Australia’s Good Design Awards today unveiled the five finalists for the inaugural Women in Design Award, with the winner to be announced on 11 July 2019 at the 61st annual Good Design Awards ceremony. The award attracted more than 60 nominations, with the five finalists chosen by a selection committee of Australian and international leaders in the design and creative industries.


In order from left to right, the Selection Committee Members are:

  • Liza Chong, CEO INDEX:Design to Improve Life (Denmark)
  • Prof. Margaret Petty, Executive Director of Innovation and Entrepreneurship UTS (NSW, Aus)
  • Sarah Weir, CEO Design Council (UK)
  • Councillor Jess Scully, City of Sydney (NSW, Aus)
  • Natalie Maher, Founder Kerning the Gap (UK)
  • Claire Beale, Executive Director of Design Tasmania (TAS, Aus)
  • Eunjoo Maing, Director of Design Education & Training, Korea Institute of Design Promotion (KIDP) (Korea)
  • Trish Hansen, Founding Principal Urban Mind (SA, Aus)
  • Michelle Berryman FIDSA, Senior Director, Innovation & Strategy, Capgemini Invent (USA)
  • Cheryl Fraser, General Manager at Sprocket (VIC, Aus)


From left to right, the five finalists are:

  • Sharon Gauci, Executive Director at General Motors and the first Australian woman to hold this position;
  • Liane Rossler, founder of Superlocalstudio and co-founder of Dinosaur Designs;
  • Judith Glover, RMIT lecturer in Industrial Design and founder of cult sex toy brand Goldfrau;
  • Vanessa Bird, architect and co-founder of the multi-awarding winning architectural practice Bird de la Coeur Architects;
  • Ros Moriarty, Designer and Managing Director of Balarinji Studio, Australia’s leading indigenous art and design group.

Dr. Brandon Gien, CEO, Good Design Australia says, “Our inaugural Women in Design Award was established this year to recognise and celebrate women who have made significant contributions to the industry and specifically in response to the significant gender imbalance within leadership roles in the design and creative industries.”

Commenting on the finalists, Rachel Wye, General Manager of Good Design Australia says, “We had an incredible response to the award and we hope it will encourage a more diverse and equal representation within the industry and leadership roles in particular within the design and creative industries. Each finalist is an exceptional leader in their respective fields of design and has made significant contributions to the design industry.”

A Short Introduction to the 2019 Good Design Awards Inaugural Women in Design Award Finalists:

Sharon Gauci

Appointed Executive Director of Industrial Design in January 2018 at General Motors, one of the biggest automotive manufacturers in the world, Sharon Gauci is pioneering a way for other women to take up leadership roles in a typically male dominated industry. She has spent her career working to influence and encourage young females to enter the automotive design industry and is currently responsible for leading a creative team of over 180 people in many of GM’s studios across the globe including North America, Australia, Korea, Brazil and China.

Liane Rossler

An artist, designer, curator and creative advisor who has worked in creative industries for over thirty years, Liane Rossler has spent the last decade focused on projects that intersect art, design and the environment. Alongside her solo creative practice, she is founder of Superlocalstudio which inspires collaborative, socially engaged cultural and creative projects for diverse audiences. Other recent work includes Here and Now, Supercyclers and Happy Talk; projects focused on clever and beautiful sustainable design practice. Liane was co-founder, former designer and director of Dinosaur Designs for 25 years.

Judith Glover

Judith Glover is a lecturer in Industrial Design at RMIT and leads its Design and Sexual Health Innovation (DaSHI) program, which is at the forefront of research and teaching projects in the new field of Sexual Health, Wellbeing and Design. In design for sexuality, Judith is a world leader, founding Goldfrau, a design consultancy that develops products within the area of female sexual health. Her PhD on Industrial Design and the sex toy industry was the first design PhD to place Industrial Design within the field of Sexual Health and advocate for the safe and reliable production of sex toys facilitating healthy sexual practice for women and men.

Vanessa Bird

A keen advocate for the betterment of the built environment, Vanessa Bird is an architect and co-founder of the multi-awarding winning architectural practice Bird de la Coeur Architects. She has a strong interest in experimental housing models with Bird de la Coeur Architects specialising in housing, including multi-residential, Aged Care and social housing for government and community housing providers, where innovative solutions are much needed. A successful practice owner, Vanessa combines the responsibilities of running a prominent architecture firm with an impressive number of additional responsibilities including her appointment as only the third woman Victorian Chapter president in more than 150 years of the Australian Institute of Architects, paving the way for other women by example.

Ros Moriarty

As Creative and Managing Director of Balarinji for over 35 years, business owner, social investor and author Ros Moriarty has worked to create opportunities for partners and clients to give voice to Australia’s rich indigenous narrative and deepen understanding of Aboriginal Australia for public art and curatorial, urban regeneration and infrastructure, branding and digital. From illuminating the work of a globally significant Aboriginal artist on the latest Qantas 787 Dreamliner to designing Aboriginal-themed uniforms for Australia’s Rio 2016 Paralympians and lighting up the sails of the Sydney Opera House, Ros has lead the way in indigenous engagement for major projects and given a voice to local Aboriginal community representatives through design.


The Women in Design Award was established in response to the significant gender imbalance within leadership roles in the design industry. This award seeks to recognise and celebrate women who have made significant contributions to the industry and hopes to encourage a more diverse and equal representation within leadership roles and in the design and creative industries in general.

Facts & Figures

  • 70% of graphic design students are women; yet only 11% of design industry practitioners are Creative Directors.
  • Girls consistently outperform boys in all spectrums of education, yet only 18% of the board of FTSE 250 businesses are women.
  • The Drum’s 2015 list of the top 100 ‘designerati’ features only 13 women.
  • David Cameron (previous PM of the UK) has insisted that businesses over 250 publish their pay scales yet 98% of design businesses employ less than 50 people.
  • In the UK Design Council’s 2018 Design Economy research, the report found the UK’s design workforce is 78% male, 22% female. When looking at specific sectors only 5% of design workers in product and industrial design are women, and only 17% of workers in architecture and built environment are female.


For further information, interviews and images please contact:

Rhiannon Broomfield at Articulate on 0410 596 021 and [email protected]

Julia Barnes at Articulate on 0402 678 589 and [email protected]

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