NEROLIE Withnall has been awarded the Australian Institute of Company Directors’ Queensland Gold Medal Award.
One of Queensland’s most respected directors, Withnall (pictured with Queensland Governor Penelope Wensley) has been an integral member of the Brisbane business community for many years, says AICD state president Keith De Lacy.
Current board positions at ALS Global, PanAust and Computershare headline an impressive list of Withnall’s directorships.
She has also sat as deputy president of the Takeovers Panel; was a Member of the Senate of the University of Queensland and held directorships of Lang Park Trust; Brisbane Festival; Brisbane Transport; National Seniors Foundation; and QM Technologies Limited.
“Nerolie has been an integral member of the Brisbane business community for many, many years and this award recognises her outstanding contribution to the director profession,” says De Lacy AM.
“Her roles across a range of organisations and sectors demonstrates the breadth of her talent and the high regard she is held in by a range of stakeholders.”
Withnall, who is just the third woman to win the award since 1984, says it is an honour to receive an award in front of so many colleagues she admires and respects.
If she had one piece of advice to give to a new director it would be to avoid rushing to decisions.
“Learn to relax and take the time required to deeply understand the organisation you are serving. You can’t review strategy, if you don’t understand the business, the market it operates in and the competitive landscape.”
Withnall says the global economy as the biggest challenge facing companies.
“Directors are required to grow their businesses in an environment where markets are contracting. It requires boards to think and act differently, which may involve growing a business outside its typical market”.
“All of this needs to be done at a time when the ‘noise’ from stakeholders is louder than ever. More and more stakeholders want a say in how companies are run and more and more people want to be identified as stakeholders.”
Previous winners of The Queensland Gold Medal include: John Story; John Massey; Martin Albrecht AC; John Allpass; Barry Thornton AM; Rod Cormie; Euan Murdoch; Barry Kelly; and Ben Macdonald AM.
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