Four CQUni finalists announced for Outstanding Leadership Awards

Published:02 April 2020

TOP: Finalists include the Banksia Initiative team including Dr John Nicholas Saunders (National Advocates for Arts Advocates), A/Prof Susan Davis (CQUniversity), Professor Emerita Robyn Ewing (University of Sydney), Professor Peter O'Connor (University of Auckland), Dr Claire Hooker (University of Sydney and NSW/ACT Arts Health Network), Professor Michael Anderson (University of Sydney), Professor Helen Cahill (University of Melbourne). BOTTOM L-R: Barbara Miller, Priscilla Stevens-Guiney and Vivian Hoy.

CQUniversity professional staff members Barbara Miller and Priscilla Stevens-Guiney, student Vivian Hoy, and a team led by Associate Professor Sue Davis have been announced as finalists for the prestigious Outstanding Leadership Awards.

These awards are about championing leaders across a range of organisations who make diversity, inclusion and kindness part of their day-to-day culture.

They are leaders who have courageous conversations and strive to lead by example. They are leaders who make employees happy to come to work each day because they feel valued. Above all, they are the leaders whose example others strive to replicate and who are changing the face of leadership.

Ms Miller (Director, People and Culture) and Ms Stevens-Guiney (Associate Director, International and Services) are in the running for Public Sector Leader of the Year, while Vivian Hoy is among the Student Leader finalists.

Associate Professor Davis’ team are finalists in the Courageous Team category, based on  ‘The Banksia Initiative’ – a cross-disciplinary alliance of researchers, educators and artists who provided information, strategies and resources to support classroom teachers and communities in recovery from the bushfires earlier this year.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Nick Klomp said that, if ever there was a time for leaders and leadership to be celebrated, it was during a worldwide crisis such as the one we are all facing.

“CQUniversity has had a focus on leadership as a core value for many years, so we are immensely proud of our own staff and student finalists and we are proud to sponsor the CEO – Private Sector Award category of these prestigious awards,” Professor Klomp said.

“As an institution, we dare to be different and demonstrate bold, open and responsive leadership to serve the needs of our many students, alumni, staff and communities, both in Australia and around the globe.”

Ms Hoy says she feels very humble to be nominated for a leadership award when her aim has been to help others be what they want to be.

"People underestimate how great they can be. I hope people can avoid my mistakes. I am no one special so to be nominated is extremely unexpected," she says.

Ms Miller says she is humbled and honoured to be recognised in this way.

"Working for such an amazing organisation as CQUni allows me to be the leader I want to be and I have so many mentors and colleagues who provide support and encouragement on a daily basis ... I am incredibly grateful to them," she says.

This week, more than 80 leaders across government, private and not-for-profit sectors became finalists in the awards.

CQUniversity is also a sponsor of the awards, along with McDonald Inc.

Spearheaded by Brisbane leadership authority, Sonia McDonald, the awards recognise the exceptional achievement by courageous and kind leaders across various disciplines.

Since notifying finalists, Ms McDonald's inbox has been flooded with messages of gratitude from nominees who've spent the past few weeks, navigating the complex reality of being caught up in a worldwide health pandemic.

"On quite a few occasions, finalists have literally burst into tears after being notified they had made it to the final round of judging," said Ms McDonald.

"It’s been incredibly rewarding to be the bearer of good news at a time when leaders are facing the biggest crisis of their lives - 2020 has indeed become the year we need courageous leadership."

The inaugural awards ceremony has attracted dozens of high-calibre leaders, including the founders of Orange Sky, Nic Marchesi and Lucas Patchett, King Kong's Sabri Suby and Netball Queensland's Catherine Clark.

"We initially set out to host the awards ceremony in May, but we've now pushed it back to 4 September in the hopes things will return to normal by then," said McDonald.

"Until then, we are doing everything we can to showcase the incredibly kind and courageous leaders who have made it through - because right now, good leadership is essential.

Other awards categories include CEO - Private Sector, Future Leader, Men in Leadership, Women in Leadership, SME Business Leader, Community Leader, and Startup Leader.

The awards night will be held on 4 September at the Royal International Convention Centre, with retail leadership superstar Guy Russo as the guest of honour and radio star Bianca Dye as the Master of Ceremonies.

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