2009 Winners

on Tuesday, 22 May 2012. Posted in Leadership Achievement Award for Women (LAAW)

Dr Jill Tomlinson, Winner of CLW's 2009 Leadership Achievement Award



Dr Jill Tomlinson 

My vision was to improve the health and welfare of all Australians through the empowerment of medical women, providing doctors and medical students with leadership skills and improved networking and mentoring opportunities.  

The medical community is undergoing rapid gender change – in the course of a generation women have gone from comprising a small minority of medical graduates to making up over 50% of each graduating year. Despite this women remain under-represented in senior leadership positions. The need to improve leadership capability among medical women is clear - without this Australia will be deprived of both the diversity of the work styles and values that women bring to the profession, as well as much of the capable pool of candidates to effectively fill such positions. 

I designed this project under the auspices of the Australian Federation of Medical Women (AFMW), Australia’s only national organisation that solely represents female medical professionals. The multi-pronged project fostered friendship, communication, networking, respect, leadership ability and opportunities among medical women. I designed the project and subsequently obtained funding through the Australian Government Office for Women Leadership and Development Programme.  

To encourage participation in leadership activities and networking I awarded 22 AFMW Leadership Scholarships totalling $15,000 to medical women (students and doctors) on the basis of need, assisting these women to attend the Medical Women’s International Association (MWIA) Western Pacific Regional Congress in Melbourne in October 2008. These women embraced the opportunity to speak with medical women from across the globe who had travelled to share their experiences and knowledge and wrote leadership essays which have been included in the Leadership Portal I established on the AFMW website.  

I commissioned a leadership skills workshop for medical women through professional mediators Ms Shirli Kirschner and Mr David Bryson who graciously offered their time and expertise. This workshop was held at the Congress and was designed to empower medical women, specifically targeting areas of concern they had raised in pre-Congress questionnaires. 

Strategies were developed and tools obtained to allow AFMW to communicate effectively online and electronically. The AFMW website was completely redeveloped using the open source content management system Joomla. An online subscription for our mailing list was developed and Web 2.0 strategies implemented, including the development of national and state Facebook groups and the establishment of a quarterly national email newsletter.  

I wanted to empower women to develop their IT skills and overcome the common misconception medical women hold that website management skills are beyond their reach. I co-ordinated website skills workshops which were conducted in October 2008 at the MWIA Western Pacific Regional Congress and interstate over the following months. In these interactive workshops web designer Dinah Randall taught groups of medical women how to manage the AFMW website using a test website that mirrored the true website. To support self-directed learning and to reinforce the lessons learned in the skills sessions I wrote an instructional e-Book that women can use in conjunction with the AFMW test website to practice and gain confidence. AFMW now has the resources to allow medical women to publish e-Books and I hope that in future years medical women will publish and distribute advice and guidelines on a variety of health topics through the AFMW. 

To harness the incredible depth and breadth of experience and expertise of medical women I developed the national Leadership Skills Database. This database records the interests, skills and contact details of medical women who are willing to volunteer their expertise and skills to contribute to public policy and roundtable discussions on national health issues, such as the development of the 2010 Australian Government’s National Women’s Health Policy. Application forms are currently being distributed nationally.  

Excitingly, while that the majority of initial project deliverables have been completed the project continues to grow, involving and benefiting an ever increasing number of women from around Australia through our shared vision for the health and welfare of all Australians. I feel blessed to have had the support of medical women across Australia who have assisted me in realising the goals of my initial project and am greatly excited by the possibilities and opportunities that continue to arise from what has already  been achieved.


Finalists of CLW's 2009 Leadership Achievement Award


Julie Gale

I set out to ‘wake up’ Australia about the issue of the early sexualisation of children in advertising and the media. I wanted to create a sustained public debate, and shift the notion that this is a ‘moral panic’ to the fact that, according to increasing research and child development experts, this issue is about the mental health of our children and young teens. Just under two years later there have been changes to the children’s advertising codes, changes to the content of young girls ' magazines and a senate inquiry into the  sexualisation of children in the contemporary media environment. Submissions to the inquiry addressed issues such as: sexualised outdoor advertising, the effectiveness of The Advertising Standards Board, highly sexualised music video clips on Saturday and Sunday morning TV, sexualised content in young girl’s magazines, pornographic magazines at children’s eye levels in the public arena and the portrayal of children in advertisements.

The inquiry will be reviewed at the end of 2009.

Kids Free 2B Kids has thousands of people registered onto the website from a broad cross section of the community both Australia wide and internationally.

As the founder and Director of Kids Free 2B Kids, I am very proud that I have been able to raise such strong public discussion and help instigate so much change in this time frame.



Stephanie Taylor

After 12 years of corporate experience within the learning and development space I felt it was important to pay it forward.  I have gained so much from the learning and development community from my mentors, managers and peers and this provided me with the motivation to create the L&D Professionals Forum in July 2007.  This is a self funded initiative that I manage from home in my spare time. 

