WiDS Logo

Calling all Data Scientists!

As part of the 2018 Stanford WIDS conference, UTS is proud to host an event celebrating the women of data science in Sydney. We invite all women (and the men who want to support them) to join us for a full day of conversation, connection, networking, training and awareness raising. Speakers include Industry leaders, shapeshifters and datapreneurs.

Date in Sydney: Thursday 8th March 2018

This event has two parts: Our Day Session and Masterclasses run from 9-5pm. The evening program commences at 5:30pm with Networking Drinks followed by a keynote and a Great Debate in the style of the Melbourne Comedy Festival‘s Great Debate series (concluding at 8pm).
For details on each please follow the registration links below:

Registrants who wish to attend both sessions must register for both events.

Register for the Day Session

Register for the Evening Program

View the program

Highlights from Stanford 2017

About Women in Data Science (WiDS)

WiDS is a regional event that is part of the 2018 Global Women in Data Science (WiDS) Conference hosted by Stanford University. WiDS@UTS will take place on International Women's Day, Thursday 8th March 2018 and will feature delayed livestream of select sessions at WiDS Stanford along with presentations and discussions involving local data science women.

The conference is open to the wider Data Science community in Sydney/NSW as part of the WiDS campaign. The event is especially suitable if you are interested in making a move to Data Science or looking to add it to your list of professional skills. This invitation is open to all women and the men who are interested in supporting them in their data science careers.

We invite the NSW data science community to celebrate the achievements of women in STEM/Data Science and to engage in discussion about ways that inclusive and gender-minded approaches to data science lead to better ethical, socially just data practices.


1. Day session: UTS Building 8, 14-28 Ultimo Rd , Ultimo, NSW

2. Evening program: ABC Studios, 700 Harris St, Ultimo, NSW


You can download a PDF of the program here.
You can also download our speakers' bios here.

Time Activity Description
8:30am Registration
9:00am Welcome to UTS
Event welcome by:
Professor Attila Brungs Vice-Chancellor of the University of Technology SydneyProfessor Shirley Alexander Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education and Students) of the University of Technology SydneyAnne Dwyer Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President (Corporate Services) of the University of Technology SydneyProfessor Louise McWhinnie Dean, Faculty of Transdisciplinary Innovation of the University of Technology Sydney
9:15am Opening Address
Opening Address by:
Dr Amy Shi-Nash General Manager, Data Science Group, CBA
9:45am Showcase of Data Science Women @UTS
Master of Data Science & Innovation (MDSI):
Bing Ong Kelly Tall Passiona Cottee Sarah Fawcett
10:25am Morning Tea Building 8, Level 3
10:45am Data Industry panel on gender, equity & diversity
The Panel:
Annette Slunjski IAPA Dr Chelsea Wise Hyperanna Brendina Burger Director, EYC3 Vaishali Vijay Capgemini (WiDS Sydney Ambassador) Duhita Khadepau Deputy / Madlytics / MDSI Wendy Wong Allianz Australia / MDSI

Moderated by:
Lorraine Longato Director, Digital Tranformational Organisation (DTO) Procurement, SAP Australia Pty Ltd,
12:00pm Lunch
12:45pm Highlights from WiDS @ Standford Video highlights from 2018 WiDS Conference in Stanford
1:00pm Data Science Futures Panel
The Panel:
Kate Carruthers UNSW Chief Data Officer Ethel Karskens Data Analyst in Cyber&Forensics at PwC Australia, Founder of Sydney Data4Democracy Aurelie Jacquet Founder of Ethics for AI and Automated Decision Making Joanne Cooper Founder – Managing Director, ID Exchange Angela Chin Data Scientist, EY Sydney Nicole Dyson Director, Future Learning at Education Changemakers

