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Ann Sherry named as the overall winner of the 100 Women of Influence Awards


Carnival Australia CEO, Ann Sherry, has been named as the 2015 The Australian Financial Review and Westpac 100 Women of Influence Awards overall winner.

As part of the annual The Australian Financial Review and Westpac 100 Women of Influence Awards, Ms Sherry was recognised for her leadership across corporate Australia, as well as her significant contribution to the social and economic advancement of women.

As CEO of Carnival Australia, which is the leading cruise operator in Australia and the South Pacific region, Ms Sherry restored the reputation of cruising and led the resurgence of the industry in the region.  The cruise industry is the fastest growing segment of Australian tourism and now carries one million passengers a year - a milestone reached six years ahead of target.

Ms Sherry was instrumental in introducing paid maternity leave into the corporate sector during her time at the Westpac Group and was influential in the creation of  the innovative not-for-profit Jawun. She has also served as First Assistant Secretary of the Office of the Status of Women in Canberra and Australia's representative to the United Nations on human rights and women's rights.

"It is an unbelievable honour to be named as the overall winner for the 2015 Australian Financial Review and Westpac 100 Women of Influence Awards.  These awards uncover amazing talent across a range of fields and allow women, particularly young women, to visualise a pathway for success, which is so important to drive change," said Ms Sherry.

"We change the world one person, one organisation, one company at a time and it is vital that we support each other to achieve an Australia that values contribution regardless of gender. I would like to see a focus on Constitutional recognition of Indigenous Australians, reducing violence against women and challenging corporate cultures that do not recognise the value of women at every level."

The 100 Women of Influence Awards also recognised ten other esteemed women across the categories of Board/Management, Public Policy, Diversity, Business Enterprise, Young Leader, Global, Local/Regional, Innovation, Culture and Social Enterprise.

Brian Hartzer, Westpac Group Chief Executive Officer said: "I congratulate Ann Sherry on being named the overall winner of the 2015 The Australian Financial Review and Westpac 100 Women of Influence Awards.

"Ann has been instrumental in influencing change in this country, stretching from people policy to indigenous affairs. Westpac knows firsthand the positive and lasting impact Ann has, having played a significant role in helping Westpac become the first private sector bank to introduce paid maternity leave. Ann is also one of the founding partners of the Jawun partnerships, which help corporate volunteers like Westpac form partnerships with indigenous communities, fostering economic and social development in these regions.

"We have a responsibility to encourage and recognise the influential women of Australia like Ann Sherry, who are - each in their own way - shaping the future of our nation. By celebrating these 100 women and recognising their achievements, we are helping to create role models that will inspire and give confidence to the next generation of influencers to come," said Mr Hartzer.

Greg Hywood, Fairfax Media Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, said, "Ann has an impressive track record as a powerful force for progressing gender equality and diversity in business and the community. She is a key influencer among the next generation of leaders, both men and women, who quite rightly stand in awe of her achievements.
"As this year's Woman of Influence, Ann will undoubtedly make her mark in building on the significant progress the awards and the now 400-strong alumni have achieved to date. Congratulations to Ann - she is a most deserving winner.
"Fairfax proudly champions the most influential, visionary and inspirational women in Australia through the 100 Women of Influence Awards. At Fairfax, we promote gender diversity, equality and inclusiveness in our workplace. We celebrate the next 100 women who will shine bright as true leaders by sharing their stories, achievements and triumphs to inspire others to embrace change for the better," Mr Hywood said.


  •  Board/Management: Diane Grady, Board Director of multiple companies
  • Business Enterprise: Ros Moriarty, Managing Director, Balarinji
  • Culture: Janet Whiting, Head of Litigation Practice, Melbourne, Gilbert + Tobin Lawyers
  • Diversity: Ann Sherry, CEO, Carnival Australia
  • Global: Prof Jane McAdam Director, Andrew & Renata Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law, University of New South Wales
  • Innovation: Prof Veena Sahajwalla, ARC Georgina Sweet Australian Laureate Fellow & Director, University of New South Wales
  • Local/ Regional: Prof Lesley Chenoweth, AO, Pro Vice Chancellor, Professor of Social Work and Head of Logan Campus, Griffith University
  • Public Policy: Pat Anderson, Chairperson, The Lowitja Institute
  • Social Enterprise/ Not-for-Profit: Dr Jane Burns, CEO Young and Well Cooperative Research Centre
  • Young Leader: Jenna Tregarthen, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Recovery Record