Finalists

2012 NSW Finalists

Commonwealth Bank Business Owner Award

Audette Exel

ISIS (Asia Pacific) Pty Ltd, part of The ISIS Group, Rozelle

‘Setting up a business in the high-end financial services sector solely to support people in extreme poverty was a huge challenge and a completely new approach.’ Audette Exel

With a career spanning roles as a solicitor, CEO of a listed bank and Chair of the Bermuda Stock Exchange, Audette Exel has been a consistent achiever. Elected by the World Economic Forum as a Global Leader For Tomorrow, Audette runs ISIS Asia Pacific (ISIS AP), an Australian corporate finance and placement business that raises alternative sources of capital for its clients. ISIS Australia Pacific is also a funding engine for, and partner to, The ISIS Foundation, a not-for-profit international development organisation that’s helping alleviate poverty in Nepal and Uganda. In 14 years, ISIS Asia Pacific has provided the Foundation with more than A$7 million in core support and emergency funding. Audette is Chair of the globally operating ISIS Group and one of the youngest women in the world to have run a publicly traded bank, but she says her achievements in working for others less fortunate are what drives her today.

Gina Field

Nepean Regional Security, Penrith

‘Resilience and determination enabled me to overcome stereotypical attitudes and I am passionate about mentoring other women to succeed in male dominated industries.’ Gina Field

Think security guard and you may well conjure up a big, burly gruff male. Not so for security guard and Nepean Regional Security founder Gina Field – a pioneer in the field and a passionate advocate of security as a worthy vocation for women. Gina joined security aged 19 and quickly saw an opportunity to create a customer-service led security business. She now deploys more than 40 guards across NSW, predominantly on Government contracts. She’s also had challenging assignments such as the southern hemisphere’s biggest dance party and Baz Luhrmann’s latest blockbuster The Great Gatsby. In a business that’s 24/7, 365 days a year, Gina leads by example and through innovation. She still goes on patrol to keep abreast of customer service opportunities and has created an industry compliant electronic reporting facility which has been embraced by clients. Nepean Regional Security is one of Western Sydney’s most awarded businesses.

Anna-Lucia Mackay

HCM Global, Sydney

‘I believe if you do the ‘right’ things - the right things will happen. This means doing the hard work, learning along the way, empathising with others, and having a genuine desire to get the very best result you are capable of.’ Anna-Lucia Mackay

A passion to help Australian workers become more skilled and to actually enjoy their jobs, not just ‘endure’ it, led Anna-Lucia Mackay to start HCM Global. Five years down the track, HCM Global is a successful virtual training and management consultancy reaching into some of Australia’s largest employers to help build successful people and leadership strategies. As a culture and training expert, Anna-Lucia has developed more than 30 leading courses to help train and motivate people and she is widely recognised for her ‘excellence’ in course design and application. Her desire is to be an inspiration to other modern Australian working women striving to balance family needs with her work. Between her business demands, supporting and caring for her parents and twin sons through critical illness, and community commitments with the Cancer Council, she is setting a great example.

Katie Malyon

Katie Malyon & Associates, Sydney

‘I want to inspire other women like me - self-starters and baby-boomers – who are thinking of winding-down to a quiet life to instead get up, have a go and make the most of the experience.’ Katie Malyon

Katie Malyon learnt at a young age about the power of nurturing people. The eldest of seven children from the bush, she helped raise her siblings following her father’s untimely death. Now she’s helping asylum seekers in the most desperate of situations, as co-founder in 2011 of MALaw. So far, MALaw has assisted 537 people, 167 of whom have been invited to apply for refugee visas. A former teacher and lawyer in a large firm, Katie was 52 when she started up her first business, Katie Malyon & Associates. Seven years later, it’s Australia’s second largest immigration law firm. For Katie, her passion is as much about the development of people around her as it is about the technical aspects of law. Her staff come from as far afield as Iran, Tajikistan, and Rwanda. She has numerous accolades for contribution to immigration law and is now advocating for a Global Grey Nomads working holiday visa for over 55s.

