2021 AILA Ron Shorter Award National Winner - GEMMA MACKINNON
The finals of the 2021 Ron Shorter Award were held on 3 August. This unique and first of its kind training opportunity and competition for professionalism in public speaking was held exclusively online in conjunction with our Award partners at AIM and sponsors Sedgwick, Colin Biggers & Paisley and Dever’s List.
The Award was updated in 2021 to meet the increasing demand for online presentation skills, where contemporary presenters are expected to hold an audience, have gravitas and be able to influence stakeholders whilst sitting in front of a webcam.
The award is named in honour of Ron Shorter who was a Practice Manager at Colin Biggers & Paisley Lawyers in Sydney up until his untimely passing in 2012. He was a long‐time contributor and supporter of AILA. Ron inspired and mentored many young professionals. He recognised that confident public speaking is a vital skill for all insurance professionals wanting to advance their careers. The competition seeks to equip young insurance industry professionals with these skills.
Following the application, training and selection process, finalists Gemma Mackinnon (Marsh) presented “The Matrix – Insurance Reloaded (you’re on mute!)”, Kate Martin (Marsh) presented “Alternative Risk Transfer” and Jarrad Smith (Wallis Drilling) presented “The influence of Opioid medication within the Worker's Compensation system” to the national virtual audience and judges.
The judging panel, consisting of The Hon. Justice Kathryn Stynes (Supreme Court of Victoria), Susan Donaldson (Head of Claims, Berkshire Hathaway) and Crystal Wong (Group Insurance Manager, Newcrest Mining) were overwhelmingly impressed with all three presenters – noting the challenges of public speaking and the added pressures of online delivery.
Following the judging panel deliberations in conjunction with the results of the live audience vote, the winner of the award was announced as Gemma Mackinnon.
Gemma takes home the 2021 crystal award trophy and $1000.
Kate Martin was awarded second place and will receive $500, and Jarrad Smith was placed third taking home $250.
We extend our congratulations to all three finalists, and everyone involved in the 2021 Awards.