ARN honoured the leading front runners of the Australian channel as the 2016 Women in ICT Awards (WIICTA) created new memories in Sydney.
Held at a jam-packed Hilton Hotel, over 400 tech leaders combined to celebrate gender diversity and recognise female excellence across the industry.
Spanning seven categories - including a special Lifetime Achievement recognition - the fifth annual awards ceremony honoured the achievements of those who have risen to become influential figures within the Australian ICT industry, alongside the rising stars who are quickly growing in importance across the country.
Following an overwhelming response, a total of 174 nominations were received for 2016, of which 153 were unique individuals across Achievement, Rising Star, Shining Star, Entrepreneur, Innovation, Technical and Community awards.
The short-listed finalists were chosen by a panel consisting of ARN president and publisher, Susan Searle; ARN editor, James Henderson and ARN deputy editor, Hafizah Osman, with winners selected by an esteemed list of judges.
For the Lifetime Achievement award, ARN Hall of Fame inductee Ross Cochrane joined the short-list panel to select the winner.
Kickstarting proceedings with an opening keynote was Vicki Batka, Cisco managing director of partner organisation across Asia Pacific and Japan.
Batka is a 30 year veteran of the ICT industry, having held senior positions in management, sales and marketing for SAP, VMware, CA Technologies, Adobe, Toshiba and Network Associates.
During this time, Batka has also driven a diversity agenda, best illustrated through her role as leader of Lean In’s Women in Tech Asia chapter, where she coaches and mentors industry colleagues.
The second keynote of the day was delivered by Kerrie-Anne Turner, VMware Head of Channels and General Business across Australia and New Zealand.
During a standout career of 25 years, Turner has forged a strong reputation both locally and internationally, following a range of management roles at Symantec, StayinFront and Fieldforce Automation solutions.
As a strong advocate for gender diversity, Turner has dedicated large parts of her career to championing women in technology, actively giving back to the community through a range of mentoring and coaching initiatives across Australia.
The winners of the 2016 ARN Women in ICT Awards are:
Angela Chan - APC by Schneider Electric
Angela won the Community Award for significantly contributing to shaping communities on the edge of the ICT industry, through her ongoing voluntary work across Australia. Angela founded Hackathons Australia and also works closely with Leaders In Heels and supports Coder Factory Academy.
Rebecca Callan - MNF Group
Rebecca won the Technical Award for her work in developing a proof of concept for one of the world’s most advanced toll fraud migration platforms, TollShield. In leading a team of developers, Rebecca helped shape a SaaS solution that has been honoured across the country for its award-winning technical innovation.
Highly commended: Charlotte Wang - IBM
Isabel Boniface - Microsoft
Isabel won the Innovation Award through her ongoing drive for excellence, outlined through her role as a change agent within the industry. With a natural instinct to solve business problems, Isabel combats the challenge of business with natural creativity and over 20 years of experience.
Faith Rees - SixPivot
Faith won the Entrepreneur Award following her success in co-founding SixPivot, an emerging cloud first innovator across Australia. After also taking home the Start-up of the Year Award at the 2016 ARN ICT Industry Awards, Faith is a strong advocate for women in technology, serving as a mentor and committee member for a number of associations.
Holly Melrose - eNerds
Holly won the Rising Star Award for her transformation at eNerds. After starting out as a receptionist, Holly progressed into a proven leader as general manager of Client Services, now responsible for eight direct reports within the business. Holly achieved this in just five years.
Lisa Stockwell - Arrow ECS A/NZ
Lisa won the Shining Star Award for her instrumental role in growing the Distribution Central business, which now forms part of Arrow ECS A/NZ. As a well-respected figure within the channel, Lisa has been widely credited for her work in securing distribution rights with Hewlett Packard Enterprise and Microsoft during 2016.
Highly commended: Lizelle Hughes - Amazon Web Services
Belinda Jurisic - Citrix
Belinda won the Achievement Award for demonstrating outstanding leadership during a career spanning 24 years. Having developed and executed on several partner strategies, Belinda continues to demonstrate an ongoing passion for the channel in Australia.
Highly commended: Nicolette Moore - Optus Business
Wendy won the Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of nearly 30 years of service to the channel. Since starting out in 1988, Wendy has risen through the ranks to lead the Asia Pacific business of Westcon-Comstor, spanning 13 countries including Australia and New Zealand. Both highly regarded and well respected, Wendy is seen as an Asia growth expert within the channel, having led the start-up of new business in nine countries across North and South East Asia. Wendy - an ARN Hall of Fame inductee - recently announced her intention to step down as Westcon-Comstor executive vice president of Asia Pacific, and will take a break before returning to the industry in the future.