Few people will disagree with the statement that ‘no one has contributed more to the shopping centre industry in Australia than Sir Frank Lowy.’ In fact, many would go further, substituting ‘Australia’ with ‘the world’.
In May 2016, Frank Lowy stepped down as Chairman of Scentre Group and the time was marked with the announcement of the Frank Lowy Fellowship. In October that year, the Fellowship was launched by Peter Allen, CEO, Scentre Group and Chairman, SCCA, at an SCCA industry lunch where Steven Lowy was the guest speaker.
The Fellowship is an industry initiative of the SCCA and is supported by Scentre Group. The Fellowship is awarded to a talented person working in the Australian shopping centre industry who has demonstrated both distinction in their professional field and a commitment to shopping centre industry excellence. It is intended to foster and celebrate the next-generation leaders, collaborators and innovative thinkers who will ensure Australia’s shopping centre industry continues to be a world leader.
Nominees need to be employed by a company which owns, manages, and/or develops shopping centres in Australia. A nominee’s employer need not be an Australian company, or a member company of the SCCA.
The nominees for this first award (2017) were representative of the broad range of skills and roles relevant to the shopping centre industry, including centre management, marketing, facilities management, leasing, design and construction, operations, research and investment management. In order to participate, nominees needed the support of a senior manager or executive within their business – as such, participation in the Fellowship is a considerable achievement in and of itself. 27 nominations were received from 16 companies.
The winner of the inaugural Frank Lowy Fellowship is Sidone Thomas, Head of Digital and Marketing – Retail, The GPT Group; her nomination was supported by Vanessa Orth, Head of Retail.
Sidone’s achievement was acknowledged at a private ceremony attended by Peter Allen, CEO, Scentre Group and SCCA Chairman, Bob Johnston, CEO, The GPT Group, Vanessa Orth, Head of Retail, The GPT Group, and Angus Nardi, Executive Director of the SCCA.
“Sidone is a deserving Fellowship recipient. She is driving GPT’s data and digital innovation journey, and understands the important partnership between landlords and retailers,” said Peter Allen.
As Head of Digital and Marketing, Sidone is responsible for digital, data, marketing and driving new revenue streams including mall leasing, media and brand activations across the retail portfolio. She has over 15 years’ experience in the property industry.
Prior to joining The GPT Group, Sidone held various marketing roles at QIC across Queensland and NSW. At GPT she’s held various positions including National Director – Digital and Innovation, National Director – Customer Strategy, Experience and Marketing. She held a Divisional Development Marketing role across Victoria and NT and was Senior Marketing Manager on the Charlestown Square redevelopment.
Sidone Thomas holds a Bachelor of Business (Marketing and Human Resources), University of Southern Queensland and a Masters of International Business, Queensland University of Technology.
Peter Allen, CEO, Scentre Group and Chairman of the SCCA; Susan MacDonald, Head of Retail, Mirvac and Joint-Deputy Chair, SCCA, and Steven Leigh, Managing Director, QIC Global Real Estate and SCCA Director, formed the Judging Committee.
“The Shopping Centre Council, with the support of Scentre Group, looks forward to continuing to grow awareness and recognition of the Fellowship in 2018,” said Peter Allen.
Fellowship recipients receive a cash contribution towards a professional development pursuit or industry event of choice – this could include reasonable anticipated expenses to travel to and attend an opportunity overseas. It is anticipated that Sidone will attend the 2018 World Retail Congress, Madrid, Spain, April 17 – 19.
Nominations for the 2018 Frank Lowy Fellowship will open mid-2018.