Royal Australian Navy Weapons Electrical Engineering Officer, Captain Mona Shindy has been named the 2015 Telstra Australian Business Woman of the Year.
Currently Director Littoral Warfare and Maritime Support and former head of the Fast Frigate System Program, Captain Shindy was recognised for her excellence in managing multi-million dollar budgets to support the Navy's fleet.
Captain Shindy has combined a 26 year naval career with sea time and motherhood, and is also Chief of Navy's Strategic Adviser on Islamic Cultural Affairs.
Captain Mona Shindy was announced 2015 Telstra Business Woman of the Year last night - here's the moment it happened and her thoughts.Posted by Royal Australian Navy on Wednesday, 18 November 2015
Captain Shindy attributes her success to her values of collaboration, inclusion and empowerment.
"As a senior military officer and engineer, project director and business leader, being successful as a female has always just been one piece of the puzzle," she said.
"Effecting necessary change, in business practice or community attitudes, requires strong leadership by example.
"It requires creating environments where people are encouraged to collaborate and innovate, where all contributions are respected and valued, where there is a strong sense of belonging and personal responsibility, then people and organisations are empowered to be their best and to give their best."
Chief of Navy Vice Admiral Tim Barrett, former Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Ray Griggs, and other Defence members were on hand in Melbourne on 18 November for the presentation dinner.
As Fast Frigate System Program Office Director, Captain Shindy was accountable for the availability, maintenance and upkeep of front-line warships, associated logistics and engineering enhancements. Her adviser role creates a better understanding between the Defence Force and the wider Islamic community.
To progress to the final, Captain Shindy won the Government and Academia section of the New South Wales awards, as well as the overall NSW 2015 Telstra Australian Business Woman of the Year. She was joined as a finalist in New South Wales by Lieutenant Commander Christina Ween, a Maritime Logistics Officer.
Brigadier Georgeina Whelan who works in Director General of the Defence Department's Garrison Health Operations was also in the running for the national award, having won the ACT 2015 Telstra Australian Business Woman of the Year.
Telstra Business Women’s Award Ambassador and Telstra Chief Operations Officer, Kate McKenzie, said Captain Shindy, and all of the national winners had demonstrated incredible resolve and determination throughout their careers.
"The 2015 Telstra Business Women’s Awards winners are seven brilliant, courageous women who have pushed the boundaries and truly innovated in the respective categories.
"Mona’s ability to unify and inspire as a leader in a traditionally male dominated industry has created lasting business improvement and made way for real change within the Navy. She has faced numerous challenges throughout her career and has met them with resilience and drive.
The Telstra Awards Judges noted Captain Shindy’s sharp financial acumen in managing substantial budgets and more broadly, her dedication to building and strengthening bridges between the Islamic community and the Navy.
Other winners included Jessica May from the Australian Capital Territory, who took home the Start-Up Award, South Australia’s Kate Thiele who received the For Purpose and Social Enterprise Award and Kim Tran from Western Australia who won the Young Business Women’s Award.
Marie Piccone of Manbulloo (Entrepreneur Award), Katarina Carroll of the Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (joint winner Government and Academia) and Catherine Ball (Corporate and Private) were all from Queensland.