Announcing the winners of the 2016 Future CEO Scholarships

by The CEO Institute |

The CEO Institute is delighted to present the winners of its 2016 Future CEO Scholarship Fund For Women in Business. This $47,300 initiative funds five 12-month scholarships in the Future CEO program in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth, commencing February 2016.

8 FEBRUARY 2016: The conventional ideals around women in the workplace are slowly being overthrown as a progressive number of women climb to the top of their career ladder. This notion has been reinforced by the considerable number of applications. Yvonne Howie, Chief Executive - NSW and national spokesperson for The CEO Institute's scholarships says, "It's amazing to see so many aspiring female leaders across such a variety of industries. I look forward to the Scholarship winners' participation and growth for the duration of their membership in the Future CEO program."

The winners of the Future CEO Scholarships were announced at The CEO Institute Summit - 2016, the annual all-member event held in each of the respective states. The five recipients joined the members and guests who attended, for a day of learning and networking. The 2016 Summit was held in Adelaide on 22 January, Melbourne on 28 January, and Sydney, Brisbane and Perth on 29 January. The CEO Institute was pleased to hold the inaugural event for its Geelong members, in Geelong on the 20 January.

Senator the Hon. Michaelia Cash, Minister for Women, and a loyal endorser of the Future CEO program. She says, "I congratulate The CEO Institute on their announcement of five new scholarships for the Future CEO program. As Federal Minister for Women, I am delighted to endorse programmes and initiatives that support women into positions of leadership and influence. The Federal Government is committed to delivering positive change because when women are empowered, it is good for women, good for families and good for our economy."
Dr. Fiona Scholes, our Melbourne recipient, is Group Leader of Integrated Systems and Devices, Industrial Innovation with CSIRO Manufacturing. She participates in the development of research strategy, in managing capability and project delivery, and in business development with a specific emphasis on stimulating and transforming the Australian manufacturing sector. Fiona says, "I am thrilled to receive a Future CEO Scholarship and believe that it will provide me with valuable insights into the corporate world which will help me to understand how science and innovation can support Australian businesses to grow and thrive."

Fiona is a strong advocate for women in science and is passionate about science communication. She is a member of the team for science radio show Einstein A Go Go on Melbourne community radio station 3RRR and is an active participant in the Scientists and Mathematicians in Schools program.

Sarah Hunter, the recipient from Sydney, is Commercial Manager at Virbac Australia. With a degree in Agricultural Science and six years' experience in Canada and United Kingdom, Sarah relishes the challenges inherent in being an innovator; developing strategic alliances to unlock market potential and increase turnover and profitability, to substantially outperform the market. She says, "Winning this Scholarship means the opportunity to share experiences with - and learn from - leaders outside my own industry and, in doing so, bring fresh perspectives to the challenges that we all encounter."

Davina McCormick, Brisbane recipient, is the Manager of Customer Experience Strategy at Queensland Urban Utilities. As a senior leader, she is responsible for driving an enterprise-wide strategy that delivers positive outcomes and easy experiences for customers. "I'm honoured and excited to be chosen to take part in such a prestigious program," Davina says.

Davina has a Bachelor of Business and an MBA from QUT where she was awarded the MBA Medallion for highest academic performance. Davina continues, "This is a fantastic opportunity to work with and learn from experts from a wide range of industries as I continue my ongoing journey to become a better leader."

Emma Hinchey, Adelaide recipient, is Chief Financial Officer at Minda Inc.. She delivers strong leadership and motivation, and never fails to innovate and challenge the status quo when necessary. Emma says, "I am delighted to have been granted a scholarship to the Future CEO program as I believe it will help me to deliver better outcomes in my current role and will help me grow as a professional. The peer-to-peer discussions will give me invaluable learning opportunities and will broaden my skillset. I am looking forward to interacting with the group, sharing experiences and working together to grow and improve our businesses."

Emma joined Minda early in 2012 and has since delivered growth and financial sustainability for SA's premier disability support organisation whilst successfully raising low cost financing for a $300 M property redevelopment. With an abundance of energy and commitment, Emma is a change agent who can't resist a good challenge.

Deborah Attard Portughes, Perth recipient, is the Development Executive for not-for-profit organisation Australian Wildlife Conservancy (AWC). AWC is the largest private land holder of conservation land in Australia protecting a large percentage of Australia’s animals and their habitat. She is also Director of the POWA Institute - Western Australia's Institute for new thinking, working in the areas of social, environmental and economic change - in a voluntary capacity. She says, "I am very grateful to The CEO institute and Steven Stanley for awarding me this Scholarship. I am looking forward to learning and sharing professional experiences with current Institute members. I believe that the connections and insights gained through this scholarship will be very helpful in my current job and career."

It has been 24 years since The CEO Institute was established to help business leaders connect with their peers. Providing education, both as an ongoing resource and as a means of improving opportunities for women continues to be a key consideration of The CEO Institute.  It is hoped that these Scholarships will assist in incorporating impartiality into workplaces and redefine the perceptions of women in authority and leadership roles in Australia. The CEO Institute wishes the winners a fruitful journey and will continue to provide professional and personal support to individuals on their way to the top - regardless of gender.


About The CEO Institute Pty Limited

The CEO Institute was founded in 1992. It is Australia’s leading membership organisation for CEOs and senior executives with over 1,000 members. It provides a forum for members to connect and share their learning. In 2011, The CEO Institute became the world’s first global certification body for CEOs. In 2013, The CEO Institute partnered with UNESCO, supporting the "Malala Fund for Girls' Right to Education". In 2014, The CEO Institute began offering programs globally. The CEO Institute also operates in Adelaide (est. 1996), Sydney and Brisbane (1997), Perth (2007) and Auckland, New Zealand (2015). In 1992, the first meeting of The CEO Syndicate was held in Melbourne. The IIDM website (fully-owned and managed by The CEO Institute) was launched in 2000. The Future CEO program was launched in May 2012.


Yvonne Howie, Chief Executive - NSW, National Spokesperson of The CEO Institute
P (02) 9904 3744 | M 0408 270 928| E

Lisa Kasiaras, Global Manager – Franchising & Marketing
P +61 9885 5122 | E