Sheena Akerman: Outstanding Female Security Professional 2022
Updated: Oct 20
October 19th, 2022: The 2022 ASIAL Australian Security Industry Awards for Excellence, Outstanding Security Performance Awards (OSPAs), and Australian Security Medals Foundation Awards were presented last night at a gala awards dinner held in Sydney. Recipients and finalists showcased at the awards represented the very pinnacle of professionalism in Australia's private security sector.
“The professionalism of the award recipients illustrates the outstanding contribution the security industry has provided in helping to keep our community safe during what has been a particularly challenging period,” ASIAL CEO Bryan de Caires commented in relation to the awards.
Optic Security Group’s Sheena Akerman was a finalist and ultimate winner of the OSPA for Outstanding Female Security Professional. It was a remarkable win for Sheena and for the Optic team, representatives of which were on hand at the awards event to share in the celebrations.
“Sheena is an outstanding leader within the Group, and her agility and her uniquely polymathic skills as a security administrator, coordinator, and project manager are vital to the efficient and effective delivery of security services in the remote setting of the north of Western Australia,” said Optic Security Group Managing Director Mark Lloyd. “We are extremely proud of her accomplishments; to be recognised among her industry peers in this way is truly outstanding."
Based in Broome, Sheena is a Project Manager, Estimator, Security Consultant, and Sales team member, and a driving force behind Optic’s West Australian presence. With an operating area twice the size of the state of Victoria, delivering great outcomes for clients in the remote northwest is not without its challenges – from staffing to freight and logistics to the mechanics of remote working under extreme conditions and during a global pandemic.
“Issues like COVID-related labour shortages and supply chain issues have only exacerbated the inherent logistical and resourcing challenges in remote settings such as our northwest operations, and over the last 12 months,” said Mark Lloyd. “Sheena has demonstrated outstanding levels of commitment, forbearance, teamwork, customer focus, and innovative thinking to ensure that we’ve been able to continuously deliver for our clients.”
"I am honoured to be recognised when there are so many amazing women in our industry," said Sheena. "It was a fantastic night celebrating everyone's achievements... Thanks to my husband, Optic, and the Broome team for their encouragement and support."
Optic’s Senior Sales and Operations teams were on hand at the event to support both Sheena and the Group’s Darwin-based team who were finalists in the ASIAL award category ‘Electronic Security Installation Over $100,000’ for their successful Haileybury Randall International School project.
This year's combined awards featured a broad range of categories, including Electronic Security Installation over $100,000, Gender Diversity, Outstanding Security Consultant, Integrated Security Solution over $100,000, Product of the Year Access Control, Product of the Year Alarms, Product of the Year Physical Security and Security Equipment Manufacturer & Distributor, and Outstanding Security Partnership.
Optic’s podium showing at this year’s awards follows a string of Optic winners and finalists at the 2022 and 2021 New Zealand Security Awards and this year's inaugural New Zealand OSPAs, and comes three years after the Group’s 2019 ASIAL Award for its #SmartDarwin CCTV project.
Sheena is a Project Manager, Estimator, Security Consultant, and Sales team member, and a driving force behind our West Australian presence. Her multi-hatted role is part and parcel of being a security professional based in the remote town of Broome in remote northwest Western Australia.
The area of coverage of Sheena and her team encompasses twice the size of the state of Victoria. Travel to the site often takes days with rugged road conditions, searing heat in the dry seasons, flooding rains and road inaccessibility in the wet season. In this environment, security professionals have no choice but to wear many hats, be multiskilled and independent, and have a real mastery of their trade. Help is some distance away!
Having joined Optic Security Group over seven years ago, Sheena says that she enjoys the challenge of constantly learning and expanding her technical and product knowledge, being part of a “great local team that supports each other, working with a diverse range of clientele, and building supplier relationships.”
With extensive experience in data communications, CCTV and security system design, Sheena’s role sees her conducting site assessments, quoting on a range of projects, purchasing and warehouse, project management and scheduling, and customer and supplier relations.
Prior to joining Optic Security Group, Sheena initially worked in sales and administration for an electrical equipment supplier, following which she joined Auslec as Assistant Branch Manager and Acting Branch Manager covering a range of responsibilities, including customer service, supplier relations, office administration stock management, and the management of staff rostering.
Raising the bar
In her current role, Sheena harnesses her combined experience to affect the implementation of ongoing improvement processes that ensure the highest possible standards are reached and maintained. Within Optic’s northwest operations, Sheena’s successful track record in meeting and exceeding customer expectations and her influence in this area has elevated professional customer service throughout the team. With extensive and current security and electrical product and solution design knowledge, Sheena is highly respected throughout the team and throughout the community we serve.
In her Project Manager role, the standard of Sheena’s communication with clients, suppliers, technicians and third parties assists in ensuring our projects are delivered on time and on budget. Her technical knowledge enables us to ensure compliance and installation standards are met and adhered to during project works.
In her role as Security Consultant and System designer, Sheena conceives of and designs cost-effective Data Communication, Security Alarm, Access Control and CCTV system solutions for a range of clients, from residential, to the local council, and enterprise level. She delivers advice and recommendations to clients mindful that – perhaps more so in localities like Broome than elsewhere – word of mouth, reputation, and standing within the community really matter.
For Sheena, it’s a role that achieves positive impacts within her community, whether it’s “helping residential clients achieve affordable solutions so they can feel that their homes are safe and secure, reducing security risks by streamlining access control solutions for small businesses or body corporates/strata, or providing CCTV solutions for community-based projects to achieve the best results for the community.”
Delivering great outcomes for clients in the remote northwest is not without its challenges – from staffing to freight and logistics to the mechanics of remote working under extreme conditions and during a global pandemic. Communication and “being open with our clients regarding their works” is key, says Sheena. “As a team, we all pull together and support each other to achieve the best results.”
It’s also about excellent relationships with suppliers. “Developing supplier relations ensures we can offer competitive pricing on the latest technology delivered in a timely manner, so projects are completed on time and within budget.”