WIRV Awards

What are the WIRV Awards?

The WIRV Awards recognises outstanding females and male contributors to change in the restructuring and insolvency industry, including accountants, lawyers, bankers, advisors and consultants. The award winners are decided by an independent panel of judges, via a stringent and independent list of judging criteria.

Congratulations to the 2021 Winners! 

We are pleased to announce the winners for the 2021 WIRV Awards.

Our winners have shared a short video celebrating their achievements. 

Female Young Gun
Stephanie Elder (Grant Thornton)

Stephanie is a manager at Grant Thornton, where she is regarded as possessing the skills and qualities of a future leader. Stephanie has progressed rapidly in her career, and has had the primary responsibility for managing complex matters.

During lockdown in 2020, Stephanie was the driving force behind weekly team meetings during which she promoted a recognition and appreciation focus for her team.

Stephanie is a member of the WIRV Communications Sub-Committee and ARITA VIC/TAS Young Professionals committee.  As well as mentoring junior staff at Grant Thornton, Stephanie recently participated in an initiative coordinated by the Fiji Commerce & Employers Federation where she mentored a female high school student in Fiji.

Outstanding Female
Natasha Toholka (Norton Rose Fulbright Australia)

Natasha is a partner at Norton Rose who has made a significant contribution in the area of gender diversity through her participation in a number of industry committees, including through the Law Council of Australia and ARITA.

Natasha is recognised as a leader in her field and has been active in mentoring junior professionals within her firm and externally (e.g. through Asian Australian Law Association).  Natasha is also a role model for flexible work practices at a senior level.

Male Contributor to Change
Gordon Jenkins (I Am Gordon Jenkins)

Gordon stands out as a contributor to change as a result of his participation in initiatives that actively promote and support women in the industry.

Gordon is currently mentoring and coaching 9 women in insolvency in the area of business development, which is his area of expertise. Gordon actively demonstrates his support for women in the insolvency industry via social media and his attendance at industry events.

Gordon has also established a monthly FLEX future leader group, which includes at least one female from the insolvency/restructuring industry and recommends/facilitates introductions to his extensive network.

Gordon is a WIRV committee member and was responsible for organising the virtual small group catch up initiatives during COVID. Away from insolvency, Gordon founded a world leading medical research foundation that is supportive of the advancement of women in science.

Organisation of the Year
QR Lawyers

QR Lawyers is a female-dominated firm with a unique 100% female litigation and insolvency team (58% female workforce overall), which supports working parents via formal policies (i.e. flexible work, parental leave and options for assistance during the early days of parenthood). The firm has supported WIRV for a number of years, and supports females in the industry more broadly, including through equitable briefing and referring work to female insolvency practitioners.

Our sincere thanks to the independent judges, Lara Wiggins (KordaMentha), Registrar Claire Gitsham (Federal Court of Australia) and Thea Eszenyi (ASIC) for taking the time to review and consider this year’s nomination submissions.

Past WIRV Awards Winners

2020:

  • Young Gun Award – Cassie Mortimer, Norton Rose Fullbright
  • Outstanding Female Award – Lara Wiggins, KordaMentha
  • Male Champion of Change – Brett Warren, ASIC
  • Gender Diversity Firm of the Year Hamilton Murphy

2019:

  • Young Gun Award – Christie Jones, Victorian Bar
  • Outstanding Female Award – Leanne Chesser, KordaMentha
  • Male Champion of Change – Nathanael Kitingan, Macpherson and Kelley Lawyers

2018: 

  • Young Gun Award – Vanessa Munnecke, Kalus Kenny Intelex
  • Outstanding Female Award – Radhika Kanhai, Cornwall Stodart
  • Male Champion of Change – Greg Keith, Grant Thornton

2017:  

  • Young Gun Award – Kathryn Smith, Ashurst

We would like to also thank our sponsor, CASL for their support of the 2021 WIRV Awards.

CASL is a leading third-party funder providing funding for litigation and dispute resolution. With offices in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide, CASL has the second largest footprint of specialist litigation managers in Australia. CASL has a clearly defined business model comprising experts with an average per team member of 10 years’ experience in litigation funding across claims origination, due diligence and monitoring functions. CASL’s unique offering is in its fast, flexible and innovative approach to funding claims. It combines a high quality in-house legal, business and finance team with ready access to secure capital.