What are the WIRV Awards?
The WIRV Awards recognise outstanding female and male champions of 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.
The Women in Insolvency and Restructuring Committee of Management is thrilled to announce the winners for the WIRV 2020 Awards who have been selected by the judging panel!
We extend our heartfelt thanks to the independent judges, David Bergman (AFSA), Nayanisha Samarakoon (ASIC) and Leanne Chesser (KordaMentha), for taking the time to review and consider this year’s nomination submissions.
The Committee is pleased to introduce the 2020 Winners to you:
Past WIRV Awards Winners
- 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
- Young Gun Award – Christie Jones, Victorian Bar
- Outstanding Female Award – Leanne Chesser, KordaMentha
- Male Champion of Change – Nathanael Kitingan, Macpherson and Kelley Lawyers
- Young Gun Award – Vanessa Munnecke, Kalus Kenny Intelex
- Outstanding Female Award – Radhika Kanhai, Cornwall Stodart
- Male Champion of Change – Greg Keith, Grant Thornton
- Young Gun Award – Kathryn Smith, Ashurst
FEMALE YOUNG GUN – CASSIE MORTIMER
Cassie Mortimer is an Associate at Norton Rose Fulbright in the Insolvency and Restructuring team. In the early stages of her career Cassie has demonstrated excellence and drive by taking on a high volume recoveries practice and managing the mortgage discharge for the firm’s secured lender clients. Cassie has acted in a number of complex insolvency matters advising administrators, liquidators and secured lenders. Most recently, she has demonstrated an ability to get quickly up to speed with the evolving regulations arising from the COVID-19 health crisis and advising insolvency practitioners about how to navigate these regulations.
Demonstrating early leadership within the firm, Cassie has been a buddy to the seasonal clerks in the firm. Presently, Cassie is on Secondment with Jaramer Legal, Australia’s First National Majority Indigenous-owned law firm assisting with the start-up of their winding up practice. Cassie was also a university mentor in the Access Monash Program during her studies, and attends Refugee Legal to assist and advise refuge clients at their clinics.
MOST OUTSTANDING FEMALE – LARA WIGGINS
Lara is a Director at KordaMentha and Registered Liquidator. She is passionate about advocating the work she does in ensuring greater flexibility in the workplace and assisting the career development of women in insolvency.
Lara is regularly sought out as a mentor and played a significant role in implementing a formal flexible workplace policy at KordaMentha. She has also developed an annual charity event with a client that has raised more than $40,000, served on the WIRV Executive Committee and has been a leading female presence on many external panels and presentations.
Her strong technical skills have allowed her to deal with a number of complex administrations including Arrium and Gunns, where the businesses were traded under trying circumstances. Lara has excelled driving successful outcomes whilst raising two young boys. Lara is always lifting up junior women in the industry, nominating her mentees for awards and seeking out opportunities for them to participate in marketing, charity events, training opportunities and encouraging them to nominate for leadership roles and extra-curricular committees.
MALE CHAMPION OF CHANGE – BRETT WARREN
Brett is a Senior Investigator at the Australian Securities and Investments Commission. Brett is an active advocate for women in the industry and has presented at a number of female led initiatives on behalf of ASIC. Brett initiated and facilitated a relationship between the Women in ASIC Committee and the WIRV Committee. This relationship was established in recognising that women are significantly underrepresented in the accounting field of insolvency. Brett is an advocate for improving the participation of women in the industry and to achieve better gender balance. Brett is also a member of the Women in ASIC committee and has brought as a point of business the disparity in number of women who are registered liquidators.
GENDER DIVERSITY FIRM OF THE YEAR – HAMILTON MURPHY
Hamilton Murphy approaches gender diversity and career progression by providing a supporting environment for all staff to grow. Most recently, more females have been promoted into management roles than men. 54% of the management team are now female which is an increase from 22% in recent years. The firm rewards hard work, loyalty and dedication which evidences equal opportunities for both men and women.
There are 4 liquidators in the firm, one of whom is a female which is a great motivator for other women within the firm. The firm regularly refers work to women in the industry including solicitors, insurers, accountants, and agents. Prior to COVID, the firm has supported diversity and flexibility in the workplace including working from home arrangements, allowing staff to balance their working hours with further study (even if it is not related to the industry) and assisting a staff member in getting more information on legal clerkships during business hours.
The firm is genuinely diverse in all aspects with 9 of the 31 staff members are from countries outside of Australia which the firm celebrates.
Congratulations to the winners for the 2020 WIRV Awards. Thank you to everyone who made a nomination and/or submission for your participation in the event. We also commend our finalists for being shortlisted. We trust that you agree that each finalist would have been a deserving winner and their achievements ought to be celebrated.
Our winners have each shared a short video celebrating their achievements.