UNSW student awarded NSW Aboriginal Woman of the Year

AGSM MBA student Kristal Kinsela has been named Aboriginal Woman of the Year in the 2017 NSW Women of the Year awards.


AGSM MBA student Kristal Kinsela says she was surprised at the announcement that she had won the Aboriginal Woman of the Year in the 2017 NSW Women of the Year awards.

“For me being a finalist was enough. The other finalists were great in their categories and I didn’t expect it at all. I was shocked, surprised and overwhelmed by it all,” Kinsela said.

Kinsela, a descendant of both the Jawoyn and Wiradjuri nations, describes herself as an ‘enabler’ and works as an advocate and mentor for Indigenous women. Her career spans education and training, organisational and workforce development, and supplier diversity working across government, corporate and not-for-profit sectors.

AGSM Director and Deputy Dean of UNSW Business School Professor Julie Cogin said: “We’re delighted with Kristal for having won this great accolade. Kristal is a proud Aboriginal woman, who is studying our online MBA (MBAX) here at AGSM – a course that Kristal herself had a hand in designing with us.

“The Financial Times (UK) Online MBA Rankings last week recognised AGSM’s MBAX program as the 4th best in the world, and we are thrilled that the program has been able to assist Kristal in bringing new innovations to her business and community.”

Kinsela said: "My role is to work with government and Indigenous companies on their capability and capacity to win government contracts. I feel the MBAX is beneficial for Indigenous people to run their businesses, as well as investing in themselves.”

Inspired by success stories from the supplier diversity movement in Australia, Kinsela established her own consultancy to help corporate and government clients increase their productivity, performance and Indigenous engagement through coaching, training and facilitation. Mitchell Ross, who is CEO of Muru Group and works alongside Kinsela, is another young Indigenous entrepreneur studying the online MBAX.

Both Kinsela and Ross are recipients of AGSM’s Indigenous MBAX Scholarships, awarded to Indigenous MBA candidates who demonstrate proactive engagement with Indigenous business and community and work towards strengthening the sector.

“Scholarships such as these have much potential to be transformational, not only for the students themselves but on the impact across communities,” said Professor Cogin.

Now in their sixth year, the NSW Women of the Year Awards recognise and celebrate the outstanding contribution made by women across NSW to industry, community and society. The awards are part of Women in NSW, aimed at improving the lives of women in NSW. The Women in NSW reports examine gender equity against indicators in five key areas comprising health and wellbeing, education and learning, work and financial security, leadership, and safety and justice.

Read more on the UNSW Business School website.