Alexandra Atkins was part of the first wave of female STEM mining professionals, joining underground mining at a time when women were illegal, and taboo. After working on remote mine sites around Australia for 15 years, and witnessing multiple mine disasters, Alex became passionate about preventing mine tragedies and bringing about innovations which would make mining better.
It led her to change disciplines from geology to mining engineering and geotechnical engineering, then to finance and governance becoming a mine engineer, mine manager and mining consultant to a government regulator, and now company director. Her determination, foresight and courage to challenge stereotypes and unconscious bias within the industry are legendary.
Frauke Bolten-Boshammer arrived in the Ord Valley in 1981 and was sadly widowed in 1984, and then later lost their son. Despite family urging her to return to her native Germany she remained and established Kimberley Fine Diamonds, showcasing the highly desired, rare, pink Argyle diamonds. Her fresh look at business, coupled with European style, has added a dimension and depth to the outback town of Kununurra .
Over the ensueing two and a half decades of successful operation, Frauke has contributed both personally and financially to numerous organisations and events in the region.
Frauke’s great resilience and tenacity have helped put Kununurra on the map, ensuring the locally mined pink diamonds return value back into the town she has grown to love.
Anette Schoombee was raised by her mother in a small village in Namibia and attended the local German school. She later won a merit-based scholarship and studied law at the University of Stellenbosch. She emigrated to Perth in 1987 and joined a law firm.
Anette was president of Women Lawyers WA and throughout her career took on various roles on committees and boards and act ed as mentor to advance women in the legal profession and aid other disadvantaged groups.
Anette was one of the first female solicitors, and later partner, at a large law firm in Perth to work part-time after the birth of her two children. She went on to become an independent barrister and Judge of the District Court of Western Australia.
Annie Nayina Milgin is a senior Nyikina woman who is trained and qualified as an Aboriginal Health Worker. She lives at the Jarlmadanga Burru Community in the West Kimberley where she managed the Health Clinic until recently retiring.
Beyond her role as senior health worker, Annie is a Board member of the Sharing Stories Foundation, Director and Cultural Adviser of Walalakoo Aboriginal Corporation the Nyikina Mangala Native Title Body Corporate and the cultural boss for Yiriman, an Indigenous organisation that returns young people to Country with their Elders to teach them about the stories, kinship, language and songs to which they’re traditionally connected.
This determined quiet achiever has left an indelible impact upon the health and well-being of the people in her community.
Bronwyn Lesley Barnes works in an industry known for gender imbalance however she has forged a successful career to become one of a handful of women leaders in the WA mining sector operating at both a Director, and Executive level. Because of her strengths and reputation as an innovative and dynamic leader, she was invited to take up a role on the AMEC Executive Council providing new thinking and challenging conventional approaches.
Her contributions have won her many supporters and has seen her ideas drive strategic change. Bronwyn was recognised for her achievements when she won the Outstanding Woman in Resources Award from the Chamber of Minerals & Energy WA and the Exceptional Woman in Australian Resources Award 2015.
Irene Stainton is passionate about protecting Aboriginal heritage and culture. She served as the Registrar for Aboriginal Sites in WA for 7 years, has been the Chair of the WA Museum’s Aboriginal Advisory Committee for over 21 years, is a Member of the Board of Trustees, WA Museum, and Chairs the Aboriginal Advisory Committee with the National Trust (WA).
Irene is responsible for the State Government erecting a War Memorial in Kings Park to honour the services of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’, established the ‘Keeping Place’ in Karrakatta Cemetery, and was involved with the “Bringing Them Home Report”.
Throughout Irene’s life’s work, justice and the well-being for her people has been paramount.
Violet Arrey is a Cameroon born Australian lawyer and social entrepreneur. She is the current President of Cameroonians in WA (CAMWA) Inc, co-founder of Afritude Down Under Inc (ADU), a member of the Police Commissioner’s multicultural women leaders’ advisory group, and of the City of Wanneroo’s Multicultural Advisory Group.
Violet was the recipient of the 2017 Junior Woman Lawyer of the Year Award and 2015 Celebration of African-Australians Captain Award. She has chosen to pursue her legal career by establishing her own law firm, where she can further assist community. Violet stands as a role model for many young African-Australians and persons from Culturally and Linguistically Diverse communities.
