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.

Jane Schueler

Jane Schueler

Brain fitness is a new frontier that refers to optimising brain functionality (cognitive, emotional and executive functions). Jane uses practical and innovative educational approaches underpinned by neuroscience to show how to optimise our brain and set it up for success to achieve high performance. This brain fitness education is aimed at those who teach, train or coach others to perform at their best or individuals who want to excel.
Heike Ebendorff-Heidepriem

Heike Ebendorff-Heidepriem

Heike established the Adelaide node of Optofab, a state-of- the-art glass science, fibre fabrication and 3D manufacturing research facility. Open to researchers, end-users and industry partners, we offer a rare combination of glass science, fibre fabrication, 3D manufacturing, research facilities and expertise.
Elizabeth Donaldson

Elizabeth Donaldson

Brick + Mortar is an innovative, hybrid business model that enables commercial, professional and creative opportunity for South Australian artists, designers and small businesses. It is the first multifunctional venue of its kind in the creative industries sector in South Australia and has been operating for more than two years, with turnover and scope increasing month on month.
Caitlyn Byrt

Caitlyn Byrt

Caitlin has identified genes in wheat that contribute to salinity tolerance. By breeding one of these genes into commercial durum wheat varieties, we successfully increased the grain yield on saline soils by 25%. Her work is looking at what makes some plants more tolerant than others, and testing how we can use this information to modify our food crops to improve their performance in harsh environments.
Amy Orange

Amy Orange

Harvest Fair, social enterprise which provides flexible employment and skills development for women who struggle to find a place in our mainstream workforce. Profits from the sale of ready-made meals will go towards training, resources and networking opportunities to build our women's skills and self-confidence for ongoing career pathways.
Claudine Bonder

Claudine Bonder

As a vascular biologist, Claudine has helped develop a patented process to save the lives of patients with heart disease. Blocked blood vessels are the leading cause of heart disease and more than 25,000 metal stents are inserted into Australians every year to manage this. Unfortunately, the body recognises these stents as a foreign device and initiates an immune response which causes life-threatening complications. The novel technology developed by Claudine and her team is supported by a multi-national company with an aim to improve the performance of implanted medical devices and save lives.
Bianca Peta

Bianca Peta

Bianca brought the TAFE program ‘Women in Education’ to women affected by domestic violence and homelessness. Over four years, she helped devise the Pathways to Education pilot program, collaboration between a number of agencies. All women who completed one core subject being run on-site at a domestic violence shelter went on to enrol in TAFE’s Women in Education and some have goals to study at university; they have developed new friendship and support networks; and are no longer homeless.
Gail Fairlamb

Gail Fairlamb

South Australia is facing many challenges and the community wants to be part of finding solutions. As Director, Strategic Development in the Department of Premier and Cabinet, Gail has created an innovative unit that develops new approaches to policy-making. The team trials methods including citizen’s juries, challenges and participatory budgeting. As part of this, Gail initiated the Reforming Democracy policy which supports Ministers and CEOs to adopt new approaches.