The Winnovation Awards

Congratulations to our  2021 winners and finalists!

The Winnovation Awards showcases and celebrates the successes of female innovators changing the game in South Australia. The judges had their work cut out for them this year with such an extraordinary calibre of entries.

We commend all of the entrants who have contributed to making South Australia a more innovative state, as they continue to create a ripple effect through job opportunities, research capabilities and even improving our quality of life – and we are thrilled to announce the 2021 Winnovation Award finalists.

Celebrating our change makers

Annual Winnovation Awards recognise the South Australian women who are contributing to the state’s innovation economy by creating jobs, wealth and solutions to address some of the world’s biggest problems and creating positive change.

Innovation is everywhere

These Awards aim to showcase South Australia’s best female innovators, whether you are working within organisations as intrapreneurs or running your own show as entrepreneurs. Celebrating the achievements of women across all industries!

Help us find her!

Do you know an inspiring, innovative, SA woman worth recognising?
Nominations open Wednesday, June 22 for the 2022 Winnovation Awards.


There is no need to nominate yourself simply Join as a Member and Submit your Application via the Awards Application link within the Members Only area.

The Winnovation Awards Sponsors
University of South Australia
Bendigo Bank
SA Power Networks
Zonte's Footsteps
Department for the Environment and Water
Stone & Chalk
Department for Education

Frequently Asked Questions

Are only South Australian's able to nominate?
No, nominations are global, but the nominee must be a South Australian resident.
How do I write a successful nomination?
By providing engaging information about yourself and your innovation journey! Keep your writing clear and simple, and as non-technical as possible. Some of the judging panel may not understand the specialist terminology in your field of endeavour.

Check out the recording of our recent online webinar about ‘Winning Awards with Leila Henderson’ here for some extra tips and tricks.

If I am successful am I able to advertise my status as a finalist or winner?
Yes! Winners and finalists are encouraged to describe themselves as “Winner/Finalist 2021 Women in Innovation Awards” in their selected category in print and electronic publications.
Who are Women In Innovation?
Women in Innovation SA are a dynamic, professional community of women and male champions of change working in all areas of innovation and technology to create a sustainable network of members focused on the advancement of women in non-traditional industries and roles.

The volunteer board have continuously developed a range of initiatives that help to encourage women to enter innovation and STEAM related industries (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts/Design and Mathematics), retain women in these industries and achieve their full potential throughout their career.

Can an individual nominate themselves?
Yes. Self-nomination is highly encouraged! Make sure your application is endorsed by your university, school or employer if relevant.
What is the entry fee?
This year the application fee for each category has been waived for all members of Women in Innovation SA.You can enter into as many categories as you like but you can only win in one category.

The annual membership is fee is $60.

Why do I need to become a member to apply for the Winnovation Awards?
Women in Innovation SA is a not-for-profit membership based organisation that exists to support and celebrate women who are breaking the mold.

As a member you become part of our supportive community and have to chance to get further recognition for your work.

Your contribution also helps us to support other women; elevating and celebrating the role models for the next generation. Learn more here.

Membership is $60 and gives you access to many networking and educational sessions held by Women In Innovation throughout the year.

What questions are asked in the application?
Applications are managed through an awards platform that can be accessed through our Members login.

You will be asked what stage you are at in the development of your innovation? (mulitple choice)
then to describe your innovation in one sentence (30 word limit).

More detailed can be provided through the following five questions:

  • Describe your innovation in more detail (400 word limit)
  • What’s your business model, project or research framework? (250 word limit)
  • What results have you achieved? (400 word limit)
  • Why you? Why are you the best person to win this award? (250 word limit)
  • What does the future look like for your innovation? (150 word limit)
  • What impact would winning this award have for you? (150 word limit)

You can also add anything else you’d like to share, up to a 300 word limit, and attach supporting documents and images.

Two referrees of your choice are requested to validate your application.

Go-on! Give it go – we would be delighted to hear all about your initiative and support and celebrate your innovation journey.

Meet our Alumnae

Congratulations to all Winnovation Awards Winners & Finalists!

They are the unsung heroes, quiet achievers, the difference makers and the mavericks; each one dedicated to challenging the known or solving the unknown in their contribution to South Australian enterprise. Their fields of endeavour range from art to zoos; diving into the southern ocean; scanning the stars above; – or caring for the land in between. From studios to shop fronts; research facilities to workshop floors, laboratories to boardrooms.

Professors Fiona Arney and Leah Bromfield

Professors Fiona Arney and Leah Bromfield

Fiona and Leah are Co-Directors of the Australian Centre for Child Protection at UniSA. Their innovation is Target Group to Outcomes (TGO©), a new approach to ensuring and maximising the impact of programs and services aimed at preventing and responding to child abuse and neglect.
Professor Yan Zhuge

Professor Yan Zhuge

What to do with end-of life tyres is a growing global problem. Yan is a Professor in Structural Engineering at UniSA and works in recycling used tyres into high-value building materials for structural engineering applications.
Michele Lally

Michele Lally

As a part of a paddock-to-plate farming family, Michele recognised they were not the only farmers that were experiencing difficulty in getting stock slaughtered viably. Australian Micro Abattoirs was the innovation – a solution that encompasses all requirements needed to deliver a fully licensed, small-scale abattoir on farm, reducing the gap between producer and consumer.
Dr Tina Du

Dr Tina Du

Tina is leading a 3-year interdisciplinary project “Collaborative Information Seeking and its Application in Tourism”. This uses data-driven approaches to develop innovative guidelines for understanding and supporting information-seeking behaviour in international tourism, particularly China.
Dr Renly Lim

Dr Renly Lim

A research fellow at the Quality Use of Medicines and Pharmacy Research Centre, Renly created Village Drama Against Malaria – a unique science-art program to fight the world's deadliest animal. Since 2013, Renly has been part of a research team studying villages in western Cambodia. They learned villagers did not entirely trust their work, so developed a captivating travelling program of workshops and performances with a theme of malaria control and elimination.
Dr Mary-Louise Rogers

Dr Mary-Louise Rogers

Leading the only dedicated MND Research Laboratory in SA, Mary-Louise has developed a novel urine test to determine if drugs are working in clinical trials of motor neurone disease treatments.
Dr Chia-Chi Chien

Dr Chia-Chi Chien

A Research Fellow at UniSA’s Future Industries Institute, Chia-Chi’s innovation is a microfluidic 3D tumour-on-a-chip: a platform for recapturing the complexity of tumour microenvironments.
Dr Bernadette Eckermann

Dr Bernadette Eckermann

As Innovation Specialist with SA Water, Bernadette provokes and supports thinking and doing differently across the organisation, to enable it to solve problems that matter to customers and community. This includes setting a framework for 1500 plus employees, and elements such as an 'innovation series' bringing in thought leaders to challenge the organisation’s thinking.