The 2020 State and Local Government and Community Sectors International Women's Day Luncheon

Thank you to everyone who supported the Tasmanian Government, the Tasmanian Council of Social Service (TasCOSS) and the Local Government Association of Tasmania (LGAT)'s luncheon for International Women’s Day.

The event featured the 2020 Tasplan International Women’s Day Awards for Excellence, providing a fantastic opportunity to celebrate the achievements of their peers and recognise and give visibility to outstanding contributions by women in Local Government, the Tasmanian State Service and the Community Sector.

LGAT wishes to congratulate all award winners and finalists. In particular LGAT wishes to highlight our Local Government winners: Alderman Heather Chong and Tracey Bradley. A full list of Award winners are below:

  1. Local Government: Inspirational Leader (Elected Member) – Heather Chong, Alderman Clarence City Council
  2. Local Government: Inspirational Leader (Officer) – Tracey Bradley, Director Corporate and Community Services, Waratah Wynyard Council
  3. State Service: Inspirational Leader – Priya Jose, Director of Nursing Campbell Town Health and Community Service
  4. State Service: Aspiring Leader – Lisa Caswell, Manager Government Relations and Strategic Policy, Department of Health
  5. Community Sector: Inspirational Leader – Sue Leitch, Chief Executive Officer, Council on the Ageing (COTA)
  6. Community Sector: Aspiring Leader – Amanda French, General Manager, Dress for Success Hobart

The judging panel noted the calibre of nominees in 2020 were outstanding with Award winners demonstrating they had gone above and beyond their expected roles to make a significant contribution to their employer, their community and the Tasmanian community.

Also featured at the Luncheon was Guest Speaker, sponsored by the University of Tasmania, Trisha Squires, CEO of AFL Tasmania. Trisha was founder of the Broadbridge Fund and was awarded the Young Australian of the year (2006) and was the 2019 Tasmanian Telstra Businesswoman of the year (Medium and Large Business).

The theme for this International Women’s Day was ‘Each for Equal’. Individually, we're all responsible for our own thoughts and actions – all day, every day.

And the awards designed to recognise the work Tasmanian women are doing across sectors to help us create a gender equal world.

Photo from left to right Priya Jose, director of Nursing Campbell Town Health and Community Service, Amanda French, General Manager, Dress for Success, Hobart, Deb Mainwaring (Finalist) Circular Head Council (accepting on behalf of Tracey Bradley), Sue  Leitch, CEO COTA, Harriet Close (accepting on behalf of - Lisa Caswell) and Alderman Heather Chong, City of Clarence.

Hear from 2019 Tasplan International Women's Day Awards for Excellence Winner

Need some inspiration to enter? Hear from Erica McKinnell, Community Services Project Officer Break O’Day Council a 2019 Tasplan International Women's Day Awards for Excellence winner in the category of Local Government, Inspirational Leader (Officer).

Did you know you were being nominated?

I had no idea I was being nominated by our General Manager. So it was a huge surprise to attend the awards and have absolutely no idea until the moment where it was announced.

What was the best part of the awards for you?

Being in a room full of inspiring women

What did you do with your winning funds?

I enlisted into Event Management, where I realised post One Night Stand, my passion lies

How has winning the awards benefitted you?

Standing on the stage and publicly speaking in front of 300 inspirational women, really placed me out of my comfort zone, yet gave me a huge sense of achievement and empowerment all at the same time.

Erica McKinnell

International Women's Day 2020 Event - Call For Sponsors

LGAT, TasCOSS and the Tasmanian State Service are seeking expressions of interest from potential sponsoring organisations looking to be part of an inspiring International Women's Day event that celebrates excellence and women's leadership in the Local Government, Community Services and State Service Sectors in Tasmania.

For further information please view the video below. Interested organisations are invited to contact LGAT Events and Partnership Lead on 6146 3740 or e:

International Women's Day 2020 campaign theme

- #EachforEqual

An equal world is an enabled world.

Individually, we're all responsible for our own thoughts and actions - all day, every day.

We can actively choose to challenge stereotypes, fight bias, broaden perceptions, improve situations and celebrate women's achievements.

Collectively, each one of us can help create a gender equal world.

Let's all be #EachforEqual.

International Women's Day 2019

LGAT, TasCOSS and the Tasmanian State Service proudly hosted an inaugural Women’s Award Luncheon in early 2019 to recognise and give visibility to outstanding contributions by women in the Local Government, State Government and community sector in Tasmania.

To see highlights from the day, please see video below:

We would like to congratulate the following 2019 Tasplan International Women’s Day Awards for Excellence recipients:

Bec Enders
Mayor, Huon Valley Council

Inspirational leadership – Local Government

Bec, the first female mayor of Huon Valley Council, is a leader who bases her approach on inspiration through collaboration. During the recent Riveaux Road fires that burnt over 205,000 hectares, Bec showed unwavering commitment and compassion to the Huon Valley community.

Erica Lowry
Community Services Project Officer, Break O’Day Council

Inspirational leadership - Local Government

Erica stepped up and took the lead to organise and manage One Night Stand, the biggest concert St Helens has ever hosted. Her dedication and infectious passion meant that not only the Council, but the whole town of St Helens, were ugnited and ready to host the triple j concert. Erica has inspired many through leading by example and showing what is achievable.

Susan Gannon
Executive Director of Operations (South), Tasmanian Health Service

Inspirational leadership - State service

Susan trained and worked as a nurse and midwife, and now in her current role she’s leading the construction of a new health precinct on an operational hospital site. As a leader, Susan has the ability to reach out to all her employees and inspire them to be the best versions of themselves. This passion flows on from the medical practitioners around her to the care given to patients and their families.

Lauren Parr
Manager Ministerial Support Unit, Department of Premier and Cabinet

Aspiring leader - State service

Lauren’s role is very important to the operation of the Tasmanian Government. In her role, Lauren is open and honest in the way she communicates. She works hard to develop strong relationships and is passionate about supporting the empowerment and development of her team members. Her approach to leadership is authentic, individualised and empathetic.

Julie Dunbabin
Executive Officer, Tasmanian School Canteen Association

Inspirational leadership - Community sector

Julie has been instrumental in changing the school canteen culture. In an environment that’s often female dominated, underpaid and undervalued, Julie has facilitated changes such as improving pay rates, job security, providing mentoring and peer support programs. Julie is innovative and visionary in her approach to healthy eating for children and has demonstrated strong leadership to grow support for the Tasmanian School Canteen Association.

Emily Briffa
CEO, Hamlet Inc

Aspiring leader - Community sector

Emily fosters self-confidence and hope in people who previously felt that their options were limited. She’s a leader in the daily operations of Hamlet and her staff and participants look to her for inspiration. Emily is a supportive member of the community sector, always encouraging other to achieve their best and doing whatever she can to support new initiatives and programs that can make a real difference.

We’re delighted to hear about how these female leaders have had such a significant impact, and made such positive contributions within our community. We would like to once again congratulate these deserving recipients.