Harvey Norman Young Woman of the Year Award
The winner of this award category was selected by an online public vote.
Hannah Beder (Winner)
Hannah is a computer scientist who is passionate about addressing the historical gender disparity in STEM by mentoring young women to be successful in the tech industry.
Since 2015, Hannah has volunteered for Girls Programming Network, an all-female group who run free programming workshops for high school girls. She also works with Code Like A Girl as a volunteer and workshop facilitator, as well as delivering workshops for Coder Academy. Her proudest moments have been when her female students become tutors themselves.
As a successful Software Engineer, Hannah’s visibility in the technology and computing education industries helps to combat the notion that 'you can't be what you can't see'. By teaching the right tools in the right way, she is enabling others who have historically been underrepresented in the technology industry to exist safely, envision a bright future and succeed.
Julia Weber is a 23 year-old university student who is dedicated to improving the financial literacy of young people from all backgrounds. She is passionate about getting to the foundational issues that create monetary struggles, rather than superficial fixes.
While studying full time at university, Julia is a student ambassador for the University of Newcastle Finance Lab, teaching financial literacy to high school and university students. Similarly, she encourages young women to study the Graduate Diploma of Chartered Accounting as a student ambassador for Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand.
Her quest to improve the financial outcomes for all young Australians has led to her writing a financial literacy course that she has delivered in high schools right across her region. Julia has also focused her studies on financial literacy and is working on an app to enable young people to find funding for small business ideas.
In 2013, Mariam arrived in Sydney, with $300 in hand. She was 19 and traumatised by sexual violence. Nobody would employ her. She went days without food. At times, she was homeless.
Mariam went on to finish a Masters, was elected Women’s Officer, and later became President, of the Sydney University Postgraduate Association, leading the organisation to deliver a 600% increase in its community engagement.
In 2018, Mariam won the Australian Dell Policy Hack for a proposal tackling women entrepreneurs' access to capital. In 2019 she co-founded MoneyGirl, a social enterprise that empowers women to become financially independent.
In a few short months, Mariam has led her team, almost all of whom are migrant women under 25, to consult with over 150 women about their financial education needs and co-designed a solution. Their work is supported by Lendlease’s Bright program.
Mariam was included on the Australian Financial Review’s 2019 list of 100 Women of Influence. From a peanut butter sandwich a day to leading a social enterprise in 6 years – it is Mariam’s story of resilience and grit that can serve as an inspiration for all young women.