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Helen Watchirs named ACT Business Woman of the Year

By 27 September 2012 16

helen watchirs

Telstra have the unusual news that the ACT Human Rights and Discrimination Commissioner, Dr Helen Watchirs, has been named the ACT Business Woman of the Year.

She says her most memorable business achievement has been conducting human rights audits of detention centres, where human rights abuses can be hidden if they are not subjected to independent and rigorous oversight.

Other ACT Awards winners were Suzie Hoitink, founder of Clear Complexions Clinics, Emma Luscombe, owner of Antique Salon in Canberra City, Amanda Pulford, who established FitSistas Pole and Fitness Studio, and Jocelyn Parsons, Manager, Salvation and Intervention, with the Australian Maritime Safety Authority,

Kate McKenzie, Group Managing Director Telstra Innovation, Products & Marketing and Telstra Business Women’s Awards Ambassador, said the ACT winners were inspirational business women and leaders in their fields whose achievements were a cause for celebration.

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16 Responses to Helen Watchirs named ACT Business Woman of the Year
#1
XO_VSOP8:07 pm, 27 Sep 12

Love how the government keeps taking out the major ? The overall winner last year was a cop? So community service is now a business ? really…!

#2
Alien Fiend9:33 pm, 27 Sep 12

Hmmm…. It’s a bit like public servants getting gongs for doing their jobs.

Don’t get me wrong, conducting human rights audits of detention centres is very important, and I’m sure Dr Watchirs was right in there with the rest of them.

But for me, a “business” award ought to go to someone who has gone out on a limb (ie without a PS salary), and started a business. There are lots of very worthy people in the ACT who fit this bill and I wish them all the very best in growing their businesses.

#3
p110:48 pm, 27 Sep 12

+ 1 for how he hell did she get a business award for that? Is the government putting human rights out o tender now?

#4
Antagonist11:21 pm, 27 Sep 12

Alien Fiend said :

Hmmm…. It’s a bit like public servants getting gongs for doing their jobs.

Don’t get me wrong, conducting human rights audits of detention centres is very important, and I’m sure Dr Watchirs was right in there with the rest of them.

But for me, a “business” award ought to go to someone who has gone out on a limb (ie without a PS salary), and started a business. There are lots of very worthy people in the ACT who fit this bill and I wish them all the very best in growing their businesses.

Those were my thoughts too. The ACT Human Rights and Discrimination Commission and the Australian Maritime Safety Authority are government agencies. They are not businesses. Not even close.

#5
shauno6:11 am, 28 Sep 12

Thats bizarre thats not a business thats just her job. So should we all get awards then for just turning up to work.

#6
PantsMan9:07 am, 28 Sep 12

Would you be eligible if you were on Centrelink benefits?

#7
Affirmative Action M9:08 am, 28 Sep 12

Best thing they could do is wind up this useless organisation unless of course someone can show evidence that people in the ACT are better off than people in states that do not have a Human Rights Commisssion.

We could spend the savings on reducing waiting time at the Hospital.

#8
p19:21 am, 28 Sep 12

shauno said :

Thats bizarre thats not a business thats just her job. So should we all get awards then for just turning up to work.

If she is doing an exceptional job, then I am all for that being recognised by an award. I just can’t see why she would be given one in that category? Isn’t there a public sector administration award she could be given?

#9
johnboy9:26 am, 28 Sep 12

It really does seem to be a massive slap in the face to every woman actually in business in Canberra.

#10
bundah9:53 am, 28 Sep 12

Yep social conscience and public service is obviously not for profit women’s business…..blurry!

#11
Antagonist10:03 am, 28 Sep 12

p1 said :

shauno said :

Thats bizarre thats not a business thats just her job. So should we all get awards then for just turning up to work.

If she is doing an exceptional job, then I am all for that being recognised by an award. I just can’t see why she would be given one in that category? Isn’t there a public sector administration award she could be given?

Yes, there is. It is called the Public Service Medal. This was just another photo opportunity for Katie in the lead up to the election.

johnboy said :

It really does seem to be a massive slap in the face to every woman actually in business in Canberra.

Given it went to a cop last year, I’d say that is a second slap in the face for buiness women. It seems those who choose the winners do not know the difference between ‘women in business’ and ‘women in senior management’.

#12
Thumper10:07 am, 28 Sep 12

bundah said :

Yep social conscience and public service is obviously not for profit women’s business…..blurry!

Would seem to me that in this case ideology has trumped logic.

By all means create another category for people such as Helen Watchirs, who obviously has done a sterling job, but don’t debase the awards and other eligible women by suggesting that she is in any way, shape or form, a business woman.

She is a public servant.

#13
c_c10:21 am, 28 Sep 12

According to the bios I’ve found, she’s never worked in the Private Sector, they only list work for various levels of government, which no denying has produced some achievements but does not business make.

#14
HiddenDragon11:25 am, 28 Sep 12

I think this is just another reminder that Canberra is still predominantly a company town – well, actually, two companies – federal and territory government, and that the private sector is very much the poor cousin. It also suggests that the nomination process doesn’t, in practice, cast a particularly wide net.

#15
MERC60011:39 am, 28 Sep 12

Affirmative Action Man said :

Best thing they could do is wind up this useless organisation unless of course someone can show evidence that people in the ACT are better off than people in states that do not have a Human Rights Commisssion.

We could spend the savings on reducing waiting time at the Hospital.

Am with Affirm on this one. Has anyone any idea pls on how much our Commission costs us each year ?

#16
PantsMan12:02 pm, 28 Sep 12

What I find particularly insulting is that the nature of government under Stanhope & Co has been so repugnant to effective and accountable government, however, we have a taxpayer-funded cottage human rights industry telling us we are now not having our right to freedom of political expression and other crap impinged upon.

Do we have a right to low taxes, efficient and effective government services, and accountability?

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