Gail Kelly, Magda Szubanski and Gillian Triggs were amongst the 2018 winners of the Australian Awards for Excellence in Women’s Leadership. Presented by Women in Leadership Australia (WLA), the awards recognise women who have contributed to the advancement of gender equality and improved other women’s likelihood of having greater access to leadership opportunities.

WLA Head of School Suzi Finkelstein explained that the awards play an important role in recognising the positive influence of key women leaders across Australia. “Each and every award winner has had a tremendously positive impact on our society. Showcasing the hard work and dedication of these high achievers is extremely important,” Ms Finkelstein said. Amongst 2018’s recipients are Gillian Triggs, the former President of Australian Human Rights Commission, and comedian and actress, Magda Szubanski. The former CEO of Westpac and trailblazer for women’s equality in the finance sector, Gail Kelly, will be awarded the National Award for 2018.

Westpac is currently the 12th biggest bank in the world, and Kelly was responsible for improving net profits and gender equality during her time working there. Additionally, she recently released her book on leadership,  Live Lead Learn: My Stories of Life and Leadership, and funded the Gail Kelly Global leaders Scholarship. The scholarship provides an opportunity for Australian and South African students to embark on a transformative exchange program. Women’s Leadership Symposiums will be held across Australia’s capital cities, where each recipient will be acknowledged and awarded. These events are a gathering for women in leadership. They also include panel sessions and addresses from women in leadership, regarding furthering equality in Australia.

Brisbane’s symposium will take place from Wednesday, May 2 to Thursday May 3. It will feature keynote addresses from journalist an Tracey Spicer AM, Superintendent Virginia Nelson of the Queensland Police, and author and presenter, Catherine Fox.

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