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Catherine Burn holding businesswomen's award

Top cop named Australian Business Woman of the Year

The country’s highest ranked police woman was named the 2011 Telstra Australian Business Woman of the Year at an awards ceremony in Melbourne on Friday night.

NSW Deputy Commissioner for Corporate Services Catherine Burn is the first NSW woman to win the award in its 17-year history.

According to Telstra Business Women’s Awards ambassador Kate McKenzie, Burn was awarded for her success in a very-male dominated environment.

“She has made a challenging leadership transition from police operations to a corporate role that shows policing is a seriously big business.”

Burn currently manages a $2.7 billion police budget and has responsibility over 16,000 police officers and 4,000 support staff as well as police assets.

In 2008, Burn launched a cultural change program in the force that led to a reduction in complaints against police, improved victim follow-up and increased confidence in police.

“She was described as a humble, sincere and ethical person who has led, not just managed, cultural change,” McKenzie said.

Burn describes herself as extremely resilient and fiercely determined to improve community safety and satisfaction in police.

Other national winners from Friday’s awards include Cathie Reid, Jodie Fox, Veena Sahajwalla, and Jo Heighway.

McKenzie said the awards are designed to connect extraordinary business women to each other and the community.

“The 2011 winners and finalists are amazing business women who inspire others and deserve recognition for their leadership and achievements.”

Award winners will receive a share of more than $200,000 in cash and prizes and also become part of an exclusive national business alumni.

Shauna O'Carroll

Shauna O'Carroll

Shauna is a second year Journalism and International Studies student at the University of Technology in Sydney. She has interned at various online and print publications and is now happily interning at Dynamic Business.

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