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Leadership & Management

Dynamic women awarded for outstanding contributions to the health industry

Health Industry Hub | May 13, 2021 |
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Leadership & Management: Industry professionals came together to recognise true leadership in the biotechnology, medical technology and pharmaceutical sectors.

BioMelbourne Network’s Annual Women in Leadership Awards are an opportunity to share the stories from around Victoria that serve as a compass for anyone taking the leadership journey themselves.

Jeff Malone, CEO, BioMelbourne Network stated “The common features that underpin the achievements of each of these marvellous examples of leadership was not just their personal obligation, commitment and vision that have led them to be recognised leaders. It was their ability to share that vision with others, gain the trust and commitment of their teams, and include them collectively on the journey towards success.

“The impact of good leadership within the Health Industry has rarely had the ability to impact humankind so clearly and directly as it has during this past year.”

The BioMelbourne Network Women in Leadership Awards highlight the achievements of women across different stages of their careers, from those in more senior positions to those who may have more recently engaged in leadership roles for a specific project, purpose or impact.

The 2021 Distinguished Leadership Award went to Dr Jenny Petering from FB Rice Intellectual Property firm.

“It has been a privilege for me to work within the vital biotechnology sector in Melbourne. I am constantly inspired by other industry professionals who lead, support, train, mentor and facilitate others to achieve imperative outcomes. I have witnessed wonderful female leaders in these roles, and it is a true honour for me to receive this award from BioMelbourne Network.”

The recipient for the 2021 Inspiring Leadership Award was Jennifer Herz, Managing Director of Biointelect and a Director of Biocelect, the Australian and New Zealand sponsor for the Novavax COVID-19 vaccine. She was the first Managing Director of Sanofi Pasteur in Australia and a former Medicines Australia Board member.

“I’m very proud to be recognised with this award, at a time when we have witnessed tremendous collaboration on a global scale not really seen before, to bring COVID-19 vaccines to market. I’d like to accept this award on behalf of all the people around the world that have worked so hard in the last 12 months and made that vision a reality.”

The 2021 Emerging Leadership Award was received by Dr Hannah Kirk from Monash University. Dr Kirk is changing the face of technology for children with developmental disorders through her research and leadership in digital health and medical technology.

“I am honoured to accept this award, particularly given the number of magnificent women working in this sector. I am passionate about the importance of high-quality research within the industry and am thrilled to be a part of such an innovative biotechnology environment.”

The recipient of the 2021 Board of Directors Award is A/Prof. Margie Danchin, an immunisation expert passionate about effective vaccine communication and building vaccine confidence, locally and internationally.

“I feel privileged to work with so many colleagues across our extraordinary medical and research precinct which has been at the forefront of the COVID response, and for the opportunity to engage with the media to strengthen the response to COVID, address community concerns and build confidence in the COVID vaccines.”

Visibility of female leaders empowers the sector and promotes a culture of diversity, inclusivity and flexibility.

The 2021 awardees are not only leaders in their respective fields, but also role models for progressive leadership, equity and equality. These Awards recognise and affirm the important role that women play not only in science but more broadly in our community.

“I would like to sincerely thank Her Excellency the Honourable Linda Dessau AC, Governor of Victoria, for her opening message and words of support, and The Hon. Jane Garrett for presenting the Awards and being part of today’s celebrations. This event would not be possible without the continued support of the State Government of Victoria, through the Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions,” added Mr Malone.


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