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2020 Frank Lowy Fellowship award recognises COVID-19 driven innovation and resilience

The Shopping Centre Council of Australia (SCCA) has named Carl Woodward, Group Manager Engineering, Scentre Group, as the 2020 winner of the prestigious Frank Lowy Fellowship.

The Fellowship was established in recognition of the contribution made by Sir Frank Lowy AC to the Australian shopping centre industry. Launched in 2016 on the occasion of Lowy stepping down as Chairman of Scentre Group, the Fellowship is awarded to an emerging leader in the shopping centre industry who has demonstrated distinction in their professional field and a commitment to industry excellence.

“The extraordinary range of technological and digital solutions designed to protect and benefit shopping centres and retailers throughout the COVID-19 pandemic has driven record entries to the 2020 Fellowship,” said Angus Nardi, Executive Director, SCCA.

Mirvac’s Timothy Weale, Scentre Group’s Carl Woodward and GPT’s Melissa Prpic

Peter Allen, Chairman of the SCCA and CEO of Scentre Group, said the impressive innovation and pragmatism from nominees showed a renewed drive and entrepreneurialism rising through the ranks.

“The calibre of these young professionals, their passion, expertise and insight, ensures the future of our industry is in good hands,” said Allen.

Carl Woodward, the winner of the Frank Lowy Fellowship for 2020, quickly identified the impact that public health restrictions would have on retailers’ ability to deliver their customers what they needed – instant access to essential goods without the delay of delivery.

In order to allow retailers to continue their service to customers while protecting the health and safety of customers, Woodward led a team to rapidly deploy Westfield Direct, a robust digital platform that allowed customers to purchase from multiple shopping centre retailers and receive contactless delivery directly to their car in a single trip.

Alongside Westfield Plus, which improved the ease and uptake of digital gift cards, Westfield Direct connected more than 500,000 customers with 590 retailers throughout COVID-19.

Woodward’s initiative heads a larger trend of shopping centres leveraging technology and digital solutions to continually evolve the experience for their shoppers and bring continued value for their retailers, their customers and investors.

Mirvac’s Timothy Weale, led a team to bring a fully functional and scalable ecommerce marketplace devoted to its SME retailer partners online

Special commendations in the Frank Lowy Fellowship for 2020 included Mirvac’s Timothy Weale, who led a team to bring a fully functional and scalable e-commerce marketplace devoted to their SME retailer partners online, The GPT Group’s Melissa Prpic who established a bespoke customer data platform that leverages insights from 1.2 million members to evolve digital and data capabilities that improve customer experiences both instore and online, and ISPT’s Garry Hendrix, who oversaw the installation of solar panels across 24 shopping centres, saving 4,000 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide.

The GPT Group’s Melissa Prpic established a bespoke customer data platform that leverages insights from 1.2 million members to evolve digital and data capabilities

“Every nominee for the 2020 Frank Lowy Fellowship has demonstrated a keen ambition to build on the foundations Sir Frank has laid in place. The calibre of candidates brought forward this year are a testament to our industry’s ability to attract the best and brightest talent from all fields,” said Allen.

The Frank Lowy Fellowship 2020 evaluated 18 nominees from Blackstone, Dexus, ISPT, JLL, Lendlease, Mirvac, QICGRE, Scentre Group, Stockland, The GPT Group and Vicinity Centres. Nominees for the Frank Lowy Fellowship 2020 were evaluated by a judging panel comprised of Peter Allen, Chairman of the SCCA and CEO of Scentre Group, along with other SCCA Directors Grant Kelley, CEO of Vicinity Centres; Susan MacDonald, Head of Retail at Mirvac, Sam Curry, General Manager of Retail at ISPT and Tony Doherty, Head of Retail at JLL.

The Frank Lowy Fellowship 2020 winner, Carl Woodward, will receive a grant of $20,000 to put towards his continued education. Woodward will undertake a General Management Program at UNSW Business School.

This is the first year an employee of Scentre Group has won the Frank Lowy Fellowship. Previous winners include: (2019) Dennis Michael, Head of Commercial Brand iQ and New Business at QICGRE, (2018) Genevieve Elliott, General Manager Data Science and Insights at Vicinity Centres and inaugural winner (2017) Sidone Thomas, Head of Digital and Marketing at The GPT Group.

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