industry, facilitating their placement in companies so that they could gain their 12 weeks industry experience.