Jennifer Westacott was recognised with an Order of Australia honour, for “distinguished service to private and public sector administration through executive roles, to policy development and reform, to cross sector collaboration, to equity, and to business”.
Ms Westacott has served as the CEO of the Business Council since 2011. She had previously been on the board of accounting firm KPMG, and has remained on the board of Wesfarmers since 2003 and as chair of the Mental Health Council of Australia since 2013.
In a statement following the announcement, the Business Council’s president, Grant King, applauded Ms Westacott’s recognition, citing her as “a tireless champion for greater economic and social inclusion”.
“During her seven years as the Business Council’s chief executive, Jennifer has advocated for policies and ideas that allow businesses to thrive and underpin the lasting economic growth that benefits all Australians,” said Mr King.
“She is a driving force in ensuring Australia is prepared for the challenges of the future and can remain a competitive, robust and fair nation that continues to punch above its weight.”
It was widely noted that the 2018 honours list was the first in which women outnumbered men.