Moderated by:
Theresa Anderson Course Director (MDSI) & Human Data Research Network (WiDS Sydney Ambassador)
2:30pm Afternoon Tea Building 8, Level 2
3:05pm Masterclass: Session 1 Masterclasses run in 45 minute interval: Session 1 options: CB08.04.009: UTS Careers: Positioning yourself in data science This option will run again in Session 2 CB08.02.003: Dealing with Unconscious Bias in the workplace This masterclass sheds light on unconscious bias in everyday work practices and provides strategies for subtle disruption of these practices regardless of one’s position in the organisation. CB08.04.010: Deep learning workshop CB08.04.011: Demystifying blockchain Click here to download the full Masterclass guide
3:50pm Break
4:00pm Masterclass: Session 2 Masterclasses run in 45 minute interval: Session 2 options: CB08.04.009: UTS Careers: Positioning yourself in data science Repeat of the Masterclass from Session 1 CB08.02.003: Building an inclusive data science practice CB08.04.010: Use cases in big data CB08.04.011: SQL Click here to download the full Masterclass guide
5:00pm End of the Daytime Sessions
Evening sessions Held at ABC Studios
5:30pm Networking Drinks
6:30pm Opening address
Opening Address by:
Anita Sood Software vendor & next generation partnership lead, Microsoft
7:00pm The Great Debate #2 It’s time to turn the machines over to women” An all-female debate in the style of the Melbourne Comedy Festival’s Great Debate series Speaking FOR the motion: Karen Willetts Principal Manager Transport Analytics at Transport for NSW Corinna Mittmann MDSI Shamma Raghib Data SaaS Tech & Future FinTech Speaking AGAINST the motion: Passiona Cottee NSW Data Analytic Centre/MDSI Dorotea Baljevic Reserve Bank of Australia / MDSI Tracy Keys MDSI & Foxtel
8:00pm Event Concludes



You can download a copy of our speakers' bios here.

  • Dr Amy Shi-Nash

    Dr Amy Shi-Nash

    Amy is an executive leader with a proven track record of creating value and competitive advantage through data-driven culture and innovation. As General Manager, Group Data Science at the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Amy is responsible for driving the strategic direction of the data science capability, enabling business transformation and differentiated customer experiences. Prior to CBA, Amy was the founding member and Chief Data Science Officer of DataSpark, Singtel’s data analytics spin-off, where she was responsible for driving data-led innovation and creating new revenue streams by combining telco data with advanced analytics and big data technology. Amy is a Science Board Member of i-Com, an Industry Track Program Committee Member of ACM KDD (since 2013) and is the Chair of the Industry Advisory Board at Swinburne University of Technology’s Data Science Research Institute. She is a frequent public speaker, a co-inventor and co-author of multiple patents and publications.

  • Anita Sood

    Anita Sood

    Anita Sood is the ISV and Next Generations Partnerships Lead at Microsoft. Anita is an accomplished business leader with many years of international experience in driving customer/partner transformation, leading high performing teams & shaping markets. Anita’s partner/customer -first mindset is centered on partnership, focusing on transformation & growth. Anita has a track record of helping partners & customers through disruptive changes by leveraging leading technologies to support their digital transformation. She achieves this by bringing together her strategic, entrepreneurial mindset paired with her rich business knowledge & ability to connect people/technology from across the Microsoft network to deliver innovative solutions. Anita is often approached as a spokesperson & panellist both externally & internally due to her highly strategic business acumen & grounded personality; particularly to share her customer/partner transformation experience & deep market insights.

  • Associate Professor Theresa Dirndorfer Anderson

    Associate Professor Theresa Dirndorfer Anderson

    Associate Professor Theresa Dirndorfer Anderson is Course Director of the Master of Data Science and Innovation in the UTS Faculty of Transdiscplinary Innovation. In her teaching and her research, Theresa engages with the ever-evolving relationship between people and emerging technologies, conceptually engaging with notions of risk, uncertainty and creativity. As a socio-technical researcher, she applies a transdisciplinary approach and value-sensitive participatory methods to explore human entanglements with emerging technologies and information practices. As an information ethicist, she is particularly interested in the interaction between creative and analytic thinking and doing and in examining ways information systems and institutional policies might better support both creative and analytic activities. At UTS she has built a data ethics network. Internationally, she is leading discussion about these issues as chair of the Information Seeking in Context international research community and founder of the Human-Centred Data Science Network. Prior to joining UTS, she served as a diplomat, technical writer and environmental education officer.

