Advancement of Women in the Workplace Award

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ACLW together with Avril Henry Pty Ltd and Diversity Council Australia in 2010 honoured exemplary initiatives that promote women’s advancement with its Advancement of Women in the Workplace Award (AWWA). This Award recognised women and men who are leading the way in reducing gender disparity,  promoting equity and women’s advancement in the workplace.  
Applications for this Award were required to indicate a commitment to women’s empowerment.   
Individuals could nominate themselves for the Award or be nominated by someone else, and were required to provide supporting documentation from the workplace in which the project was instigated.
There was no fee for entering this Award.  Applicants must be Australian citizens, or have been granted permanent residence.
Applications opened for this Award on 1 September 2010 and closed at 5pm on 22 December 2010. Winners were announced at ACLW on 8 March 2011, International Women’s Day.

Eligibility and Requirements


  • Sex: All
  • Age: 18 or older
  • Nationality: Australian citizen or Australian permanent resident
  • Specific educational qualifications are not necessary for an entrant to apply.
  • Must have been employed in the workplace when the project was undertaken.


The 2011 Advancement of Women in the Workplace Award recipient must demonstrate all of the following:

  • The project must have been undertaken from January 2008 onwards and must have been of 3 months duration in the minimum.
  • The project was designed and implemented for the benefit of women’s advancement and their empowerment in the workplace.
  • The project’s aims included one or more of the following: reducing gender disparity,  promoting equity; enabling women’s advancement in the workplace
  • The recipient must have been the main creator and co-ordinator of the project.
  • The project provided a demonstrable positive impact on women in the workplace and was well received by the management and women in the workplace.


  • Innovation and success of the project in terms of what it involved, how it identified and addressed needs, its evaluation and current status.
  • The size of the project in terms of how many women in the workplace it directly benefited.
  • Integration of the project into the organisation’s operations and planning
  • The learning that the individual gained through the development and implementation of the project and the changes made for greater efficiency
  • The amount of personal effort the individual invested in the project from the beginning to the end in terms of being the person who was the main driver of the project
  • The completion of the Award Application by the individual who created the project.
Award and Prizes

AWARD and Prizes

  • There will be 4 rankings for the winners:
  • One First place or Gold Winner (Certificate and $1000 prize money)
  • One Second place or Silver Winner (Certificate and $600 prize money)
  • One Third place or Bronze Winner (Certificate and $400 prize money)
  • Two Highly Commended Winners (Certificate and $200 prize money)


  • Any material in excess of 10 A4 pages will not be passed on to the judging panel.

Section A
Provide an overview of the project for the advancement of women in your workplace addressing how your project meets the Requirements and Selection Criteria for the Award.
Section B
Explain why you instigated the project?
Explain how you conducted the project. Include whom you collaborated with and why? What were the difficulties and highlights of implementing your project?
What were the measurable and non-measurable results of your project?
What is the current status of your project?
How has your workplace integrated the project?
Section C
What have you personally learnt from your efforts to advance women in your workplace?
Section D
Summarise your project and outline the sets of leadership  skills you employed in effectively developing, administering and evaluating your project.

Judges for the Award

Applications were judged by Dr Diann Rodgers-Healey, Executive Director of ACLW; Nareen Young, CEO of Diversity Council Australia and Avril Henry, Principal of Avril Henry Pty Ltd and Katy McDonald, National Director of People and Development at Minter Ellison Lawyers.


Nareen Young is the CEO of Diversity Council Australia (DCA). DCA is the independent, not-for-profit diversity advisor to business in Australia. Originally established in 1985 to demonstrate the business community’s commitment to equal opportunity for women, our focus has grown to include all aspects of diversity in the workplace. In partnership with our members our mission is to:

  • understand and achieve leadership in diversity thinking and practice in an Australian context 
  • realize business improvement through successful diversity programs
  • implement effective compliance management in a changing legislative environment, and 
  • publicly demonstrate commitment to diversity.

DCA members have access to free or discounted services to support and enhance their internal diversity capabilities and external profile.

Visit for more information


Avril Henry graduated from the University of Cape Town in Accounting and Economics, migrating to Australia in 1980, with two suitcases, $500 and a dream to live freely and make a difference.

She embarked on a career which spanned senior roles in Finance, IT Project Management, Change Management and HR. The companies she has worked for include De Beers, Barclays Bank, Midland Bank, UBS Warburg and Westpac. She has worked in South Africa, Australia, the UK and USA.

From 1994 to 2003, Avril held senior HR and HR Director roles at Westpac, DMR Consulting Group, Merrill Lynch and Clayton Utz, with a focus on leadership development, people management strategies, cultural change and integration. During a time of significant cultural change at Westpac in the mid 1990’s, Avril developed and implemented two programs on diversity and sexual harassment which resulted in two awards for Westpac from the Australian Human Rights Commission. In 1996 she went on to win a Silverscreen award for a video on child care titled “Care for Kids” in Chicago, and received a special recognition award for her role in producing a video titled “What’s Sex Got To Do With It?”, which was a finalist at the New York Film and TV Festival Awards.

She is a past Chair and co-Founder of the National Diversity Think Tank, a past president of the Sydney Business & Professional Women’s Club and was a member of the Westpac Delegation to the 1995 Beijing Women’s Conference in China.

Avril Henry website


Katy McDonad has degrees in Arts and Law from the University of Melbourne and the University of Sydney. When she graduated in 1989, she worked as a judge’s associate for a judge of the Federal Court of Australia and the Human Rights Commission.  Katy worked in private legal  practice for seven years as a commercial litigator at Barker Gosling in Sydney and then in the HR & IR practice at Minter Ellison.  She left private practice in 1996 to work at the University of Sydney as the Director of Equal Opportunity.  Katy joined Westpac in 1999 where she worked for ten years in the role of Head of Employee Relations Legal and then Head of Employee Relations, Diversity and Policy.  She has held a number of directorships for not for profits and is an accredited mediator.  She is currently Acting as National Director of People and Development at MInter Ellison Lawyers.   


God and Silver SPONSORS

  • ACLW is proud to announce that Australia Post have chosen to communicate their commitment to assisting women advance in workplaces by GOLD SPONSORING the 2011 Advancement of Women in the Workplace Award.
  • The Award is also being Silver Sponsored by Living Now Magazine.
Media Release

As women are an integral part of the Australian workforce, what are companies doing to invest and accelerate their advancement in the workplace? With research showing that companies with higher percentages of women leaders financially outperforming companies with the lowest percentages of women leaders by significant margins, it is time to showcase the best practices by men and women in leading organizations who are pioneering initiatives for women’s advancement.

The Australian Centre for Leadership for Women (CLW), a virtual Centre at is today launching the national Advancement of Women in the Workplace Award (AWWA) together with Avril Henry Pty Ltd and Diversity Council Australia. This Award will recognise women and men who are leading the way in reducing gender disparity, promoting equity and women’s advancement in the workplace.

Dr Diann Rodgers-Healey, Founder and Director of CLW, Nareen Young, CEO of Diversity Council Australia and Avril Henry, Director of Avril Henry Pty Ltd will judge the applications and select the winners who will be awarded the prizes on International Women’s Day in 2010.

Proudly sponsored by Australia Post, PepsiCo Australia & New Zealand and Living Now Magazine, applications for the Award are now open and will close on 22 December 2009.

Advancement of Women in the Workplace Award (AWWA) | Awards
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