Nominate Nominate

2017 Finalists

Australia's finest talent, doing business their way

Meet the women undoing business. The Telstra Business Women's Awards finalists represent the best and brightest business talent from a range of different backgrounds and industries. The one thing that unites them? A drive to continue their achievements by undoing traditional business for the better. Learn all about this year's finalists below.

Key dates View More
Wednesday 14 November

Entries close

Once you've been nominated, you'll be asked to submit your Awards entry. Your entry will help our Judges get to know you, and why you deserve to be recognised in the wider business community.

Thursday 15 November

Judging begins

Our panel of expert Judges will get together to start their deliberations, examine the entries and learn as much as possible about the women we'll celebrate for doing business differently.

Finalists

All
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
2017 Telstra Entrepreneur Award
TAS

Alison Flakemore - Alison's Garden & Landscape

"Alison's Garden & Landscape is building opportunity for individual development so that its people may in turn assist my vision of community improvement through sustainable horticulture." - Alison Flakemore

Twenty years ago, Alison Flakemore entered the garden and landscape industry with an old van, a lawnmower and basic hand tools. Today, the services offered by Alison’s Garden & Landscape include gutter cleaning, testing and tagging, and contracts with both corporate clients and the Tasmanian Government.

2017 Telstra Entrepreneur Award
QLD

Alison Hill - Pragmatic Thinking

"Our business exists because of the relentless changes that workplaces are going through. Organisations, leaders and individuals no longer have time to hold onto grudges; instead they need to address issues quickly and be at the forefront of change, rather than reacting to it. This is what we help them do." - Alison Hill

Alison Hill kick-started her studies into human behaviour with a degree in psychology. She went on to work as a rehabilitation counsellor and a psychologist, in the fields of depression, anxiety and personality-disorders.

2017 Telstra Corporate and Private Award
NSW

Allison Yeoland - Secure Parking

"Day-to-day improvements add up to amazing progress when you look back at them. That’s the secret to my success." Allison Yeoland

Allison Yeoland was playing hockey for Australia while simultaneously completing her Bachelor of Commerce in Newcastle. After graduating, Allison took the opportunity to play hockey in Europe while advancing her career and seeing the world. She sat her CPA exams upon her return to Australia.

2017 Telstra Young Business Women's Award
QLD

Alyce Keegan - Kit and Clowder

"To be able to bring a smile to someone's face, who may be experiencing hardship at the moment, really drives home what Kit and Clowder is all about." - Alyce Keegan

Alyce Keegan took her passion for art and transformed it into a lucrative craft education business with a social impact. Through its community, the business support crafters who are dealing with disability, loss, illness and depression, providing a fun creative outlet but also a form of therapy and support.

2017 Telstra Corporate and Private Award
SA

Alyson Garrett - CMS Private Advisory

"Australia's economy is built on the backbone of small business, so it matters that the businesses and family groups that own them are educated and empowered to greater success." - Alyson Garrett

For many years, Alyson Garrett juggled being a single mum with her career as an accountant. It was through her journey to find balance between family and a demanding career that Alyson became passionate about mentoring and promoting gender diversity, as both elements had played a role in her own success.

2017 Telstra Public Sector and Academia Award
TAS

Amanda Castray - University of Tasmania

"The solutions I develop determine how the university operates, and the strategic projects I lead - such as funding for new infrastructure - will benefit future generations." - Amanda Castray

As the executive director of strategic projects at the University of Tasmania, Amanda Castray plays an essential role in shaping the commercial strategy of the institution to support the delivery of education to over 35,000 students each year.

2017 Telstra Corporate and Private Award
NSW

Amy Brown - PricewaterhouseCoopers

"Being a leader involves a continuous feeling of being uncomfortable, because, when it comes to our nation’s most complex and entrenched social issues, ‘business as usual’ has failed." Amy Brown

With a father who grew up in public housing, Amy Brown has always had a passion for improving access to opportunity for those who need it most. After three years with the NSW Treasury, she moved to PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).

2017 Telstra Young Business Women's Award
TAS

Amy Haulman - Aim Remedial Massage

"My clients have myriad conditions and this rich, diverse circumstance has provided me with endless opportunities to learn about and care for them." - Amy Haulman

A remedial massage therapist, Amy launched her start-up venture, Aim Remedial Massage in 2015.

