SURPRISED: CQ Woman in Business of the Year award recipient Philippa Walters reacts to her win on stage alongside finalists Tina Zawila (Gladstone) and Bronwyn Reid (Emerald).
SURPRISED: CQ Woman in Business of the Year award recipient Philippa Walters reacts to her win on stage alongside finalists Tina Zawila (Gladstone) and Bronwyn Reid (Emerald). Matt Taylor GLA220319CQWIB

'Very humbled': Gladstone grandmother, CEO shocked by win

WHEN Philippa Walters started her career in the finance industry 30 years ago she felt women were seen as only being capable of support roles.

But through persistence and an eager approach to learning, MrsWalters broke through gender barriers and forged a successful career within the industry.

On Friday night MrsWalters' determination and passion for success was celebrated as she was announced as the first CQ Woman in Business of the Year.

The chief executive of Triumph Financial Planning said she was 'very humbled' to receive the award - which Bronwyn Reid of 4T Consultants and Tina Zawila of UHY were also finalists for.

"For my generation and our parents more so, we've played in the boy's' sandpit for many years and it's been hard to get to the top, so meeting other inspirational women, it re-inspires you for the next 10 years," she said.

"It gives you that emotional and psychological uplift to keep going."

Mrs Walters moved to the Gladstone region in 1999, leaving the corporate world of working at Commonwealth Bank in Sydney and Melbourne.

 

Isabel and Ken Barnett, Dave and Philippa Walters, John Robertson and Kat Swatton  at the inaugural Central Queensland Women in Business Awards, 2019 at Gladstone Entertainment Convention Centre.
Isabel and Ken Barnett, Dave and Philippa Walters, John Robertson and Kat Swatton at the inaugural Central Queensland Women in Business Awards, 2019 at Gladstone Entertainment Convention Centre. Matt Taylor GLA220319CQWIB

Now Mrs Walters and her husband Dave work at the business she launched in 2011, Triumph Financial Planning.

The Gladstone grandmother said she wished the awards were there 30 years ago when she started in the finance industry.

"We're just building those steps, like our mothers did for us, for the next generation, they're going to go farther than we ever did," she said.

Mrs Walters was nominated for the awards by long-term client and friend Ken Barnett.

Honoured by the recognition, she invited Mr and MrsBarnett to the awards ceremony on Friday with her family.

Speaking to The Observer yesterday, MrsWalters said she was still overwhelmed.

"It was amazing, I feel very privileged, it was a very humbling evening to meet so many other professional women and young women who have so much to give the world into the future," she said.

She said her business success was a result of her strong and passionate team at Triumph Financial Planning.

"I have a wonderful team, including my husband and several ladies ... the business couldn't run as well as it does without them," she said.

Also a keen cook, MrsWalters celebrated with a lamb and seafood barbecue dinner with friends and family on Saturday night.

She was one of five award winners at the first Women in Business Awards Central Queensland.

Queensland Women in Business Awards executive director Karen Phillips said the program was launched in the region to celebrate women such as MrsWalters.

About 200 people attended the awards ceremony which celebrated the achievements of women from the Gladstone, Rockhampton and Emerald regions.

"We have been overwhelmed by the level of female leaders across the region. With over 80 nominations, it has been an incredible launch into our region," MsPhillips said.

The winners: 

Central Queensland Woman in Business of the Year: Philippa Walters, Gladstone

Community dedication award: Kerry Gray, Yeppoon

Aspiring Young Business Women's Award: Megan Leane, Gladstone

Empowering Young Women's Award: Gabrielle Fitzgerald

Rising star award: Jade Jones, Gladstone

Regional Industry Award: Michelle Comley, Gladstone