The L&D Professionals Forum was founded so that like minded learning and development professionals could come together and network, be exposed to the latest industry trends and participate in professional development opportunities within  the Sydney CBD.  My aim was to empower the learning and development community by offering four events per calendar year drawing on the generosity of corporate Sydney to host events and industry experts and specialists to lead the events.  

To support the L&D Professionals Forum aim, I designed and developed a website (http://ldprofessionalsforum.blogspot.com/ ) to act as a one stop shop for learning and development professionals and lobby potential hosts and industry experts and specialists at every opportunity appealing to their sense of generosity and the value of learning.   I started the forum with a distribution list of 12 which has now increased to over 160 learning and development professionals in Sydney and is receiving keen interest from Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth. 

I am very proud of this initiative and would love to see the L&D Professionals Forum continue to grow.


Short-listed for CLW's 2009 Leadership Achievement Award



Kath Mazzella

I am in the business of saving women's lives and life long health complications through sharing my knowledge.  

My vision is to bring professionals and health consumers together for the betterment of Gynaecological/Sexual issues and to remove the stigma and build confidence with "Below The Belt" issues through an International Gynaecological Awareness Day on September 10 annually.

I am a woman whose experience of gynaecological cancer has taken me on an inspiring journey. A woman who went from knowing nothing about down there, to one who is now an empowered, assertive, understanding individual.  

I relate how my own experience altered me to how women in the community suffer in silence and of the need to give these women a voice.

I want to raise the profile of this issue within Australia, by

i.  Giving women better knowledge of, and responsibility for their sexual health  

ii.  Helping educators see the issues from a health consumers point of view and working together.

iii. Encouraging women to be proud of their “down there” instead of  using incorrect terminology so that they  acknowledge this part of the body and avoid significant psychological and physical health problems through suppressing their emotions and feeling dis-empowered.





Melissa Hughes

I set out to achieve an ongoing support group where women could come with their children and with their partners to seek help, validation and normalisation of their roles as parents. My objectives were to provide access to excellent facilities, qualified therapists and a qualified child care worker to assist women who are affected by a perinatal mood disorder.  I have accomplished this and in the process know that many lives have been changed for the better. I am especially happy that by first helping the parents, we are essentially making the lives of children better too.  The project validates the enormity of the role of a mother. It normalises the extreme feelings of overwhelm and isolation and empowers women to value their roles as mums.




Dr Cathy Kezelman

I wanted to make a substantial difference to the largely unacknowledged and unaddressed needs of the more than 2 million adults surviving child abuse in the Australian community.  Through my work and that of others, the issues of adult survivors are now in the public arena and community attitudes are changing, with the erosion of the shame and stigma which has stopped people getting the help they need for way too long. Government and the health care community are now also becoming proactively involved to provide appropriate services to adults surviving child abuse throughout Australia through the provision of funding, education and training.



Margaret Hardy

My commitment in the early days was to get the arts accepted as an important part of life and to get the politicians and community to accept that advancement of society needed the arts to give soul, meaning, escapism from worry, a recording of history, and to bring people together to accept all genre of arts, importance to health, attitude, environmental awareness and business. I hoped the Significant Women of the Central Coast books would help to make everyone aware that by recording these stories we could learn from history, give women credence for their involvement in their community and the wider world and establish inspiration for young people to follow a path of appreciating what has gone before.




Lynne Schulz

In 1992 I set out to make a difference in the bereavement care world. I wanted to inform people, open their eyes to the problems faced by multiple birth loss families, and in turn create a supportive and positive environment for surviving multiple birth children. Although there is still a great deal of work to be done in the area of multiple birth loss, I feel that I have so far succeeded in chipping away at the huge wall of ignorance surrounding this mental health issue. One day, with stubborn determination and resolution, I WILL succeed in knocking that wall of ignorance down altogether.




Justine Kelly

I set out to create a consciousness that clothes are not disposable and not frivolous. Clothes affect the climate, clothes affect the economy and clothes affect politics. 

I created a website and e-zine without advertising driving the editorial.  

I have acted as consultant on fabrics to designers wanting to adapt eco friendly principals.

I look at Fairtrade stores as more than charity buys, determining individual products that I could promote as fashion accessories. I petition and inform through newsletters to my subscribers and travel and interview to get the real story.


Highly Commended for CLW's 2009 Leadership Achievement Award


Stacey Irving and Terania Shanahan

We co-founded AWARE, an organisation dedicated to raising awareness in the local community about global humanitarian issues, promoting equality and sustainable development. 

AWARE's Tanzania project is in process already as we are planning how to implement an aid program with a community in rural Tanzania.  AWARE has also made connections with other organisations and University staff to assist in its development.  AWARE is currently booking high school presentations on poverty for 2009.

Our functions and planned seminars for 2009 are hoping to highlight the connections between our lives and that of those living in poverty.  Our long term goal is to implement AWARE's own sustainable and locally driven aid programs in third world countries so that we can engage with our supporters  in Australia through talking about these projects.