The 2016 Hunter Diversity Awards have been announced, with each of the winners demonstrating outstanding commitment to addressing the myriad of issues that lead to equity gaps in business and the wider Hunter community.
The Equal Futures Project revealed the winners at the organisation’s sixth annual International Women’s Day breakfast, to a crowd of more than 360 people at Wests New Lambton.
In line with the theme of this year’s breakfast, ‘Mind the Gap’, the second annual Hunter Diversity Awards recognised and celebrated individual and industry champions.
Awards Chair, Belinda Smith said that the 2016 winners shared the approach of collaboration and innovation in developing and implementing programs and initiatives that promote inclusivity, flexibility and equity.
“These people, and the organisations for which they work, are delivering sustainable and positive results to business as well as employees, customers and the wider region,” Belinda said.
The winners are:
- Law firm Sparke Helmore scooped awards in two categories – Gender Equity and Workplace Flexibility
- APP Corporation was the recipient of the Workplace Inclusivity category
- White Ribbon Ambassador, Jon Chin, was named Diversity Champion in recognition of his work in engaging community and industry in diversity awareness and innovation, particularly in campaigning to end violence against women.
The breakfast also included a panel of industry leaders who shared their experiences on the progress being made to achieve gender equity and diversity. Facilitated by ABC Radio’s Phil Ashley Brown, the panel included Port Waratah Coal Services Chair, Penny Winn, partner and chair of Spark Helmore Mark Hickey, member of the Prime Minister’s Indigenous Advisory Council, Leah Armstrong and Pacific National General Manager NSW/VIC Stephen Cowan.
Chair of Equal Futures Project, Kirsten Molloy, said that the breakfast provided an important opportunity to have conversations about the current landscape, our progress and a call to action.
“Everyone can do something to make the Hunter a more inclusive place. In a practical way there are some great tools on the web including the Male Champions of Change website. This provides excellent resources and insights based on the work of the 29 CEO “champions” who formed the group five years ago to tackle gender equity,” Kirsten said.
“At the individual level, we can all research the facts for ourselves and take steps. For example, talking to three people about what you’ve learned or as a leader, choosing to mentor someone.”
Equal Futures Project is a grassroots organisation made up of a group of local business people who volunteer their time to working in collaboration with the Hunter community to raise awareness of diversity and equity gaps.
Image | Winners of the 2016 Hunter Diversity Awards, Gillian Geraghty form APP, Greg Guest from Sparke Helmore, Jon Chin and Chair of the Hunter Diversity Awards Belinda Smith