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Staff honoured in Women of Influence list

24 September 2015
Five academics recognised among most influential in Australia

Five academics have been named leaders in innovation and global development in the Australian Financial Review and Westpac 100 Women of Influence list for 2015.

Nalini Joshi uses a blackboard

Five University of Sydney academics have been named among the most influential women in Australia in awards celebrating outstanding women from a wide variety of sectors across Australia.

Professor Nalini Joshi (BSc '82) from the School of Mathematics and Statistics, Professor Elaine Baker from the School of Geosciences, Associate Professor Lisa Harvey (BAppSc(Physiotherapy) '84 GradDipAppSc '91 MAppSc '93 PhD '01) from Sydney Medical School and the Kolling Institute, Associate Professor Sydney Ch'ng (MBBS PhD FRACS) from the University of Sydney RPA Institute of Academic Surgery, and Adjunct Associate Professor Anna Shepherd from the Sydney Nursing School have been named in the The Australian Financial Review and Westpac 100 Women of Influence Awards for 2015.

Now in their fourth year, the awards honour women across 10 categories: Board/Management, Public Policy, Diversity, Business Enterprise, Young Leader, Global, Local/Regional, Innovation, Culture and Social Enterprise.

The 2015 winners join 400 alumni as Australia’s most inspiring women.

Professor Joshi has been recognised in the area of innovation and Associate Professor Professor Harvey and Professor Baker in the global category. Each was selected by an eminent judging panel from more than 500 nominees.

Professor Joshi, the Georgina Sweet Australian Laureate Fellow and Chair of Applied Mathematics, is the first female professor in the University’s School of Mathematics and Statistics and is a passionate advocate of her discipline. This year she was appointed to the federal government's newly created Commonwealth Science Council and became the 150th Anniversary Hardy Lecturer, awarded by the London Mathematical Society

Professor Baker has held the inaugural UNECSO Chair of Marine Science since 2013. She has been a driving force in the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)-sponsored maritime boundaries project. The UNEP–Shelf Programme is an ongoing endeavour to secure the maritime rights of developing coastal states and small-island developing states according to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.

In this capacity she has worked with scientific, technical and diplomatic staff from over 20 developing coastal states and provided data, information and advice to more than 60 states in African, South American, Asia and Pacific Island regions. Through peaceful means this endeavour is helping to define the jurisdiction of the global oceans. Professor Baker is also the Director of the University of Sydney Institute of Marine Science.

Associate Professor Lisa Harvey is the Associate Professor in Rehabilitation at the Kolling Institute. She is a physiotherapist clinician and researcher with more than 20 years’ experience in clinical trials on the effectiveness of physiotherapy interventions to assist people with spinal cord injuries. She teaches both nationally and internationally, and has been the recipient of numerous grants and scholarships.  

Associate Professor Sydney Ch'ng was named in the Innovation category. Associate Professor Ch'ng works in the RPA Institute of Academic Surgery, a collaboration between the University of Sydney and the RPA Hospital to promote research and teaching within the surgical specialities. She is also affiliated with the Departments of Plastic Surgery, Head & Neck Surgery and Melanoma & Surgical Oncology at RPAH, the Chris O'Brien Lifehouse and Concord Hospitals. As well as being the research lead for plastic surgery at RPAH and on the Education Committee of the Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons, Associate Professor Ch'ng is a mentor and advocate for young female doctors looking to pursue a career in surgery.

Anna Shepherd, an Adjunct Associate Professor from the Sydney Nursing School and CEO of Regal Home Health, won the Business Enterprise category in the 100 Women of Influence awards. Adjunct Associate Professor Shepherd has worked for the past 32 years as a passionate advocate for primary health nursing in the community. She has persisted in keeping community nursing on the national agenda, and has driven the delivery of high-quality clinical services in the home. 

Joanne Gray, Australian Financial Review Boss Editor, said: “The Women of Influence awards impress upon us yet again how vast is the pool of female talent in this country. The awards continue to bring to light extraordinary women, who despite their achievements and because of their humility, might otherwise have remained in the shadows.”

A gala awards evening celebrating the women will be held at Sydney Town Hall on Thursday, 15 October 2015, where category winners and an overall winner will be announced. 

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