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Empowering and Emerging Technologies, Talent and New Opportunities

NAWO, Asahi Beverages and PATH4 Graduates joined forces to explore the emerging technologies and opportunities for women in operations, bringing together a panel of experts to tackle the difficult questions:

  • What are the emerging trends and challenges?
  • How prepared are you and your company to embrace the reality of the future?
  • What does workforce reskilling look like for those well progressed in their careers? and
  • How are we engaging school leavers into STEM and early career women into the operations industry?

Special thanks to NAWO NSW Committee members Kamini Wijekulasuriya, WSSC Manufacturing Manager, Bluescope Steel for organising this fabulous event, and Tania Montesin, Regional Manufacturing Operations Manager Northern, for providing the following overview…

‘Empowering and Emerging Technologies, Talent and New Opportunities’, an event hosted by Asahi Beverages on behalf of NAWO in Sydney, drew in a large contingent from diverse organisations with attendees from Victoria, regional NSW and the Hunter region. The event brought together education and industry and explored Industry 4.0 skill development opportunities and initiatives already underway to enhance career development for individuals and organisations. Together with TAFE NSW, Swinburne University, Siemens, Ai G and PATH4 Graduates, apprenticeships, internships and new learning models were shared through our presenters and panellists.

The event started off with groups touring the Huntingwood facility and gaining an understanding of what manufacturing is today – an exciting and rewarding industry with small teams managing end to end processes with advanced equipment in a high speed environment.

Prior to the main event, networking was in full swing, with introductions and connections quickly made. We were very fortunate to have Louise Weine, NAWO National Director, join us in this Career Development event.

Kamini Wijekulasuriya of NAWO’s NSW State Committee welcoming guests to the event

Introducing NAWO to the participants and many first-timers, Kamini Wijekulasuriya, NSW NAWO Committee member shared the NAWO vision, programs and upcoming events and her passion to support women in operations.


Taking the time to firstly introduce the concepts of emerging technologies and digitalisation in the context of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, Tania Montesin from Asahi, set the scene for the event introducing the concept of people and technology as we enter the digital age. Presenting the opportunity to position ourselves, our organisations and even our families and friends within the context of “strategically integrating people capabilities with emerging technologies”. And what that means for students, early career, mid-career and those choosing to stay in the workforce longer with the opportunities this presents to women in operations. Tania provided examples from Asahi’s journey facilitating learning opportunities for interns, digital apprentices and skills transitioning.

Nicole Reynold from PATH4 Graduates introduced the audience to Project ‘i’, an exciting collaboration between NAWO and PATH4 to offer project-based, paid internships for female university students, particularly targeting STEM students. Sharing the brilliant success stories from a number of NAWO Corporate Members successfully placing undergrads from a variety of degrees into a number of locations across Sydney, Melbourne and Albury, Nicole highlighted how female interns gaining valuable experience and early exposure into industry facilitates future job placements, especially within operations.

Joining us for the event from Victoria were Fiona Knowles (Swinburne University) and Bec Grice (Siemens), both clearly demonstrating how education and industry have come together and rapidly developed a leading edge advanced apprenticeship program. A first of its kind, it quickly adapted to student feedback during its pilot stages to support learning outcomes and skill development of existing apprenticeship content and integrating digital skills for roles in our future workforce. With a clear outline of the Associate Degree of  Applied Technologies and Diploma of Applied Technologies, Bec Grice used vibrant examples of current apprentices’ varied backgrounds and work placement experiences and their recent Study Tour to Hannover Messe in Germany.

With our industry panellists, Leah Simmons (TAFE NSW), Mark Goodsell (Ai G) and Bec Grice (Siemens) we explored a number of questions about what’s happening now in Australian industry, how is education responding and partnering with industry and what programs are underway. Stimulating ideas amongst the attendees on how this could apply to their own careers and within their own organisations and importantly creating new network and industry connections. There were certainly more questions from the audience than we had time for!

Missed this event? Don’t miss our forthcoming NSW events:

21 June: ‘DIY Leadership Advice – be real!

Riverina Regional NSW event on 15 June: ‘Shaking off the stereotypes to negotiate the magical ‘yes’ word


Left -to right: Nicky Wye – Inghams, Louise Weine – NAWO, Bec – Siemens, Fiona – Swinburne

PATH4 Graduates team: (left-right) Alison, Emily and Nicole

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