Viva Energy leader wins inaugural Woman Manufacturer of the Year

29 May 2018
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Viva Energy is delighted to announce that Vanessa Kearney, Commercial Manager at its Geelong Refinery, has won the inaugural Woman Manufacturer of the Year in the 2018 Victorian Manufacturing Hall of Fame Awards.

The Hall of Fame Awards celebrates manufacturing companies and individuals who excel in business innovation and productivity and contribute to strengthening Victoria’s economy. This new category recognises outstanding women working in the manufacturing industry, breaking down barriers and succeeding in their careers.

Thys Heyns, General Manager at Viva Energy’s Geelong Refinery congratulated Vanessa on her well-deserved accolade.

“We are immensely proud of Vanessa’s achievement. With more than 23 years of experience in the manufacturing and energy sectors she has played a key role in driving the commercial performance of the Geelong Refinery.

“She has also been a strong advocate for supporting women in manufacturing notably through her sponsorship of the Geelong Refinery’s Women’s Network which was established to support all women on site - from operators to lab techs and engineers - develop the skills they need to continually improve and effectively manage their careers.

“This award is a tremendous recognition of Vanessa’s efforts at the refinery and is further evidence of Viva Energy's commitment to drive real change on workplace gender equality,” said Mr Heyns.

Viva Energy fosters a progressive culture aimed at driving real change on workplace gender equality across the organisation.

The company’s achievements in this space include:

  • Granted Employer of Choice for Gender Equality by the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) 2017-18.
  • Implemented an Australian first superannuation policy to help reduce the gap in retirement savings.
  • CEO, Scott Wyatt is a Pay Equity Ambassador and a Male Champion of Change.
  • Fostering a culture and leadership to attract more women into leadership and operational roles.
  • Champion on pay equality and reducing the gender pay gap.
  • Redefined roles and broadened the skills needed for technical roles.
  • Geelong Refinery operator intake targeted and achieved a 50/50 male/female intake for the first time in 2017.


Viva Energy is the exclusive licensee to the Shell brand in Australia and was launched in 2014. In addition to its 950 plus Shell branded service station network and its Geelong Refinery (VIC), Viva Energy operates bulk fuels, aviation, bitumen, marine, chemicals and lubricants businesses supported by more than 20 storage terminals across the country. Visit