Women of Influence - Kate Gunn

16 October 2012

Kate Gunn, Chief Operating Officer of the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for All Sky Astronomy (CAASTRO) at the University of Sydney has been recognised as one of Australia's top 100 Women of Influence. The Australian Financial Review and Westpac have recognised outstanding women who are using their influence to improve business and society.

Kate Gunn, Chief Operating Officer from CAASTRO, recognised as one of the top 100 Women of Influence.

Kate Gunn, Chief Operating Officer from CAASTRO, recognised as one of the top 100 Women of Influence. More than 350 women were nominated for the initial 100 Women of Influence awards. The finalists were selected from across the country by a panel of leading Australians. Those chosen have been successful in their careers and influential in shaping a bold and diverse future for Australia.

"I feel comfortable being successful, it's all about how can I use my skills to implement change and put back into the community", said Kate

Kate has been a Board Director for many years, including being the President of the National Foundation for Australia Women and Chair of economic Security4Women. In these roles she was involved in the campaign for the introduction of Paid Parental Leave at a Federal Government level.

"This award is a recognition of what I have done with the skills I have gained, and for using them in a positive way", said Kate.

CAASTRO Director Professor Bryan Gaensler said "We at CAASTRO would like to congratulate Kate, who was named as one of Australia's 100 Women of Influence. This is very worthy recognition of Kate's enormous skills and talents."

Entries for the awards covered 10 categories. Kate was awarded her spot in the top 100 influential Woman in the category of Business entrepreneur as the founder and director of Balance! Healthcare Pty Ltd.

Kate uses her business skills daily in her role as Chief Operating Officer at CAASTRO. "Setting up and running CAASTRO uses the specific skills I have gained as an entrepreneur. CAASTRO was essentially a blank sheet of paper when the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence provided us with a grant. I was faced with a familiar challenge of how do I set up systems and then run this successfully. I feel I bring my extensive business skills to running CAASTRO", she said, adding, "all of my businesses have been start-ups and CAASTRO was in many ways similar to those."

"In CAASTRO we have had to build people management capabilities, financial processes, use innovation, establish procedures and implement KPIs. At some level, my experience in business contributed to me getting the role of Chief Operating Officer at CAASTRO", said Kate.

The judging panel for the AFR/Westpac 100 Women on Influence Awards included Wendy McCarthy, former joint chief executive of Goldman Sachs Australia, Stephen Fitzgerald, Future Fund chairman David Gonski, CEO of UN Women Australia Julie McKay, Fairfax Media director Sandra McPhee, Reserve Bank board member Heather Ridout, Allens law firm chief Michael Rose‚ÄČand Red Cross board member Sue Vardon.

Winners from the 10 categories and the overall 2012 Women of Influence were announced at a ceremony at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney.

Contact: Tom Gordon

Phone: 02 9351 3201

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