ARN Women in ICT Awards 2018: and the finalists are…

More than 70 individuals make the final shortlist in 2018

ARN is proud to announce the finalists for the 2018 ARN Women in ICT Awards (WIICTA), playing host to the leading female front runners across the channel.

More than 70 individuals make the final shortlist in 2018, representing more than 50 organisations in the most competitive line-up in the history of the awards.

Due to a record number of submissions - totalling more than 220 - this year sees an expansion to include four new awards, in recognition of the quality of nominations.

As a result, both Rising Star and Shining Star categories will be split up to cover Partner; Vendor and Distributor awards, highlighting the depth of emerging and established talent in the Australian market.

Overall, WIICTA will honour the channel across seven categories, spanning Achievement; Entrepreneur; Innovation; Technical; Community; Rising Star and Shining Star.

In response to a wealth of standout submissions, three categories exceed the traditional six finalist limit, with Shining Star (Partner); Shining Star (Vendor) and Achievement shortlisting eight, 11 and 11 individuals respectively.

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

Following an overwhelming response, finalist submissions were selected by a shortlist panel consisting of ARN president and publisher, Susan Searle; ARN editorial director James Henderson and ARN senior journalist Julia Talevski.

The winners will now be selected by a selected panel of 36 industry judges, acknowledging creativity, innovation and excellence.

Held on Friday 23 November at Ivy Ballroom in Sydney, the celebration lunch will host the female leaders of the ICT industry, providing a platform to celebrate channel success in Australia.

ARN congratulates all 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.

  • Elizabeth Meredith - Deloitte
  • Blaise Porter - Fujitsu
  • Noushin Shabab - Kaspersky Lab
  • Bec Langdon - Optus
  • Ellie Whitton - NEXTDC
  • Heather Opdam - VMware


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.

  • Robyn Elmes - Arrow ECS ANZ
  • Rachel Markus - Combo
  • Tracy Thomson - FinXL
  • Goli Tajadod - FlexRule
  • Maryanne Demery - Seccom Global
  • Lisa Fortey - Thomas Duryea Logicalis


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.

  • Nesrene O'Connell - Cisco
  • Keir Garrett - Datacom
  • Michelle Joosse - Hotline IT
  • Anita Sood - Microsoft
  • Lisa Bouari - OutThought


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.

  • Elaiza Benitez - Barhead Solutions
  • Knar Loveday - Data Exchange Network
  • Carina Tu - Enghouse Interactive
  • Deanne D'Souza - Pegasystems
  • Annie Lin - VMware
  • Nilam Patel - Westcon-Comstor

Read more on the next page...

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The Achievement award recognises the candidate showing outstanding commitment to the ICT industry through continuous career development and professional achievements. The candidate will have risen to a senior ICT role, earned a reputation as an esteemed thought-leader and recognised as a leader in the industry, and may also act as a role model/mentor to other aspiring female managers.

  • Tash Macknish - Data#3
  • Lynn Nicol - Dell EMC
  • Tara Ridley - Cisco
  • Iris Chan - FusionGrove
  • Marina Fronek - Hewlett Packard Enterprise
  • Rajitha Rajasingham - Oreta
  • Marina Brook - StorageCraft
  • Nicki Dewhurst - Sophos
  • Jo Masters - Tquila ANZ
  • Felicity Turner - The Yield
  • Belinda Balchin - Westcon-Comstor


The Rising Star awards recognise the candidate with a commitment to continuous career advancement and a proven desire to reach the next level of professional development. The candidate - who has been working in the ICT industry for less than eight years - is growing quickly in importance in the ICT field, demonstrating outstanding business acumen and professional integrity.

Rising Star (Partner):

  • Beatrice Barrero - Bulletproof
  • Vinita Wasan - Dimension Data
  • Nika Khodjasteh - DXC Technology
  • Sarah Loughlin - Insight
  • Angela Moutinho - Solista
  • Rebecca Ney - The Missing Link

Rising Star (Vendor):

  • Ebony Williams - Amazon Web Services
  • Tayler Feigl - Datto
  • Bhavna Pandian - Eaton
  • Kathleen Grahame - Sophos
  • Pia Veloz - Telstra
  • Ila Kulkarni - Veeam

Rising Star (Distributor):

  • Asher Tarren - Arrow ECS ANZ
  • An Nguyen - Dicker Data
  • Anna Whyte - Exclusive Networks
  • Lorna Guerin - Nextgen Distribution
  • Lauren Rutter - Rhipe
  • Michelle Hahesy - Tech Data


Due to an overwhelming number of strong female contenders in the Rising Star category, a new category was created in 2017, recognising great performers with more than eight years in ICT. The successful candidate will have shown noted achievements in the ICT industry, demonstrated areas of success (either through promotion or successful project/company initiatives), and highlighted noted achievements in the ICT industry.

Shining Star (Partner):

  • Melissa Ngau - Cevo
  • Jeni Clift - DWM
  • Kerry Fox - DXC Technology
  • Gina Anderson - Green Light Worldwide
  • Jessica Ross - Invarosoft
  • Leila Marimuthu - Kiandra IT
  • Sarah Harris - Thomas Duryea Logicalis
  • Salma Datenis - Sourced Group

Shining Star (Vendor):

  • Clare Wharrier - Autodesk
  • Erin Fitzpatrick - Cylance
  • Marie Scott - Datto
  • Kristy Thompson - HP
  • Katrina Lisk - Hewlett Packard Enterprise
  • Claudia McIntosh - Microsoft
  • Rema Lolas - Mimecast
  • Meile Worrad - Optus
  • Zoe Nicholson - Pegasystems
  • Natasha Lambert - Sophos
  • Maria Tsiaplis - Telstra

Shining Star (Distributor):

  • Tina Phillips - Dicker Data
  • Kaarena Chapman - Exclusive Networks
  • Sally McIntosh - Nextgen Distribution
  • Jennifer Lilley - Rhipe