2017 Telstra Corporate and Private Award
TAS

Amy Reiner - Hill Street Grocers

"To sell a dream, to lead the curve and blaze a new trail I have had to overcome the fear of failure and rejection and believe in myself." - Amy Reiner

As a director of the Browns supermarket and shopping centre, Amy Reiner works at the forefront of her local community. But after 128 years serving the district, Browns needed to become more than an old-fashioned country store.

2017 Telstra Entrepreneur Award
SA

Andrea Michaels - NDA Law

"Today's best entrepreneurs are those who are nimble, determined risk-takers and who show an understanding of the people around them." - Andrea Michaels

As a lawyer challenging established boundaries, and a woman extending her horizons, being resilient and determined are two of Andrea Michaels’ key traits.

2017 Telstra Corporate and Private Award
QLD

Antonia Mercorella - The Real Estate Institute of Queensland

"Traditional ways of doing things only work in traditional settings. In a fast-paced world of rapid change, the ability to change and adapt is critically important." - Antonia Mercorella

Antonia has nursed the business back to financial health, and reinvigorated its standing as the peak body for real estate agents in Queensland. All the while, Antonia has maintained her own style of leadership, placing great value on being genuine in business dealings and communications. She sees her media and public profile as essential in her business’ efforts to represent its 15,000 members both in government negotiations and with the wider public.

2017 Telstra Public Sector and Academia Award
VIC

Associate Professor Kate Hoy - Monash University

"With no significant treatment breakthroughs, there is expected to be more than 1 million people with dementia in Australia by 2056. New approaches to treatment are needed and the research my team is conducting has the potential to deliver these." - Associate Professor Kate Hoy

There are currently more than 46.8 million people living with dementia worldwide. Without any significant breakthroughs in treatment, that figure is predicted to rise to 131.5 million by 2050.

2017 Telstra Corporate and Private Award
ACT

Ayesha Razzaq - ActewAGL

"My work sees me involved with many great communities. It’s given me the chance to make a tangible difference by helping customers to manage their energy and influence perceptions about what the future will bring." - Ayesha Razzaq

During her 18-year service with energy supplier ActewAGL, Ayesha Razzaq has climbed the ranks to General Manager Retail. A position which involves leading a dynamic business through a time of significant industry change.

2017 Telstra Corporate and Private Award
NSW

Belinda Tumbers - Kellogg Aust Pty Ltd

"I love a challenging situation and live by the motto, ‘if it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you." - Belinda Tumbers

Belinda Tumbers’ first introduction to marketing was as an entry-level receptionist at an advertising agency. After working her way up to become an account executive, Belinda was approached by one of her clients, Kellogg, to join its marketing team.

2017 Telstra Entrepreneur Award
ACT

Belle Chadwick - Chadwick Designs

"I pride myself on building a brand which has the best advice, product and knowledge. I want every client to be sure that they are making informed choices, with no second thoughts." - Belle Chadwick

Belle Chadwick began Chadwick Designs at just 25 years of age while caring for her nine-month old baby. Having previously worked for McDonalds Asia Pacific Consortium and Wrigleys, Belle decided to follow her passion for business, renovation and design, throwing herself into the interior design and building industry.

2017 Telstra Entrepreneur Award
VIC

Bessi Graham - The Difference Incubator

"As an active entrepreneur in the industry, I have built a team of people who are relatable and good listeners, allowing entrepreneurs to see themselves in us." - Bessi Graham

Bessi Graham lives by the belief that business can be a powerful agent for change – provided you embed the good you want to see in the world into your business model.

2017 Telstra Corporate and Private Award
TAS

Camille O'Meara - Stornoway Maintenance

"I believe that barriers are meant to be broken and you can achieve anything through hard work, being solution-focused and developing effective partnerships." Camille O'Meara

After a decade-long hiatus from the world of asset management, which saw her take on a role with confectionary giant Cadbury, Camille O’Meara rejoined Stornoway, where she now heads up the Business Services team.

2017 Telstra Public Sector and Academia Award
QLD

Carla-Louise Wallace - Cootharinga North Queensland CNQ

"I love what I do because it’s not just a job. It’s knowing that every day you played a part in making someone's life amazing." - Carla-Louise Wallace

Having worked as a disability and mental health support worker, and in various youth focused roles, Carla-Louise Wallace is no stranger to some of society’s most complex issues.

