Once again, judges in ADM’s Women in Defence Awards were spoilt for choice when it came to narrowing down the field in each of the nine categories. With a new category this year on R&D/Academia in the mix, almost 200 women from around the nation threw their hats in the ring.

“Every year we have the toughest and best job of deciding between amazing, awesome and inspiring women from so many different parts of the Defence community,” ADM Managing Editor Katherine Ziesing said. “Finding daylight between these entries is the best problem to have.”

Winners in each category along with the Hall of Fame inductee for lifetime achievement will be announced on Friday July 30 at a gala dinner at the National Arboretum in Canberra. Tickets are available here.

And the finalists are:


  • Melanie de Git from The Boeing Company
  • Shey Dimon from Penten
  • Sharon Mascall-Dare from Babcock
  • Sarah Vesey from The Decisive Point


  • Louise Burr from Royal Australian Air Force
  • Sarah Cannard from Nova Systems
  • Emily Carrie from Royal Australian Air Force
  • Jennifer Del Mastro from Nova Systems
  • Natalie Stafford from Royal Australian Navy


  • Andrea Argirides from Headquarters Joint Operations Command
  • Kristie Connell from Australian Army
  • Karla Duroy from BGIS
  • Cathy Sergi from Serco ADF Health Services
  • Ci-anna Smith from Royal Australian Navy
  • Michelle Volkers from Royal Australian Air Force

People and Culture

  • Amelia De Angelis from Kinexus
  • Natalie Ekonomopoulos from Royal Australian Air Force
  • Lyndsay Freeman & Shamsa Lea from Australian Defence Force
  • Rebecca Jackson from Providence Consulting
  • Beck Rayner from Military Wife Life


Project Management

  • Deb Herberz from Noetic
  • Claire Milton from AeroPM
  • Maddy Rentmeester from CASG
  • Catherine Roberts from Royal Australian Air Force
  • Naomi Smith from Boeing Defence Australia

Technical Trade

  • Jenny Gigliotti from Ventia (formerly Broadspectrum)
  • Jodie Matters from Royal Australian Navy
  • Suzie Peterson from Royal Australian Navy
  • Belynda Pettit from Royal Australian Air Force
  • Alicia Pollock from Serco Asia Pacific


  • Professor Siobhan Banks from University of South Australia
  • Dr Cate Carter from Australian Army
  • Dr Samantha Crompvoets from Rapid Context
  • Dr Felicia Pradera from DMTC Limited
  • Dr Yan Yang from Boeing Phantom Works International

Legal and Contracting

  • Kaylene Askew from Luminact Pty Ltd
  • Carla Balanco from DroneShield Limited
  • Elizabeth Cooke from Royal Australian Navy
  • Melinda Halliday from Coras Solutions
  • Alison Whittaker from BAE Systems Australia


Rising Star (under 30)

  • Rebecca Avila from Royal Australian Navy
  • Olivia Blight from Rheinmetall Defence Australia
  • Madeline Bonfini from RD Consulting
  • Victoria Waid from Australian Army
  • Bilin Zhou from Boeing Defence Australia

Thank you to our sponsors SYPAQ, Penten, Airbus, Boeing, Ventia, BGIS, and Precision Public Affairs for helping us to make this program happen.

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