OUTSTANDING and innovative women in technological fields were recognised last week at the Women in Technology (WiT) awards in Brisbane.
Always made at a themed awards dinner - this year a ‘Green with Envy' Gala Dinner - the leading women in bio-science and technology were acclaimed by the WiT Awards judging panels.
This year saw finalists in nine award categories from career start to outstanding achievers, and introduced for the first time an award to recognise women making contributions to regional and rural Australia.
WIT interim president Jane Fitzpatrick said, "As always the WiT Awards Gala evening gives us the opportunity to showcase the talented women in the technology sectors and use them as examples to attract and retain women in these industries."
Special guests included Shadow Minister for ICT, Roz Bate, and Karen Struthers, the Queensland Minister for Community Services and Housing and Minister for Women.
Both women spoke about the need for women to be encouraged in their professional endeavours, highlighting the strong growth of women entering technological careers through the efforts of groups like WiT.
The 2011 WiT Awards presented winners and finalists in nine categories.
The Life Sciences Queensland Biotechnology Outstanding Achievement Award winner was Jenny Martin of the University of Queensland (UQ). Finalist was Kymberley Vickery of SCIP Consulting.
Bond University Infotech Outstanding Achievement Award winner Jane Hunter is also from UQ. Finalists in the category were Tammy Halter of Absolute Data Group and Marie Phillips of Icon Software.
The Department of Communities, Office for Women Employer of Choice Award was GBST Holdings Ltd. Finalists were Absolute Data Group and Hynes Lawyers.
University of Queensland Biotechnology Research Award winner was Tara Martin of CSIRO Ecosystem Sciences. Finalists were Norelle Daly and Annette Dexter, both of UQ.
The UQ School of Information Technology and Engineering's Information Technology Research Award winner was Janet Wiles of UQ. Finalists were Denis Bauer of UQ and Sandra Mau of NICTA.
WiT Professional Award winner was Helen Murray of Queensland Health. Finalists were Sonia Poothia of Mondial and Virginia Wilson of Suncorp.
Griffith University PHD Career Start Award winner was Kelly Brooks of UQ and finalists were Laura Bray of QUT and Alexandra Depelsenaire and Jana McCaskill, both of UQ.
WIT Regional Development Award winner was Kirsten Heimann of James Cook University, Townsville. Finalists were Yvette Adams of the Creative Collective and Janine Garrett of Charm Health.
QUT Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation Rising Star Award winner was Olivia Wright of UQ. Finalists were Jyotsna Batra, Daniela Loessner, and Inga Mertens-Walker, all of QUT, and Celia Webby of Uniquest.
Women in Technology is one of Queensland's most respected and active technology industry associations and a peak body for women in the technology industry in Queensland developing a sustainable and growing network of members, sponsors, supporters.
WiT aims to promote the achievements of women in the technology industries via relevant events, programs, awards and networks that also provide opportunities for WiT members to grow and develop their skills.
WiT recognised in the 1990s that there were many women who went unrecognised for their talent and impact in technological fields and so created the awards program to recognise these outstanding women. The programs have been running since 1997 with three awards to the current nine categories this year, with a growing number of sponsors.
In its lifetime, in excess of 90 awards have been made with the winners sharing in over $500,000 in prizes.
The association has now grown to a membership of over 350 women and men and over 1200 affiliates. In 2002 the association changed its name to Women in Technology, recognizing the relationship between IT and emerging technology fields such as science and engineering.