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2023 Women in Leadership Awards Launch: A Personable Approach to Leadership

November 24, 2022 @ 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm AEDT

In-person tickets are sold out, you can still register to attend online.

Over the past few years, we have experienced an ever-growing and sustained cultural shift to hybrid working environments. With organisations interacting more frequently online than in person, it’s important for leaders to fine tune their soft skills, break down professional barriers and adopt a more personable approach to managing diverse teams and dynamic workplaces. To lead the discussion, we are delighted to be joined by Dr Andrea Douglas, Head, Strategic Industry Engagement at CSL. Following Andrea’s keynote address, Caroline Ryan, Partner at Allens, will open a panel discussion with our 2022 Women in Leadership Awardees, Dr Emma Ball, George Kenley and Associate Professor Lauren Ayton. We are launching the 2023 BioMelbourne Network Women in Leadership Awards and officially opening nominations at this event. Register below.

Event details 

Date: Thursday 24 November 2022
Time (AEDT):
3:45pm: Guest arrival and registration
4:00pm: Welcome, keynote and panel discussion – Live streamed
4:55pm: Award nominations officially open for 2023 – Live streamed
5:00pm: Networking function
6:00pm: Close
Format: Hybrid – In person and online
Venue and Host: Allens, 37/101 Collins St, Melbourne VIC 3000
Registration: Free to attend for Members and Non Members (In-person tickets are sold out, you can still register to attend online.)

Guest Speakers (full biographies below) 

Dr Andrea Douglas Head, Strategic Industry Engagement, CSL Panelists: 
Dr Emma Ball (2022 Distinguished Leadership Awardee) Head, Illumina for Startups Australia, Illumina.
George Kenley (2022 Inspiring Leadership Awardee) Co-Founder, Director, Chief Operations Officer, Seer
A/Prof. Lauren Ayton (2022 Emerging Leadership Awardee) Principal Research Fellow and Head, Vision Optimisation Unit, The University of Melbourne Facilitator:
Caroline Ryan, Partner, Allens

This event is delivered in partnership with Allens.

Women in Leadership Awards homepage.  2023 Women in Leadership Awards nominations page.For additional information, please see our FAQs.

Dr Andrea Douglas

Andrea Douglas leads CSL’s Australian Public Affairs strategy to enhance and protect the corporate reputation amongst key stakeholders. She is responsible for strategic thought leadership and coordination across the Australian business ecosystem and influencing the political and regulatory landscape in Australia to positively influence the operating environment for CSL and the broader biotech industry.

Andrea has held various roles at CSL since 2005. Most recently Andrea was Senior Vice President Organisation Transformation, where she led CSL’s Organisation Transformation Office and integrated and drove major Enterprise operating model changes. Andrea was previously Vice President R&D Strategy and External Affairs, where she led the global R&D strategy, product portfolio, R&D investment and prioritisation processes. Other roles include Vice President Licensing, Head of Global R&D Project Management and Program Director, at Influenza.

Before joining CSL, Andrea was the CEO of the Gene CRC. She also held a senior research role at WEHI, studying the molecular genetics of breast cancer. Andrea holds a PhD degree in Forensic Medicine from Monash University and a Master's degree in Health Administration. She is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, Director of the Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute and BioCurate, member of the WILD Advisory Board and a Director of AusBiotech from 2013-2019.

Dr Emma Ball

Dr Emma Ball is Head of Illumina for Startups Australia, the local expansion of the global company creation and growth engine of US genomics company, Illumina (NASDAQ: ILMN). Emma is responsible for supporting founders and building the ecosystem of entrepreneurs and investors to create, launch and grow genomics and omics startups in Australia.

As part of the role Emma is Entrepreneur in Residence for The Advanced Genomics Collaboration (TAGC) in partnership between Illumina and the University of Melbourne. The TAGC aims to increase genomics innovation and its translation and adoption into the health system to improve patient outcomes.

Prior to joining Illumina, Emma was at biotherapeutics and vaccines company, CSL Limited (ASX: CSL) for 15 years, most recently as Global Head of Search & Evaluation and Director Strategy & Business Development. Previous roles at CSL include corporate strategy, commercial development, R&D program management and alliance management. Prior to joining CSL, Emma worked in project management in small biotech, both ASXlisted (Prima Biomed, now Immutep) and private (Prostate Diagnostics).

Beyond her role at Illumina, Emma is Non-Executive Director at Startup Shakeup Ltd. She is a mentor for Industry Mentoring Network in STEM (IMNIS) as well as a member of Life Sciences Council Member at Springboard Enterprises (SBE) Australia, the AusBiotech Victorian state committee and a number of angel investor groups.

