As part of International Women’s Day, YWCA NSW will be hosting an event featuring a panel of ‘Game- Changers and Innovators’ at 5pm on Monday 7th March 2016.
Hosted by our Y Connect Advisory Committee, chaired by Deanna Lane, comprising 25 – 35 year old professional women representing 11 global organisations*, our panel of smart, successful and courageous women will share their experiences in establishing groundbreaking businesses, pushing the boundaries, sharing their passion and finding sustainable and innovative solutions to community issues.
Each member of the panel has been publicly recognized for their achievements and we look forward to an exciting and highly entertaining evening.
An Australian Walkley-award winning journalist and commentator, Sharri is senior writer at The Australian and previously was The Australian's media editor. Prior to this role, Markson was editor of iconic, young women's magazine, CLEO.
Her career in journalism includes working as news editor at Channel Seven News, Sydney and chief of staff at The Sunday Telegraph newspaper. Markson was also a political reporter at The Sunday Telegraph, working both in NSW state parliament and the Canberra press gallery. Sharri has also worked at The New York Post and the Sun newspaper.
Professor Veena Sahajwalla FTSE, HonFIEAust
International award-winning scientist, engineer and ‘Eco Alchemist’
Veena is one of the world's leading innovators in the field of sustainable materials use and an international award-winning scientist and engineer. Her industry-integrated research program has resulted in a world-first, patented, environmentally-friendly process called Polymer Injection Technology for recycling end-of-life plastics/rubber in electric arc furnace steelmaking; resulting in the production of so-called ‘Green Steel’.
Veena is an ARC Laureate Fellow and founding Director of the Sustainable Materials Research & Technology (SMaRT) Centre at the University of New South Wales, Australia.
Director of Sales & Marketing – Microsoft
Sharon is a Director of Sales and Marketing for Microsoft Australia. In her 14 years at Microsoft, she has gained a reputation for building high performing teams in complex and dynamic sales environments. Prior to her current role leading the OEM business, she led the business for Microsoft in Queensland and the Northern Territory as State Director, accountable for our commercial and public sector sales organisation. Prior to Microsoft, Sharon led the leadership development program at Great Plains Software, working extensively across Europe, the Asia Pacific region and North America. Sharon is a trustee for the Committee for Economic Development of Australia. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management and a Master of Science degree in Organisational Leadership.
Entrepreneur //natural beauty expert //food scientist
Pioneering clean beauty in Australia with 100% natural, toxin free makeup made from food active ingredients, food scientist, product designer and founder of lük beautifood, Cindy Lüken is dedicated to championing natural beauty.
Having previously built and sold Luken & May biscuits (producing 30 million bikkies pa!) using private equity she learnt hands on how to build a business 24/7 whilst staying fit, focussed and healthy. Over time her business won more than 20 export, entrepreneur and business awards and she participated on various advisory committees and councils.
Member of the CSIRO 7 – Wearable Technology
Working on technology with the potential to change the face of healthcare wouldn’t seem like the obvious direction for a telecommunications engineer, but Samenah proves that skills combined with passion and creativity can answer questions the world has been asking for years. Samaneh was recently recognized for cutting edge research on wearable networks and was selected as one of the top seven researchers across Australia’s leading research organizations, CSIRO and NICTA, featured as the CSIROseven campaign.
She received a B.Sc. from University of Tehran in 2009 and a Master by Research in Telecommunication Engineering from the University of Technology, Sydney in 2012. Currently a PhD student at the Australian National University (ANU) Samenah is conducting research in the field of Telecommunications Engineering and Computer Science. She has authored over 20 research articles with over 200 citations in her research area.
Elizabeth Kaelin, MSc, RD
Co-Founder and CEO of You Chews, Co-Founder Food Tech Aus, Dietitian, Nutritionist
Liz Kaelin is a dietitian and foodie-turned-founder of You Chews, a leading Australian food tech startup making it easy to find amazing food for meetings and events. Her previous work experience includes research at Harvard University, Secretariat for the World Health Organisation and international sales for Fortune 500 food companies. She is a mentor for the Sydney Lean Startup Machine, and a pitch coach for the School of Social Entrepreneurs in Australia. Liz is the founder of the Food Tech Australia Meetup group in Sydney. She is also known as the "Startup Singer" having found the You Chews CTO through her musical ad on YouTube.
Liz is a muru-D class#2 alumni and was recently named one of the Australia’s Top 50 Female Entrepreneurs under 40.
* Deloitte, CBRE, Westpac, ANZ, IKEA, HSBC, Herbert Smith Freehills, EY, Zurich, Mirvac, Colonial First State. Minter Ellison