Ros Moriarty

The Jumbana Group, Cammeray

‘The vision was to create a new Australian design ethos, one built from our country's own unique spirit of place, not borrowed from Europe or America. Breaking down boundaries has been the driver.’ Ros Moriarty

Some say the sky’s the limit and that’s exactly where Ros Moriarty found one of her biggest inspirations. As Managing Director of The Jumbana Group – a leading Australian Indigenous strategy, art and communications company - she conceived the Qantas 747 Aboriginal art aircraft, Wunala Dreaming. A three-month brand campaign became a 17 year love affair. The beauty Ros sees in Indigenous philosophy and imagery is a life-long passion. She has worked as a Radio Australia journalist and for Government in Indigenous Affairs, and has authored the award-winning memoir – Listening to Country. Through Jumbana, now in its thirtieth year, her studio’s Indigenous work is showcased to national and international audiences via relationships with global brands such as Qantas, IBM, and Nespresso. Ros’s greatest passion is integrating the commercial side of Jumbana with The Nangala Project, a non-profit company she co-founded that supports remote Aboriginal families by delivering sustainable pre-literacy, soccer and volunteer programs.

Hudson Private and Corporate Sector Award

Liesl Capper

MyCyberTwin Pty Ltd, Chatswood

‘I believe the main obstacle stopping women running high-growth enterprises is not work-life balance, but self-belief, determination, and a willingness to take calculated risks.’ Liesl Capper

Having grown up during Zimbabwe’s civil war, Liesl Capper has carried with her a strong commitment to supporting those in need. The CEO of MyCyberTwin is passionate about empowering women in non-traditional industries where much influence and wealth exists. Liesl has forged a successful career in the ICT sector, with her most recent role seeing her grow a research and development company into a world leader in artificial intelligence robots that are capable of conversing with people via sophisticated brain technology. These interactive virtual humans are able to talk to customers in live chat, smartphones or other environments. Today, they are being used by a number of Fortune 100 companies including HP, NAB, NASA, PBL, and two of the three largest insurance companies in the USA. Prior to this she was CEO of Mooter Media, a search company she built from scratch and subsequently listed on the Australian Stock Exchange.

Bronwyn Evans

Cochlear Limited, Macquarie University

‘I take every opportunity to present at workshops and events that can inspire younger women to have the confidence to explore technical careers.’ Bronwyn Evans

A fascination for learning, combined with a curiosity for the technical and scientific, gave engineer Bronwyn Evans the opportunity to use her skills to contribute to the medical technology sector. She is Senior Vice President of Quality, Clinical & Regulatory for Cochlear Limited, the global leader in implantable hearing devices including the Cochlear Implant which provides more than 250,000 people with profound hearing loss with the gift of sound. Reporting to the CEO, Bronwyn is responsible for the Quality Management System for the design, manufacturing, auditing and post-market processes of the Cochlear Implant devices. Managing a team of more than 65 engineers, scientists and administrators, Bronwyn has achieved successful approvals for market access from global medical device regulators across Australia, USA, Europe, Japan and China. She is an active role model for women in engineering through the UNSW Lucy Mentoring Program and runs a Women in Leadership program at Cochlear Limited.

Belinda Grealy

Pacific National Coal, Newcastle

‘There is no better reward than helping others grow and succeed. I’ve harnessed every strength of the broader team and empowered them to make decisions. They now see themselves as professional logistics providers.’ Belinda Grealy

Belinda Grealy began her career in 1991 as a chemical engineering cadet for BHP’s Newcastle Steelworks. After roles at Onesteel, where she led a change project for NSW and Victoria, she found her passion for operations and moved to Tomago Aluminium and recently to Pacific National Coal, one of Australia’s leading coal haulage operators. As Northern Operations Manager, she leads a team of more than 500 employees. She is responsible for operations involving 100 locomotive units and 3,500 wagons carrying more than $3 billion in export coal from the Hunter Valley and Gunnedah Basin regions to Newcastle terminals and domestic coal for electricity generation. Belinda is an advocate for greater participation of women in industry and has instigated and supported diversity strategies within the business. She champions women operators and engineers through mentoring and is working towards holding the first Hunter Valley Women In Industry event.

Heather Idoine

Sir Stamford at Circular Quay, Sydney

‘In a typical month up to 3000 room nights would be occupied and we are increasing occupancy and room revenue.’ Heather Idoine

It’s 40 years since Heather Idoine gave up a university scholarship to begin her hotel career as a room attendant on Hayman Island. Her journey has given her exhaustive knowledge of hotels, from restaurants and bars to marketing, front office and conference management. Since her first general manager position in 1998 for Heritage Hotels, Heather’s achievements include managing the successful opening of the 280-room Holiday Inn Wellington in New Zealand in 2006. Today, Heather is General Manager of Sir Stamford at Circular Quay, a 10-storey boutique hotel that incorporates the historic 1897 Health Department building. She is responsible for 110 staff and the operations of the 105-room, 5 star hotel that has an annual turnover of $12 million and attracts international and domestic business and leisure clients. One of a handful of female general managers in Sydney’s 220 major hotels, Heather has driven improvements in reservation yields and food and beverages revenue.

