Oxfam Australia’s Helen Szoke a finalist in Telstra Business Women’s Awards

Media Releases article written on the 18 Oct 2016

Oxfam Australia’s Chief Executive Dr Helen Szoke is among the 29 Victorian finalists in tonight’s Telstra Business Women’s Awards.

The awards champion women from diverse industries dedicated to making a difference to the community and their respective areas.

Dr Szoke is a human rights advocate who has worked for many years to stop race discrimination in Australia and who is passionate and vocal about women’s rights and gender equality here in Australia and around the world.

She joined Oxfam Australia in January 2013. Prior to this appointment, she served as Australia’s Federal Race Discrimination Commissioner, following seven years as the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commissioner.

“I’m both delighted and humbled to be nominated for the awards, which I believe are important as a means of acknowledging and rewarding women’s leadership and business acumen, which is essential if we are to achieve gender equality in the workplace,” Dr Szoke said.

In her time leading Oxfam Australia, Dr Szoke has been a frequent commentator on issues of poverty, inequality, international aid, humanitarian issues, and gender and women’s rights.

Oxfam Australia’s Director of Public Engagement Pam Anders paid tribute to the huge contribution Dr Szoke had made to Oxfam.

“Helen leads Oxfam Australia with great insight and integrity,” Ms Anders said. “Her human rights background and sound business sense have served her well to be at the helm of an agency tackling poverty both in Indigenous Australia and in poor countries around the world.”

Helen also sits on the Executive Board of Oxfam International.

In 2011, Helen was awarded the ‘Law Institute of Victoria Paul Baker Award’ for her contribution to human rights. In 2014 she received the ‘University of Melbourne Alumni Award’ for leadership. Helen has extensive experience in management, community development, organisational development, consumer advocacy and regulation in the education and health sectors. She is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and a fellow of the Institute of Public Administration.

Winners of the 2016 Telstra Victorian Business Women’s Awards will be announced at a Dinner at Peninsula Docklands tonight (Tuesday 18 October). State and territory category winners will gather in Melbourne for the National Awards judging, culminating in a Gala Dinner on the night of Wednesday 16 November.

For more information, please contact Laurelle Keough on 0425 701 801 or laurellek@oxfam.org.au