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Psychology student Aleksandra Chichikova crowned first Miss Wheelchair World

A psychology student from Belarus, Aleksandra Chichikova, has been crowned Miss Wheelchair World in the first-ever edition of the beauty pageant held in Warsaw, Poland on Saturday.

“Fight your anxiety and your fears,” the 23-year-old Chichikova said at a gala evening, after the contestants had presented themselves in national costumes and evening dresses in elaborate choreographies.

Lebohang Monyatsi from South Africa was the runner-up ahead of Poland’s Adrianna Zawadzinska in the first contest of its kind on a global scale, which brought together 24 young women from 19 countries.

The goal of the contest was to “change the image of women in wheelchairs so they would not be judged solely by this attribute,” contest co-founder and jury president Katarzyna Wojtaszek-Ginalska told AFP.

Miss Belarus Aleksandra Chichikova greets the audience after she was crowned Miss Wheelchair World.

The pageant organised by the Poland-based Only One Foundation also seeks to show that a wheelchair is a luxury in many parts of the world, she added.

The contestants were chosen either in national rounds or, in countries with no such pageants, by non-governmental organisations addressed by the Polish foundation.

“It is not the looks that matter the most,” said Wojtaszek-Ginalska, who is also confined to a wheelchair.

“Of course, a good look counts but we have focused especially on the personality of the girls, their everyday activities, their involvement, social life, plans,” she added.

Miss Belarus Aleksandra Chichikova greets the audience.

The contestants spent eight days in the Polish capital, busy with rehearsals, photo sessions, conferences and visits.

The inaugural Miss Wheelchair World attracted contestants from Angola, Belarus, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Finland, France, Guatemala, India, Italy, Mexico, Moldova, the Netherlands, Poland, Russia, South Africa, Ukraine and the United States.

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Henry Sapiecha

Empowering women in advertising – ‘SheSays’ launches awards

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Global networking group SheSays is launching a new awards program in Australia to recognise the best female talent in the advertising industry.

The SheSays Awards are open from now until 13 October aimed at women across Australia. They will be judged by a panel of male and female industry figures including Isobar CEO Konrad Spilva, Venus founder Bec Brideson, Isobar creative director Carmela Soares, Reactive creative director Prue Jones and BWM creative directors Jon Foye, Denny Handlin and Amy Hollier.

Other judges include Hardhat Digital creative director Beth Walsh, MASS founder Tim Kotsiakos and Charles Grenfell group creative director Emma Hill, and AdNews editor Rosie Baker.

SheSays Melbourne director Kara Jenkins says the awards aim to challenge and inspire women in the industry.

“Through the SheSays Awards we want to empower women in the creative marketing industries to be more confident and therefore more ambitious,” Jenkins says.

“We’re challenging women to think about their current position in the industry, and where they want it to be in the future. We’re publicly recognising the future and current female leaders who we hope will be role models for all women within the industry to aspire to.”

The inaugural awards have three categories including an Industry Award which recognises a female creative that has shown to have played a key role in producing an idea which has no limits.

One is a Woman of the Year Award which recognises a woman who has made an outstanding contribution to the creative industries.

To shine a light on the next generation of creative women, the program also includes a Student Award for a female creative or creative team (which includes at least one female) who produces an idea in response to a student brief, which involves creating a campaign for SheSays.

Melbourne’s RMIT University has partnered with SheSays for the Student Award, providing a venue for the awards night and exhibiting student work.

Winners will receive an awards trophy and a hand crafted necklace created especially for SheSays by London-based jewellery designer Clarice Rice Thomas.

In addition, the winner of the Student Award will be offered a two-week placement at Isobar.

Spilva says Isobar is excited to be part of the first awards program.

“We’ve been a supporter of SheSays since it’s launch in Melbourne and we’re excited to be one of the official partners of the upcoming SheSays Awards,” Spilva says. “These awards can make a genuine difference through encouraging women in our industry to share their great work.”

The Award Night will be held in Melbourne on Thursday 17 November from 6pm, with tickets on sale closer to the event.

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Henry Sapiecha

AUSTRALIAN 2015 Women In Industry Awards finalists

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2015 Women In Industry Awards

The 2nd annual Women in Industry Awards recognises and rewards the achievements of women working within the mining, engineering, and manufacturing industries, and aims to raise the profile of women within industry, as well as promote and encourage excellence.

Australian Mining, PACE and Manufacturers’ Monthly are partnering to acknowledge the exceptional women who have achieved success through their invaluable leadership, innovation and commitment to their sector.

This is your opportunity to have Australia’s leading publications recognise the women who are driving change in your industry and – in doing so –breaking down barriers and creating new possibilities for the next generation.

These may be women you work with, women whose achievements are inspiring you from afar, or women who are providing you with invaluable guidance and support. Their achievements may not be creating headlines, but we believe their dedication and exceptionalism should be celebrated.

The accomplishments of these women will be recognised at an exclusive evening event to be held in at the Ivy Ballroom on Thursdays 25 June 2015. More than just recognition, the Awards also provide an opportunity for new business opportunities and network expansion.

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Australian Mining, Manufacturers’ Monthly and Pace are proud to announce finalists for the 2015 Women in Industry Awards have been selected from a list of impressive candidates.