She trained initially as a molecular biologist and gained her PhD in medicine (research) from the University of Melbourne, followed by postdoctoral studies in oncology and endocrinology at Monash University. Emma holds an MBA from RMIT University, is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD) and the Wade Institute’s Venture Capital Catalyst.

George Kenley

George Kenley studied at the University of Melbourne and completed Bachelor’s degrees in Geomatic Engineering, Planning and Design, and Property and Construction. On completion of her studies, George joined top tier construction company, Lend Lease, where she spent 10 years working across iconic projects including the Royal Children’s Hospital in Parkville, the new Bendigo Hospital, and the new Monash Children’s Hospital.

Shifting her focus from the construction of hospitals and large-scale healthcare infrastructure, George co-founded Seer in 2017. Seer is reimagining how and where people undergo longterm brain, heart, and respiratory monitoring for faster paths to diagnoses and better patient outcomes. Seer’s solutions include an at-home epilepsy monitoring system and wearable medical devices, mobile apps for tracking and forecasting seizures, and cloud technology that translates big data into useful medical insights.

George has a deep understanding of the constraints in the health sector, and she was eager to influence transformative change. Her organisational and project management expertise have contributed to the successful launch and rapid growth of Seer. As Chief Operations Officer, George is responsible for maintaining Seer’s execution and alignment with its overall business strategy. She has played a key role in expanding the number of Seer Medical clinics around Australia and contributed to Seer gaining regulatory approval for its award-winning, patented technology.

A/Prof. Lauren Ayton

A/Prof Ayton has been passionate about vision loss since a child, living with an older brother who lost his sight due to a brain injury. She originally trained as an optometrist, and has worked in varying clinical environments, including Africa and Sri Lanka. She completed her PhD in 2009 in paediatric optometry, followed by a postdoctoral position in traumatic brain injury. In 2010, Lauren joined the Centre for Eye Research Australia, where she became the Clinical Team Leader of the Bionic Vision Australia program, a large consortium developing a vision prosthesis, or “bionic eye”, to help restore useful vision to people living with blindness.

A research collaboration with Harvard University led to Lauren being offered an opportunity to join industry, and she left Australia in 2017 to take the senior role of Director of Clinical and Regulatory Affairs at Bionic Eye Technologies, a startup company based in New York. This experience increased her interest in research translation, innovation and commercialisation, and also allowed her to forge strong relationships with US based partners.

In 2019, Lauren was awarded a Driving Research Momentum Fellowship, and she returned to the University of Melbourne. She now holds a joint position between the Departments of Optometry and Vision Sciences, and Surgery (Ophthalmology) and the Centre for Eye Research Australia (based at the Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital). Her research is focused on learning more about the progression of inherited retinal diseases (IRDs), the most common cause of legal blindness in working aged Australians. She runs projects on a wide spectrum, including imaging and functional studies of people with IRDs, clinical trials of emerging treatments and low vision devices, and qualitative studies looking at quality of life for people with IRDs.

In addition to her research, Lauren leads the SPARK Melbourne research accelerator, and is active in Victoria’s innovation ecosystem. She also is a passionate science communicator, and can be heard on 3RRR’ Sunday science show, Einstein FACILI TATOR Caroline Ryan Partner, AllensAGoGo.

Caroline Ryan

Caroline is a partner of Allens.

With the Allens Intellectual Property and Patents and Trade Mark Attorneys Caroline works with clients from research, technology and brands ’ team, based industries, ranging from associations to multinationals, and sectors that include biotechnology, pharmaceuticals and healthcare.

Caroline has over 15 years’ experience advising o n all aspects of intellectual property law and has acted in court proceedings involving patents, trade marks and copyright infringement, misuse of confidential information, misleading and deceptive conduct and passing off.

Working closely with clients to develop strategies for the protection, commercialisation and enforcement of IP rights, Caroline has conducted and defended urgent applications for preliminary injunctions, ex parte search orders and expedited substantive proceedings.

Most recently, Carol ine acted in Australia’s first preliminary injunction application and expedited patent infringement and revocation proceedings in relation to monoclonal antibody biosimilars.

Caroline has consistently been recognised as a next generation partner for In tellectual Property in Australia by Legal 500 (2017 to 2021 inclusive), Best Lawyers and as a Rising Star in Intellectual Property by Doyle’s Guide.

Caroline is a recent past Chair of the Stella Prize which champions gender equality and awards an annual prize celebrating Australian women’s writing.


November 24, 2022
4:00 pm - 6:00 pm


BioMelbourne Network
+61 3 9667 8181


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