The Queensland Division has announced Elizabeth Nosworthy as the winner of its prestigious 2001 Gold Medal Award. In doing so, she follows in the footsteps of her father, the late Sir John Nosworthy, who was awarded the Gold Medal in 1987.
With directorships including chairman of Stanwell Corporation, director of Telstra Corporation, David Jones, GPT Management and RP Data and board member of Queensland Treasury Corporation, Elizabeth Nosworthy received the honour in recognition of her outstanding contribution as a company director. She became a full-time company director in 1995 after leaving a successful law career. Since that time she has been on the boards of Port of Brisbane Corporation, Australia Trade Coast, Brisbane Airport Corporation, National Competition Council, Federal Airports Corporation and Bond University. She attributes much of her success to her drive to do work that is interesting and challenging. "My advice to anyone in the workforce is that work should mean something – equally as important as monetary rewards are the rewards that come from learning and being challenged," she says.
According to Nosworthy the key challenge facing company directors today is how to add value. "Directors must have sufficient knowledge of the business to make informed decisions, but must also understand the broader context of issues in order to add strategic insight," she says. Elizabeth Nosworthy began her career as one of only three women in her class of 1969 to graduate with a Bachelor of Law from Queensland University. Within six years she was a partner in law firm Morris Fletcher and Cross. "The key principles I learnt as a solicitor have been a valuable foundation for my career as a director," she says. Above all, I believe it is important to be realistic about what you can contribute, never compromise your integrity, and always be open to learn from others." AICD Queensland Division president John Massey said Ms Nosworthy was a truly deserving winner of this year's award. "Elizabeth has clearly excelled as a company director and is well respected in both Queensland and nationally," he said. "She is experienced, knowledgeable and dedicated, and her integrity is infallible. She sets a fine example for all company directors, and deserves the peer recognition that this Award demonstrates."
The award was presented at a gala dinner sponsored by Allens Arthur Robinson, Ernst & Young and Suncorp Metway at Tattersall's Club on 11 October. Allens Arthur Robinson Queensland practice director, Ken MacDonald, said he was delighted at the choice. "Combine Elizabeth's intellectual depth with her enthusiasm and her work ethic; and you have the explanation for the impressive list of national and Queensland boards to which Elizabeth makes such a contribution," he said. Ernst & Young managing partner, Tim Eddy congratulated Nosworthy and said she set a shining example for company directors. "Elizabeth tackles challenges with enthusiasm and commitment. Her experience and background give her the ability to logically assess issues and make quick and fair decisions," he said. Suncorp Metway managing director Steve Jones said Nosworthy was a very worthy recipient of this prestigious award. "She has made a remarkable contribution to the corporate sector, particularly in Queensland, over many years," he said. "Her sharp intellect and broad experience make her an excellent company director."
As well as her commercial positions Elizabeth Nosworthy holds positions with the University of Queensland, Melbourne University and Australian National University. She is chairman of the Queensland Biotechnology Advisory Council and is also on the boards of the Foundation for Development Cooperation Ltd, City of Brisbane Arts and Environment Ltd, and Committee for Brisbane. In winning the award, she follows in the footsteps of 17 celebrated Queenslanders including Rod White, Jim Kennedy AO CBE, Frank Haly AO and her father, Sir John Nosworthy CBE.
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