Marion Fulker AM has played a significant role in shaping the future of both the Perth region and WA. As CEO of the Committee for Perth, Marion led the pioneering two-year gender equality research project ‘Filling the Pool’. The resulting report provided a roadmap of interlocking recommendations for government, the corporate sector (and their predominately male leaders) and women too in order to grow the participation and progression rates of women in the workforce. For the past 13-years, Marion has worked tirelessly to provide a unified, apolitical and informed voice on Perth’s future across a broad range of issues including the economy and mobility. Marion has also chaired statutory authorities whose advice and decisions affect conservation outcomes in both heritage and nature. She is a vocal advocate for reconciliation.
Prof. Rhonda Marriott AM is a Nyikina Woman, born in Derby, WA. She was the first Aboriginal Head of a School of Nursing in a University when she was appointed as the Inaugural Head of the Murdoch School of Nursing. She was also a Faculty Dean of Health Sciences, and a Pro Vice Chancellor Faculties at Murdoch University. In 2019 she took up the role of Pro Vice Chancellor for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Leadership, alongside being Director of the successful and newly established Ngangk Yira Research Centre for Aboriginal Health and Social Equity. Rhonda has been an outstanding academic and advocate for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people’ through 50+ years in the nursing profession and 30+ years in the midwifery profession; and 30 years in Academia.
Joyce Pamela Westrip OAM is truly an extraordinary woman, who has worked tirelessly to promote cultural links between Australia and India, receiving an OAM in 2000. Joyce was awarded the Commonwealth Government’s Centenary Medal in 2001 in recognition of her community contributions. She has held positions on multiple committees, including the State Library Board, The Festival of Perth, Indian Ocean Cultural Council, Indian Ocean Arts Festival, and Richard Wagner Society. She was a founding member of Talking Books for the Blind and founding member of Friends of Opera. She is a published author and continues to be an unofficial Ambassador for diverse arts and cultures and the promotion of these cultures in WA, nationally, and internationally.
Lee Musumeci established the Early Learning Centre at Challis Community Primary School and implemented evidence based educational techniques and approaches that resulted in the students eventually achieving equivalent to, or better than, the State mean rating for education. She also dreamt of having a music program, so she did what good educators do she studied and investigated the benefits of a music education for children, to find the experts and evidence to support her vision. She rallied people and under her leadership as Principal, they developed a program that has inspired the nation to take up music education for all children. Lee’s efforts on so many levels have seen the face of education in this country change possibly forever.
Dawn Wallam is a Bibbelmun Wardani woman of the Noongar nation with over 40years experience working in the area of child protection and family support with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’. She was the CEO of Yorganop Association Inc for over 20 years and is a past chair and life member of SNAICC, the national voice for Indigenous children and young people; founding member and interim Chairperson of the Noongar Child Protection Council; and was a founding signatory of the sub group of Indigenous children to the United Nations Working Group on the Rights of the Child. Dawn is passionate about improving the well-being of Indigenous children.
Rishelle Hume AM is a proud Noongar Woman with traditional ties to the Whadjuk, Ballardong and Gnaala Karla Boodja peoples and a proud mother. She has over 25 years’ experience in Aboriginal engagement ranging from employment, education, justice and health and has added value to Aboriginal advancement in WA by demonstrating leadership and coordinated approaches in dealing with State Aboriginal matters. Rishelle is a multi-award winner in recognition of her contribution to Aboriginal communities and ‘Closing the Gap’. Rishelle is determined to make a difference, so we no longer talk about closing the gap, as there is no gap to close!
M’Liss Henry OAM has spent 46-years of her life driven by a single-minded passion and desire to help both disabled, and abled persons to connect with horses. Now at 75 years of age she is just as committed to this goal as she was when she first set up her disabled riding school in 1972. She has created an equine learning environment that has not only has been life changing for many who have attended, but also for the many hundreds of people who have volunteered. L’Miss was awarded an OAM for her services to people with a disability, and community.
ROLL OF HONOUR
Clara (Decima) Norman MBE was the star of the 1938 Empire Games in Sydney. She stunned the athletics world by winning 5 gold medals, a feat yet to be equalled. At the Australian selection trials in 1937 she won the sprint double guaranteeing selection in the Games and the same year, was instrumental in establishing the WA Women’s Amateur Athletic Association, ultimately allowing WA female athletes to compete nationally, and internationally. In 1939 she equalled the 100yds world record for women. Due to WWII the 1940 and 1944 Olympics were cancelled so she was unable to complete however in 1940 she won three gold medals at the Australian Women’s Amateur Athletics Championships. She retired in 1948. Decima was an early pioneer for women in athletics in WA, an incredible role model, and a humble champion who become the first Golden Girl of Athletics in Australia. (1909 – 1983)