2017 Telstra Entrepreneur Award
QLD

Caroline McCulloch - FRANKiE4

"I’m on a mission to provide women with shoes that make them feel confident and comfortable. The shoes hide support and cushioning, as if they were undercover orthopaedic shoes disguised as fashion." - Caroline McCulloch

Caroline McCulloch, a podiatrist and physiotherapist, had a dilemma: when treating patients, she found it difficult to recommend comfortable footwear she would want to wear herself. So, she set out to design her own fashionable footwear with body mechanics in mind. After ten prototypes and lots of testing, in 2011, she launched her first two styles in to the market and hasn’t looked back.

2017 Telstra Public Sector and Academia Award
ACT

Catherine Walsh - Department of Finance

"To become a public service leader was a conscious decision. It enables me to be part of influencing the decision-making process to contribute positively to Australian society now and into the future" - Catherine Walsh

Catherine Walsh has always been a high flyer, with a career that started in the Air Force and led to becoming a director for the Australian Government Department of Finance. Today, she is directly responsible for influencing the course of government policy and expenditure decisions that will affect every Australian in the country.

2017 Telstra Young Business Women's Award
QLD

Charlotte Durack - Agri Creative

"These organisations often have a traditional and entrenched approach to marketing, with many embracing digital for the very first time. I feel very proud to be able to go on this journey with them." - Charlotte Durack

Innately creative, Charlotte Durack was passionate about finding a role that would let her imagination run riot on meaningful projects. A year ago, she decided to carve out her own dream role by founding full-service creative agency, Agri Creative.

2017 Telstra Public Sector and Academia Award
QLD

Coralie Nichols - Sunshine Coast Council

"My role leads and inspires people to think, plan and act creatively, turning good ideas about urban spaces and living into real outcomes. This stuff shapes the world we live in." - Coralie Nichols

With a career in local government and the not-for-profit sector spanning 26 years, Coralie Nichols has always been passionate about serving local communities. As the Director of Community Services at Sunshine Coast Council, one of the largest local governments in Australia, Coralie leads community campaigns on social issues such as domestic violence, mental health and reconciliation.

2017 Telstra Corporate and Private Award
SA

Corrine Fiebiger - South Terrace Urology

"My role enables the South Terrace Urology doctors to focus on what they do best, which is surgery. Meanwhile, I drive the purpose, strategy and development of the business itself." - Corrine Fiebiger

Corrine Fiebiger is on a mission to deliver excellence in the provision of urological health at South Terrace Urology.

2017 Telstra Public Sector and Academia Award
ACT

Daryl Karp - Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House

"Australia has world leading democracy, but satisfaction is at an all time low. The 2016 election had the lowest turnout since compulsory voting was introduced in 1927. The Museum of Australian Democracy is uniquely placed to make a difference – which we do with our vibrant exhibitions, school programs and events. Im immensely proud of the role were playing in empowering visitors, shaping research and shifting attitudes for the future." - Daryl Karp

Today, the museum provides a space for all Australians to explore and engage with the concepts of active citizenship, by reflecting on, and connecting with, our democratic traditions.

2017 Telstra Public Sector and Academia Award
VIC

Dr Anushi Rajapaksa - Murdoch Children's Research Institute

"My practical and innovative thinking is aimed at solving challenging problems affecting the newborn babies of today. It gives me a great sense of enrichment to be in a capacity to undertake those feats." - Dr Anushi Rajapaksa

Dr Anushi Rajapaksa is an academic biomedical engineer and emerging researcher in the field of bedside technologies for newborn babies. Her work at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute has the capacity to transform the face of child health globally.

2017 Telstra Young Business Women's Award
TAS

Dr Jessica Manuela - Dental South

"There is a lack of education as to how poor oral health detrimentally affects overall health and so I am determined to use my professional knowledge and skills to make a difference." - Dr Jessica Manuela

As both a company director and principle dentist, Jessica Manuela looks to counter the epidemic of dental disease currently plaguing Australia, along with the country’s culture of “dental fear”. Her philosophy is centred on improving her patients’ oral health through holistic education and quality care.

2017 Telstra Public Sector and Academia Award
VIC

Dr Melanie Thomson - MTPConnect

"Health is a major growth sector globally. With changing demographics and increasing disease burdens, Australia must develop its medical technology, biotechnology and pharmaceutical economy to secure a healthier, wealthier future for its citizens." - Dr Melanie Thomson

With a PhD in biochemistry and trained in molecular medicine, Dr Melanie Thomson was well placed to answer the government’s National Innovation and Science Agenda call. She joined MTPConnect in 2016 to help develop skills across the medical technology, biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries (MTP).

