Picture of Sarah and Grace standing against a black background

Luminary’s Sarah Dam and Grace Purton-Long short-listed for Women Leading Tech Awards

We’re thrilled to announce that not one, but two of our Luminary team members have been short-listed for Women Leading Tech Awards, Sarah Dam and Grace Purton-Long.

Picture of Luminary employee, Claire smiling standing in front of a black screen in a green top

By Claire Dunton, 17 March 20245 minute read

Last year Luminary clocked 47 industry awards acknowledging the digital transformations we achieved for clients in healthcare, financial services, NFP and countless other industries. There are fewer opportunities to acknowledge our team members when it comes to industry awards, and so to have a platform to honour the women in our business - that’s really worth celebrating.

We’re thrilled to announce that not one, but two of our Luminary team members have been short-listed for Women Leading Tech Awards, Sarah Dam and Grace Purton-Long. Each of them are leaders in their own right and key contributors to the projects they work on, demonstrating their skill and leadership time again. 

The Women Leading Tech Awards is about spotlighting the women driving innovation, creating change and smashing glass ceilings across 29 award categories. With gender parity far from realised in tech, Luminary is proud to have a growing team that is 41 percent women, and we want to highlight Sarah and Grace and how they are driving women in tech forward. 

First, let’s hear about the professional impact they are making.

Sarah Dam, short-listed for the Engineering category

Sarah Dam is a Senior Front End Developer at Luminary and one of our longest standing team members. She will celebrate her 20 year anniversary of working with Luminary later in the year. As a Senior FED Sarah is responsible for technical project ownership, development, quality assurance, and overseeing reviews and mentoring of fellow developers. She is a prominent and active member of the FED team, which is 33 percent female, having previously run internal training sessions on how to mentor the next wave of female developers (which she also presented at DDD by Night in 2022).

Sarah’s skills and leadership were showcased on two high profile projects that she recently worked on; a redevelopment of the Melbourne Airport website, and a new site for Avant, the biggest medical insurer in Australia.

Delivering new, commercially successful user interfaces for Melbourne Airport

On Melbourne Airport, Sarah spearheaded the development of the online parking booking system. This was a business-critical area for Melbourne Airport as it is a large source of revenue, with any increase in bookings and/or decrease in drop-outs resulting in a significant increase in revenue for the client. Technically, it involved creating a brand new user interface, liaising with a third party design firm, and integrating withAPIs from a third-party parking provider. All of which served to increase the complexity, risk, and management overhead of the work. For more information on the project, see our Melbourne Airport Case Study.

Leading the development team for Avant

On Avant, Sarah worked closely with a client, guiding them through an agile design and development process. This included a new headless CMS and content model while at the same time leading and supporting the development team and producers to ensure a smooth project flow. A mammoth project to deliver on time and under budget. For more information on the project, see our Avant case study.

Grace Purton-Long, short-listed for the Design award

Grace is an exceptional digital design professional, who has been working in agency and consultancy since 2012, creating beautiful and meaningful experiences for her clients. Grace has been the lead designer on two recent projects, Fandelo and Avant, that could not be more different in their objectives. Grace’s exceptional design acumen and her ability to balance the user and client needs are perfectly exemplified in her work for these clients.

Creating a frictionless product design for Fandelo

Fandelo is a new immersive fan engagement app that brings fans closer to the things they love. Grace led the design and user experience of the experience whilst being heavily involved in the agile delivery of implementing the app. With the fans’ experience at the heart of the product, Grace designed a complete mobile app design system that is scalable.

What was initially intended to be a four-week ‘big picture’ review of the app and its visual identity, ultimately turned into a deep immersion and product redesign project, with Grace playing an integral role in redefining the enhanced user experience. 

Simplifying navigation with a new design system for Avant

The most significant design and build project for Grace recently has been the successful launch of Avant, a leading medical indemnity insurance provider in Australia. The previous site had matured, making it hard to publish new content and delivering a poor experience for users. Grace led the design stream, collaborating with her content and development teams to deliver a completely new design system. The new design provides a uniform look and feel throughout, simplifies the navigation, and allows for easy consolidation of external sites that may be added in the future.

What do the leaders at Luminary say about working with Sarah and Grace?

Technical Director (FED and QA) Drew Foster said “Sarah is an outstanding, and longstanding, member of the Front End Development team. She’s confident, well-spoken, and a natural leader. 

She matches a calm, friendly demeanour with fierce skills and technical competency, as well as displaying project management savvy. There’s few people I would trust more with high-risk, high-budget, high-maintenance projects both from a technical and team and client management point of view.

She does a wonderful job at guiding and mentoring developers internally as a Team Lead, as well as drawing attention to disparities between female and male engineers within the IT industry.”

Design Director, Thom Bransom said “Grace is one of the best designers I have had the pleasure of working with. She has been in my team since April 2018 across three agencies in Melbourne. She leads our big digital transformation projects and has an excellent instinct for how to operate collaboratively in tech teams. She leads by example and is a strong advocate for women in tech and design.”

We look forward to seeing whether Sarah and Grace take out the Women Leading Tech awards!

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