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Top 100 Women of Influence List Revealed

16 October 2013 at 4:16 pm
Staff Reporter
The Australian Women Donors Network Chair and Co-Founder Eve Mahlab has been named among Australia’s Top 100 Women of Influence for 2013.

Staff Reporter | 16 October 2013 at 4:16 pm


Top 100 Women of Influence List Revealed
16 October 2013 at 4:16 pm

The Australian Women Donors Network Chair and Co-Founder Eve Mahlab has been named among Australia’s Top 100 Women of Influence for 2013.

The Financial Review and Westpac event celebrates and recognises influential women who are changing Australia. The 10 category winners and the overall winner will be announced at a Gala Dinner on October 17 in Sydney.

Eve Mahlab, who was named under the philanthropy category, joins a large group of Not for Profit leaders in this year’s awards. Her daughter and founder of Pro Bono Australia Karen Mahlab made the top 100 list in 2012, which was won by Foundation for Young Australians Chief Executive Jan Owen.

Also making this year’s list under the Social Enterprise category was Australian Indigenous Leadership Centre (AILC) CEO Rachelle Towart who joins almost a dozen indigenous women on the list.

AILC Chair Dr Tom Calma AO said that in her six years as CEO, Towart had lifted the profile of Indigenous leadership and transformed the AILC, securing partnerships with several of the nation’s largest corporations and also multi-year government funding.

“The AILC’s funding base is three times the size it was when Rachelle started – creating new opportunities for hundreds of Indigenous leaders across the country,” Dr Calma said.

“The AILC was established in 2001 as an Indigenous not-for-profit organisation offering Indigenous solutions that would benefit all Australians.

“Today, the AILC remains the only national provider of accredited Indigenous leadership training in Australia and we have received hundreds of letters and emails from graduates who have said the AILC changed their lives for the better.

“Rachelle’s work has enabled hundreds of additional students to experience an AILC course. Each one of those graduates have touched the lives of family, community and workplaces – establishing a profound ripple effect that ensures AILC courses have benefited thousands across the country.

“Rachelle has also established Australia’s largest Indigenous alumni group, Australia’s largest annual Indigenous leadership gathering and the nation’s first comprehensive Indigenous leadership pathway – providing opportunities throughout the lives of Indigenous leaders.

“Indigenous leadership and Indigenous governance have been repeatedly identified as key capabilities that need to be boosted if we are to close the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people in Australia."

Another leader who made the list under the innovation category was RSPCA Australia Chief Scientist Dr Bidda Jones.

Dr Jones was recognised for her continued work to address the animal welfare problems with the live export trade and to improve the humaneness of pest animal control.

After joining RSPCA Australia in 1997, Dr Jones was appointed Chief Scientist in 2006 and has overseen its science and policy team ever since.

Dr Jones has been a driving force in ensuring the science of animal welfare is accessible to the public through innovative projects such as the online RSPCA Knowledgebase, which now sees more than 1.3 million visitors annually.

Other Not for Profit leaders who made the list include:

  • Dianne Winkler, CEO, Summer Foundation;
  • Erin Lalor, CEO, National Stroke Foundation;
  • Lisa O’Brien, CEO, The Smith Family;
  • Gabi Hollows, Founding Director, The Fred Hollow Foundation;
  • Hetty Johnston, Founder and Executive Director, Bravehearts;
  • Janelle Whitehead, CEO, Murdi Paaki Regional Enterprise Corporation;
  • Jenni Mack, Chair, Choice;
  • June Oscar, CEO, Marninwarntikura Fitzroy Women’s Resource Centre Aboriginal Corporation;
  • Kate Denborough, Creative Director, KAGE Dance Theatre;
  • Lyn White, Campaign Director and Investigator, Animals Australia;
  • Rachelle Towart, CEO, Australian Indigenous Leadership Centre;
  • Shelley Reys, Chair, National Centre of Indigenous Excellence and Arilla;
  • Angela Baker, Volunteer Ambassador, Summer Foundation;
  • Viv Benjamin, CEO, The Oaktree Foundation;
  • Sophie Ryan, CEO, Sony Foundation;
  • Catherine Hamlin, Co-Founder, Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia;
  • Deborra Lee Furness, Executive Director, Worldwide Orphans Foundation Laughing Man;
  • Julia Newton-Howes, Chief Executive, CARE Australia;
  • Sue Shepherd, Director, Shepherd Works;
  • Genevieve Nelson, Executive Director, Kokoda Track Foundation;
  • Bidda Jones, Chief Scientist RSPCA Australia;
  • Eve Mahlab, Chair and Co-Founder, Australian Women Donors Network;
  • Louise Davidson, Founder ESG Investment Manager, Mother’s Day Classic, CBUS;
  • Sam Meers, Executive Director, Nelson Meers Foundation;
  • Susan Alberti, Managing Director Chair, DANSU Group, Susan Alberti Medical Research Foundation.

Staff Reporter  |  Journalist  |  @ProBonoNews

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