Cedar named 40under40 First Amongst Equals
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Gumala Aboriginal Corporation executive officer Jahna Cedar has been named the 2017 Business News 40under40 First Amongst Equals, taking the top honour ahead of an impressive field of Western Australia’s young business and community leaders.
More than 600 people attended the gala event at Crown Towers last night to celebrate the 16th year of the 40under40 Awards.
Ms Cedar is an indigenous community leader and Nyiyaparli traditional owner from Port Hedland, and has played a key role in repositioning the Gumala Aboriginal Corporation through a period of dramatic change.
Passionate about empowering and building the capacity of her people, Ms Cedar has won numerous awards for her community activism, and was one of three Australian women selected to attend the 61st session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women, which takes place in New York next Monday.
Last night, Ms Cedar was also named the winner of the CCI Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander category.
Other category winners included Floveyor chief executive Rhys Walker for family business, Jarman McKenna partner Andrew Lu for professional services, and Austral Fisheries general manager Dylan Skinns for the medium business category.
In addition to Ms Cedar, there were three other finalists for the First Amongst Equals, who also took out top prizes in several category awards:
Former Young Australian of the Year Akram Azimi also won the St Vincent De Paul community service award; SPARK Co-lab director Peter Santa Maria was the small business/startup category winner; and Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research scientist Kevin Pfleger was named winner of the intrapreneur category.
Dr Pfleger also received the City of Perth Strategic Alliance Award.
Ms Cedar’s journey
Ms Cedar currently heads the Gumala Aboriginal Corporation, which in the past three years has experienced a nearly 80 per cent fall in income, from $18.9 million in 2014-15 to just $4.8 million last financial year, due to lower iron ore prices and reduced ground disturbance.
It also went from a staff of 100 to just 10 currently.
Ms Cedar has had to manage this change, build a new culture and found the benefits and opportunities in a trying situation.
Armed with a diverse professional background in project management, HR, and having run her own business, Ms Cedar has been able to rise to the challenge.
Ms Cedar spoke to Business News reporter Mark Beyer about a career she has built by blending business acumen with her indigenous heritage as part of our 40under40 feature.
You can read more about her story and the remaining First Amongst Equals finalists online this afternoon and in our next print edition on Monday.
Congratulations to the 40under40 class of 2017
Akram Azimi: The University of Western Australia
James Graham: Borrello Graham Lawyers
Callum Ormonde: The University of Western Australia
Matthew Sear: Best IT & Business Solutions
Adam Voges: WACA
Amy Ward: Anthologie