Jeanne Selvage

AJS Computing Services, Pymble

‘I firmly believe that there is no such thing as ‘failure’ - rather each failure should be seen as a learning opportunity.’ Jeanne Selvage

Realising the IT industry stands still for no one, Jeanne Selvage started AJS Computing Services in 1990. The organisation provides business management software for small to medium enterprises. Starting as a sole trader, Jeanne has expanded the business into international markets through organic growth and acquisitions and expects to turnover $5 million in revenue this year. In 1997 the business went global with the roll-out of its Epicor software across the Asia Pacific. The team built a multi-country project management strategy which paved the way for a pan-European roll-out of the same software. As Managing Director and CEO, Jeanne’s most memorable achievement was the acquisition of a software company specialising in radio broadcast. Jeanne established a new business with the company’s previous owner and took over its biggest US competitor within 12 months. She plans to partner with a major US media software provider to foster further growth in international markets and move into television.

Cynthia Whelan

Barclays Australia and New Zealand, Sydney

‘I understand the power of women working together and I take every opportunity I can to assist others.’ Cynthia Whelan

Cynthia Whelan is driven, tenacious and resilient. At 15 she left school to pursue a career as a ballerina before injury forced her to retire. She then studied finance at university and worked with industry giants such as Merrill Lynch and UBS. In 2004 she joined Barclays where she developed the first institution’s debt capital market (DCM) business in Australia. Its success saw her relocated to Hong Kong where she led the regional consolidation of four Asian DCM operations. In 2011 she was appointed CEO for Australia and New Zealand and joined Barclay’s Asia Pacific Executive Committee becoming its first woman and Australian business representative. In the same year she was awarded global Barclays Woman of the Year award which recognised her 20 years in investment banking. Cynthia is active in networking and philanthropy through Barclays Women's Initiatives Network, the Chief Executive Women group, Sydney Women's Fund and through Women in Finance Asia which she co-founded.

White Pages Community & Government Award

Sharon Callister

Salvation Army Aged Care Plus, Meadowbank

‘Working for the Salvation Army was a natural progression, allowing me to lead and embrace a major change that would reshape the organisation and the lives touched by it .’ Sharon Callister.

Training for and completing 100 kilometre ultra marathons has helped prepare Sharon Callister with the drive and endurance required to succeed as the Chief Executive Officer of the Salvation Army’s Aged Care Plus division. The division provides care and accommodation for thousands of older Australians including the socially and financially disadvantaged through its eight retirement villages, 17 nursing homes and 60 community care packages across NSW, Queensland and the ACT. Sharon oversees 1100 staff, more than 300 volunteers and an operating budget of more than $100 million. She was the first non-Salvation Army Officer to be appointed to this senior role within the organisation and tasked with revitalising Aged Care Plus. Since 2008, she has developed a new vision, mission and strategic plan, moved the division from a financial deficit to surplus and grown residential and community care services. Previously, she was the Chief Executive Officer at Anglican Aged Care Services and spent more than a decade with the Australian Red Cross Blood Service.

Ronni Kahn

OzHarvest, Alexandria

'I am surrounded by outstanding people and this has enabled me to bring my dream to life. I treat my team as leaders without titles so that they can be the best they can be.’ Ronni Kahn

While running a successful event and corporate function business Ronni Kahn witnessed food going to waste and was inspired to create an organisation that would address this issue. Australian studies suggest that $7.8 billion of good food goes to waste every year. After research, and sourcing seed funding, Ronni established OzHarvest in 2004. Its mission is to rescue surplus perishable food and deliver it to organisations feeding those in need, at no cost to them or the donor. It wasn’t without challenges. OzHarvest had to have laws amended in four states to allow good food to be given away and find funding to cover the cost of a fleet of vehicles and drivers. After eight years of operation OzHarvest collects the equivalent of 330,000 meals per month and delivers them to 450 welfare organisations. Over that time, more than four million kilograms of food have been saved from landfill.

