The Top Ten Australian Women of Influence

To celebrate Mumsy’s Day on May 8, let’s take a look at a few of the booty-kicking ladies (from a list of 100 Women of Influence winners across 10 categories) who are positively smashing the antiquated glass ceiling.


Ann Sherry – Diversity category and overall winner


From introducing paid maternity leave into the first private-sector bank and representing Australia on the UN’s forums on women’s rights, Ann also has a non-executive role with the Australian Rugby Union and from 2007 has taken onboard (yep, that’s a pun) a masterly role as CEO of Carnival Australia.


Diane Grady – Board/Management


A full-time independent director of management consulting firm McKinsey & Co, Diane was the first female partner to have kidlets, is on the board of the Macquarie Group and is an advisory board member for chick-power organisation, Heads Over Heels.


Jane Burns – Social Enterprise and Not-for-Profit


She helped established the global ReachOut.com site and as current CEO of the Young and Well Cooperative Research Centre, Jane works closely with some of Australia’s top researchers, professionals and innovators developing technology that will improve mental health care.


Jane McAdam – Global


Instrumental in shaping international policy, Jane also publishes widely on forced migration and international refugee law.

She’s been an expert adviser to the UNHCR (the UN’s refugee agency) and holds an academic position at Oxford University’s Refugee Studies Centre.


Janet Whiting – Culture


Janet’s experience spans the areas of design, food and fashion to visual arts, film and theatre.

As one of Australia’s leading litigators, she’s also sat on the boards of the Melbourne Fashion Festival, the National Australia Day Council and Stephanie Alexander’s Kitchen Garden Foundation.


Jenna Tregarthen – Young Leader


This young lady created Recovery Record, a mobile health site that provides treatment for those suffering with eating disorders.

With a degree in clinical psychology, Jenna’s site now has over 30,000 users and is the new standard of care for specialists across eight continents.


 Lesley Chenoweth – Local/Regional


One of Australia’s leading social work and disability scholars, Lesley works at the intersections of social policy and human service practices and was the creator of the 1000 Voices project, which shares stories from disabled people from around the world.


Pat Anderson – Public Policy


A staunch advocate for Australia’s first peoples, Pat has advised the UN on drafting the Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous People, was a founding member of the Aboriginal Medical Services Alliance and chaired the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation.


Ros Moriarty – Business Enterprise


In 1983 Ros co-founded Balarinji (a market leader in indigenous strategy and a creator of designs like those you see on Qantas aircraft) and has pushed to return royalties to the artists for over 20 years.

She has also written a number of award-winning children’s books and an acclaimed memoir, Listening to Country.


Veena Sahajwalla – Innovation


A member of the Climate Council, Veena’s work uses engineering and science to solve real-world problems and her research on transforming waste at high temperatures has created new (and environmentally sound) innovations for industrial production.

Need some more female-friendly inspiration? Take a squiz at the complete list.