2017 Telstra Public Sector and Academia Award
QLD

Dr Nicki Murdock - Health Leaders Australia

"If we don't change how we deliver healthcare, by 2030 our society will be spending all of its revenue on health – something that will affect us all if we do not act now." - Dr Nicki Murdock

Intent on alleviating these industry pressures, Nicki harnessed her entrepreneurial nature and appetite for the high-risk to set up Health Leaders Australia. The company provides IT solutions to assist in accreditation of safe, high quality health services and education.

2017 Telstra Entrepreneur Award
SA

Dr Perrine Neretti - Glen Osmond Veterinary Clinic

"I like to think the world needs passionate, pioneering veterinary surgeons to raise standards, expectations and outcomes within the profession." - Dr Perrine Neretti

A passionate animal lover and natural-born entrepreneur, Perrine set her sights on running her own Vet practice from a young age. In 2008, she finally realised her long-held ambition, opening Glen Osmond Veterinary Clinic.

2017 Telstra Public Sector and Academia Award
SA

Dr Rachel Kennedy - Ehrenberg-Bass Institute University of South Australia

"I’m great at taking on a challenge and getting the job done. In my work, this means identifying priority research directions and delivering knowledge that helps industry be more effective and efficient." - Dr Rachel Kennedy

Rachel Kennedy has always had an eye for business. By the age of nine, she had recruited children from her neighbourhood to deliver newspapers. Years later, after living and working abroad, Rachel helped establish the Ehrenberg-Bass Institute for Marketing Science in Adelaide – now the world’s largest centre for research into marketing.

2017 Telstra Public Sector and Academia Award
NSW

Dr Rachna Gandhi - Service NSW

"Service NSW makes life easier for customers. We have been shaped by what customers have told us: they want easier access to government services, faster service and a single point of contact." - Dr Rachna Gandhi

Rachna Gandhi was appointed to the Service NSW start-up team in 2013, with a challenge to revolutionise government services. This proved complex, as previously citizens dealt with multiple agencies through a morass of disconnected systems. Rachna and her colleagues had to coordinate across 400 shopfronts, 8,000 phone numbers and 800 government websites that NSW had at that time.

2017 Telstra Public Sector and Academia Award
ACT

Dr Sue Williamson - University of NSW, Canberra

"While much progress towards gender equality has been made, there is still a long way to go. Violence against women takes on new forms; the gender pay gap persists; there are still too few women in leadership. This is why what I do matters." - Dr Sue Williamson

Dr Sue Williamson has spent her entire adult life working to progress gender equality. As a full-time academic, she has spent the past four years teaching human resource management at the University of NSW, Canberra, where she provides tertiary education to military cadets at the Australian Defence Force Academy.

2017 Telstra Young Business Women's Award
ACT

Elise Apolloni - Capital Chemist Wanniassa

"I believe pharmacists are massively under-utilised health professionals, and that women make amazing leaders in business. The world needs more people who challenge norms, bring up issues which can be uncomfortable to talk about and raise awareness of health conditions." - Elise Apolloni

Elise Apolloni has been working in pharmacies since she was 14 years old. After becoming a qualified pharmacist, she managed Capital Chemist Wanniassa for two years before eventually becoming a partner in the business.

2017 Telstra Young Business Women's Award
QLD

Ellen Powell - Blushing Confetti

"My vision for the brand is based on my own sense of humour and personal taste. Through a lot of hard work, Blushing Confetti has become an international name and we’re not done growing yet!" - Ellen Powell

Ellen Powell founded Australian fine paper goods and stationery company, Blushing Confetti, at age 24 – when she noticed a gap in the market for wedding stationery.

2017 Telstra Corporate and Private Award
SA

Elly Griffin - SILK Laser Clinics

"Throughout my career, I’ve learnt that challenges are vital to the growth of an organisation, because they promote learning and idea creation, but it also fosters effective teamwork within a business." Elly Griffin

With a passion for people and performance management, Elly Griffin held several roles in the HR and recruitment sector when she started working for skin clinic SILK Laser Clinics. As the business was just starting out, she initially provided HR consulting services, before being hired as manager of operations and human resources.

