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2021 CEW Scholarships – diversity amongst our recipients

2021 CEW Scholarships – diversity amongst our recipients
Chief Executive Women (CEW) has awarded the first round of 2021 CEW Scholarships to women from a wide range of industries and sectors. CEW continues to expand our scholarship program to cater for greater diversity and each winner has nominated a scholarship that best suits their needs and aspirations. We look forward to welcoming the scholarship recipients to the CEW alumni and to their future endeavours which will be shaped and supported by these educational opportunities.

The flexibility of the 2021 CEW Scholarships attracted many strong applications and CEW is delighted to offer congratulations to the following women:

Entrepreneur Scholarship

  • Melissa Reader, CEO, The Violet Initiative, will undertake the INSEAD AVIRA Program

Executive Manager Scholarship

Three recipients will complete the Executive Development Program at The Wharton School

  • Michelle Lynch, Chief Operating Officer, Ramsay Pharmacy Group. Michelle is also a Director and National Vice-President of The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA).
  • Caroline Patrick, Director of Brand and Member, Super SA. Caroline has held senior and executive positions in banking, wealth management, credit finance, health insurance and superannuation.
  • Alison Price, Founder and Managing Director, Former Director and Vice Chair of the National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC) and Board Member for the Waste Recycling Industry Association of Queensland (WRIQ).

Not-for-Profit Scholarship

STEM Scholarship

  • Dr Rowan Brookes, Academic Program Director (STEM), Melbourne School for Professional and Continuing Education, will complete the Vincent Fairfax Fellowship for Ethical Leadershipoffered by Cranlana Centre for Ethical Leadership.
  • Sarah McSwiney, Senior Manager, Strategy and Operations, Office of the Chief Engineer, Boeing Defence Australia, will undertake Strategy and Innovation Executive Certificate at MIT Sloan School of Management.
  • Dr Hema Wadhwa, Remote Monitoring and Digital Engineering Solutions Manager ANZ, Worley will study online the Graduate Certificate in Business through The University of Melbourne.

Small Business

  • Esmee Ng, Chief Executive Officer, Health Empower Australia will undertake the Diploma of Positive Psychology and Wellbeing  offered through The Langley Group Institute.

Government Scholarship

  • Commodore Fiona Sneath, RAN, Deputy Inspector-General of the Australian Defence Force, will undertake the Vincent Fairfax Fellowship – Cranlana Centre for Ethical Leadership

CEW Scholarships will be launched again in November 2022 and will again offer multiple scholarships for women leaders between $5,000 and $35,000. Applications will open for women working across diverse sectors including sustainability, nursing, entrepreneurs, government, not-for-profit, STEM and advertising, media and television.

Read more on these women and all the 2021 CEW Scholarship recipients.



The winners of the CEW and ANZ Sustainability Scholarship are working to address some of our planet’s most pressing challenges in radically different ways. They are: Brickworks General Manager Operations Emily Antonio I’m Plastic Free Founder Simona Paganetto Coates National Environment and Sustainability Manager Robyn Simpson While their expertise and experience different greatly, they are...
This year’s recipient of the ARA Women Leaders in Retail Scholarship Coles Group General Manager, Non-Food Business Unit Debra Galle, prioritises values and behaviours to build supportive, transparent and team-based cultures. Debra is passionate about fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) retail, a segment that has faced rapidly changing and difficult circumstances due to the COVID-19 pandemic....
Theatre directors, music producers and brand builders, curators and a philanthropic fundraiser are among the recipients of the 2023 Hansen CEW Leaders Program for the Arts Scholarship. Made possible thanks to the generosity of Jane Hansen AO, these scholarships help women leaders looking to take on executive leadership roles within the Arts by supporting them...
The winner of this year’s CEW Chemistry Australia Scholarship is Orica manager of manufacturing technology Kira McGrath. McGrath has extensive experience with ammonia, nitric acid and ammonium nitrate manufacturing processes specific to Orica’s Kooragang Island manufacturing facility, in Newcastle New South Wales. The facility supplies critical products to the mining and infrastructure, agriculture, water supply,...
We are delighted to collaborate with Melbourne Business School (MBS)and the Helen Macpherson Smith Trust (HMST) to offer emerging women leaders in Victoria’s not-for-profit and for-purpose sectors the opportunity to complete an Executive MBA. HMST is an independent philanthropic trust established by Helen Macpherson Schutt (née Smith) in 1951 with the aim of benefiting future...
CEW is delighted to announce the recipient of this year’s prestigious Maureen Kerridge CEW Scholarship – Libby Owens, the CEO of Champion Data. With an impressive 20 years of experience in the sports media industry, Libby has made significant contributions to the field and broken barriers throughout her career. Libby’s journey in the sports media...
In an era defined by groundbreaking technological advancements, the CEW-Actuaries Institute Harvard Scholarship emerges as a beacon of empowerment for women seeking to make their mark in the dynamic fields of data science and artificial intelligence (AI). Would you have guessed that first sentence was written by ChatGPT, an AI-powered language model developed by OpenAI?...
Arts stalwart and Executive Director of Brisbane-based independent production house The Little Red Company Katherine Hoepper has been named the 2023 CEW Hansen Executive Leader in the Arts  scholar. Katherine has over 25 years’ experience working with performing arts companies, festivals, independent artists and venues. Prior to arriving at The Little Red company she was...
CEW, in partnership with Roberta Sykes and Aurora Education, is delighted to announce the winners of this year’s Roberta Sykes Scholarship: Nattlie Smith, Director for Aboriginal Outcomes, NSW Department of Customer Service Tammy O’Connor, Founder KingKira Group Christianna Cartwright, CEO, Real Futures The Roberta Sykes Scholarship is one of CEW’S longest-standing scholarships and empowers Indigenous...
Giving aspiring women leaders in the arts a chance to reflect and grow For leaders in the arts, there’s a myriad of reasons that commitment to the job can come at expense of a commitment to yourself. The CEW Hansen Leaders Program for the Arts Scholarship is designed to give five leaders in the arts...