Tradeswomen Australia Group Appoints New CEO, Clea Smith


Tradeswomen Australia Group (TWA) proudly announces the appointment of Clea Smith as the new Chief Executive Officer, effective January 22, 2024. Clea Smith, known for her substantial leadership experience in non-profit organisations and her advocacy in male-dominated sectors, particularly in sports, is set to bring a fresh perspective and dynamic leadership to TWA.

On the appointment of Smith, Kit McMahon, Chair of the Tradeswomen Australia Group stated that Clea’s extensive experience, especially in leading organisations with a social mission similar to TWA’s, positions her uniquely to drive our strategic goals.

“Her work in sports, particularly cricket, where she championed the role of women, aligns perfectly with our vision for gender equality in trades.”

Kate Hughes Hallett, Chair of the Tradeswoman Australia Community Foundation, added that Smith’s proven track record in promoting equity and addressing inequality is pivotal to the values and mission of TWA.

“Clea’s ability to lead with persistence, skill, and a collaborative approach will be invaluable as we continue to push for change in male-dominated industries.”

The appointment follows the notable tenure of outgoing CEO, Janet Cribbes, who played a pivotal role in enhancing TWA’s resilience and impact.

“Under Janet’s leadership, TWA established robust partnerships and expanded our community footprint.

“We acknowledge her immense contributions, and the Board and I extend heartfelt thanks for her unwavering support and dedication.

“As we move forward, Clea’s entrepreneurial spirit, deep understanding of gender-segregated workforces, and commitment to partnership building will be instrumental in advancing our strategy to address inequality.

“We know that right across the country we are facing workforce shortages particularly in skilled trades, which was highlighted in the recent Australian government white paper.

“Education in our schools and VET courses will be a key priority and the timing is crucial to encourage all-age female participation.

We know that Clea will hit the ground running and will be at the forefront of driving these discussions.

“With our knowledge and experience in the sector, TWA is well-placed to work with all stakeholders and governments to deliver real change”. McMahon remarked.

TWA was formed in 2019 as a result of the exceptional leadership of Founder Fiona McDonald;  Clea Smith’s arrival marks a significant step for TWA as it continues to champion gender equality in Australian Trades. The Board eagerly anticipates introducing Smith to partners and stakeholders and is confident in her ability to lead the organisation towards a thriving and equitable future.


For further information and media enquiries, please contact:  Kit McMahon, Chair, Tradeswomen Australia Foundation | 0408 250 272 | kitm@twaus.com.au