A WOMAN who grew up in war-torn Zimbabwe witnessing poverty and discrimination, and who is now shaping the direction of a global aid organisation, has been named the 2013 Telstra ACT Business Woman of the Year.CARE Australia CEO Dr Julia Newton-Howes took out the title at an awards ceremony held last night at Rydges Lakeside.
Since Dr Newton-Howes joined CARE Australia in 2007 – an organisation of 1000 people – government funding has doubled, private fundraising has increased by 30 per cent and non-program specific funds.
She says her vision for CARE Australia was to have “gender equality and women’s empowerment recognised” as an organisational commitment because she believed removing barriers for women and girls was the best way to bring lasting change to poor communities. In 2009, the CARE International Board agreed to commit to fight global poverty by empowering women and girls.
Dr Newton-Howes also introduced a landmark report on CARE Australia’s impact in Asia over a five year period, providing invaluable benchmarking to drive improvement.
Dr Newton-Howes says passion, putting her hand up for new challenges and compelling people to join her journey are central to her career progression.
“I have learned throughout my career that being right or sure about a direction you need to take isn’t enough; you also have to persuade other people. I feel lucky to work on issues I am deeply committed to,” she says.
Dr Newton-Howes is also a member of the CARE International Board and Vice President of the Australian Council for International Development, the peak body for non-profits working in international development.
Telstra Business Women’s Awards Ambassador Kate McKenzie said judges were impressed by Dr Newton-Howe’s passion for CARE Australia’s agenda and her high competencies across the organisation, including effective fundraising. They said her business strategy, which focused on reducing poverty by targeting discrimination, particularly of women and girls, was “inspirational” and added that she enjoyed high respect and engagement from all her staff in Australia.
Other winners of the 2013 Telstra ACT Business Women’s Awards are:
Business Owner Award
Private and Corporate Sector Award
Anita Borella, GHD Pty Ltd Canberra
Community and Government Sector Award
Dr Julia Newton-Howes CARE Australia Canberra
Business Innovation Award
Lisa Roberts Provincial Plants and Landscapes Pialligo
Young Business Women’s Award
Anita Borella GHD Pty Ltd Canberra
Each of the winners were presented with $4,000 prize money, while the ACT Business Woman of the Year has a major prize of $10,000. The ACT winners will proceed to the national finals in Melbourne on November 14.
More information on the Telstra Business Women’s Awards can be found at www.telstrabusinesswomensawards.com.