Winnovation Awards 2021 finalists announced

The Winnovation Awards 2021 elevate South Australia’s innovative women by showcasing female change-makers and future role models driving innovation in their profession.

An Australia-first bushfire awareness STEM program in schools, machine learning for early fault detection in Adelaide’s water networks and the world’s first interactive and digital-inclusive children’s story book for blind and deaf children are just three of the innovations announced as finalists in the 2021 Winnovation Awards.

The Winnovation Awards 2021 elevate South Australia’s innovative women by showcasing female change-makers and future role models driving innovation in their profession. This year’s finalists have been announced today (Monday 25 October) ahead of a virtual awards ceremony in early November.

The finalists were selected by a group of independent judges across 11 awards categories, including science, technology, engineering, the arts and mathematics.

Nicole Swaine, President of Women In Innovation SA, said the awards provided an opportunity to celebrate leading female innovators across all industries, research institutes and government.

“There are so many incredible advancements being made across education and industry in South Australia at the moment, and we’re surging ahead in defence, space, biotech, agriculture and advanced manufacturing, among many sectors,” Ms Swaine said.

“The Winnovation Awards provide us with an opportunity to promote these unsung heroes, who don’t often seek publicity for their achievements.

“We commend all of the entrants who have contributed to making South Australia a more innovative state, as they continue to create a ripple effect through job opportunities, research capabilities and even improving our quality of life.”

The Winnovation winners will be an announced at an online event on November 4, featuring Sweat co-founder and trainer Kayla Itsines.

In a rare interview opportunity with ABC Breakfast presenter Ali Clarke, the pair will discuss Ms Itsines’ journey from start-up to international success, her challenges, how she juggles having a young family and her learnings along the way.

“It’s amazing to see women in South Australia pushing the boundaries, innovating in the business space and paving the way for future generations,” Ms Itsines said.

“South Australia is proudly my hometown and where I co-founded my own business, Sweat, so it’s an honour to play a small part in celebrating the achievements and success stories of local female entrepreneurs.”

Book here to secure your free ticket to the 2021 Winnovation Awards, held virtually from 6pm, Thursday 4 November 2021 >

The Winnovation Awards 2021 finalists across 11 categories:

Lily Taylor, Defence Science and Technology Group – The development of an inexpensive, portable, accessible, interactive and reusable STEM kit for students, targeted towards optics research for defence outreach activities.

• Mary Kelly, Reusably – A tech platform supporting businesses and ecosystems to facilitate swap systems of reusable containers to help eliminate single-use plastic waste, being trialled on Kangaroo Island.

Natasha Nagle, ReadSTEM – An initiative giving scientists and researchers the skills and confidence to effectively communicate their research in interesting and engaging ways.

• Amanda Mader, Vine Scout – The development of technology that continuously logs bunch weight in wine grapes, between veraison to harvest, for improved yield estimation accuracy, irrigation management and water-use efficiency.

• Carly Ascott, Bushfire Kids Connect – An Australian-first STEM program delivering education in bushfire awareness and wellness to regional school communities, empowering students to become problem solvers and innovators to help families threatened by future fires.

• Menasha Thilakaratne, University of Adelaide – Using AI to help unlock new innovations in medicine to create a future with better health and wellbeing outcomes, through the generation of automated novel research hypotheses.

Nicole Arbon, SA Water – Introducing data analytics and machine learning for smarter water networks, with sensors that provide a real-time picture of water flow, pressure and quality, to identify and fix faults before they impact on customers and the community.

• Susie Jones, SA Water – Corporate innovation at scale; evolving innovation at SA Water. Approaching innovation systemically by bringing together people, processes and technology, enabling SA Water to bring life to ideas that deliver value for customers and communities.

• Ruth Nordstrom, SUHO Studio – Creating innovative and high-quality sustainable architecture design services for both residential and commercial projects. Through collaborative services of their designers and the SUHO consultancy team, SUHOstudio supports home builders to strike the optimal balance between passive design, ventilation, rainwater capture, energy efficiency and thermal comfort.

• Kathy Smart, Joy Everafter Stories – Producing the world’s first, full-length, fully-voiced and interactive English children’s storybook, accessible to blind and deaf children and with character customisation enabling all children to be heroes.

• Melanie Tate, Puddle Jumpers – Innovative early intervention and prevention programs for at-risk children. Puddle Jumpers has introduced camps, activity days, mentoring, food relief and support.

Carmen Garcia, Community Corporate – A national recruitment service with a social conscience, supporting corporates to maximise the untapped pool of skills, passion and experience among diverse cohorts including refugees, migrants, youth and women, and to help these groups access work.

• Kathryn McEwen, Resilience at Work ([email protected]) Team App – A world-first team resilience app, blending tech, science, real-time data and powerful questions to help teams work better together through challenge, change and uncertainty – anytime, anywhere.

Alice Fitch, Whola – A game-changing B2B fashion wholesale platform, making life better for more than 3,000 registered retailers (25% market penetration) by making their store instantly relevant to their target market. Whola creates scale and grows businesses in an old-fashioned yet female-dominated industry, addressing the major pains of retailers and labels.

• Helen Banwell, University of South Australia – The use of 3D printed foot models to safely teach scalpel debridement of foot ulcers to podiatry students to improve foot health in those at-risk of amputation.

Dr Amal Osman, Flinders University – Developing the first ‘awake’ sleep apnoea test to qualify noisy snoring/breathing problems for one billion people worldwide, bringing personalised treatments for a disorder that impacts health and personal relationships closer.

• Sian Dodd and Carla Mellor, National Association of Women in Construction – A leadership development program that empowers women in a traditionally male-dominated industry, to confidently manage unconscious bias behaviours and effectively lead teams in the construction and related industries.

• Nina Sivertsen, Flinders University – The Malpa Nursing Model, an innovative and culturally responsive way to teaching nursing students about First Nations Health, by incorporating Malpas (cultural guides) in every classroom, bringing the Aboriginal Health Curriculum to life and developing culturally safe nursing graduates with a nuanced grasp of First Peoples’ health needs.

• Hannah Keage, University of South Australia – Detecting and preventing post-operative delirium to save and improve the lives of older adults. This research is uncovering which people are likely to develop delirium after surgery and the neural mechanisms responsible, to help hospitals prepare in advance and potentially reduce the number of delirium cases by up to a third.

• Louise Kyriaki, Flinders University – Researching how the human language works in the brain, in order to contribute to the scientific and general community through the development of interventions for people with language-related disorders.

• Erin Faehrmann, Youth Opportunities – Helping build the skills, habits and confidence for young people to live their best lives no matter what their circumstances.

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