Lindsay Australia’s Safety People and Culture Manager, Melissa Strong, has received the Excellence in Transport gong at the recent Women in Industry (WII) Awards 2020.
Women representing some of Australia’s leading companies in the industrial, resources, transport and logistics sectors have been recognised for their achievements in their workplaces.
The annual WII event is an eminent opportunity to highlight excellence and is a form of empowerment for women – putting the spotlight on rising stars who are changing agendas across the breadth of the sectors represented.
Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre Director and member of this year’s WII judging panel, Kelly Godeau, said the WII awards are an important reminder of the outstanding work that is being achieved, and a chance to recognise all women who have been nominated.
“At the same time, we must pause regularly to celebrate the small wins along the way,” said Godeau
“We saw nominations from some of Australia’s largest businesses through to smaller companies that expressed the same pride in their female staff for the work they contributed.
“The level of commitment these nominees dedicate to their roles exceeds what would be deemed necessary. It really is a proud moment for these women and our industry,” she said.
Melissa Strong, Excellence in Transport winner, said she felt very fortunate to have found an industry she is passionate about working within, but that there is still more work to be done around diversity and inclusion and providing a framework that will help businesses integrate these as part of their overall business strategies.
She agreed the acceptance of women in transport roles has vastly improved over the last 25 years.
“Social movements have contributed to this acceptance, which in turn has opened doors for the acceptance of women in roles that have normally been male dominated,” said Strong.
“As the industry has matured and evolved, it has not only given me but other inspiring women more opportunities that did not exist some 25 years ago.”
Having spent her entire professional career in transport, Strong said the opportunity to work in challenging but rewarding environments has developed and shaped her in many ways.
“It doesn’t matter what industry you are in, when you’re always learning, you’re constantly developing new skills to help you move forward in your next experience.”
As for the possibility of future career moves, Strong said she felt she still had a lot to do and achieve in her current capacity.
“However, I’m open to the opportunity to continue to develop and look at other capacities within the transport industry,” she said.
Asked what advice she would give to other women contemplating a career in the industry, Strong said she would strongly encourage women to take time to look into the many roles and routes the industry has to offer.
“The industry is quite close with some amazing support networks through our industry associations; no matter the role or size of the business you work in, there is a broader network there to support you,” she said.
2020 Women in Industry award winners
Social Leader of the Year
Jackie Lewis-Gray – BAE Systems Australia
Rising Star of the Year
Alicia Heskett – Shell Australia (QGC)
Business Development Success of the Year
Rachael Ashfield – ifm efector
Industry Advocacy Award
Rose Read – National Waste & Recycling Industry Council
Safety Advocacy Award
Nadine Youssef – Sydney Trains
Mentor of the Year
Dayle Stevens – AGL Energy
Excellence in Manufacturing
Rochelle Avinu – Leica Biosystems
Excellence in Mining
Sarah Withell – BHP
Excellence in Engineering
Elizabeth Taylor – RedR International
Excellence in Transport
Melissa Strong – Lindsay Australia Limited
(Image: Lindsay Australia Safety People and Culture Manager, Melissa Strong.)