The only awards program of its kind to encompass mining, manufacturing and engineering, the 2015 Women in Industry Awards aims to recognise and reward the achievements of women working in the industrial sectors.

The awards are all about celebrating women who are leading change in their chosen field and breaking down the barriers in what can often be male-dominated industries.

The program seeks to single out and reward women who have created innovations, driven productivity, spearheaded change, and provided social and economic benefits through their fields.

With over 100 entries, it’s clear industry sectors were keen to have its women recognised.

We congratulate each and every finalist and look forward to seeing you all on Thursday the 25th of June at the awards dinner.

BDM of the Year

Carly Bradshaw – Business Development and Operations Manager, Australian Dust Control

Emma Cook – Business Development Manager, Agility Project Logistics

Sandra Taylor – Tender Manager I&R East, Lend Lease

Employer of the Year

Independent Racking Inspections & Audits

Cablex

Excellence in Engineering

Cara Ryan – Office Manager, Building Performance Centre, Schneider Electric

Christine Charles – Head of Space Plasma, Power and Propulsion Division, The Australian National University

Claire Bianco – Engineering Supervisor, Cecil Park Plant, CSR Limited

Hayley McIver – Senior Process Engineer, Ausenco

Excellence in Manufacturing

Christine Morris – HR Director, Joy Global Australia

Michelle Vince – Group Range Development Manager, Blundstone Group

Svetlana Zatsepin – Managing Director, Coolon LED Lighting

Colly Galbiati – Managing Director, Soma Organics

Kamini Wijekulasuriya – Manufacturing Manager, Western Sydney Service Centre, Bluescope

Excellence in Mining

Kathy Zunica – Senior Geologist, AMC Consultants

Maria Joyce – General Manager, MEC Mining

Stephanie Hardy – Environmental Advisor, Monadelphous KT Pipelines

Gail Clamp – Specialist Mine Management, Rio Tinto Coal Australia

Industry Advocacy

Irina Lindquist – Healthcare Solution Architect, Schneider Electric

Carli Hobbs – General Manager, Gladstone Engineering Alliance

Christine Katic – Operations Manager, BOC Limited

Elizabeth Lewis-Gray – Chairman, Austmine

Jill Follington – Executive (founding) Director, Industry Mid North Coast

Kym Clarke – Founder and Director, She’s Empowered

Suzanne Daubney – Managing Director, Bannister Downs Dairy

Mentor of the Year

Ashlea Walley – VTEC Mentor/ DSG Program Coordinator, Wirrpanda Foundation

Christine Cotton – Regional General Manager, Tcyo Fire & Security

Simon Bradwell – Managing Director, ebm-papst A&NZ Pty Ltd

Vanessa Sewell-Rosenberg – Talent & Organisation Development Manager, BOC

Rising Star Award

Kate Francis – Civil Engineer, Hyder Consulting

Kate Macfarlane – Product Manager, BOC Limited

Sally Mayberry – Environmental Advisor, Origin Energy

Rachel Hogan – ABB Graduate Program, ABB Australia

Social Leader

Teagan Dowler – Founder, The Blue Collared Woman

Sue Webster – Executive Officer, Agribusiness Gippsland

Jill Follington – Executive Director, Industry Mid North Coast

Samantha Kerr – SCADA, COMMS & Protection Implementation Engineer, Energex

Nicole Borkowsky – Associate Director, CDIF Group

For more information regarding the Women in Industry Awards, including to purchase tickets, please click here.

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Henry Sapiecha

Addressing ‘boring science’ with grants for women engineers to teach robot lessons at school

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Female students at Brunel University London will teach schoolchildren to programme robots in a new bid to balance the gender divide in STEM subjects.

The university will train 40 Women in Engineering postgraduates to deliver the unique Robo-Code sessions at secondary schools – the result of a £29,625 Ingenious grant from the Royal Academy of Engineering.

Pupils will use the code to create their own robot – and then programme it to do battle with their classmates’ creations, introducing them to engineering thinking and computer programming.

The Robo-Code initiative is part of a wider bid by Brunel University London to engage all genders in science and tackle teenage drift away from the subject.

The sessions will complement the new Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) outreach lab being created as part of a facilities upgrade to excite young people about the jobs that flow from STEM.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) at Brunel University London, Professor Geoff Rodgers, said: “Thanks to the backing of the Royal Academy of Engineering, our fantastic female engineering students will be able to share their passion and expertise for science and programming with a new generation of potential scientists.

“As women in engineering they are forging new ground and we hope this will challenge pupil perceptions that science is boring, irrelevant or not for them. The experience will in turn give our students vital career skills.”

Brunel University London students taking part in Robo-Code will be taught creative public engagement and communication skills. The grant will also provide the specialist equipment and tools needed to run the sessions.

Over time, the participants will share their knowledge with other students and professional engineers. This “train the trainer” model should mean the effects of the Academy’s Ingenious grant will be felt widely for years to come.

The Brunel project is one of 22 to be supported by Ingenious grants.

Professor Sarah Spurgeon, chair of the Ingenious funding panel, said: “The Royal Academy of Engineering’s Ingenious projects are finding new and innovative ways to get the public – whether student, family, or adult-audiences – engaged with engineering. Our projects don’t just showcase the diversity of engineering – they also give the public a meaningful opportunity to interact with engineers, ask questions and share their views.”

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Henry Sapiecha