ARN is proud to announce the winners of the 2020 ARN Women in ICT Awards (WIICTA), playing host to the leading female front runners across the channel.
Unveiled during the first-ever entirely virtual ARN Women in ICT Awards event, with hundreds of online guests from across the country, 12 outstanding individuals won awards, out of more than 110 finalists representing over 100 organisations — the most competitive line-up in the history of the awards.
This year also saw a record number of submissions — totalling more than 260.
As with last year, the awards were again expanded in recognition of the quality and volume of nominations, with both the Rising Star and Shining Star categories split three ways to cover Partner; Vendor and Distributor awards, highlighting the depth of emerging and established talent in the Australian market.
Overall, this year’s ARN WIICTA event honoured the channel across seven broad 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.
The finalist submissions were selected by a shortlist panel consisting of ARN Editor Leon Spencer 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 individuals and finalists, and thanks all organisations and individuals for taking the time to submit nominations. ARN also thanks the industry leaders comprising this year’s WIICTA judging panel.
And the winners are...
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: Karen Drewitt, The Missing Link
Highly Commended: Jade Moffat, IBM A/NZ
Karen won this award for work mentoring others in the ICT industry, along with her involvement in a range of initiatives aimed at fostering the next generation of ICT professionals, including the Young IT Explorers competition, the Tech Girls Movement and Microsoft’s Traineeship Program (MTP) Female Mentoring Program.
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: Kath Blackham, VERSA Agency
Just two years ago, Kath’s stated vision for her company, VERSA Agency, was to become Australia’s largest independent digital agency and a global leader in emerging technology. In 2019, VERSA became the world’s largest voice and conversational AI agency after forging partnerships with Amazon Alexa, Google and Microsoft.
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: Frederique Dennison, SixPivot
Winner: Nikita Dhami, DXC Technology
Frederique won this award for spearheading SixPivot’s rapid development of a solution designed to help Aged Care facilities simplify the process of connecting families over voice and video. The ConnectedFamilies solution, an automated self-service booking system, reduces the manual tasks faced by aged care workers when pairing residents with their families.
Nikita won this award for heading up the development of DXC’s Pandemic Response Robot to reduce exposure to COVID-19, allowing businesses and communities to shift back to normality as restrictions ease. The solution uses robotics, machine learning, artificial intelligence (AI), and design approaches to reduce COVID-19-related risk and anxiety.
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.
Winner: Sara van de Moosdijk, Amazon Web Services (AWS)
Sara won this award for her work leading a team at AWS in the design and implementation of a communication tool for users of sign language and users of spoken language. The first version of the tool, supporting an exchange of phrases between Auslan and English, was demonstrated at AWS re:Invent in 2019, with the code published on GitHub.
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