Every year, the Valerie Baker Memorial Award recognises one of Australia’s finest insurance professionals, who has demonstrated excellence across six key indicators.
Named in honour of Gold Seal’s founder, the award seeks to commemorate Valerie Baker – a vocal advocate for higher standards within insurance and the first woman in Australia to become a director of an insurance brokerage.
This year, Origin Insurance director Beau Munn was named the worthy recipient, after judges were impressed by his “eloquence and passion” to add value to his community.
Speaking to Insurance Business, Munn said it’s an honour to win the award, particularly after he learned more about Baker’s life and professional achievements.
“It really means a lot to win the Valerie Baker Memorial award, it is truly amazing to learn of a strong female that tackled a very male dominant industry to be a pioneer for women within the insurance industry,” he said. “I hope I can be the same for Aboriginal people.”
A descendant of the Dagoman and Gurindji people from the Katherine and Wave Hill region, Munn is particularly passionate about being a corporate leader and mentor to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth.
It’s this drive and commitment which, Beau says, was the strongest part of his award submission and may have set him apart from his peers.
“I guess it was being authentic in what Origin is trying to achieve throughout corporate Australia, and trying to build a business which clients can feel like they are invested in, as they are investing in a business that is investing in young Indigenous talent and role models, through an industry that touches everyone and all businesses,” he said.
In addition to industry recognition, the winner of the Valerie Baker Memorial Award also receives an expenses-paid trip to London, where they have the opportunity to acquaint themselves with Lloyd’s and the London Market.
There, they also participate in an education experience which is tailored to their own interests – while Beau wouldn’t give everything away, he did say there was an area he was particularly interested in.
“The biggest thing is to learn more about the insurance industry and go back to the roots of insurance in general,” he said.
“I don’t want to give away too much, but I am excited to go to Lloyd’s and see where it all started and work collaboratively with underwriters on an innovative solution for our First Nation.”