2017 Telstra Young Business Women's Award
VIC

Emily McCarthy - lexvoco

"No one is too young, too inexperienced or too 'bright-eyed' to have an influence on business decisions. By surrounding yourself with the right people, there is much to be learned and achieved." - Emily McCarthy

As a law graduate, Emily McCarthy wasn’t interested in a career in a traditional legal practice. Instead, she set about cutting her teeth in the NewLaw sector, an avenue that blended her passion for law and innovation.

2017 Telstra Corporate and Private Award
QLD

Fleur Madden - The Red Republic

"I would hope that the decisions I make in developing female leaders for tomorrow, will mean that there are more women in the workplace that support and encourage each other." - Fleur Madden

At 23, Fleur Madden was a rising star in journalism, having worked with ABC TV, Today Tonight and The Sunday Mail. However, Fleur saw a gap in the public relations market in Brisbane for a dedicated consumer PR agency and founded The Red Republic.

2017 Telstra Corporate and Private Award
VIC

Gemma Fordham - Southern Cross Austereo

"We are about making people laugh, connecting with them through storytelling and music. We strive to create compelling content every day across the country, across all of our assets – from live radio to social, digital and events." - Gemma Fordham

Radio has long been known as a male-dominated industry, and when Gemma was appointed head of the network she was the first woman to fill the role. Gemma is proud of this achievement and hopes she is the first of many to come.

2017 Telstra Young Business Women's Award
VIC

Gemma Lloyd - DCC Jobs

"I've been lucky to be able to combine my passion for social justice with my work. DCC is not just a ‘job’ but a lifestyle I've embraced." - Gemma Lloyd

When Gemma Lloyd arrived at university, her goal was to become a dietician, but she soon followed her passions into IT. After ten years in the male-dominated industry, Gemma decided to apply her technical and business skills to helping fellow women achieve equality in the workplace.

2017 Telstra Young Business Women's Award
NSW

Gen George - Tamme

"My personal mission is to make an impact. I want to achieve this by continuing to create new things, such as sustainable commercial businesses, which push new boundaries." Gen George

Returning from her gap year in 2011, Gen became a team assistant at Colliers International, while simultaneously launching OneShift, an online recruitment model. After receiving $5 million of investment in 2013 - valuing OneShift at $18-20 million in its first year – she sold the business in December 2016.

2017 Telstra Public Sector and Academia Award
TAS

Gill Berriman - Bayview Secondary College

"Our work in education matters more than most as our students face significant challenges with regard to cultural stigma and barriers to educational opportunity, access, aspiration, participation and equality." - Gill Berriman

Bayview Secondary College was a school blighted by cultural stigmatisation, stereotyping and negative community perception. Since Gill Berriman stepped into the principal role five years ago, Bayview has undergone a dramatic transformation.

2017 Telstra Entrepreneur Award
NSW

Hana-Lia Krawchuk - Love To Dream

"Not having enough sleep is debilitating for both baby and parents. We have created special garments that eliminate the safety risks of traditional sleepwear and extend infants’ sleep patterns." - Hana-Lia Krawchuk

When Hana-Lia Krawchuk gave birth to her first child, his reluctance to sleep for longer than 45 minutes at a time quickly took its toll on family life. Desperate for a solution, Hana-Lia created the patented Love To Dream™ Swaddle UP™, which has helped millions of babies & families around the world get a longer, better night’s sleep.

2017 Telstra Entrepreneur Award
TAS

Hanna Graham - Revolution Paintball

"I am passionate about living life with a purpose. I want to make a difference in the lives of others by becoming a leader and an inspirational speaker, to influence other young women, through my success and achievements." - Hanna Graham

Homeless at 13, Hanna Graham spent her teenage years working to support herself through high school. Eventually, unable to sustain this lifestyle, she moved to Launceston to assist her father, where she worked in a small café which she later purchased.

2017 Telstra Entrepreneur Award
QLD

Jacqueline Gallagher - Notch Above Bookkeeping

"The success of Notch Above is linked to leveraging technologies to create useful and transparent systems to process, record and report on client financials." - Jacqueline Gallagher

A technology-first approach of doing business allows Jacqueline Gallagher to manage Notch Above Bookkeeping and its team of five employees, all from her home office in Brisbane.

