Saluting Sydney Women2023-08-17T11:45:27+10:00

Saluting Sydney Women

Each year the Sydney Women's Fund Saluting Sydney Women special event celebrates a trailblazing Sydney woman, a role model and contributor to social justice and the advancement of women in this city and beyond.

A highly anticipated occasion, Saluting Sydney Women attracts women in leadership from all walks of life, coming together to recognise the achievements of other great Sydney women.

The guest list includes leaders in business, politics, media, the arts, philanthropy, community and the grassroots organisations that Sydney Women’s Fund supports.

Together we have saluted:

2023 – Professor Larissa Behrendt AO
2022 – Ann Sherry AO
2021 – Postponed due to Covid 19
2020 – Saluting Sydney Women 'at home'
2019 – The Lord Mayor of Sydney, Clover Moore
2018 – Carla Zampatti AC OMRI
2017 – Ita Buttrose AO OBE
2016 – Wendy McCarthy AO
2015 – The Hon. Elizabeth Evatt AC
2014 – 
Dame Marie Bashir AD, CVO, former Governor of New South Wales 

Led and supported by a community of Sydney’s leading professional and business women in philanthropy, this unique and elegant collective giving event raises funds to invest, inspire and create opportunities for local women and girls to thrive.

Inaugural Saluting Sydney Women (Image: Yann Le Berre)

Sydney Women's Fund Advisory members, Joanna Ryan, Chair Georgina Byron AM, Loredana Fyffe (also CEO of Sydney Community Foundation) and Nicky Verco. (Image: Carla Orsatti Co-Create)

2023 Saluting Professor Larissa Behrendt AO

Professor Larissa Behrendt AO and Phillipa McDermott (Image: Yann Le Berre)

Eualayai/Gamillaroi woman Larissa Behrendt AO is the Laureate Fellow at the Jumbunna Institute at the University of Technology, Sydney. She is a graduate of the UNSW Law School and has a Masters and Doctor of Juridical Science from Harvard Law School. She has published numerous textbooks on Indigenous legal issues.

An award-winning author and filmmaker, Larissa won the 2002 David Uniapon Award and a 2005 Commonwealth Writer’s Prize for her novel Home and her and her second novel Legacy won a Victorian Premier’s Literary Award. Her most recent novel, After Story, won the 2022 Voss Literary prize and has been optioned for development as a television series.

Larissa won the 2018 Australian Director’s Guild
Award for best Direction of a Documentary Film
for After the Apology and the 2020 AACTA for
Best Direction in Factual Television for her
documentary, Maralinga Tjarutja.

Larissa was awarded the 2009 NAIDOC Person of the Year award and 2011 NSW Australian of the Year. She was awarded an Order of Australia in 2020 for her work in Indigenous education, the law and the arts. Larissa received the Human Rights Medal 2021 from the Australian Human Rights Commission. She is also the host of Speaking Out on ABC Radio.

2022 Saluting Ann Sherry AO

Ann Sherry AO with Kumi Taguchi, SBS Insights presenter (Image: Carla Orsatti Co-Create)

Ann Sherry AO is an influential corporate leader and outstanding community changemaker thanks to her groundbreaking work in women’s rights, disability reform and social justice.  

One of Australia’s leading business executives with a career that spans government, banking and cruise tourism, Ann is also an active philanthropist. Now the Chair of UNICEF Australia, Enero Group and Port of Townsville and the Chancellor of Queensland University of Technology, Ann also holds other leadership positions including at NAB, Infrastructure Victoria and the MCA.

Ann has been recognised for several awards, including the Centenary Medal in 2001, the Order of Australia in 2004 and topping the list at the AFR’s 100 Women of Influence Awards in 2015.

Ann has made a huge contribution to today’s progressive corporate culture in Australia, and supports opportunities for Indigenous Australians. Moreover, she has always insisted on investing in women to create a path for change, including working to improve opportunities and remove barriers for women in STEM and sport.

2020 Saluting Sydney Women At Home

Together we salute and are supporting:

  • Norma Tracey, founder – STRONG MOTHERS
  • a service for young Indigenous mothers with babies & children in Annandale
  • Providing vital support and a number of shelters across Sydney
  • Elizabeth O’Neill, CEOORANA NSW
  • Providing DV counselling and support for women in need in Sutherland
  • Meeting the needs of a diverse community of women, many refugees, asylum seekers without status as Australian citizens in Liverpool

Learn more…

2019 Saluting The Lord Mayor of Sydney, Clover Moore

The Lord Mayor of Sydney, Clover Moore (Image: supplied)

The Lord Mayor of Sydney, Clover Moore is one of Australia’s most oustanding community leaders recognised nationally for her leadership on tough social issues. From her first days in elected office in 1980, Clover Moore has been a consistent, caring voice for marginalised people.

