Jan Owen, CEO of Foundation for Young Australians, was named The Australian Financial Review and Westpac Group ‘Woman of Influence 2012’.
Australia’s 100 winners across 10 categories were chosen from over 350 nominations for the inaugural annual Women of Influence awards, which recognise the important contribution of female leaders to Australia’s future.
Nominations were shortlisted and assessed by a panel of judges against a range of criteria, including the nominee’s personal and career achievements, contribution beyond their direct role and their mentoring and support for other women.
We are equally proud that included in the Top 100 were FYA Board member Marita Cheng (joint winner of the Young Leader category alongside Yassmin Abdel-Magied); April Long National Manager of the National Indigenous Youth Leadership Academy (run by FYA in partnership with the National Centre of Indigenous Excellence and Stronger Smarter Institute); and Holly Ransom, one of the 50 ‘extraordinaries’ selected to attend our Young & Extraordinary event this month.
It is young women like Marita, April and Holly who inspire us to continue the work of FYA to ignite, equip and invest in all young Australians to be agents of change for themselves and society.
As Jan told The Australian Financial Review on Friday night, FYA strongly believes that influence is a tool that can be used for “strategic disruption” of the status quo when it is failing, and the best place to start is by seeding an entrepreneurial spirit and confidence in Australia’s youth.
This is what we do at FYA. We are relentlessly optimistic about the young people of this country and their capacity to envisage then co-design the country and world they want to live in.
It is important that all young Australians see the significant contribution that women make in challenging the status quo and creating strategic disruption. The 100 women who have been recognised through these awards are influencing at scale to help give our young people the opportunity to contribute, whoever and wherever they are; to empower them to build the kind of society they want to live in; and to back them and their ideas for change.
FYA will continue to disrupt the status quo throughout October. Young & Extraordinary will see young change makers from across the country come together to elevate their work. Student ShoutOut! will see students all around Australia casting votes on which education questions they want asked of the Hon. Peter Garrett MP, Minister for School Education, who will then answer them live and in person. Change It Up will empower young people in regional Victoria to make change in their communities. The National Safe Schools Symposium will put the fight against homophobia in schools on the national agenda.
We look forward to continuing to work with you to unleash the courage, imagination and will of all young Australians to shape their education and create social change.