  • Sarah Fawcett

    Sarah Fawcett

    Sarah Fawcett is a Data Scientist for the Australian Broadcasting Commission. It was while exploring a data journalism story about energy consumption of Australian homes that Sarah realised what she wanted to spend the rest of her career at – exploring datasets and disseminating the story the numbers tell. Having had quite a few areas of focus in her digital career - from design and programming to database design and build, business communication to knowledge management and user research – she has had a pretty good spectrum of digital experience. Working at the ABC for ten years now, Sarah have been delighted to get a real sense of the cadence of content consumption by the Australian audience. Having worked in the UK and the US as well, the patterns of Australians are fascinating to her as a data scientist. Most recently focussing on text and image analysis, ML, NLP, time series and cluster analysis, Sarah continues to love the understandings that can come through data science practice.

  • Kelly Tall

    Kelly Tall

    Kelly manages a team of data visualisation and UX designers at CBA, and works in collaboration with product owners, and analytic and data science teams across the group to deliver user-centric visualisation tools that look to answer strategic business questions. She has a Master of Data Science and Innovation from UTS, and a Bachelor of Art History and Theory from COFA, UNSW.

  • Bing Ong

    Bing Ong

    Bing is currently a data scientist at Daisee, a local start-up that specialises in Artificial Intelligence. Daisee is a proud sponsor of this event. Bing has over seventeen years of experience in IT and found her passion in data science after recently completing studies in the Masters of Data Science and Innovation with UTS. In her new role at daisee, she is continuing her knowledge-seeking journey by working with world-class consultants and talented data scientists to provide value to clients. Bing is also keen to create an MDSI Alumni society that works on data projects that support community needs. Prior to her UTS studies, Bing was with Oracle for ten years and is an Oracle Certified Professional (OCP) of multiple versions. She has several years of presales and system integration experience. Most recently, she ran Oracle’s inhouse certification programs and go-to-market product training.

  • Annette Slunjski

    Annette Slunjski

    Annette Slunjski has been involved in data and technology for over twenty years. Working across change management, communications, marketing and business development in B2B organisations has allowed Annette to combine passions in data / technology and communication. Working with the IAPA Board, Annette grew the IAPA community to more than 7,500 people Australia-wide. As General Manager of IAPA, Annette is the driving force behind promoting the strategic role of data and analytics in business and helping the industry meet the challenges of a fast-paced data environment, including addressing the analytics skills shortage and fostering data informed decision-making. Key to this role is the recent introduction of IAPA-certification for analytics to help those who work in data and analytics gain independent recognition of their skills. New corporate membership options allow analytics-savvy organisations to demonstrate their commitment to enhancing analytics capability, advancing the careers of team members and promoting data-driven decision-making. Annette holds a Bachelors and Masters in Marketing.

  • Dr Chelsea Wise

    Dr Chelsea Wise

    Dr Chelsea Wise is Head of Forward Deployed Data Science at Hyper Anna, one of the fastest growing startups in the AI and data science space. With over 14 years of experience helping blue chip clients use data and analytics, a PhD in Marketing and an award-winning lecturer and author, Chelsea played a significant role leading the delivery of Quantium CheckOut®, a SaaS product developed to provide a rich understanding of shopper behaviour for Australia's largest supermarket Woolworths. Passionate about working across technical and non-technical teams and coaching data scientists wanting a commercial edge, Chelsea has worked across Consulting, Financial Services, Retail, FMCG, Media and Research industries.

  • Brendina Burger

    Brendina Burger

    Brendina Burger is a Director in EY’s Data and Analytics service line (EYC3) in Asia Pacific. She has more than 30 years of work experience and has held senior management / consulting roles in ICT for the last 17 years. Her passion for consulting is backed by extensive operational management experience managing business critical systems for user community of more than 4,000 users across multiple technologies. Her eclectic consulting experience was gained across a wide range of industries with key strengths in Information Management, Business Intelligence, Advanced Analytics, Strategy development and implementing Governance and Operating models. Brendina heads up the Strategy and Governance competency within EYC3 and she also leads the charge for gender diversity in EYC3. Recently Brendina became a member of the EY gender working group in the Oceania region. Her passion for developing people and in particular to advance and develop women has manifested in her being a mentor and coach for many females in technology.

