Navy Engineer humbled by award

Published on Ms Harriet Pointon Mather (author and photographer), LSIS James McDougall (photographer)

Topic(s): Women in Defence Awards

Lieutenant Commander Siobhan Sturdy receives the phone call advising that she has won the Engineering category in the Australian Defence Magazine's Women in Defence Awards 2020. (photo: )
Lieutenant Commander Siobhan Sturdy receives the phone call advising that she has won the Engineering category in the Australian Defence Magazine's Women in Defence Awards 2020.

The Australian Defence Magazine (ADM) Women in Defence Awards ceremony was live-streamed around the country last week as finalists gathered at various events in front of televisions, phones and computer screens to hear the winners announced.

Navy’s five finalists, Captain Tish van Stralen, Lieutenant Commander Siobhan Sturdy, Ms Samantha Roald, Chief Petty Officer Jessica Buley, and Petty Officer Natalie Stephens all had much to be proud of as they waited for the results to be announced.

At HMAS Stirling a crowd gathered at a morning tea to watch the awards and support Lieutenant Commander Sturdy.

Even though the event had been pre-recorded winners of categories were advised in real time as the announcement was made on the stream.

Cheers went up as Lieutenant Commander Sturdy was pronounced the winner of the Engineering category and she received the much-awaited phone call from Australian Defence Magazine.

“I think it was great work by the ADM and Two De Force team for transitioning the awards into a virtual, widely accessible event,” Lieutenant Commander Sturdy said.

“I’m really grateful for the recognition the awards bring, and I’m very humbled to have been amongst such a fantastic cohort of Defence and Industry women, my congratulations to all the other finalists and winners.”

Present at the live streaming event were Commander Submarine Force Captain Doug Theobald and Deputy Commander Submarine Force Commander Chris Forward who were both thrilled to see Lieutenant Commander Sturdy’s work and contribution to the Submarine Force recognised.

“Submarine Force is very proud of Siobhan, who is a most worthy recipient of this prestigious award,” Commander Chris Forward said.

“Siobhan has been an outstanding example of the many high achieving women currently serving in the Submarine Force, Navy and Defence.”

Another Navy winner was Captain Tish van Stralen, who received a Judge’s Special Mention in the Project Management category.

“It was an absolute honour to have been nominated for this award. I have an incredible team working for me who have made this possible and I thank each and every one of them for their hard work and dedication. I am so proud of our achievements,” Captain van Stralen said.

Katherine Zielsing, Managing Editor of the Australian Defence Magazine was delighted to see so many Navy women nominated and selected as finalists in this year’s awards.

“Navy has made a concerted effort to become a more female-friendly workplace and these efforts show in the nominations and achievements of their personnel.”