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Suncorp board member receives OAM

A non-executive director of the Suncorp board and former Westpac executive has been awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia.

Sally Herman, a non-executive director of the Suncorp board and a former senior executive of Westpac, has been honoured in the Australia Day 2023 Honours list.

Ms Herman was among 1,047 Australians who received recognition in the honours list on Thursday (26 January).

The Order of Australia honours is the principal means of recognising “outstanding members of the community” at a national level and comprises four levels: Companion of the Order (AC), Officer of the Order (AO), Member of the Order (AM), and Medal of the Order (OAM).

The Medal of the Order of Australia is awarded for service worthy of particular recognition. 

Ms Herman was named a recipient of the OAM “for service to the financial sector, and to the community”.

She has extensive experience in the financial services industry, having worked at Westpac for 16 years up until 2010. Over her Westpac Group career, she held general manager roles in people and transformation (2010), corporate affairs (2008–10), advice (2005–08), retail and business banking (2003–05), and e-business and operations (2000–03).

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She is currently a non-executive board member of the Suncorp Group, which she joined in 2015

She is also the chairman of Suncorp’s risk committee and a member of the customer committee.

A Suncorp spokesperson said: "Suncorp is delighted that our long-standing non-executive Director, Sally Herman, has been honoured with a Medal of the Order of Australia. 

"Sally has made a significant contribution to Suncorp since joining our board in 2015, and we congratulate her on receiving this well-deserved recognition of her service to both the financial sector and the community." 

Ms Herman also serves as a non-executive director of investment company Premier Investments and home appliance manufacturer Breville Group and has previously served on the board of ME Bank (2011–15) as well as on several other financial services organisations boards for over 20 years, with a focus on governance, regulation, and compliance.

The Governor-General David Hurley also noted Ms Herman’s work in the community, highlighting her work as a trustee of the Art Gallery of NSW and as a director of the Sydney Film Festival. 

She was also formerly a non-executive director of the State Library of NSW Foundation (2010–14) and a trustee of the Sydney Harbour Federation Trust (2016–19), among other positions. 

Another member of industry to receive an OAM this year was David Gandolfo, a commercial broker and co-founder of the Commercial & Asset Finance Broking Association of Australia (CAFBA).

Mr Gandolfo was named an OAM in recognition of his “service to the financial sector” including his work advocating Australia’s commercial finance broking industry and finance for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) more generally.

Announcing the Australia Day 2023 Honours list on Thursday (26 January), the Governor-General commented: “Congratulations to the outstanding Australians recognised in [this year’s] Honours List. The recipients have had a significant impact at the local, national and international level and are, quite simply, inspiring.

“They go above and beyond, are from all over the country, and contribute every day in every way imaginable. These are the people who see us through good times and bad. They’re the first to show up and the last to leave.

“They’re almost always humble to a fault but I urge recipients, for today, to put aside that humility — it’s important they know how much they are valued.”

There were 736 awards in the general division of the Order of Australia, with 48 per cent for women.

This is the highest percentage of female Order of Australia recipients in an honours list since the introduction of the Australian honours system in 1975.

“It is encouraging to see an increase in diversity in the Order of Australia. Each recipient has something in common — someone nominated them,” the Governor-General said.

The Order belongs to each of us and we each have a part to play. The only way a person can be recognised is for someone to nominate them.”

Recipients announced in the list will be invested with their awards in the coming months either by the Governor-General at Government House in Canberra or by the state governors or administrator of the Northern Territory.

[Related: Finance executives named in Queen’s birthday honours]

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