  • Vaishali Vijay

    Vaishali Vijay

    Vaishali is passionate about diversity & analytics and proud to be Stanford Australia & New Zealand Women in Data Science Ambassador. As Director- Digital Services, Australia and New Zealand at Capgemini, she leads ANZ data analytics & visualization and enjoys working with her fantastic team in an exciting high growth area blending their strong data skills with a broader focus on high impact user interface and visual analytics. Capgemini Digital Global Practice brings together leading data technology, AI, IoT, Data Science experts with business and industry sector expertise to help organizations gain better value from their data. In the past, sheworked at RXP as its APAC Data Analytics Head and had the pleasure of establishing Tableau practice at RXP and led a team of dynamic consultants to help companies see insights from their data. Vaishali is an Electronics engineer and hold a Master's degree in International Business from University of Sydney.

  • Inna Kolyshkina

    Inna Kolyshkina

    Inna Kolyshkina is Director of Data Science in Analytikk Consulting Services, a Data Science and Data Analytics consultancy. Inna has 20+ years of commercial consulting experience across a range of industries with a focus on Utilities, Insurance and Banking. Her core expertise is the use of organisational data including unstructured data (e.g. free text, images etc.) to develop evidence-based actionable insights into the business outcome of interest. She is the Founding Chair of Institute of Analytics Professionals of Australia (IAPA), currently - Head, SA IAPA branch. Inna is a sought-for guest lecturer in universities (e.g. UNSW, UTS, USyd, UniSA, CMU) and regularly contributes to national and international conferences on Data Science and its applications to real world problems.

  • Wendy Wong

    Wendy Wong

    Wendy Wong has been in the financial services industry for 12 years, worked in financial planning, compliance and investment management. She is currently a Reporting Analyst at Allianz Australia, Data Analyst intern on a data mining project at the Australian Taxation Office. She wants to use AI, machine learning and data mining to solve problems for social good and health.

  • Duhita Khadepau

    Duhita Khadepau

    Duhita is Data Scientist at Deputy and Director at Madlytics. She is currently a student in the Master of Data Science and Innovation degree at UTS. She currently holds a Bachelor's degree in Information Technology with a major in Advanced Database Management Systems and Data Warehousing. One of her key areas of interest is deep learning (neural networks and AI). Upon completing MDSI, she intend to continue her quest for knowledge and discovery with a PhD in Deep Learning.

  • Lorraine Longato

    Lorraine Longato

    Lorraine has over 20 years industry experience across a range of sectors covering FMCG, Manufacturing, Supply Chain, Management Consultancy, Heavy Freight & Logistics, ITC Management Platforms, Energy and Sustainability. She is also a board member of SAP’s Global Business Women's Network and an Ambassador to the Women in Data Science program which we are all a part off today. Lorraine has strong industry networks, having held roles representing industry on the Queensland Chamber of Commerce and two Parmalat JV (Joint Venture) boards. She is an active contributor to procurement associations, including the Faculty Round Table, CIPSA and Procurious (Foundation Member). Lorraine is also involved in technology platform start ups that challenge the status quo.

  • Kate Carruthers

    Kate Carruthers

    Kate Carruthers is Chief Data & Analytics Officer for UNSW Sydney, and is also an Adjunct Senior Lecturer in the School of Computer Science & Engineering at UNSW Sydney. She is a Certified Information Security Manager and is currently undertaking postgraduate studies in cybersecurity. She has extensive experience in senior roles in ICT, marketing and digital; and is a member of the NSW Government's Data Analytics Centre Advisory Board. Kate is co-founder of several startups, including IoTM.com.au, and currently advises a number of startups.