2017 Telstra Entrepreneur Award
TAS

Jan Bingley - MerseyLink

"I am passionate about helping my staff make decisions that will positively influence their mental and physical health and wellbeing. I am committed to demonstrating that through support in the workplace, we can reverse the statistics." - Jan Bingley

Aged 30, Jan Bingley suffered a back injury which paralysed her leg. This time taught her the importance of looking after your own health and balancing work life with personal life.

2017 Telstra Entrepreneur Award
ACT

Jenifer Lee Apps - Jenifer Lee Fitness

"I feel like the world needs more of what I do, as so many women find themselves consumed by poor body-image and self-doubt. They haven't yet experienced the health benefits and emotional strength that come with a holistic lifestyle change." - Jenifer Lee Apps

On a day-to-day basis, personal trainer and health coach Jenifer Lee Apps inspires women to overcome their limitations and become who and what they want to be in life.

2017 Telstra Entrepreneur Award
SA

Joanna Buttfield - Kid Sense Child Development

"My vision for Kid Sense is simple yet compelling – create the most trusted brand in child development in Australia." - Joanna Buttfield

Having undertaken specialist paediatric training in the USA, Joanna Buttfield recognised the desperate need for similar services here in Australia.

2017 Telstra Corporate and Private Award
TAS

Judy Martin - SAGE International Study Program

"As a country, we want to provide the best care possible for our seniors. I believe I am contributing to a bigger picture, by influencing change within the aged-care sector both at the forefront and globally." - Judy Martin

In a career spanning 35 years, Judy Martin has worked on remote, rural, state, national and international aged care projects.

2017 Telstra Entrepreneur Award
ACT

Julia Heinze - Infinity Legal

"My hope is that Infinity Legal will have an impact on the community, empower women and encourage people not to accept family violence as a part of life and relationships." - Julia Heinze

rought up by a single mother, who had experienced family violence, Julia Heinze learnt early in life what it meant to be a strong independent woman. This spurred her on to complete a Juris Doctor at Newcastle University and pursue a legal career.

2017 Telstra Public Sector and Academia Award
NSW

Karen Borg - Jobs for NSW

"I was given a mission to strengthen the NSW economy by creating jobs and a blank slate as to how I would do it. Blending the best of the public and the private sector to deliver a unique economic and social outcome was an irresistible challenge." - Karen Borg

Having attended school in Australia and Germany, as well as working in the private sector across Eastern Europe, Asia and the Middle East, Karen Borg brings international experience to her role at Jobs for NSW.

2017 Telstra Public Sector and Academia Award
VIC

Karen Wade - Mount Waverley Secondary College

"My vision is to develop students who will be engaged in their learning and become lifelong learners, developing resilience and optimism." - Karen Wade

As college principal at Mount Waverley Secondary College (MWSC), Karen Wade oversees over 2000 students and staff across two campuses. MWSC is one of the largest schools in Victoria, yet its identity is shaped by Karen’s vision of diversity in culture and opportunity for students and teachers alike.

2017 Telstra Entrepreneur Award
TAS

Kate Sice - Botanical Kate Sice

"My mission is to remind people that bigger is not always better and that a product with integrity, skilfully arranged by someone who truly cares, is a far more valuable proposition for both buyer and seller." - Kate Sice

Intent on showing customers there is more to floristry than the mass-produced arrangements that currently dominate the market, Kate Sice set up Hobart’s creatively quirky flower shop, Botanical, in 2014.

2017 Telstra Corporate and Private Award
VIC

Kellee Ireland - Spookfish

"The world needs to understand the incredible value that spatial technology brings to business and day to day life." - Kellee Ireland

Kellee Ireland is no stranger to hard work. She was already employed full-time in the spatial industries and raising three children when she added part-time study to her load. She was then promoted to the role of Executive Director of the Spatial Industries Business Association (SIBA) and after 9 years has recently taken up the challenge at Spookfish, a cutting edge spatial industries tech start-up.

2017 Telstra Corporate and Private Award
VIC

Kristen Raby - Nova Systems

"I enjoy leading a workforce of highly skilled and extremely capable consultants to deliver value to our clients and overcome the challenges of operating across a number of different technical domains." - Kristen Raby

After 13 years as an aerospace engineer in the Canadian Air Force, Kristen Raby joined professional services firm Nova Systems in 2006. Delivering complex technologies to solve real-world problems in challenging environments, Kristen leads teams to build resilient systems in the fields of aerospace, surveillance, communications, information, integrated solutions and future systems.

