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Helen Lynch AM

In 1993, Helen Lynch became the first woman to be the chief general manager of a bank in Australia.

Honour Roll

Helen Lynch was born on 12 April 1943 in Charleville, Queensland. She began her banking career at fifteen in the Charleville branch of the Bank of New South Wales. By 1978 she was Branch Manager of the Rockingham branch and became Regional Manager of City South in Sydney's central business district by 1984. In 1989 she was made General Manager for South Australia and Northern Territory.

As General Manager of Westpac's 'change program' she played a key role in the rebuilding of the bank after its $1.56 billion loss in 1992 resulting from poor quality loans. In 1993, Helen became Chief General Manager of Corporate Affairs. No woman had ever gone higher in management of an Australian bank before.

In 1994, Helen resigned to pursue a second career as a professional company director. She is now non-executive Director of Coles-Myer, Southcorp, Westpac and OPSM Protector. Helen chairs the Superannuation Funds Management Corporation of South Australia and is chairperson elect of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra.

In 1990, Helen was named as the Bulletin/Qantas Businesswoman of the Year. She was made a member of the Order of Australia in 1994 for services to banking and finance. She is also involved with numerous arts and charity organisations.