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Women bring different perspective to tech

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Rebecca McDonald was nominated in the inaugural WiT (Women in Technology) Community Award for her work as Founder and CEO of Library For All, a scalable and cost-effective cloud-based free digital library application that delivers a curated collection of books and educational resources to schools and communities in the developing world.

Mrs McDonald left her construction industry job to volunteer in Haiti after the devastating 2010 earthquakes. It was there she discovered that millions of children across the globe did not have the opportunity to learn to read or have access to books in their own language. This led to the creation of Library for All.

The Queensland woman who aimed to help 20 million of the world’s most underprivileged children learn to read is amongst the winners at the 22nd annual Women in Technology (WiT) Awards, held in Brisbane.

Other WiT Award winners include Amy Chan, a PhD student from University of Queensland Institute for Molecular Bioscience (IMB), who was selected as the Life Sciences Young Achiever for her ground-breaking study of a protein called Caspase-4, which regulates inflammation in the human body. Ms Chan’s research is focused on determining how Caspase-4 is ‘switched on and off’. If successful in artificially activating or deactivating Caspase-4, doctors would be able to amplify the immune response at the onset of infection to kill bacteria faster and also dampen damaging immune activity during septic shock.

WiT Co-President (Life Sciences) Dr Claudia Giurgiuman said it had been a particularly big year for the WiT Awards.

“This has been a record-breaking year for the WiT Awards, receiving over 150 applications across 12 categories and attracting 700 people to the presentations. There are some remarkable stories and ground-breaking achievements and the calibre of women nominated for awards is outstanding,” she said.

Further information about every winner and highly commended recipient is available at


Mandy Ross – ICT Outstanding Achievement Award
Carla Wall – ICT Outstanding Achievement Award (Highly Commended)
Angela Jones – ICT Professional Award
Kelly Pedler – ICT Rising Star Award
Emily Entwistle – ICT Young Achiever Award
Vicki Clifton – Life Sciences Outstanding Achievement Award
Antje Blumenthal – Life Sciences Research Leader Award
Lisa Gillinder – Life Sciences Rising Star Award
Amy Chan – Life Sciences Young Achiever Award (Joint winner)
Hana Starobova – Life Sciences Young Achiever Award (Joint winner)
Rebecca McDonald – Community Award
Robyn Bull – Community Award (Highly Commended)
Megan Avard – Sue Wickenden Entrepreneurial Award
PwC – Employer of Choice Award - Corporate
Hall & Wilcox – Employer of Choice Award - Corporate (Highly Commended)
Field Orthopaedics – Employer of Choice Award - Small to Medium

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