2017 Telstra Entrepreneur Award
NSW

Kristy Chong - Modibodi

"I’m empowering women by giving them access to a better line of underwear that conveniently does away with the need for disposable hygiene." - Kristy Chong

For far too long women have had to put up with unattractive, costly disposable hygiene products to cope with periods, incontinence, menopausal flushes and more, says Kristy Chong. And it was about time that changed. Her brainchild, Modibodi, sees underwear and feminine hygiene reinvented. Designer styles meet superior high-tech protection to put an end to any embarrassing mishaps, while offering an environmentally friendly alternative to disposable hygiene products.

2017 Telstra Public Sector and Academia Award
NSW

Kylie Hargreaves - NSW Department of Planning and Environment

"I can help companies grow and employ people in regional areas, which typically have higher unemployment rates than cities. At the same time, I can also support our transition to a cleaner energy future." - Kylie Hargreaves

In 1970, when Kylie Hargreaves was born, women weren’t allowed to become trade commissioners – a role her father had held for almost 25 years. However, by the time Kylie left university, policy had changed, and Kylie became the youngest trade commissioner to run her own post in Europe.

2017 Telstra Corporate and Private Award
QLD

Kyra Bonney - Chandler Macleod

"By providing employees with a deeper insight into the challenges and opportunities of Indigenous employment, they can better understand why theres a gap and become emotionally invested in contributing towards solutions. " - Kyra Bonney

As General Manager of Indigenous Strategy for Chandler Macleod Groups Staffing Services team, Kyra strives to create opportunities through employment, training and education. Kyra’s role is to establish a team of Indigenous recruitment specialists across Australia, who focus on the long-term employment and development of Indigenous Australians.

2017 Telstra Public Sector and Academia Award
ACT

LCDR Susan Harris - Royal Australian Navy

"I am a loyal and proud Navy Officer, and I love providing mentorship to my junior colleagues as well as providing peer support. As success is built on trust, cultivating positive relationships is essential." - LCDR Susan Harris

Having spent the last 23 years working in the Royal Australian Navy (RAN), Lieutenant Commander Susan Harris is no stranger to blazing a trail for women. Not only was Susan the first female officer to conduct the Submarine Warfare Officers course in 1994, she was also Dux and a Sword of Honour recipient.

2017 Telstra Public Sector and Academia Award
SA

Lee Martinez - University of South Australia Department of Rural Health

"We need a community that has an understanding, acceptance and is free of the stigma that exists towards mental illness. My work has built extensive partnerships within the community to raise awareness and increase knowledge of mental illness." - Lee Martinez

Lee Martinez’s lifelong professional journey in rural healthcare commenced with a nursing role at Whyalla Hospital four decades ago. Since then, she has remained dedicated to improving the health of rural populations and advocating for mental health services.

2017 Telstra Young Business Women's Award
VIC

Linda Monique - Almo Milk

"The food we eat impacts our overall gut health. By reducing the presence of questionable additives and creating transparency around sourcing, we can reduce the burden of disease and improve the quality of life for many." - Linda Monique, Founder and CEO

Linda Monique is the founder and CEO of Almo Milk and one of 75,000 Australians suffering from Colitis and Crohn’s Disease. Linda’s own struggle with severe digestive issues inspired her to develop Almo Milk – an Australian-sourced almond milk which, unlike others on the market, is entirely free from questionable additives, sugars and starches.

2017 Telstra Young Business Women's Award
VIC

Lisa Du - ReadyTechGo

"I love what I do because we enrich lives. Many clients are socially isolated or confined to their homes. We help them create new social networks and enhance their mental wellbeing." - Lisa Du

Lisa Du has built a successful business around educating older people about technology, but the seed of her idea came from within her own family. Lisa grew up translating English for her Chinese/Vietnamese father, and when she introduced him to Google Translate, his life changed for the better.

2017 Telstra Entrepreneur Award
SA

Loretta Cavallaro - VARO Property

"My proudest achievement has been my ability to establish and grow Varo so quickly and build a loyal and passionate team, despite my four-year absence from the SA market." - Loretta Cavallaro

Loretta Cavallaro has built a solid reputation during her nine years working in real estate. In 2016, after four years immersed in Melbourne’s off-the-plan market, Loretta returned to her hometown of Adelaide to take the leap into the start-up life.

