WOB members shine in Victorian Honour Role for Women


Three Women on Boards members have been inducted into the 2022 Victorian Honour Roll of Women, a prestigious state acknowledgement of the achievements of Victorian women, at the Arts Centre Melbourne. They were among 23 women acknowledged.


This year’s inductees were recognised for their achievements in medicine, robotics, climate change, aged care, emergency services, policing, community service, social justice and the arts, honoured in the categories of Change Agent, Emerging Leader, Leading Through Disaster, Local Champion and Trailblazer, and included WOB members Ngaire Elwood, Ann Smith and Sherene Loi. 

The 2022 inductees in the Victorian Honour Roll of Women.

Inductee, Associate Professor Ngaire Elwood, was honoured in the Change Agent category for her work in the field of regenerative medicine, cord blood, stem cells and cancer research.

Ngaire has devoted her career to investigating, developing and providing improved therapies for the treatment of cancer, leukaemia and other disorders and is passionate about the therapeutic application of cord blood and cellular therapies. 

Ngaire serves on several boards including as vice president of the international Board of Directors for the Foundation for the Accreditation of Cellular Therapies, non-executive director on the Board of the National Stem Cell Foundation of Australia and board chair of the Australian Sickle Cell Advocacy Inc. Ngaire has been instrumental in advancing stem cell research for the benefit of Victorian, Australian and International patients and researchers.

Ngaire was also recently appointed director of the Cord Blood Association

WOB member and former head of the Victorian Aged Care Response Centre, Ann Smith, was recognised in the Leading Through Disaster’ category.

A strategic leader who combines an innovative approach with a people-focused leadership style, Ann’s leadership roles have been based in highly political environments which at times were dealing with immediate health care crises. 

As head of the Victorian Aged Care Response Centre, Ann championed policy development and worked with the Government and Victorian partners to ensure the rights and needs of those in residential aged care are met. Ann established the Prevention Outbreak Plan Improvement Program, developed a phone line to assist staff in understanding policy changes, deployed surge workforce and linked facilities with key government support. Ann has worked hard to ensure that residents and their families are at the forefront of policy and operational decision making. 

Ann has dedicated her life to improving the conditions of Victorians through her work in nursing, education, leading hospitals, and holding senior executive positions in government departments.

Meanwhile WOB member Professor Sherene Loi was nominated in the Trailblazer category for her world-leading research spanning the breadth from basic discovery science to translational medicine and clinical trials. 

Professor Loi’s research has provided evidence for the development of immune-based cancer therapies. Her research brought clinical trials to Australian women, and improved survival for women with advanced breast cancer. In 2021, Professor Loi received a Prime Minister’s award for science as well as the Jian Zhou medal from the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences.

The Honour Roll promotes gender equality by recognising women’s leadership, placing women’s achievements on the public record. Since the Honour Roll began in 2001, more than 700 women have been inducted. 

This year also saw the youngest ever inductee in Anjali Sharma in the Emerging Leader category, who at 18 years old inspires others with her activism in the School Strikes 4 Climate and with the Sharma and others v Environment Minister class action case about the future harms of climate change.  

Find out more about this year’s Victorian Honour Roll of Women inductees on www.vic.gov.au

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