• Six happy winners (from left): Nayeleh Deirram, Amcor Flexibles; Ellie King, Orora; Nerida Kelton, AIP; Joanne Howarth, Planet Protector Group; Jessica O'Donnell, Close the Loop Group; Marissa Altmeier, Pernod Ricard Winemakers. (Absent: Pippa Corry, philo & Co)
    Six happy winners (from left): Nayeleh Deirram, Amcor Flexibles; Ellie King, Orora; Nerida Kelton, AIP; Joanne Howarth, Planet Protector Group; Jessica O'Donnell, Close the Loop Group; Marissa Altmeier, Pernod Ricard Winemakers. (Absent: Pippa Corry, philo & Co)
  • Louise Weine, CEO of NAWO, spoke on behalf of the judging panel, commending all the finalists and remarking on the depth of talent evident in the entries.
    Louise Weine, CEO of NAWO, spoke on behalf of the judging panel, commending all the finalists and remarking on the depth of talent evident in the entries.
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The PKN Women in Packaging Awards event was a vibrant occasion celebrating talented, hard-working women, with winners chosen from a group of high calibre finalists, whose collective success marks positive steps forward for the packaging industry.

There was a buzz of excitement in the room as the audience prepared to hear the long-awaited announcement of who would be taking home the 'designer' trophies created and crafted exclusively for PKN by Delta Global, made from a combination of FSC-certified beech and oak wood.

The stunning trophies were created and crafted by the design team at Delta Global.
The stunning trophies were created and crafted by the design team at Delta Global.

Another special feature of the day was the Walk of Fame billboards created by Tango Signs and sponsored by Currie Group, displayed in the foyer featuring each of the finalists.

Walk of Fame: Courtesy of Currie Group and Tango Signs

HALL OF FAME

Ahead of the main awards being announced, PKN publisher Lindy Hughson announced a special Hall of Fame Award, the recipient of which was nominated by the PKN team. 

Nerida Kelton: First Hall of Fame winner, presented by Lindy Hughson

"With the inaugural PKN Women in Packaging Awards, we are truly making history in our industry. To commemorate this achievement, PKN is also launching the Hall of Fame Award, a prestigious accolade recognising the extraordinary contributions and achievements of women in the packaging industry," Hughson said.

"The Women in Packaging Hall of Fame Award is dedicated to celebrating and immortalising the achievements of exceptional women, inspiring future leaders, promoting equality, preserving industry history, and fostering a collaborative, professional community. 

The inaugural Hall of Fame Award was presented to Nerida Kelton, executive director of AIP and vice president Sustainability and Save Food for the World Packaging Organisation.

Hughson said, "Today we recognise and honour an individual who has demonstrated exceptional leadership within the packaging sector. This dedicated individual has not only excelled in her professional role but has also significantly influenced the packaging industry through her visionary approach and groundbreaking work in education on sustainability and save food packaging. She heads up one of our industry’s peak bodies and is a senior executive on a global packaging body. She volunteers her time (endlessly I might add, I don’t think she ever rests) to participate in conferences and moderate forums; she consults to regulatory bodies; she is involved in developing guidelines and resources; she is a mentor to many and has long been a champion for women in packaging. She is a trailblazer and a most worthy recipient of our inaugural Hall of Fame Award." 

COMPETITIVE FIELD 

It was a tough task for the panel of eight judges, with the high number of entries, the impressive achievements and the depth of talent making for a highly competitive field.

Louise Weine, CEO of NAWO, spoke on behalf of the judging panel, commending all the finalists and remarking on the depth of talent evident in the entries.
Louise Weine, CEO of NAWO, spoke on behalf of the judging panel, commending all the finalists and remarking on the depth of talent evident in the entries.

Speaking on behalf of the judges, NAWO CEO Louise Weine stressed the extensive amount of time judges devoted in assessing the entries via an online platform and vigorous panel discussions, to ensure they were comfortable the process was robust.

Weine said, "We had no idea it would be this challenging, the entries surprised and delighted us, showcasing just how many remarkable achievements have been made by so many talented individuals -- this bodes well for the future of the industry." 

COMMUNICATIONS EXCELLENCE CATEGORY 

This award recognises a woman who has demonstrated exceptional skills and achievements in marketing and communications within the Australian packaging industry, promoting packaging products, brands, and sustainability

Jessica O'Donnell

initiatives, as well as effective communication strategies that have made a significant impact on the industry.

Finalists:

Julia Casey, Packserv

Zaidee Jackson, Ball & Doggett

Jessica O’Donnell, Close the Loop Group - WINNER

Anita Olsen, The Brand Engineers

Andrea Polson, Licella Holdings

Valentyna Skyba, Result Packaging

Citation: Jessica O’Donnell managed the campaign for the launch of Close the Loop’s updated soft plastics recycling facility with strategic prowess, uniting industry stakeholders to advance soft plastics recycling and shape the narrative around sustainable packaging in Australia.

