Energy Skills Queensland CEO Penelope Twemlow has been named the 2016 Telstra Queensland For Purpose and Social Enterprise Woman of the Year at a ceremony in Brisbane.
Before taking the helm at Energy Skills Queensland, Penelope spent a decade in the Royal Australian Navy where she worked as a Warfare Officer and Service Police Investigator.
On completion of her time in the Forces, Penelope founded and ran her own corporate consultancy business, General Manager Pty Ltd, prior to being tapped on the shoulder in mid-2015 to steer Energy Skills Queensland into the next decade.
“It wasn’t until I walked into an organisation in need of energy that I understood my own strengths and my love for transforming an industry,” she said.
Penelope is also the founder and Chairwoman of Women in Power; a not-for-profit organisation whose mission is to promote and improve the electrical and electrotechnology industry by the advancement of women within it.
She is also a member of the National Association of Women in Construction and is the Chair of the Queensland Electrical Safety Education Committee, an initiative of the Electrical Safety Office through Workplace Health and Safety Queensland.
Aside from her professional exploits, Penelope is proud to be an advocate and ambassador for domestic violence and mental health, two areas that she has borne personally and that affect the industries Energy Skills Queensland represent.
As outlined in Penelope’s Telstra Business Women’s Award speech: “Domestic violence is one of the most pervasive violations of human rights in the world, one of the least prosecuted crimes, and one of the greatest threats to lasting peace and development”.
Through Penelope’s fundraising and advocacy work, she continues to fight for human rights, democracy and common values of humanity.
During her acceptance speech, Penelope also outlined that at least 1 in 4 people will experience a mental health problem at some point in their lives and that, for her family, that one was herself.
Penelope continues to be an advocate for mental health, fighting to bring mental health out of the shadows and to assist people to talk about mental health.
Penelope continues to receive accolades for her work, both professionally and personally, by being named a finalist in the 2016 Brisbane Women in Business Awards, the National Association of Women in Construction Awards, the Australian Institute of Management Leadership Awards and the Lord Mayors Business Awards.
Now in their 22nd year, the Telstra Business Women’s Awards are Australia’s longest running women’s awards program. They are designed to recognise and reward the “courage, leadership and creativity of brilliant business women”.
Penelope, along with the other state and territory category winners, will be flown to Melbourne for the National Awards on November 16.