STAWELL resident Lesley Bennett’s contribution to the property industry has been recognised.
The Australian Property Institute redesigned its Excellence in Property Awards Program to focus on excellence among members.
The Lesley Bennett Women in Property Award will be presented for the first time at a gala dinner on November 2, as part of the National Property Conference on the Gold Coast.
This award recognises leadership, professionalism and outstanding property community contribution.
Chief executive Amelia Hodge said the award recognised leading women in the industry.
“We decided to look into a our first female member of what was known as the Commonwealth Institute of Valuers,” she said.
Ms Bennett became a student member of the Commonwealth Institute of Valuers in February 1958.
She started her career with a government-issued scholarship for education, with the condition of becoming a teacher. She started teacher’s college, but decided it wasn’t the career for her.
After some more career changes, Ms Bennett was employed in the Real Estate Office of the Victorian Railways and after graduation was made a staff valuer.
Ms Bennett resigned from what was then known as the Australian Institute of Valuers and Land Economists in January 1998.
Ms Bennett said she was thrilled with the honour.
“I was over the moon. It’s a big honour to have a national award named after you,” she said.
Ms Bennett said women in workplaces, such as the railways, were very scarce when she started working.
“I did a lot of work for equal opportunity. I was the only women in the institute for about four or five years,” she said.
Mel Nelson of the Australian Property Institute said the company was excited about the prospect of finding its first female member.
“We found a hard copy file when she resigned her membership in 1998. It had her Stawell address on it,” she said.
Ms Nelson and Ms Hodge have prepared a video to present at the awards night because Mrs Bennett is unable to attend.