  • Ethel Karskens

    Ethel Karskens

    Ethel Karskens is a social entrepreneur and a data scientist, she is passionate about applying innovative solutions to improve lives. After her Master in Applied Economics, she founded a not-for-profit for gender equality, published a book named "American Macadam" that depicts a bus journey from San Francisco to New York and worked in an incubator created by Microsoft where she focused on the role of women in tech and the sharing economy. Currently consultant at PwC in Forensics and Cyber and co-leader of Sydney Data For Democracy, she spends her days playing around with data and delivering values for the social good.

  • Aurelie Jacquet

    Aurelie Jacquet

    Aurelie Jacquet is an active member of Sydney's Fintech eco-system with a passion for Blockchain and AI. She is the founder of a professional working group focusing on ‘Ethics for AI and Automated Decision Making (ADM)’. One of the key initiatives Aurelie is leading with her group, is to work with Standards Australia to provide an ethical framework for AI as a new industry standard in Australia. Aurelie has also lectured in law at the University of New South Wales, and before that she was a litigator at Allens and Minters. She obtained her postgraduate and undergraduate degrees from both France and Australia.

  • Joanne Cooper

    Joanne Cooper

    ID Exchange’s Founder, Joanne Cooper is the entrepreneurial daughter of Australian IT pioneer Tom Cooper a prominent figure during the 1980’s PC era. Currently she is forging Privacy Enhancing Technologies for individuals by developing advanced digital consent controls to regain Personally Identifiable Information (PII) usage trust. Joanne’s experience includes Head of European Distribution for Taiwanese PC manufacturer IMC and APAC Development for leading Boston consulting firm The Yankee Group. In 2002, she joined Optus Australia as a Cloud Specialist then in 2007 moved into Financial Services with Allianz Australia. Joanne has received innovation accolades for crafting leading edge commercial solutions. During 2017 as a delegate on the Australian British Chamber of Commerce’s London FinTech mission, Joanne secured an exclusive ANZ partnership with UK firm digi.me to expedite their leading Personal Data Trust platform for Australian and New Zealand Consumers, FSI’s and the wider FinTech ecosystem and facilitate early capitalisation within the lucrative consumer controlled data economy.

  • Angela Chin

    Angela Chin

    Angela Chin is a Senior Data Scientist in EY's Data and Analytics service line leading teams of data scientists to deliver machine learning and big data projects. She has a decade of experience, and a track record in both applying and teaching robotics, machine learning and big data techniques to a variety of industries including agriculture, telecommunications, health, recruitment, pharmaceutical, education, and digital marketing. Her passion lies in teaching and showing organisations the value and potential of data, advocating the use of data science for social good, and actively nurturing and mentoring women in STEM to be the next generation of data scientists.

  • Nicole Dyson

    Nicole Dyson

    Nicole Dyson is the Director of Future Learning at Education Changemakers and brings a strong skillset in deeper and enquiry based learning to the organisation. As a former Head of Department and Head of Year at some of Queensland’s top performing public schools, Nicole has repeatedly led the design and implementation of whole school curriculum change to support future ready learning. She is a globally recognised expert and practitioner in project based learning and student entrepreneurship and is the co-founder of Verge Young Entrepreneurs, an award winning, curriculum aligned education program for high school students. She is also the co-founder of Future Anything, an online tutoring and learning platform, and a contributor to the Foundation for Young Australian’s YLab program. Nicole has traveled and worked across the globe in a range of industries, most interestingly as an elite swimming coach, and works across EC programs internationally.

  • Karen Willetts

    Karen Willetts

    A kiwi girl from a small rural town, Karen broke against the mould in high school by undertaking a new course (seen as a fad)... computer studies. While it wasn’t encouraged by her (mainly male) teachers, ultimately this was what led her to stand out from the crowd and landed her first job. Jumping forward a few years... in her current role as A/Director Transport Performance and Analytics Centre of Excellence, Karen’s role is to lead a team driving the intelligent use of data providing an evidence base and insights for decision making within Transport. Karen’s time in the public sector has been relatively short and she brings vast experience in project and change management in both the financial and not-for-profit sectors. Karen is raising twin girls who are fast developing a love of international travel and adventure and, outside of paid work, Karen can be found enjoying many community projects as a volunteer.

