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.

Gemma Munro

Gemma Munro

Gemma founded Inkling Women five years ago and has grown the company to become Australia’s leading provider of women’s leadership programs. Clients include Google, PayPal, Nissan and Atlassian. Inkling Women was selected as one of 10 outstanding Australian businesses to take part in Elevate61 – an accelerator program helping businesses launch in the US. Gemma has also spoken at Google HQ in the US, livestreamed around the world.
Chloe Gardner

Chloe Gardner

Chloe is owner and director of Kids Camera Action, Adelaide's only film school for kids that has seen thousands of enthusiastic visual storytellers and filmmakers from all over South Australia benefit from the guidance and up-skilling the teaching provides. An online course and app are in the works to compliment the film school. Chloe is also CEO of the Adelaide International Youth Film Festival, a not-for-profit organisation she founded in 2012.
Bronwyn Gillanders

Bronwyn Gillanders

Bronwyn led a multi-disciplinary team to develop the tools to understand the cumulative impacts of development in South Australia’s Spencer Gulf. A Professor at the University of Adelaide, Bronwyn’s work developed tools and data to assist with development approvals to unlock the wealth of Spencer Gulf while also providing information on how to protect its significant environmental assets. Her work in bringing stakeholders together has played a crucial role in ensuring a balance between commercial and environmental interests.
Karen Reynolds

Karen Reynolds

Karen Reynolds developed the Medical Device Partnering Program, an innovative model for collaboration between researchers, end-users and commercial partners, which is now helping catalyse the medical technology industry in South Australia. Her program is now helping Small to Medium Enterprises re-claim a share of Australia’s post-manufacturing economy, has engaged with more than 300 companies or inventors, and helped pioneer a new model for collaboration between researchers, end-users and commercial partners.
Shelley Elder

Shelley Elder

Shelley, CEO of Axeze Pty Ltd, has developed a range of technological devices which improve access and security at sites ranging from health care settings through to hospitality venues. Early clients included Clipsal, Dick Smith and Harvey Norman. Her products have won a number of industrial design and innovation awards, and the technology is continuing to evolve and offer new opportunities.
Allison Cowin

Allison Cowin

Allison has developed a new patented antibody-based therapy for their treatment. A Research Professor at the University of South Australia, Allison’s innovation comes from more than 20 years’ research in relating to the role of a specific protein called Flightless that has an important role in cancer formation, progression and metastasis.
Primary Industries and Regions SA (PIRSA)

Primary Industries and Regions SA (PIRSA)

The Women Influencing Agribusiness and Regions (WIAR) Strategy, a first in Australia, aims to raise the profile of agribusiness and the important contributions being made by women.
Nayana Parange

Nayana Parange

Nayana led the development of an education and training model to help upskill midwives and GPs caring for Aboriginal women in remote locations. This enables them to provide life-saving ultrasound services to patients who would otherwise not have accessor would have had to travel long distances.