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

More than 110 individuals make the final shortlist in 2019

ARN is proud to announce the finalists for the 2019 ARN Women in ICT Awards (WIICTA).

More than 110 individuals make the final shortlist in 2019, representing more than 65 organisations in the most competitive line-up in the history of the awards.

This year has seen 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, where both Rising Star and Shining Star categories were split 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, WIICTA will honour the channel across seven categories, spanning Achievement; Entrepreneur; Innovation; Technical; Community; Rising Star and Shining Star.

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.

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 will now be selected by a panel of more than 40 industry judges, acknowledging the remarkable creativity, innovation and excellence on display.

Held on Friday 22 November at Hilton Hotel 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.

  • Janet Granger-Wilcox - Aussie Broadband
  • Emma Reid - Cisco
  • Clare Burden - Fujitsu
  • Nathalie Barsoum - HPE
  • Jade Moffat - IBM
  • Tianji Dickens - Microsoft
  • Tamara Klink - Salesforce
  • Sammy Herbert - SixPivot
  • Kerry Soussou - Veeam
  • Toni MacDermott - 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.

  • Nessa Doyle - Araza
  • Golnoosh (Goli) Tajadod - FlexRule
  • Kellie King - Lean Automation
  • Sharon Melamed - Matchboard
  • Nicole Freeman - Microsoft
  • Rajitha Rajasingham - Oreta
  • Maryanne Demery - Seccom Global
  • Lisa Fortey - Thomas Duryea Logicalis
  • Jordana Davis - Webcastcloud


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 
  • Louise Han - Citrix
  • Meenakshi Kakar - Ingram Micro Cloud
  • Marieke Quartermaine - Insight
  • Katrina Yon - HP
  • Cassandra Wallace - Kiandra IT
  • Pip Arthur - Microsoft
  • Karen Negus - Optus Business
  • Emma Pudney - Rackspace
  • Charlotte Schraa - Vocus

Read more on the next page...

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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.

  • Melanie Ninovic - FireEye
  • Natalie Piucco - Google
  • Azadeh Khojandi - Microsoft
  • Carol Grant - NTT Data Business Solutions
  • Lakshmi Shanavas - Nutanix
  • Sara Shrestha - Ricoh
  • Niamh Brady - Seccom Global
  • Sarah Dewan - Secure Agility
  • Salma Datenis - Sourced Group
  • Melody Lei - The Missing Link
  • Rose Herden - Veeam
  • Natalie Toohey - Vocus


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.

  • Victoria Kluth - Araza
  • Wendy Anderson - Cisco
  • Lynn Nicol - Dell Technologies
  • Karmin Jah Jah - Google Cloud
  • Paula Pendray - HPE
  • Kelly Johnson - Ingram Micro
  • Nee Ching Pang - Lenovo
  • Michelle Lim - MNF Group
  • Nicki Dewhurst - Sophos
  • Nevash Pillay - Telstra
  • Jo Masters - Tquila A/NZ
  • Olga Specjalska - VMware


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):

  • Hetal Dave - Bridged Group
  • Catherine Nicholson - Casa Systems
  • Angela Moutinho - Deloitte
  • Lexi Whitehead - Insight
  • Crystal Liu - MNF Group
  • Trisita Saha - NTT
  • Stephanie Jean - Riley
  • Ellie Johnston - The Missing Link
  • Ashlee Richardson - Thomas Duryea Logicalis
  • Megan Stamatis - Veritec

Rising Star (Vendor):

  • Carrera Chang - Cisco
  • Shalini Karthikeyan - Cisco Meraki
  • Emily Baker - CrowdStrike
  • Lauren Escalona - Datto
  • Rachel Jennings - Domo
  • Marilyn Li - Huawei
  • Arabella Mason - Microsoft
  • Alana Sahakian - Snowflake
  • Kathleen Grahame - Sophos
  • Kanika Chauhan - Telstra
  • Sarah Hilton-Wood - VMware

Rising Star (Distributor):

  • Ashley Kumar - Arrow ECS A/NZ
  • Anna Christensen - Exclusive Networks
  • Vanessa Loayza - Rhipe
  • Emma Davidson - Tech Data
  • Kristal Wheeler - Westcon-Comstor


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):

  • Claudia Pirko - BlackLine
  • Jessica Ennis - blueApache
  • Delice Coop - Datacom
  • Sue Webb - DDLS
  • Marea Phillips - Insight
  • Rebecca Callan - MNF Group
  • Meile Worrad - Optus
  • Doris Marr - Ricoh
  • Anita Sheridan-Roddick - Seccom Global
  • Emilia Lambros - Sliced Tech
  • Catriona Walkerden - Thomas Duryea Logicalis
  • Emily Curlewis - Veritec

Shining Star (Vendor):

  • Lizelle Hughes - AWS
  • Marleese Attilakos - Cisco
  • Sarah Hayward-May - Domo
  • Katherine Binks - Google
  • Renee Mitsis - HPE
  • Sara Palmieri - Lenovo
  • Asher Tarren - NBN Co
  • Claire Sangster - NextDC
  • Johanne Sergeant - Oracle
  • Iris Chan - Seismic
  • Natasha Lambert - Sophos
  • Joanne Hancock- Telstra
  • Toni Cadden - VMware
  • Astrid Groves - Vocus 

Shining Star (Distributor):

  • Karolina Mikita - Arrow ECS A/NZ
  • Sarah Loiterton - Dicker Data
  • Angela Conlon - Exclusive Networks
  • Caitlin Gerrie - Nextgen 
  • Lulu Tjahjadi - Tech Data