Future CEO
Future CEO Program

Future CEO Scholarship Winners - 2016

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 2016 below and wish them a successful and fulfilling journey.


Dr. Fiona Scholes

Dr. Fiona Scholes

Dr. Fiona Scholes is Group Leader of Integrated Systems and Devices, Industrial Innovation with CSIRO Manufacturing. She is responsible for a portfolio of research areas spanning printed solar films, organic lighting and electronics, microfluidics and chemical sensors. 

Fiona participates in the development of research strategy, in managing capability and project delivery, and in business development with a specific emphasis on stimulating and transforming the Australian manufacturing sector.

She is a strong advocate for women in science and is passionate about science communication. She is a member of the team for science radio show Einstein A Go Go on Melbourne community radio station 3RRR and is an active participant in the Scientists and Mathematicians in Schools program.

Fiona is thrilled to receive a Future CEO Scholarship and believes that it will provide her with valuable insights into the corporate world which will help her to understand how science and innovation can support Australian businesses to grow and thrive.


Sarah Hunter

Sarah Hunter

Sarah Hunter is Commercial Manager at Virbac Australia. Virbac is a global animal health company, which in Australia operates across a wide spectrum from livestock production to veterinary and pet care. Starting in the export department 12 years ago, with a degree in Agricultural Science and six years' experience in Canada and the UK, Sarah's responsibilities soon grew to include the equine, companion animal and livestock business units.

A member of the senior management team of Virbac, Sarah delivers on business objectives through development and execution of sustainable strategies with her 65 sales, marketing, key account and technical team members. Under her leadership, that has become a customer-centric group.

Now, as Commercial Manager, she relishes the challenges inherent in being an innovator; developing strategic alliances to unlock market potential and increase turnover and profitability, to substantially outperform the market.


Davina McCormick

Davina McCormick

Davina McCormick is the Manager of Customer Experience Strategy at Queensland Urban Utilities which supplies drinking water, recycled water and sewerage services to more than 1.4 million people in South East Queensland. As a senior leader, Davina is responsible for driving an enterprise-wide strategy that delivers positive outcomes and easy experiences for customers.

She has a diverse range of marketing, customer engagement, project management and strategy skills developed across the financial services, utilities, education and energy industries for companies that include Allianz, Pacific Premium Funding, General Electric, Energex and Queensland University of Technology (QUT).

She has a Bachelor of Business and an MBA from QUT where she was awarded the MBA Medallion for highest academic performance. In her spare time, Davina shares her love of learning with foster children as a Pyjama Angel for the Pyjama Foundation.


Deborah Attard Portughes

Deborah Attard Portughes

Deborah Attard Portughes is a Development Executive for not-for-profit organisation Australian Wildlife Conservancy. She is also a Director of the POWA Institute - Western Australia’s Institute for new thinking, working in the areas of social, environmental and economic change - in a voluntary capacity.

Deborah obtained an MBA at Curtin University of Technology and has Diplomas in Business Studies and Sales and Marketing Management. Her previous places of employment include Fenlex Enterprises (Malta), MDemajo Group, Edward deBono and the Perth Zoo.


Emma Hinchey

Emma Hinchey

Emma Hinchey is Chief Financial Officer at Minda Inc.. After a career spanning multiple industry sectors including Government, National Audit, Treasury, Energy and Commercial Parking, Emma immigrated to Adelaide from Dublin. After a short spell with local government, Emma turned her experienced hand to the not-for-profit sector.

Emma joined Minda early in 2012 and has delivered growth and financial sustainability for SA's premier disability support organisation whilst successfully raising low cost financing for a $300 M property redevelopment.

Under her tenure, Emma has delivered significant improvements in financial performance with exceptional growth in net assets and the conversion from deficit to substantial surplus. Having set and delivered ambitious financial and technology strategies, sustainability, service improvement and growth are now the core priorities.

With an abundance of energy and commitment, Emma is a change agent who can't resist a good challenge. She delivers strong leadership and motivation and never fails to innovate and challenge the status quo when necessary.

Emma is an experienced board director and a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. She is also a Fellow of the Association of Certified Chartered Accountants (UK) and the winner of multiple academic awards and scholarships both in Australia and Internationally.

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