Photo has been provided by the Women NSW website.

AGSM @ UNSW Business School MBAX student, Kristal Kinsela, says she was surprised at the announcement that she had won the Women in NSW, Aboriginal Woman of the Year award.

“For me being a finalist was enough. The other finalists were great in their categories and I didn’t expect it all. I was shocked, surprised and overwhelmed by it all.”

Kristal, who descended from both the Jawoyn and Wiradjuri nations, describes herself as an ‘enabler’ and works as an advocate and mentor for Indigenous women. Her career spans education and training, organisational and workforce development, and supplier diversity working across government, corporate and not-for-profit sectors.

Director AGSM and Deputy Dean of UNSW Business School, Professor Julie Cogin said, “We’re delighted with Kristal for having won this great accolade. Kristal is a proud Aboriginal woman, who is studying our online MBA (MBAX) here at AGSM - a course that Kristal herself had a hand in designing with us.

“The Financial Times (UK) Online MBA Rankings last week recognised AGSM’s MBAX program as the 4th best in the world, and we are thrilled that the program has been able to assist Kristal in bringing new innovations to her business and community.”

Kristal said “My role is to work with government and Indigenous companies on their capability and capacity to win government contracts. I feel the MBAX is beneficial for Indigenous people to run their businesses, as well as investing in themselves.”

Inspired by stories of success of the supplier diversity movement in Australia, Kristal established her own consultancy to help corporate and government clients increase their productivity, performance and Indigenous engagement through coaching, training and facilitation. Alongside Kristal, Mitchell Ross, who is CEO of Muru Group, is another young Indigenous entrepreneur studying the online MBAX.

Both Kristal and Mitchell are the first Indigenous recipients to receive full scholarships to undertake the AGSM’s MBAX. UNSW Business School awarded the scholarship because of their success as Indigenous business leaders.

“Scholarships such as these have much potential to be transformational, not only for the student themselves but on the impact across communities,” said Professor Cogin.

Now in their sixth year, the NSW Women of the Year Awards recognise and celebrate the outstanding contribution made by women across NSW to industry, community and society. The awards are part of Women in NSW, aimed at improving the lives of women in NSW. The reports examine gender equity against indicators in five key areas including health and wellbeing, education and learning, work and financial security, leadership, and safety and justice.

To listen to Kristal and further inspiring stories of Indigenous entrepreneurs here is our podcast from UNSW Business School’s Community forum, part of Indigenous Business Month.

Media contact: Ibrar Khan: 02 9385 9887 |