While many political leaders have wavered
Clover has consistently led the call for action on climate change. She understands the human impacts of climate change affect all of us but in particular the most vulnerable in any community. The City of Sydney has become a role model for other communities for local climate change action.

Throughout her public life, in both State and Local Governments, Clover has championed progressive policies, achieving reforms which increase government transparency, champion our environment, and protect the vulnerable.

2018 Saluting Carla Zampatti AC OMRI

Jillian Broadbent AO with Carla Zampatti. (Image: Yann Le Berre)

Carla Zampatti AC, OMRI is one of Australia’s most recognisable fashion icons, a successful business women and philanthropist. With over 50 years experience in the global fashion industry, Carla is one of Australia’s most influential and successful designers.

Recognised internationally for her exceptional business acumen, Carla currently holds a number of leadership positions including Executive Chairman of Carla Zampatti Pty Limited, Trustee of the Sydney Theatre Company Foundation Trust, Board Member of the Australian Multicultural Foundation and Board Member of European Australian Business Council.

Moreover, Carla has contributed broadly to Australian society and industry through appointments such as Chairman of the SBS Corporation, Director of the Westfield Group and a Trustee of the Art Gallery of NSW.

2017 Saluting Ita Buttrose AO OBE

Ita Buttrose AO OBE 

As one of Australia’s most recognisable media personalities, Ita Buttrose AO OBE is no stranger to being called a trailblazer. As a businesswoman, she’s earned a distinguished career in the Australian media with several notable achievements. She was the founding editor of Cleo magazine, the youngest ever editor of The Australian Women’s Weekly, the first woman to ever edit a major metropolitan newspaper in Australia as Editor-in-Chief of the Daily & Sunday Telegraphs, and the first woman director of News Ltd Australia.

She’s twice been voted Australia’s most admired woman, and for good reason as her sharp wit and no-nonsense style has inspired women across the country. She’s even been likened to the Australian version of Oprah.

2016 Saluting Wendy McCarthy AO

Wendy MCarthy AO

Wendy McCarthy AO is a woman of kindness and strength and a feminist who has helped the careers and lives of so many strangers and many dear friends. She is a bright star in the Sydney community. A woman who believes in life-long learning and is not afraid to take risks.

In a career spanning five decades and most continents, Wendy McCarthy AO has remained committed to the belief that education for women and children is the best investment any nation can make. Teacher, educator, writer, social advocate, business woman and executive, she is also mother of three, grandmother of five and a friend, mentor and role model to many.

2015 Saluting The Hon. Elizabeth Evatt AC

The Hon. Elizabeth Evatt AC

The Hon Elizabeth Evatt AC is an eminent Australian reformist lawyer and jurist. A leader in her support of women’s civil and human rights her work leaves a significant and lasting legacy.

Evatt became the first Chief Judge of the Family Court of Australia, the first female judge of an Australian Federal Court, the first female Member of the Federal Conciliation and Arbitration Commission and the first Australian to be elected to the United Nations Human Rights Committee.

In this position she presided over major development in Australian law and achieved
outstanding social reform.

2014 Saluting Dame Marie Roslyn Bashir AD CVO

From left – Rosalind Strong AM, Deanne Weir, Dame Marie Roslyn Bashir AD CVO, Wendy McCarthy AO, Jane Jose, Lucinda Brogden AM (Image: Yann Le Berre)

Her Excellency Professor the Honourable Dame Marie Bashir AD, CVO, Governor of New South Wales was appointed as Governor of NSW in 2001, the first woman to hold this position. “Marie Bashir governed NSW from the grassroots up”. This is how the Sydney Morning Herald described our Patron on the announcement of her retirement as Governor of NSW, and her appointment as Dame in the Order of Australia, the highest Australian Civic Honour.

She has served New South Wales for 13 years as Governor, loved by people from all walks of life. On her retirement she will have been the state’s second longest serving Governor, but has remained an advocate for the disadvantaged and marginalised in the community, and a strong advocate for reconciliation.

Professor Dame Marie Bashir AD, CVO has been the Patron of Sydney Community Foundation since its inception in 2004.