  • Corinna Maher Mittmann

    Corinna Maher Mittmann

    Corinna Maher Mittmann is an enthusiastic and self-motivated professional, with experience in multiple settings including government organisations, retail and small business as a pharmacist and data scientist. A technologist with strengths in R, computational data science and statistics that is seeking to become involved in data science through the MDSI master’s degree at UTS. Has a passion for getting involved in matters of patient autonomy, privacy, healthy lifestyle and sustainable living. Is interested in opportunities to practice extraction, manipulation, and analysis of all types of data.

  • Shamma Raghib

    Shamma Raghib

    "They call her a multi-potentialite, doing cool things that matter." Advocating more women in tech : fin-tech and data-tech. An enterprise FinTech and DataTech consultant with 8+ years of global software industry experience helping companies innovate and expand their businesses with value-driven software sales. She is specialised in Blockchain, Future commerce technologies, Business Process Management, Data Governance, Enterprise Technical Sales and implementation and startup consulting.

  • Passiona Cottee

    Passiona Cottee

    Passiona currently works at the NSW Data Analytics Centre (DAC), the NSW Government's data science hub. Having spent the past decade in the management of metadata, she has extensive experience in data architectures, platforms and applications across both public and private sectors. For over eight years Passiona worked on data-driven features and products at Australia’s subscription television broadcaster, Foxtel. Passiona delivered the company’s first recommendation engine in 2009 as well as automating a workflow to transcode broadcast videos for delivery over IP. During this time, Passiona also completed her practical legal training with Foxtel’s in-house legal counsel. Seeing first-hand the growing role of data within organisations and society, Passiona commenced a Master of Data Science and Innovation for the course’s inaugural intake at the University of Technology, Sydney in 2015 and is due to graduate this year. Admitted to the Supreme Court of NSW as a solicitor in 2012, Passiona holds a current practicing certificate with the Law Society of New South Wales. Her Bachelor of Laws and Graduate Certificate of Legal Practice were both attained from University of Technology, Sydney. Passiona’s unique mix of formal education in both the humanities and data science delivers value to the DAC’s projects within the domain of human services. To Passiona, these two diverse professions, data science and law, work hand-in-hand to allow for the ethical use of data science for the people of NSW.

  • Dorotea Baljevic

    Dorotea Baljevic

    Dorotea Baljevic has been in the IT industry for 10 years, working in systems that support retail banking and financial services. She began her career as a system engineer and administrator and is currently manager of the Data Systems team at the Reserve Bank of Australia. The team provides expertise to service the needs around data discovery and analysis, data modelling, and building the necessary domain(s) to migrate onto a centralised Business Intelligence Platform. Dorotea is completing her third degree (she loves to study!) - Master of Data Science and Innovation at UTS. She spent the last year in Berlin, on exchange at Humboldt Universität studying computational neuroscience. She has a passion for robots, machines and Artificial Intelligence, and she embraces organic technologies in a humanistic approach – nature informing technical design and ultimately man working with machine. For now, she mentors many young human men and women in the IT industry!

  • Tracy Keys

    Tracy Keys

    Tracy Keys has been at the forefront of digital innovation in the telco, media, and entertainment industry, launching world class digital products and technology for Vodafone, Foxtel and News Corp. Tracy has always been a keen student: completing her Master of Business Administration in 2007, and learning Italian, sailing, ukulele and various forms of dancing. Tracy enrolled in the MDSI to test the strength of her character, find meaning in the world and build her own products. Tracy has just completed her third semester in the MDSI program, and has been a member of prize-winning hackathon teams, building data science solutions for genomic research, alumina production and e-prescriptions.

Team Members

  • Associate Professor Theresa Dirndorfer Anderson (WiDS Ambassador)

    Associate Professor Theresa Dirndorfer Anderson (WiDS Ambassador)

  • Alex Hang

    Alex Hang

  • Andrew Lai

    Andrew Lai

  • Bing Ong

    Bing Ong

  • Catherine Cheung

    Catherine Cheung

  • Esther Tan

    Esther Tan

  • Wendy Wong

    Wendy Wong

  • Zerene Catacutan

    Zerene Catacutan