Telstra Business Women’s Awards winner hopes to improve professional standing of women

Notre Dame Law student, Joanne Abbiss, received the ‘Government and Academia’ Award at the 2015 Telstra Business Women’s Awards in WA. Photo: Telstra Women’s Business Awards

29 October 2015

Law student at The University of Notre Dame Australia’s Fremantle Campus and Chief Executive Officer of the City of Kwinana, Joanne Abbiss, is the recipient of a 2015 Telstra Business Women’s Award for her commitment to growing women’s roles in government.

Joanne, who is currently studying a Bachelor of Laws (Graduate Entry) (Honours), is the Western Australian winner of the Awards’ ‘Government and Academia’ category. Joanne was also recognised by the Awards’ judges for delivering real business impact; applying innovative thinking to push boundaries; and mentoring and inspiring others to strive for success.

A registered practitioner in program management, Joanne has tutored in business law, operated a policy and strategy development consultancy and was at one stage the only female CEO in local government in the Perth area.

Joanne says that she feels a real sense of achievement in being judged highly against other inspirational women. She hopes that this recognition can further her ambition to improve the professional standing of women across the country.

“I am committed to growing every individual that works for me and recognising that every staff member is different and their personal circumstances are unique,” Joanne said.

“I love being able to provide women with an opportunity to stretch themselves into new roles, putting them in acting positions or letting them lead meetings with key stakeholders, and giving them the confidence to aspire to senior positions. There are lots of incredibly talented women; they just need that initial opportunity.”

Whilst a Notre Dame student, Joanne has received top academic recognition by the School of Law, including the LexisNexis Prize in Administrative Law and The Law Society of Western Australia Prize in Legal Process.

Professor Doug Hodgson, Dean of the School of Law, Fremantle, congratulated Joanne on being recognised at the prestigious Telstra Awards ceremony.

“Joanne has excelled in her Law studies at Notre Dame and provided an outstanding exemplar of leadership in advocating for the further professional development of women in key leadership roles,” Professor Hodgson said.

“We are proud of Joanne’s success which has been recognised by the conferral of the Telstra Award. This will serve to inspire her more junior female Law student colleagues.”

As Notre Dame is a direct entry university, you can still apply for 2016. Apply direct for undergraduate and postgraduate courses –

Leigh Dawson: Tel (08) 9433 0569; Mob 0405 441 093;