Publish Date: 
Thursday, September 7, 2017 - 17:30

Women in Technology Award Winners

The 2017 WiT awards saw 4 TRI based researchers (Srilakshimi Srinivasan - PhD Student, Queensland University of Technology; Jyotsna Batra – Senior Research Fellow, Institute of Health & Biomedical Innovation QUT; Sumaira Hasnain - Senior Research Fellow/Career Track Fellow, Mater Research Institute UQ; Professor Colleen Nelson - Professor and Chair Prostate Cancer QUT, Director Australian Prostate Cancer Research Centre, Institute of Health & Biomedical Innovation QUT) nominated for their outstanding contribution to STEM, with QUT's Professor Colleen Nelson taking out a Life Sciences Outstanding Award on the night. 

Additionally, Mater Medical Research were nominated in the Employer of Choice Small Business category, taking out the award on the night for their ongoing commitment to workplace equality. Congratulations to the Mater Medical Research team and Professor Nelson for their awards. 

Employer of Choice Small Business Award

For the small to medium business employer with <200 employees demonstrating commitment to providing an outstanding working environment for women. 

Life Sciences Outstanding Award

For women with more than 15 years’ experience making a significant contribution to the growth and development of Queensland’s Life Sciences industry who serve as role models for others to aspire to. 

Mater Research

Professor Colleen Nelson (QUT)

Mater Research is a recognised leader in medical research. Now with nearly 200 laboratory and clinical researchers, our bench to bedside philosophy means we work across Mater Health’s hospitals and health services, and the world-class Translational Research Institute (TRI). We are committed to working closely with Mater Health, Mater Education and our growing network of partners to turn scientific discovery into the best possible treatment, care, and outcomes for patients and our broader community. At Mater, research has been evident and rich in implementation from the beginning, 1906. Since 1998 when Mater Research became an independent institute collaborations have only strengthened and after years of working closely with clinicians and delivering on our bench to bedside philosophy, we’ve built a reputation for excellence both locally and globally in mothers’, babies’ and women’s health, cancer biology and care, neurosciences and cognitive health, chronic disease biology and care, and optimising acute care. We are a proud founding partner of the TRI, working together with The University of Queensland Diamantina Institute, Queensland University of Technology’s Institute 6 of Health and Biomedical Innovation, and the Princess Alexandra Hospital’s Centres for Health Research to build a worldclass facility supporting medical research translation into clinical practice. 

Professor Nelson is recognised as a leader in programmatic translational prostate cancer research and for strategic development of international collaborative research Centres and networks accelerate the translation of scientific discoveries into clinical and commercial applications. She founded and directs the Australian Prostate Cancer Research CentreQueensland, where she leads 80 transdisciplinary Faculty and researchers. Prof Nelson has made significant contributions to prostate cancer translational research, specifically in characterising androgen action, identifying novel potential therapeutic targets; their validation and translation into the clinic. Her greatest impact has been on androgen targeted therapies and uncovering mechanisms underlying castrate resistant prostate cancer. Over her career she has been awarded more than $214M in international funding, and has organised, chaired, and presented at numerous international meetings and holds executive positions on prostate cancer advisory boards and committees. Prof Nelson has 21 international patents, 7 book chapters, 150 peer-reviewed publications, >200 conference abstracts, >7,000 citations and an H Index of 45 derived from > 20 years of prostate cancer expertise. 

WiT Press Release

Queensland’s talented tech women and successful science professionals joined 385 friends, family and VIPs to celebrate the 2017 WiT Award finalists and winners at the gala awards dinner on Friday 1 September at the Royal International Convention Centre in Brisbane.

Mrs Kristy Simpkin Co-President of WiT said the prestigious WiT annual awards now in their 20th year are about celebrating women who are leaders and experts in their fields, succeeding in traditionally male dominated technology and life science industries.

The entrepreneurial established award, presented by Hon Leeanne Enoch MP, Minister for Innovation, Science and the Digital Economy, Minister for Small Business saw two remarkable women recognised.

“The panel were blown away by Bernadette Hyland and Dr Carrie Hillyard, and could not choose between them.

“Carrie and Bernadette are pioneers, challenging perceptions, pushing boundaries, driving innovation and achieving excellence” Kristy said.

Dr Carrie Hillyard is currently an Angel investor and Chairman of Fitgenes and FizzioFit and Deputy Chairman of the Mater Medical Research Institute. She has commercialised products from laboratory bench to market and is an inventor of a number of patented technologies including a novel two minute test technology, which was applied to HIV and Hepatitis B.

Bernadette, who was a founder member of WiT, has over 20 years’ experience deploying enterprise data solutions in financial services, healthcare and federal governments in Australia and the U.S.

“I would say that I owe a great deal to sheer tenacity. It’s about not stopping when people say, ‘you cannot do that” said Bernadette.

Shark Tank investor and River City Labs Founder Steve Baxter presented the entrepreneurial start-up award to Faith Rees, Co-Founder and CEO of SixPivot.

Faith has a long standing history in the IT industry spanning 18 years and a string of reputable awards to her name. Faith has built a respected, rewarding business and acknowledges that her journey hasn’t always been easy.

“I’m a driven individual demonstrated by achievements from being out of home at 15 and supporting myself as a teenager to complete high school and then university - often working multiple jobs to support myself financially and to enable me to achieve my goals.” Faith said.

Data#3 took out the coveted corporate employer of choice for their commitment to equality, flexible working conditions professional development and innovative approaches to engaging and rewarding staff.

Sponsors and supporters include the Queensland Government, Queensland University of Technology, The University of Queensland, QUT ihbi, Griffith University, PwC, Amazon Web Services, River City Labs, Brisbane Marketing, Australian Computer Society & Flight Centre.

> For a full list of winners, click here

> For full photo gallery, click here & use pin 1415 to download

> Media contact: Sarah Smith, Women in Technology, 0405 991 282