Standing up for Canberra

ACT Women in the Workforce

I rise today to celebrate the significant achievements of some exceptional Canberra women. I want to start by congratulating Ondina Gregoric, who has been named as the Council of Small Business of Australia's 2012 Small Business Champion. Ondina is the first female winner of this award and I congratulate her. I also congratulate COSBOA for recognising Ondina's contribution and, indeed, for recognising the value of small business in the country.

I recently convened the Parliamentary Friends of Small Business Group with the member for Wright to promote small business and achievers like Ondina. Ondina represents the many facets of small business. She is an entrepreneur, a consultant and a manager. For over two decades, Ondina has operated a range of successful businesses. She has been a representative on many boards and formal committees, including being the National President of Women Chiefs of Enterprises International and a management group member of Economic Security for Women. Ondina is one of the growing number of small business women driving our economy, particularly here in Canberra, and leading by example in the business sector.

I know Ondina and I know that she has a particular passion for delivering an exceptional level of customer service and is committed to professional development. Ondina is the 'go to' person for women in management and in positions of influence who need high-level advice on style and presentation. She has participated in many industry and community groups, providing her time and expertise freely. Thank you, Ondina.

This year I was also honoured to present awards at the 2012 National Association of Women in Construction awards. The NAWIC is a not-for-profit organisation whose mission is to promote and improve the construction industry by the advancement of women within it. This very important group promotes education and contributes to the betterment of the construction industry by encouraging women to pursue and establish careers in that industry. For the record, the Crystal Vision Award for Advancing and Furthering the Interests of Women in the Construction Industry was won by Gesa Ruge, Assistant Professor in Building and Construction Management at the University of Canberra, and a very dear friend of mine. The ACT Tradeswoman of the Year is Dimitra Caville from ACT Steelfixing. The ACT Professional Woman of the Year is Karen Emms from Canberra International Airport. The ACT Future Leader is Suzanne Moulis from landscape architecture. The ACT Construction Support Woman of the Year is Angela Tyrrell. And the Outstanding Achievement in Design Award went to Greer Gehrt from the National Museum of Australia.

NAWIC celebrates these outstanding ACT women leading the way in construction, in small business, in mentoring and in leadership roles. I am honoured to represent a community with so many successful Canberra women in small business doing so much great work in mentoring, leadership and driving our economy.

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