Kate Melhopt

South East Neighbourhood Centre, Eastlakes

‘I have a long history of community service along with a strong commitment to social inclusion and providing services to support the rights of marginalised or disadvantaged groups.’ Kate Melhopt.

Kate Melhopt first volunteered at the age of 16 at a hostel for intellectually impaired people. After securing her education and psychology qualifications, she combined her love of travel and volunteering by working as a mental health social worker in London. In 2004 she became a psychosocial management consultant in Sri Lanka supporting two non-government organisations. Today, she is the Executive Officer at the South East Neighbourhood Centre in Eastlakes, a not for profit organisation that supports hundreds of community members. Their range of services include advice, advocacy, childcare, counselling, food deliveries, multicultural support, in-home respite care and community transport. In her current role, Kate is responsible for human resources management, advocating and lobbying on social justice issues, promotion and marketing, compliance of procedures and policies with current legislation and the planning of service delivery. Her achievements include securing on-going funding for the organisation’s programs and growing services in tight financial conditions.

Rosemary Milkins

Fire and Rescue NSW, Sydney

‘I believe strongly in the value of public service and making a difference in people’s lives. This belief is based on my background as a migrant and my strong desire to make a personal contribution to this country.’ Rosemary Milkins

Teaching love sonnets and Shakespeare to disinterested adolescents during a 12-year teaching career instilled Rosemary Milkins with the skills and discipline to motivate people. Today, she is the most senior female executive within Fire and Rescue NSW. As the Deputy Chief Executive she heads all the corporate functions in one of the world’s largest urban fire and rescue services. She joined the agency in 2010 to lead a program of organisational reform in the areas of finance, human resources, industrial relations, ICT, community safety, training, planning, media and infrastructure affecting 7000 employees across 300 stations. During a public sector career spanning more than three decades, Rosemary has also held senior positions within NSW Department of Health, where she was responsible for setting up a new division comprising administrative, IT and corporate service functions, Department of Premier and Cabinet, Department of Education and Training and the NSW Board of Studies.

Nieves Murray

IRT Group, Wollongong

‘There’s no doubt that a high level of energy and a strong work ethic have been pivotal to my success along with an unnatural hunger for learning and self-improvement.’ Nieves Murray

Nieves Murray is CEO and Company Secretary of IRT Group, Australia’s largest community-based provider of aged care and seniors living with 32 centres in NSW and the ACT. After studying psychology she moved into health care and joined Wollongong-based IRT in 1992 to establish a pilot program of community aged care. Appointed CEO in late 2006, she led a major cultural transformation and growth strategy, learning the importance of maintaining frequent and consistent staff communication. Today IRT Lifestyle and Care business provides accommodation for active seniors, high care nursing centres for frail people and services to seniors in their own home. Nine thousand seniors put their trust in IRT’s 2000 staff every day. Nieves has continued post-graduate education throughout her career, culminating in executive education at Harvard Business School in 2008. She became a Lifeline Crisis Counsellor after the suicide of a friend and organised the first Vinnies CEO Sleepout outside a capital city.

Lee de Winton

Royal Australian Air Force, RAAF Williamtown

‘My squadron has the capability to set up a base either nationally or internationally at a moment’s notice to help with a national emergency or support humanitarian disaster relief.’ Lee de Winton

As the Commanding Officer of Number 381 Expeditionary Combat Support Squadron, Wing Commander Lee de Winton is responsible for the management of the support capabilities at RAAF Williamtown, the Australian Defence Force’s busiest airfield. Williamtown accommodates jet fighters, surveillance, training aircraft and is home to 300 multi-purpose vehicles and other defence equipment. Lee also provides support services at remote or semi-developed airstrips for national and international emergencies or humanitarian disaster relief tasks. Her career highlights include a deployment to Iraq in 2003 and more recently, leading a joint exercise between the Australian and United States air forces which tested the interoperability of the command, communications, logistics, security and health of the engineering services of both air forces for the first time. In only 36 hours, a piece of bushland – called the ‘Impossible Airfield’ – was transformed into an airbase. In 2008, she began a women’s development and leadership forums group which have now been formalised across most of the Air Force.

