Rose Read, National Waste and Recycling Industry Council (NWRIC) CEO, has won this year’s Woman in Industry Awards Industry Advocacy prize, for her decades-long work in the waste management and resource recovery sector.
As NWRIC CEO, Read plays a pivotal role in representing the largest waste and recycling companies operating nationwide, with a turnover of more than $6 billion per year and employing over 15,000 people.
This year’s judging panel, which included six long-standing women in industry advocates, noted that Read’s depth of policy knowledge and operational experience has delivered measurable benefit and noteworthy outcomes over many years.
“To be nominated for this award is an honour in itself. And to win such an award highlights the importance of industry advocacy and my contribution to much needed waste management and resource recovery outcomes for Australia,” Read said.
“I never underestimate the generosity of my peers and the other industry stakeholders in being recognised for such an award.”
Now in its seventh year, the Women in Industry Awards recognise and reward the achievements of women working within the waste management, engineering, manufacturing, process control and commercial road transport industries.
The awards aim to raise the profile of women within industry, and this year saw a record number of nominations.
“We saw nominations from some of Australia’s largest businesses, through to smaller companies that expressed the same large size of pride on the work their female staff contributed,” judge Kelly Godeau, AMGC Director, Corporate Affaires said.
“The level of commitment these nominees dedicated to their roles exceeded what would be deemed necessary.”
Similarly, judge Kylie Fahey, Chief Executive of Quarrying Australia, said there was a real breath of experience in all categories. She noted that it was hard to pick a standout, as each applicant had a fantastic story to share.
“It was really inspiring reading the innovations of individuals at the start of their careers through to achievements of seasoned professionals who were working nationally and globally,” Fahey said.
“But one thing stood out in each application, a genuine commitment and passion to improve the industry.”
Reflecting on the award, Read said she thrives on the opportunity to work closely with committed waste management and recycling companies that seek to make a difference and deliver an essential service to the public and businesses nationwide.
“Being able to operationalise the National Waste Policy Action Plan into real-world resource recovery benefits and best practice waste management is a major highlight about working in the industry,” she said.
“Whether it’s my work with NWRIC or my advocacy work with the E-waste Watch Institute, we are entering an exciting phase of waste reduction innovation and circular economy thinking.”
When asked what advice she would offer to someone starting out in the waste and resource recovery sector, Read highlighted the importance of understanding your subject matter, building consensus and operating with integrity and ethics.
“Constantly learn through formal and informal education, and always respect and consider alternative views as you move through your career,” she added.
“Being able to collaborate and adapt is part of the mix and will help inform your values and knowledge as you develop. Plus, a good balance of modesty, pragmatism and passion goes a long way.”
Looking forward, Read says it’s critical to continue furthering NWRIC’s objectives.
“There is still a lot more to do and the industry has so much to offer in terms of policy reform and implementation,” she said.
“I’d also like to activate the widespread uptake of product stewardship across industries, products and materials.”
Social Leader of the Year: Jackie Lewis-Gray – BAE Systems Australia
Rising Star of the Year: Alicia Heskett – Shell Australia (QGC)
Business Development Success of the Year: Rachael Ashfield – ifm efector
Industry Advocacy Award: Rose Read – National Waste & Recycling Industry Council
Safety Advocacy Award: Nadine Youssef – Sydney Trains
Mentor of the Year: Dayle Stevens – AGL Energy
Excellence in Manufacturing: Rochelle Avinu – Leica Biosystems
Excellence in Mining: Sarah Withell – BHP
Excellence in Engineering: Elizabeth Taylor – RedR International
Excellence in Transport: Melissa Strong – Lindsay Australia Limited
Kelly Godeau, Director Corporate Affairs – Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre
Kylie Fahey, Chief Executive Officer – Institute of Quarrying Australia
Christine Gibbs-Stewart, Chief Executive Officer – Austmine
Melissa Donald, Board Director – National Association of Women in Operations
Angela Gaylard, Head of Operations – Tradeswomen Australia Foundation
Hayley Rohrlach, Chair – National Committee for Women in Engineering
Denis Robertson, Founder – Roadmaster Haulage