Joan is the winner of the 2015 Industry Contribution Award. As CEO of Commercial Radio Australia, she is recognised for her significant impact and contribution to innovation in the Australian commercial radio industry.
Joan was instrumental in the introduction of Digital Radio in Australia and its expansion to regional areas. She has had a significant impact on the industry by reducing the fallout from the 2006 Cross Media Ownership Legislation, leading changes to the Audience Measurement System, and prominently supporting the Industry Siren Awards & ACRA Awards.
Joan started out as a primary school teacher with the ambition to be a school principal. When she reached a point where teaching wasn't satisfying her, she moved into administration, then into the public service.
She worked for the then-leader of the opposition, John Howard, in the election campaign of 1996, before deciding she needed private-sector experience. She wrote a number of letters to key people suggesting she might be a great addition to their staff and was offered a job with George Weston Foods. She continued to develop her career by moving into consultancy, and from there went into finance and then to her current position.
For Joan, it's about fortunate opportunism. She says, “If someone asked me to run BHP - I might say yes!".