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Fund Executive Of The Year Award 2019 Nominations have now closed

Since its inception 18 years ago, the Fund Executive of the Year Award has recognised and rewarded the work of outstanding leaders in the Australian superannuation industry.

Congratulations Chris Davies winner of the 2019 FEOY. Chris will receive an education grant of $25,000 made possible with the generous support of AMP Capital. The education grant has enabled previous award recipients to attend executive education programs at world renowned business schools including Harvard, IMD, INSEAD, London Business School and Wharton

This important award recognises one fund executive who has made an outstanding contribution to their fund and the superannuation industry. Award nominees are judged on the following criteria:

  • Innovation
  • Leadership
  • Exceeding expectations
  • Demonstrated strategic planning
  • Contribution to the market place


Debby Blakey – CEO HESTA was named the 2018 Fund Executive of the Year. She received the award at the FEAL Members’ Dinner on Wednesday 1 August.

Debby Blakey received a $25,000 executive education grant, courtesy of AMP Capital.

As HESTA CEO Debby Blakey has led a wide-ranging program of change, setting up the Fund to be adaptable and to thrive in a rapidly changing environment.

A strong advocate committed to driving meaningful change for generations to come, Debby is also at the forefront of championing innovation in responsible investment, greater gender diversity and a fairer super system for women and the lower paid.

Congratulations to

Chris Davies
Telstra Super
2019 Fund Executive of the Year winner


Frequently Asked Questions

These FAQ’s should provide you with some guidelines about what is expected in the application process.

How do I nominate / apply?
To nominate a Fund Executive, download an application form and save it to your desktop. This is a writeable .pdf. Return completed application via post or email. If you need assistance submitting a nomination, please call (02) 9261 5155.

What are the selection panel looking for?
The selection panel is looking for concise, relevant and informative answers. The criteria outlined in the application form have been designed to help you convey the achievements of the nominee. You should address each section, demonstrating not only how the Fund Executive has achieved success to date, but also their plans and vision for future success. Applications signed off by the Chair are highly regarded.

What is the best way to structure the answers?
The best answers clearly link the applicant’s achievements to the Fund’s strategic plan and KPI’s.

Objective: Specific strategic plan objective / item
Response: Action (what activities were undertaken)
Result: Outcome / KPI / Result

Who will judge my entry / who is on the selection panel?
Your entry will be treated with the strictest confidence at all times by our judging panel. The selection panel is currently being finalised.

Key dates to remember
Applications open: Wednesday 3rd June 2020
Applications close: COB Friday 10th July 2020

Selection panel meet to review applications: End of July

The winner will be announced at the FEAL National Conference, Members’ Dinner on Wednesday 5th August 2020.

What is supporting documentation?
Supporting documentation can include (but is not limited to):

Media / Websites

If I nominate someone and they do not receive the Award, can I nominate them the following year?
Yes, you can nominate again in 2021.

Who has received the Award previously?
Past recipients can be viewed below under the heading Past Winners.

Past winners

David Atkin

David Atkin - CEO Cbus was named the 2017 Fund Executive of the Year. He received a $25,000 executive education grant, courtesy of AMP Capital.As the CEO of Cbus David oversees all aspects of the operation of the Fund and the Board of Directors. He is responsible for executive management, business strategy, fund integration and Trustee liaison. With more than 27 years' industry expertise, David has established himself as a CEO who combines strong strategic and people management skills, administrative and business planning, and marketing expertise.

Michael Dundon

Michael Dundon Chief Executive VicSuper Michael is Chief Executive of VicSuper, an Australian superannuation fund managing $A15.6 billion on behalf of over 240,000 members and 21,000 participating employers. VicSuper is a strongly growing public offer fund and is the default fund for the public sector in Victoria. Prior to commencing at VicSuper Michael held the position of CEO at ESSSuper and prior to that he was the General Manager Finance at TRUenergy Australia Pty Ltd.

Damian Hill

Damian was appointed Chief Executive Officer of REST Industry Super in 2006, after joining REST in 1999 as Administration Manager. He has over 25 years experience across superannuation and life insurance industries. Under Damian’s leadership REST has grown significantly. REST Industry Super is today one of the largest superannuation funds in Australia by membership with over 1.8 million members and around $40 billion in funds under management as at 30 June 2016. Damian is an active member on industry and government boards; he is a Director at the Association of the Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA,), former President of the Industry Funds…

Leeanne Turner

Leeanne has over 30 years' experience in the superannuation industry. She is the CEO of MTAA Super having been promoted from Deputy CEO in 2011. Prior to joining MTAA Super, Leeanne was CEO of AvSuper. Leeanne was named Fund Executive of the Year in 2014 and joined the FEAL Board in 2015. In 2015 Leeanne completed the Interpersonal Dynamics for High Performance Executive Program at Stanford Graduate School of Business Executive Education.

Debby Blakey

Debby Blakey joined the FEAL board in late 2013. As the CEO of HESTA, Debby brings more than 20 years experience in super and financial planning, having worked extensively as an employee benefit consultant with a particular focus on superannuation.

Robyn Petrou

Robyn is the CEO of Energy Super and has over 18 years experience in Superannuation. Robyn joined the Board in 2008, bringing with her a expertise in a wide range of areas including; governance, risk management, operations, and investment management. In 2013 Robyn was named the FEAL Fund Executive of the Year.    

Michael Dwyer AM

Michael was awarded Fund Executive of the Year in 2012 and undertook the Proteus Leadership Program at London Business School in 2014. Michael Dwyer was appointed as a founding Director of FEAL in 1999 and was its inaugural Chair. Michael joined First State Super as Chief Executive Officer in December 2004.  First State Super is one of Australia’s largest superannuation funds with more than $54 billion under management and over 750,000 members.

Terms and Conditions

1. Any nomination received after the deadline of 5.00pm AEST  on the close date will not be considered. The decision of the selection panel is final.

2. To be considered, the nominee must be a member of FEAL who is a CEO or equivalent within an Australian Superannuation fund. Please contact FEAL for a membership application form (if applicable).

3. Each nomination will be considered on it’s own merit. FEAL Directors are eligible for nomination. Former award
recipients are also eligible for nomination where there is sufficient and compelling evidence of new achievements worthy of recognition.

4. The award recipient must be employed with their organisation at the time of the award presentation.

5. The award recipient must use the business education grant to undertake an executive education program that is approved by the award selection panel. The education program should be undertaken within 18 months of the award presentation.

6. The award recipient may be called upon to share insights gained from the award education experience with FEAL members.

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