Future CEO
Future CEO Program

Future CEO Scholarship Winners - 2015

Future CEO Program

The CEO Institute is committed to education both as an ongoing resource and as a means of improving opportunities for women. The Future CEO Scholarship fund is part of The Institute’s response to continuing reports from ABS and other authorities that women remain significantly under-represented in senior business and public leadership roles in Australia.

Nurturing the best talent available, regardless of gender, is an important part of The CEO Institute charter. These Scholarships will hopefully go some way towards creating a more even and diverse playing field.

The CEO Institute is pleased to introduce the winners of 2015 below and wish them a successful and fulfilling journey.


Michelle Cummins

Michelle Cummins

Michelle Cummins is the General Manager of People & Culture at the PICA Group with extensive experience in the Strata/property industry. Michelle has been recognised as one of the elite members of the executive team with an outstanding reputation on building professional relationships both internally and externally. With over 10 years strategic and operational experience, Michelle is accountable for all HR functions within the PICA group, employing over 600 staff across 27 locations.  The Diploma of Management (Strata) is a result of Michelle’s tireless effort to recognise formal qualifications within the industry, educating 87% of the PICA group with 94% completion rate.

She has successfully completed a Graduate Diploma in Management, is currently studying Masters in Employment Relations, and a certified member of Australian Human Resources Institute (CAHRI), member of CPSISC, National Education Advisory Board for SCA, and Education Portfolio Group for FMA.

PICA’s Group CEO & Managing Director, Greg Haywood, a member of the CEO Institute for the past 10 yeas encouraged Michelle to apply for the Future CEO Scholarship, he highly respects and trusts Michelle as see’s her as a valued contributor to the business, who has held the role of confidant to him and PICA Board members, highly valuing Michelle’s impact and influence to the organisation, strongly believing she is a worthy candidate for this scholarship.

*Editorial note: Whilst no longer with PICA, Michelle continues her Future CEO Scholarship out of our Brisbane office and remains a passionate ambassador of The CEO Institute and the Future CEO program.


Rachel Lewis

Rachel Lewis

Rachel Lewis, General Counsel and Company Secretary of the Holcim group of companies in Australia, has won the New South Wales Future CEO Scholarship.

A member of Holcim’s Executive Management Team, she contributes to dayto-day management, budgets / forecasts and strategy setting. A significant global Swiss based company, Holcim supplies aggregate, sand, concrete, concrete pipe and products, with over 200 concrete plants, 900 mixer trucks, 88 quarry operations in Australia, and contracting business services serving major mining and infrastructure projects.

Rachel was previously General Counsel for French based Sodexo (Australia) Pty Limited, another key global player.

Passionate about enhancing female participation at work, she is a mentor to female professionals both formally and informally. Rachel recently co-founded an annual breast cancer fund raiser, raising over $35,000.

She sees the Future CEO program complementing ‘on the job’ professional development as she transitions from business law to CEO.


Yvonne MacLeod

Yvonne MacLeod

Yvonne MacLeod is General Manager Corporate Development at Terry White Management, trading as Terry White Chemists (TWC).

Yvonne joined TWC in February 2010 to manage the capital raising project and oversee strategy and implementation within the TWC GIL Corporate Group, focussing on opportunities to capture further margin across the value chain through strategic alliances, joint ventures and acquisitions.

With more than 13 years experience in the areas of corporate strategy, business development, marketing and corporate affairs, Yvonne has held senior roles with a number of organisations including Energex Limited, Telstra, Medibank Private and the Snowy Mountains Hydro-electric

Prior to joining TWC, Yvonne was focused on the development and implementation of complex strategic change programs. This included developing the group strategy and transformational change program for the Uniting Care Queensland group of organisations and overseeing a change program for Babcock & Brown Power.

Yvonne holds a Bachelor of Commerce, Bachelor of Business Communication and a Masters of Business Administration.


Julia Sumner

Julia Sumner

Julia Sumner is General Manager of Oxfam Australia Trading, a subsidiary company
of Oxfam Australia, and as such manages Oxfam’s 11 shops across Australia, its online shop and the wholesale channel.

Oxfam Australia Trading is one of Australia’s oldest and pre-eminent ethical retailers who deal on a fair trade basis with over 100 organisations in 40 countries around the world. Julia assumed her current role in September 2011 after having performed various roles at Oxfam Australia, including Executive Manager and Acting Director of Operations.

Before joining Oxfam Australia, she worked for the South Australian Government for six years. Julia holds an MBA from the University of South Australia, focussing on Corporate, Social and Sustainable Strategy.


Leah Hamer

Leah Hamer

Leah Hamer is the Executive Assistant at CIMC Modular Building Systems. As a business division of CIMC Group, her company is the largest provider of modular buildings and modular building systems in the world, applying innovative design and patented technology to achieve streamlined design, cost efficiencies and faster construction.

After five years of working at an executive level in the construction industry, in a number of very fast paced environments, Leah has accumulated a wealth of knowledge and a passion for performance. She is described as full of character with an infectious personality, and a natural leader. Her energetic outlook accounts in no small measure for her demonstrated ability to attain goals and meet targets.

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