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Winners of Women in Finance Awards crowned

by Reporter12 minute read
Women in Finance winners crowned

The inaugural Women in Finance Awards was held last night, with several leading brokers and members of the mortgage industry recognised for their outstanding work.

The flagship Women in Finance Awards, presented by Momentum Media together with principal partner NAB, saw more than 800 people gather at The Star in Sydney to celebrate the exceptional work of women within financial services.

Hosted by author, comedian and radio and TV personality Wendy Harmer, the event covered 28 individual and group performance awards, which showcased the women making a difference in accounting, banking, insurance, financial advice, funds management, mortgage broking and superannuation.

Taking home the coveted title of Mortgage and Finance Broker of the Year was Deslie Taylor from Mortgage Choice Ormeau.


Ms Taylor was recognised for her individualised customer service, diversified approach to fulfilling her customer’s financial requirements and sterling business strategy.

Tracy Kearey, broker and director of the Home Loan Connexion, went home with the trophy for Principal of the Year.

The judges said that Ms Kearey was a “great role model for women in finance” and an “extremely strong all-round candidate”.

Ms Kearey was also praised by the judges for being “a passionate expert focused on the success of her business, fused with an undeniable commitment to enabling women to flourish”.

The award for Mentor of the Year went to Carmella Galasso of the ANZ Banking Group.

Speaking of Ms Galasso, the judges said that her “real dedication to inspiring the next generation of female leaders” was to be rewarded, as was her ability to focus on the desires and ambitions of her mentees, which they said was “true mentoring”.

Commercial finance broker and vice president of the Commercial Asset Finance Brokers Association of Australia (CAFBA), Kathryn Bordonaro, won the award for Association Leader of the Year.

The judges particularly commended Ms Bordonaro for her “personal effort in shaping consumer credit law for small businesses”.

Broker and director of Rise High Financial Solutions Marissa Schulze was awarded the Young Leader of the Year award, with judges saying she was a "worthy winner" and praising her work improving financial literacy through her volunteer work and Rise High Rookies initiative.

Speaking after the event, Momentum Media’s head of events, Jim Hall, said: “Many congratulations to all of the winners of the first ever Women in Finance Awards! 

“It was an amazing night, and we’re proud to elevate the achievements of these inspirational women, who are not only role models for women in the financial services industry, but for the industry as a whole.

“By rewarding their hard work and dedication, and recognising the companies who have made diversity their mission, we hope to highlight the inspirational high achievers from the financial sector and recognise the rising stars of tomorrow.” 

Women in Finance Awards - 2017 Winners

Accountant of the Year
Jo Heighway

Association Leader of the Year
Kathryn Bordonaro
Commercial Asset Finance Brokers Association of Australia

Bookkeeper of the Year
Diane Lucas
Direct Management

Business Development Professional of the Year
Trish Wilson

Chief Executive Officer of the Year
Jan Edwards
BDCU Alliance Bank

Chief Financial Officer of the Year
Anna Harper

Director of the Year
Nicky Lonergan
SV Partners

Executive Assistant/Personal Assistant of the Year
Maria Skotidas 
Thomson Reuters Tax & Accounting

Financial Planner/Adviser of the Year
Elle Ross

Fintech Leader of the Year
Lisa Schutz

Human Relations Professional of the Year
Sarah Black

Innovator of the Year
Jo Heighway

Investment Manager of the Year
Catherine Allfrey
WaveStone Capital

Legal Counsel of the Year
Ailsa Bailey
National Australia Bank

Marketing Professional of the Year
Deirdre Boyle
AIA Australia

Mentor of the Year
Carmella Galasso
ANZ Banking Group

Mortgage and Finance Broker of the Year
Deslie Taylor
Mortgage Choice

Office Administrator of the Year
Rachael Keuning
Walsh Accountants

Principal of the Year
Tracy Kearey
Home Loan Connexion

Public Relations/Communications Professional of the Year
Bessie Hassan

Regional Leader of the Year 
Jan Edwards
BDCU Alliance Bank

Risk Adviser of the Year
Liz Trotter
Triple A Financial Services

SMSF Adviser of the Year
Jemma Sanderson
Cooper Partners Financial Services

Thought Leader of the Year
Alexis Cheang

Young Leader of the Year
Marissa Schulze
Rise High Financial Solutions

Women in Finance Excellence Award
Jo Heighway


Employer of the Year
Westpac Banking Corporation

Recruiter of the Year
Profusion Group

Women's Community Program of the Year
Women with Cents

[Related: Women in Finance Awards sells out]

women in finance awards