Congratulations to the recipients of this year's Notable Alumna Award, Community Award and the Dr Ursula McKenna Award, presented during our Night of Excellence webinar.
The Notable Alumna Award was presented to Sarah Slattery (Class of 1988). Following graduation, Sarah completed a Bachelor of Construction Economics at RMIT before embarking on a successful career in the property industry. Her in-depth knowledge of property was fostered from a young age through exposure to her family’s quantity surveying business, Slattery Australia. In 2017 Sarah took on the role of managing director at Slattery, becoming the first female managing director of a quantity surveying practice in Australia. She is passionate about promoting and supporting women and has led Slattery in several initiatives to embed diversity and inclusion in the industry. This commitment culminated in Slattery winning the Property Council of Australia’s Innovation and Excellence Award for Diversity in 2018. Sarah is most proud of being a role model for younger women. She is the director of TEN Women, a group that empowers women in her industry. Fundraising efforts each year target issues such as homelessness in women over fifty, and women escaping arranged marriages
The Community Award is presented to individuals or families (past or current) who make significant contributions to Siena College. Examples may include extended Board or Committee tenure or contribution, active and long serving volunteers such as Siena Parents’ Association (SPA) members, generational families who have remained loyal to the College or highly active staff members who are involved in after school or extra curricular activities. This year's joint winners were Carmel Musco and Michael and Trish Mimmo, past parents who have made an extraordinary contribution to our community over many years.
The Dr Ursula McKenna Award (provided by the Siena College Alumnae Association) was awarded to Dr Debbie Phyland (Class of 1982). Debbie graduated from the College in 1982 and has many happy memories of her time at Siena and, not surprisingly, many of these revolve around the musicals, choir and assemblies. These experiences may have sown the seed for Debbie’s successful career as one of Australia’s leading speech pathologists with a particular interest in supporting music theatre singers and performers. As the recipient of a Churchill Fellowship in 2002, Debbie travelled to the United States of America and Europe to study this little-researched area of health. Debbie is the resident voice consultant for the Melbourne Theatre Company (MTC) and has also filled that role for many Australian professional music theatre productions, including Les Miserables, The Lion King, Mary Poppins and King Kong. She was honoured with a Green Room Award in 2012 in recognition of her “outstanding contribution to the Melbourne stage.” Debbie is also well recognised by her peers for her work in the medical aspects of speech pathology, having worked as a senior clinician in acute hospitals for the past twenty years while regularly lecturing at the key speech pathology training universities. In 2010, she was awarded the prestigious Elinor Wray Award for “innovation, promotion and outstanding contribution to the speech pathology profession” and in 2014, was honoured with a fellowship category of the Speech Pathology Association of Australia. Debbie completed her PhD in late 2014.