O'Donnell said, "I was humbled to be recognised for my contributions to the industry at the inaugural Women in Packaging Awards hosted by PKN. Like many of the other nominees, we do so much more than our job roles when it comes to packaging- We’re educators, as well as passionate advocates for innovation and change. Women are a key driving force of industry, and events like this highlight all the valuable work that is being put in every single day.”

DESIGN AND BRANDING VISIONARY

The Design and Branding Visionary category recognises excellence in design strategy and in creating visually appealing, impactful packaging that resonates with consumers and boosts brand identity.

Finalists:

Amber Bonney, The Edison Agency

Helen Chapman, Horse & Water

Pippa Corry, philo & co - WINNER

Angela Spindler accepts the prize on Pippa Corry's behalf from Amcor's Brendan Thomas. 

The award was co-presented by Platinum Sponsor Amcor’s ANZ vice president and general manager, Brendan Thomas. Pippa Corry was unable to attend as she was in the UK getting married, but her business associate Angela Spindler of Depot Creative picked up the award on her behalf.

Citation: Pippa Corry is on a mission to ‘simplify circularity’ through her visionary packaging design and brand strategy. She has helped transform packaging by optimising pack sizes to minimise waste while enhancing brand appeal and improving sustainability reporting and communication for brands such as Bulla, Freedom and Joey Games.

INNOVATION CHAMPION

This award recognises women who have made a significant impact on the Australian packaging industry through bringing innovative solutions to market

Joanne Howarth

Finalists:

Fonny Chang, Woolworths

Hannah Glover, Close the Loop Group

Joanne Howarth, Planet Protector Group - WINNER

Megan Schutte, Detpak

Citation: Joanne Howarth’s development of the award-winning Woolpack innovation, an alternative to polystyrene for insulated packaging using 100 per cent Australian wool, has seen Woolpack’s widespread adoption, attracted investment in local manufacture, while championing circularity in the industry.

MANUFACTURING LEADER 

The Manufacturing Leader category honours achievements such as optimising production processes, improving quality control, enhancing efficiency, increasing sustainability and fostering a culture of innovation and safety within the manufacturing environment.

Finalists:       

Ellie King

Ellie King, Orora Group - WINNER

Prenola Naidoo, Detmold Group

Nina Nguyen, Pakko

Fernanda Reis, Sealed Air

Samantha Saunders, HMPS

Charlotte Terris, Pernod Ricard Winemakers

Citation: Ellie King pioneered the establishment of plant operations at Orora’s Gawler glass facility, optimising processes, increasing recycled content utilisation, while prioritising technical capability and modern manufacturing to advance circularity in Australian manufacturing.

PACKAGING TECHNOLOGY LEADER

The Packaging Technology Leader award celebrates achievements in developing, driving and implementing advanced packaging technologies, processes, and solutions that have had a significant impact on the industry.

Nayeleh Deirram

The award was co-presented by Nerida Kelton of the AIP, the peak educational body for packaging technologists, and a long-standing association partner for PKN’s Women in Packaging events.

Finalists:    

Marissa Altmeier, Pernod Ricard Winemakers

Nayeleh Deirram, Amcor Flexibles - WINNER

Rebecca Kersey, APCO

Rackel Reis, Amcor Flexibles

Nayeleh Deirram

Citation: Nayeleh Deirram introduced an innovative antistatic packaging solution for bulk milk powder. Nayeleh’s collaboration with the Amcor Albany team resulted in a specialised film and set a new standard for safety, compliance, and sustainability in the dairy industry.

Deirram said, "I am deeply honoured to receive the Packaging Technology Leader award at the PKN Women in Packaging event. This recognition as a member of Amcor in the packaging Leader category underscores the dedication and innovation of our entire team. I am continually inspired by the fantastic work of women in this industry, whose contributions are driving the future of packaging technology and sustainability."

SUSTAINABILITY LEADER

The Sustainability Leader award honours women who have demonstrated outstanding commitment to sustainability in the Australian packaging industry, recognising initiatives such as reducing packaging waste, promoting recyclability, advocating for eco-friendly materials, or implementing circular packaging practices.

Finalists:        

Marissa Altmeier

Marissa Altmeier, Pernod Ricard Winemakers - WINNER

Julia Kay, Great Wrap

Conny Gibson, Woolworths and Arnott’s

Katharina Lennie, Sealed Air

Rebecca Percasky and Kate Bezar, Better Packaging Co.

Simone Thomassen, Ego Pharmaceuticals

Liza Vernalls, Yates

Citation: Marissa Altmeier led the ‘Going Hoodless’ campaign by eliminating hard-to-recycle hoods from sparkling wine bottles to advance Circular Making goals – diverting four tonnes of waste from landfill, streamlining production, and simplifying recycling for customers.

In closing, Hughson congratulated the winners and all the finalists, and thanked guests their presence at this landmark celebration, and the sponsors for making the event and the programme possible.

The July-August print issue of PKN will include a feature article on the event, the winners and many more photographs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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