• WIDA 2023 Logo
    WIDA 2023 Logo

Following our announcement of the Women in Defence Awards 2023 finalists on 4 September, ADM will be introducing each of our amazing finalists across the 10 categories in more detail. Today we are focusing on the finalists in People and Culture.

In this category, judges were looking for entries that evidenced success in project management in 2022, as well as a clear effort to promote Defence above and beyond the scope of their roles or to promote inclusion within their organisations. In addition, judges also looked for entries that evidenced the overcoming of personal challenges on their way to success.

Caroline Chai of Saab Australia.
Credit: Supplied
Caroline Chai of Saab Australia. Credit: Supplied

Caroline Chai
Program Manager Maritime
Saab Australia

During 2022 Caroline’s contributions to the local manufacture of Saab’s multi-function consoles were critical in the success of the project; an achievement which was instrumental in leading to Australian export opportunities to European defence forces. Caroline confidently managed both the internal stakeholders and customer expectations, while maintaining the interests of Saab’s product development team; ultimately fostering a positive relationship between stakeholders and progressing Saab’s product and manufacturing approach to provide the most benefit to all parties.

Catherine Woodward
Senior Project Manager, Project Management Office Lead (Deployed ICT Program)
Leidos Australia

After joining Leidos in 2022, Catherine was tasked with and met the challenge to take on and deliver a complex in-flight project within the Deployed ICT environment – Minerva SEA2273. Her quick assessment of the Leidos organisation, her team and customer requirements, saw her create in excess of $30 million of new business opportunities.

Kelly Poniris of JLL.
Credit: Supplied
Kelly Poniris of JLL. Credit: Supplied

Kelly Poniris
Senior Project Manager

In 2022 Kelly led JLL’s 13-strong NT team to deliver exceptional financial results, while also being Project Manager for design management and delivery of Russell R1 building refurbishments involving 30 stakeholder groups and reconciling competing Estate priorities, and managing the NT PM team. A section of works for the R1 Refurbishment was delivered two weeks early through Kelly’s ability to organise the contractor, and be decisive, adaptable, and methodical with stakeholders and key personnel. 

Lara Perkovic of the Australian Army.
Credit: Supplied
Lara Perkovic of the Australian Army. Credit: Supplied

Captain Lara Perkovic
Lead Planner for Ex Puk Puk 2022, Second in Charge of 25 Support Squadron
3rd Combat Engineer Regiment
Australian Army

Lara was the Second in Charge of 25 Support Squadron and tasked as the Lead Planner for Exercise Puk Puk 2022, a Joint exercise between the ADF and Papua New Guinea Defence Force. She led a multi-disciplinary team with international military partners for a reconnaissance and the extensive logistics and engineer material procurement for a budget of $5.4 million. Her final challenge for the year was developing the plan for 2023 with degraded communications following an earthquake.

Tracey Clavell

Tracey Clavell of BAE Systems.
Credit: Supplied
Tracey Clavell of BAE Systems. Credit: Supplied

Head of Program – Batch 1, Hunter Class Frigate Program
BAE Systems Australia

In 2022 Tracey was promoted from the Head of Estimating and Pricing for the Australian business to the Head of Program for Batch 1 on the Hunter program. Tracey was placed in charge of a team of 25 people whose focus was to reach contractual agreement with the Commonwealth of Australia for Batch 1, thereby securing the biggest contract in BAE Systems Australia’s defence history. Under Tracey’s outstanding leadership, the Batch 1 team has delivered all key milestones on time and to a high quality, including securing a ~$400 million contract extension with Defence.

The winners and Hall of Fame inductee will be announced at a gala dinner at The National Arboretum Canberra on 25 October 2023. Book your tickets here – we hope to see you there!

comments powered by Disqus