Queensland women shone brightly in the 2015 Women in Technology awards.

On Friday 28 August, more than 300 people attended the prestigious awards at the Royal International Convention Centre, honouring remarkable women making a difference in the fields of technology and life sciences.

WiT president Fiona Hays says the awards, now in their 18th year, were a great success.

“Every year the awards grow—in status, nominations, support from sponsors and attendees.

“The professionalism, intelligence, and ambition of these women is just extraordinary. Pioneering lifesaving medical research, developing vaccines and medicines, driving global conservation and running successful and innovative businesses—these women are leading the way in technology and life sciences.”


Out of the 30 fantastic finalists, the judges could only select nine winners.

Professor Pamela Russell AM, FAHMS, from the Queensland University of Technology, was the winner of the Life Sciences Outstanding Achievement Award.   Pamela is a leading health and biomedical researcher. She was the first to treat autoimmune disease using cyclophosphamide therapy and is internationally recognized for generating bladder and prostate cancer models for study.

The Sue Wickenden Entrepreneurial Award went to Karen Sanders from Real Serious Games. The company uses advanced visual technologies to assist industries to plan, communicate and teach complex or high risk concepts, using Real Time 4D Visualisations, Animations and Serious Games.

Dr Tafline Ramos from K.J.Ross & Associates received the Professional Award for her vital role in international standardisation for software and systems engineering. Tafline highlights the travel, income and pure enjoyment that can be derived from working in the ICT industry.

Rio Tinto Quality Manager Heidi Uytendaal received the Infotech Outstanding Achievement Award. Heidi is a champion for the establishment of a Rio Tinto global gender inclusion program.

The University of Queensland had two award winners. Kerrie Wilson went home with the Life Sciences Research Award for the major influence her research has had on conservation policy internationally and Angie Jarrad received the PhD Career Start Award for her research on the development of antibiotics to fight gut pathogens.

Gillian Fisher from the Eskitis Institute for Drug Discovery at Griffith University received a highly commended in PhD Career Start category. Gillian started studying science at the age of 40 and is now a nationally recognised researcher in the field of adult stem cell biology, cell and molecular therapies and parasitology and antimalarials.

This year there wasn’t a winner in the Infotech Research Award, however Leigh Ellen Potter from the School of ICT, Griffith University received a commendation for her research in user experience, emerging technology, and project management.

Kate Richards was also recognised as the WiT Volunteer of the Year for her ongoing contribution to WiT and advancing, connecting and empowering women in technology and life sciences.

It is amazing to see these intelligent and hard-working women being commended on their work in a usually male-dominated field.

For more information on the organisation, visit the Women in Technology website http://www.wit.org.au/