Recipients Announced for the 2021 Australian Awards for Excellence in Women’s Leadership.

Women & Leadership Australia (WLA) is proud to announce the winners of the Australian Awards for Excellence in Women’s Leadership in 2021.

Ms Natasha Stott Despoja AO is the recipient of the National Award, in recognition of her leadership as an advocate for women and girls over a number of years.

Ms Stott-Despoja AO is joined by Marina Go (NSW), Carly Findlay (VIC), Dr Jeannette Young PSM (QLD), Lt CMDR Kelly Haywood (ACT), June Oscar AO (WA), Patricia Waria Read (SA), Belinda Hazell CF MBA (TAS) and Erica Gibson (NT).

Ms Stott Despoja AO said of the award, “What an honor to be acknowledged in this way and join such distinguished previous recipients and share it with this year’s wonderful cohort.

“In this Covid era, the leadership of women – from different backgrounds and all regions — should be celebrated. This crisis has disproportionately affected women and girls everywhere and one of its worst affects is the increase in gendered violence. My message is that we can all play a part in eliminating this scourge.

“There are so many people working to end discrimination and abuse so this award is in honor of them all.”

Suzi Finkelstein, Chief Executive Officer of WLA, said of the award, “The Australian Awards for Excellence in Women’s Leadership are an opportunity to recognise women who, by virtue of their actions, create opportunities for other women to advance in society.

“Ms Natasha Stott Despoja AO has been a positive role model for women and girls across Australia for many years. From her time in politics, and now as an advocate in her role as the Founding Chair of Our Watch, Ms Stott Despoja AO leads a worthwhile cause with both compassion and conviction.

“Furthermore, our state based recipients represent a broad cross section of the community and are all women who exemplify outstanding leadership. These awards continue to prove that leadership exist everywhere, and that we need to do more to acknowledge and celebrate the amazing women leaders in our society. We are so honoured that this inspiring group of women will be joining us to receive these awards this year.”

The awards were launched in 2014 to increase visibility of outstanding Australian female leaders and build momentum for gender equity in leadership positions across all industries and the broader community. The awards are nominated by members of the WLA community and presented to recipients at the Australian Women’s Leadership Symposiums, which are held annually in every state and territory in Australia.