Nokia Business Innovation Award

Liesl Capper

MyCyberTwin Pty Ltd, Chatswood

‘I have designed a profiling system that allows a conversational robot with artificial intelligence to make autonomous decisions and have human-like conversations in live chat, smartphones or other environments.’ Liesl Capper

With training in education and psychology, Liesl has brought some unique perspectives to the software industry. The holder of four patents, she has been behind the design of the world leading MyCyberTwin virtual humans, which are able to talk with customers using sophisticated artificial intelligence. The ‘brain’ technology is being used by large corporations to serve customers better. Liesl and her team are currently developing a prototype 'health coach' for chronic disease intervention with Charles Perkins Centre at The University of Sydney. Research shows patients stick to a weight management program twice as long if they interact with an intelligent agent with human characteristics and qualities. In addition to two patents which make robots appear human-like and intuitive, she is the creator of Australian search engine company Mooter Media and developed its search technology. Mooter Search analyses user behaviour allowing for personalised searches. The technology was licensed to Yahoo! and Fairfax.

Audette Exel

ISIS (Asia Pacific) Pty Ltd, part of The ISIS Group, Rozelle

‘I‘ve attracted and retained top-tier staff who work with passion and for compensation well below market rates. The culture inside ISIS is tangible: it is one of pride, excellence and service.’ Audette Exel

The marriage of a financial services business and a not-for-profit, embodied by ISIS Asia Pacific and The ISIS Foundation, is unique. Co-founder Audette Exel says combining the different strengths of both organisations helps everyone benefit. A former CEO of the Bermuda Commercial Bank, Audette founded ISIS Asia Pacific to find alternative sources of capital for corporate clients. It also acts as the funding engine for The ISIS Foundation, whose operations help relieve world poverty in Nepal and Uganda. ISIS Asia Pacific’s approach in providing financial services while steering its own profits into the foundation has attracted a special sort of staff. The company’s innovative management model allows ISIS Asia Pacific to cover the core costs of The ISIS Foundation and ensure every cent of philanthropic funding makes it to the front-line. Audette says she’s been blessed with teams of people united by a desire to make change - her role has been to unlock their skill and creativity.

Rebecca James

Lavender Communication Group, Sydney

‘Ego second, customer first.’ Rebecca James

In the world of advertising and marketing, words and pictures are powerful. Yet for agency wiz Rebecca James, it’s the actions and passion that really matter when striving for success in a dynamic industry. At the age of 27 Rebecca was appointed Managing Director of Lavender Communication Group after playing a critical role in establishing the business. She has since sought to find ways to turn the advertising industry on its head with her customer-focused approach. Rather than simply creating campaigns, Rebecca has led her team to develop rewarding customer journeys. This has led to growth in the number of heavyweight clients and created new business streams for Lavender making it one of Australia’s largest independent advertising agencies employing 110 people. Unlocking the potential in her staff through mentoring, training and building a great culture has been pivotal. Under Rebecca’s leadership, Lavender is a multi-award winning agency whose footprint is going global.

Ronni Kahn

OzHarvest, Alexandria

‘At 45, I decided that I wanted to do something significant with my life and realised that I had the skills to set up an organisation that would rescue some of that good food and deliver it to those in need.’ Ronni Kahn

A simple idea of ‘rescuing’ good food from food producers, manufacturers, delicatessens, take-aways, hotels, boardrooms, caterers and events has not only helped feed thousands of people in need but addressed other major community issues. The concept of OzHarvest, introduced by Ronni Kahn, also saves good food from going to landfill. It’s estimated that more than $7.8 billion dollars worth of good food goes to waste every year and every kilogram of food wasted also wastes energy, water, fuel and resources embedded in the production process. To help enhance the vision on OzHarvest, Ronni and her team have recently created an online ‘toolkit’ called REAP - Rescuing Excess (with) A Passion - that teaches people how to rescue food and minimise waste benefitting both food donors and recipients. It has also developed an innovative fundraising concept, the CEO Cookoff, which raised more than $1 million in its first year to support OzHarvest’s work.

marie claire Young Business Women’s Award

Sarah Anderson

GTI Tourism Pty Ltd, Bondi Junction

‘I have an incredibly clear vision for the business and regularly share this with my team so that everyone knows what they are working towards.’ Sarah Anderson

Combining passions for tourism, marketing and environmentalism, Sarah Anderson has carved a unique niche for herself and GTI Tourism, the company she founded in 2006. GTI Tourism provides marketing and public relations services to 12 clients and represents a number of overseas destinations within Australia. Sarah also established The Travel Corporation Conservation Foundation, which works with travel companies to contribute up to a $1 million a year to conservation and sustainable tourism projects. Sarah is passionate about giving back to the community she works with and volunteers with industry groups such as the World Travel and Tourism Council to ensure sustainability within the industry. Sarah encourages her staff to be members of industry associations and pays for them to attend international conferences and workshops that provide networking and learning opportunities. Sarah has established a network of affiliates, giving GTI Tourism sales representation across Europe, UK, North and South America, and Asia.

