ARN Women in ICT Awards 2019: and the winners are…

ARN Women in ICT Awards 2019: and the winners are…

More than 110 individuals made the final shortlist in 2019

The ARN WIICTA 2019 winners

The ARN WIICTA 2019 winners

Credit: Ashley Mar Ashley Mar Ashley Mar Ashley Mar Ashley Mar Ashley Mar

ARN is proud to announce the winners of the 2019 ARN Women in ICT Awards (WIICTA), playing host to the leading female front runners across the channel.

Unveiled at the Hilton Hotel in Sydney during the largest ceremony in the Awards’ history, with over 500 guests, 13 outstanding individuals won awards, out of more than 110 finalists representing over 65 organisations -- the most competitive line-up for WIICTA ever. 

This year saw a record number of submissions -- totalling more than 230. 

Last year, the awards were expanded to include six new awards in recognition of the quality of nominations, with both the Rising Star and Shining Star categories split up to cover Partner, Vendor and Distributor awards, highlighting the depth of emerging and established talent in the Australian market.

In response to the wealth of standout submissions, all categories exceeded the traditional six finalist limit, showcasing the very best of what the IT sector has produced.

Overall, this year’s ARN WIICTA event honoured the channel across seven categories, spanning: Achievement; Entrepreneur; Innovation; Technical; Community; Rising Star; and Shining Star.

Since launching in 2012, ARN WIICTA has acknowledged the achievements of a talented group of female leaders and innovators who are on the path to becoming, or have become, influential figures across the local ICT industry.

Finalist submissions were selected by a shortlist panel consisting of ARN associate publisher and sales director, Cherry Yumul and ARN senior journalist, Julia Talevski.

The winners were selected by a panel of more than 40 industry judges, acknowledging the remarkable creativity, innovation and excellence on display.

ARN congratulates all winners, highly commended and finalists, and thanks all organisations and individuals for taking the time to submit nominations.


The Community award recognises the candidate with exemplary service to the technology sector, through philanthropic initiatives and efforts to foster a positive working environment for women in ICT. The goodwill ambassador will be actively making a difference in the community, working towards the advancement of women in ICT, and going above and beyond to give back to the community.

Winner: Emma Reid, Cisco

Highly Commended: Kerry Soussou, Veeam

Emma won this award for going over and above in her day job to create programs that help bridge the gender diversity gap. Her dedicated focus for diversity is centred on three key programs: Cisco Connected Women, Women of Influence and Women Rock IT - a program that provides access to self-study courses to build skills through Cisco’s Networking Academy. 


The Entrepreneur award recognises the candidate who has achieved outstanding results in the ICT industry, an enterprising individual who has achieved success through risk-taking and proven initiative, often challenging the status quo in business in order to set up new ventures, products or new services.

Winner: Sharon Melamed, Matchboard

Highly Commended: Kellie King, Lean Automation

Sharon began pursuing her entrepreneurial dream in 2012 after leaving a high-flying corporate gig. She set about changing the way in which buyers find their ‘perfect match’ suppliers of software and services and, within seven years, Matchboard has helped more than 3000 companies find suppliers across hundreds of categories.


The Innovation award recognises the candidate who is a stand-out in delivering ‘big picture’ ideas and vision in the ICT industry, thereby responding to change and discovering unique and challenging business opportunities. The candidate will show a proven track record of finding new and better ways of doing business, continually pushing the envelope in the ICT industry.

Winner: Emma Pudney, Rackspace

Highly Commended: Cassandra Wallace, Kiandra IT

Emma won this award in recognition of her work on the concept and development of Service Blocks, which was taken from a locally pioneered innovation and became a globally developed solution under her guidance. Service Blocks allows customers to deconstruct the traditional managed services model into smaller ‘blocks’, reducing cost and wastage. 


The Technical award recognises the candidate who has excelled in the technical and engineering segment of the ICT industry, demonstrating a proven depth of knowledge and abilities. The candidate will demonstrate excellence in problem-solving and decision-making skills, and an exemplary level of accomplishment in job performance.

Winners: Melody Lei, The Missing Link, and Natalie Piucco, Google

Melody won this award in recognition of her deep security expertise, which includes red and purple teaming - a proposition that few security consultants have undertaken in the Australian market. During her time at The Missing Link she has used her expertise in web application development and cloud technology to win significant business. 

Natalie won this award for becoming the first local female Google Cloud customer engineer, and for her leadership in some of Australia’s largest transformation projects. She has helped customers transform their business through machine learning, big data, IoT, serverless computing, Google collaboration tools, Chrome and Android. 

Read more on the next page...

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