UOW’s strong showing among Australia’s ‘100 Women of Influence’
UOW Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) Professor Judy Raper and the Director of Innovation and Commercial Research, Elizabeth Eastland, have been listed among Australia’s ‘100 Women of Influence’’ by The Australian Financial Review and Westpac.
Only a handful of women from the Australian university sector made it to the list with UOW claiming two of the spots.
Professor Raper was competing in the category of ‘Public Policy’and Ms Eastland was competing in the ‘Local/Regional’. More than 350 women were nominated for the initial 100 Women of Influence awards.
Candidates were judged on their demonstrated vision, leadership, innovation and action in and beyond their field.
Professor Raper has held academic leadership positions in Australia and the USA over the past 13 years. She has managed complex organisations with large budgets and initiated a number of significant reforms.
She has had more than 30 years’ international reputation in particles research and in innovative teaching methods.
Throughout her career she has been innovative in teaching introducing new content informed by research results and implementing different methods to enhance student learning.
Professor Raper has been a role model for female engineers and academic leaders.
Before coming to UOW, Professor Raper held a range of high level positions including as a Division Director of the National Science Foundation in Washington; Chair of the University of Missouri-Rolla; Dean of the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Sydney and Acting Dean at UNSW.
She undertook her Postdoctoral Research Fellowship studies at Cambridge University.
Meanwhile, iAccelerate is a series of initiatives that Ms Eastland has led in the Illawarra region since November 2010 when she returned from a visit to Waterloo in Canada.
During this trip she became deeply inspired by that regional manufacturing-based economy’s ability to transform into one of the most powerful knowledge economies in the world. Like Waterloo University, the University of Wollongong (UOW) is an Information Communications Technology (ICT) powerhouse, graduating the highest number of ICT graduates of any university in Australia. Yet most graduates must leave the region to find work.
Ms Eastland has tried to implement the same economic transformation for the Illawarra, which is currently facing economic decline due to the progressive closures of BlueScope.
“I wanted to do it twice as fast by specifically outreaching to women, who are under-represented in IT and in the entrepreneurship space, essentially doubling the potential success of the program,” she said.
Using the Waterloo Innovation Ecosystem as a model, she influenced UOW to make iAccelerate one of its top strategic priorities. She garnered support from local, state and federal governments (including pitching twice to Prime Minister Julia Gillard), local businesses, and the entrepreneurial community. iAccelerate is now one of the top priorities of the Regional Development Australia Illawarra.
She has convinced the National Broadband Network (NBN) team to integrate the rollout strategy of the NBN with iAccelerate, positioning iAccelerate as a broadband applications development hub.
Ms Eastland has launched with her all-women team five key iAccelerate initiatives, which have hundreds of entrepreneurial participants, thousands of followers and enjoying unprecedented success: E Club; StartPad; Pitching Plate; Mentorship; and E Program.
A formal proposal for the funding of the iAccelerate Centre to be based at the University of Wollongong’s Innovation Campus is currently with the Federal Government.
Before joining UOW, Ms Eastland was Vice President of Strategy and Business Development, Optics Group, Alcatel headquarters in Paris. From 1998-2000 she was General Manager of Space and Strategic Marketing for Alcatel Australia and from 1997-98 was Chief Executive Officer of Freephone Australia.
Earlier in her career she was National Pay TV Sales and Marketing Manager for Cable & Wireless, Optus Vision; and Australasian Marketing Manager for GEC Plessey, Australia.
Ms Eastland is currently undertaking a PhD in Film and Digital Arts through the University of Sydney. She holds an Executive MBA from the Australian Graduate School of Management and a Bachelor of Arts in computer science and creative writing from Concordia University in Montreal. She was dux at the National Art School (2007-09) graduating with a major in painting.
Ms Eastland’s interests span well beyond the workplace and higher education sphere. She has sailed more than 20,000 nautical miles circumnavigating the Mediterranean, Canary Islands, Caribbean and the east coast of America and also trekked hundreds of kilometres through Europe, Corsica, Turkey, Bahamas, Caribbean and New Zealand.
In the midst of a national debate on the status and treatment of women, The Australian Financial Review and Westpac have recognised outstanding women who are using their influence to improve business and society.
The finalists were selected from across the economy by a panel of leading Australians. Those chosen have been successful in their careers and influential in shaping a bold and diverse future for Australia, according to the panel.
“Influence often seems so wishy-washy when compared with the assumptions that power is absolute,” judge and director Wendy McCarthy said. “Influence is what women can have when they do not have power. If we want to change the world we need both -- influence can be powerful and change culture.”
Entries for the awards were invited in June across 10 categories: board/management, innovation, public policy, business entrepreneur, diversity, young leader, global, social enterprise, philanthropy and local/regional.
The judging panel included Wendy McCarthy, former joint chief executive of Goldman Sachs Australia Stephen Fitzgerald, Future Fund chairman David Gonski, CEO of UN Women Australia Julie McKay, Fairfax Media director Sandra McPhee, Reserve Bank board member Heather Ridout, Allens law firm chief Michael Rose and Red Cross board member Sue Vardon.
See this site for the list of ‘100 Women of Influence’ -- http://www.afr.com/p/national/table_women_of_influence_gj1cOmBZLOosLBQKhjJYLM