Natalie Archer

Bendelta Pty Ltd, Sydney

‘Motivating and inspiring has come through a combination of me being clear about my values, living them out, and being authentic and natural with my team.’ Natalie Archer

At 23, double degree-qualified Natalie Archer was the youngest person to be appointed to a board of World Vision. At the same time, she co-founded strategic advisory firm Bendelta. Nine years on and now joint CEO, Natalie says that in those years of helping organisations build capability and adjust quickly to changing environments, the Bendelta culture has attracted and retained top talent. Natalie says Bendelta has achieved average annual growth of 35 per cent but the biggest constant is a commitment to what she terms ‘The Bendelta Code’, a platform of eight principles that help the business and its people achieve their potential. Outside of work, Natalie remains active with World Vision and supporting women and their children affected by drug and alcohol addictions through being a board member of Odyssey House. Natalie has set up Project Delta, a targeted leadership transformation journey for 12 emerging not-for-profit leaders.

Naomi Barber

Disability Services Australia, Bankstown

‘The driving factors for my success come from a genuine interest in the Community Services sector, my natural ability to care for others and a desire for human rights, respect and dignity for all people.’ Naomi Barber

Turning her back on careers in retail management and the music industry, Naomi Barber decided she needed to do something that delivered more than just personal job satisfaction. Naomi joined the Deaf Society of NSW and has since moved to not-for-profit Disability Services Australia, where she is Manager Access and Transition. Naomi manages separate teams across NSW that deliver support to school leavers with a disability and promote the organisation’s work. Naomi manages a team of four that supports the needs of more than 2000 people with a disability within Disability Services Australia. These people are assisted to find or keep a job by an employment program, employed in one of four employment factories or with community services. Naomi manages a budget of $1.4m and has expanded Disability Services Australia services into regional areas. Naomi researches and implements strategies to develop and improve cultural awareness and diversity within the organisation.

Dr Genevieve Nelson

The Kokoda Track Foundation, Sydney

‘Our current projects include 350 school scholarships to students from villages along the Kokoda Track, funding educational supplies, furniture and equipment to 40 schools, and supporting 15 aid posts with medicines and supplies.’ Dr Genevieve Nelson

Repaying the wartime debt owed by Australians to the selfless ‘Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels’ of Papua New Guinea is the raison d’etre of The Kokoda Track Foundation, an Australian philanthropic organisation that aims to improve the lives and futures of their descendants. Executive director Dr Genevieve Nelson does not rely on government funding to change lives, attracting support from individual donors, corporates, and philanthropists. Practical assistance with education and healthcare is only part of the picture. Genevieve is also committed to protecting their environment through fostering the growth of an eco-friendly trekking and tourism industry. Genevieve spends two months of each year ‘on the ground’ in the difficult social and political environment of PNG, advocating there and in Australia for issues related to poverty, corruption and livelihoods. A registered psychologist, Genevieve is an Adjunct Research Fellow with the University of Western Sydney and presents at national and international conferences about her research and experiences.

Sonya Pell

The Salvation Army, Sydney

‘I feel blessed to have worked with and been mentored by some truly inspiring women; I aim to implement what I learned about leadership from these women.’ Sonya Pell

Managing government contracts worth $32 million in the unpredictable environment of emergency relief and social need is the latest in a varied series of roles for Sonya Pell. The Assistant Director for Social Programs at the Salvation Army, Sonya provides strategic direction in areas like research and advocacy, youth outreach and community detention. A key part of her work has been introducing a system to allow greater resourcing, structure and accountability for all programs across her department. This Kenya-born Australian and her husband live as caretakers for The Salvation Army's Oasis Centre which provides crisis accommodation for homeless youth, while significant weekend and evening time is spent supporting and mentoring newly arrived refugees. With a passion for research, Sonya took on her current job intending to embed an evidence base into everything her department does. Already qualified in Psychology and Public Policy, Sonya is studying to become a solicitor.