Social worker turned CEO, Anne Cross of UnitingCare Queensland, was named the 20th Telstra Australian Business Woman of the Year.
Ms Cross said the win, while being a great personal accolade, would hopefully help to profile the important role the not-for-profit sector plays and help attract even more high-achieving people to offer their skills and talent to valuable community based organisations.
“The health and community services sector is a significant contributor to Australia’s social and economic fabric,” Ms Cross said.
“UnitingCare Queensland is a significant business. As one of Queensland’s largest employers, much of what we do is world class. Hopefully this award will highlight our role and importance in society,” she told the audience.
Within a year of her appointment as CEO in 2003, Ms Cross used her business nous to lead the transformation process, consolidating more than 100 separate organisations into four service groups – Blue Care, UnitingCare Health, UnitingCare Community and Australian Regional and Remote Community Services.
Under the four umbrella groups, Ms Cross oversees 16,000 employees and 9,000 volunteers across 400 locations. The organisation has a sharp focus on being people-centred and delivering digital services.
In 2012, she cemented a partnership with the Commonwealth Government to construct Australia’s first fully integrated digital hospital at Hervey Bay, along the way extensively redesigning how clinicians and staff go about their work to deliver quality treatment for its patients.
Announced at a black-tie ceremony in Melbourne tonight, she joins other 2014 Telstra Australian Business Women’s Awards winners including: Kate Weiss, the owner of Victorian food company Table of Plenty; Susan Lloyd-Hurwitz, the CEO and Managing Director of ASX50 property company Mirvac; Assistant Commissioner Donna Adams, Tasmania’s highest ranked female police officer; Andrea Galloway, CEO of the NSW not-for-profit organisation Evolve Housing; and Tina Tower, the young owner of franchise tutoring business Begin Bright.