2017 Telstra Entrepreneur Award
NSW

Marcella Romero - Rehab Management

"I am excited every day to be leading and directing this award-winning enterprise that recognises the talents of my people and delivers outstanding service across multiple sectors." - Marcella Romero

Having migrated from Chile with her family at nine years old, Marcella Romero became determined to pursue a career that involved supporting vulnerable people. Having studied occupational therapy, Marcella founded Rehab Management – a business venture that enables her to do just that. Helping people to regain function and achieve their goals after experiencing disability, illness or injury, Marcella provides return-to-work services, injury management and a range of workplace training programs.

2017 Telstra Entrepreneur Award
ACT

Mary-Anne Apps - The Apps Learning Centre

"With the rise of learning difficulties and illnesses such as autism, ADHD and depression, there is a real need for integrative treatments." - Mary-Anne Apps

As a classroom teacher for 14 years, Mary-Anne Apps became keenly aware of the challenges faced by children with special needs. In 2011, she opened The Apps Learning Centre – a provider of fun, multi-sensory one-on-one tuition for young people with learning and behavioural difficulties.

2017 Telstra Young Business Women's Award
QLD

Melissa Stanford - Add Staff

"I am focused on adding value to all stakeholders, building long-term, trusting relationships and enabling opportunities for individual and employer growth." - Melissa Stanford

Melissa Stanford’s start-up venture, Add Staff, unites her four areas of expertise: STEM industries, education and training, recruitment, and business management.

2017 Telstra Public Sector and Academia Award
QLD

Michelle Baxter - Queensland Ambulance Service

"When you decide to take on a leadership role you have a responsibility to the people you have decided to lead. Time is the greatest commodity you can give to your staff." - Michelle Baxter ASM

Michelle Baxter has spent close to 25 years working in the ambulance service. Starting out as a paramedic, she now holds the Assistant Commissioner Cairns and Hinterland position for Queensland Ambulance Service (QAS), one of the largest ambulance services in the world.

2017 Telstra Entrepreneur Award
QLD

Michelle McDowall - Arabon Accountants

"Success for me is more than stable revenue flows and lower costs. It is time available to develop high-value, rewarding, advisory relationships with clients." - Michelle McDowall

Three decades ago, Michelle McDowall started her accountancy firm as a one-woman business. Today, Arabon Accountants services around 3,000 clients with a team of 24 staff.

2017 Telstra Entrepreneur Award
NSW

Natalie Chapman - gemaker

"Researchers and inventors look to innovate to solve real-world problems and improve lives. My role is to turn those ideas into realities." - Natalie Chapman

Natalie Chapman’s startup, gemaker, helps Australia’s smartest people take their ideas to the world. A pro at translating highly technical innovations into marketable products or services, Natalie supports research organisations and innovative companies bring disruptive products and services to global markets.

2017 Telstra Corporate and Private Award
VIC

Natasha Norton - Accuteque

"People have different areas of knowledge, and I love providing a space for everyone to show what they can do, whether they are juniors or seniors." - Natasha Norton

When Natasha Norton arrived at Accuteque in 2010, she discovered a business model that was destined to be redundant within a few years. Accuteque started as a software testing business, but Natasha laid out the road map to where it is today: a professional services company that has exceeded its growth targets for the past three years running, coinciding with her tenure as CEO.

2017 Telstra Young Business Women's Award
NSW

Nicole Buskiewicz - Advoc8

"Data-driven advocacy encourages evidence-based public policy development, which is vital to healthy, functioning democracies." - Nicole Buskiewicz

As a woman in her twenties who had worked in and around politics for almost a decade, Nicole Buskiewicz realised that despite the significant disruption that was happening in other industries, the public policy sector was being left behind.

2017 Telstra Corporate and Private Award
TAS

Nicole McCullagh - Your Local Motor Group

"My key aim was to develop a solid approach to guest management, through the implementation of a range of policies and procedures to assist staff in consistently delivering best practice customer service." - Nicole McCullagh

During her time with Your Local Motor Group (formerly Launceston Toyota and Audi Centre), Nicole McCullagh has overhauled both the guest experience and business operations.

2017 Telstra Public Sector and Academia Award
QLD

Paulina Skerman - St Patrick's College Townsville

"I teach girls to expect respect. I break down barriers of cultural insensitivity, and respond to those who have been traumatised, by creating an environment where they are loved, safe and can learn. I shape the lives of young women by building resilience so past hurts do not define their future." - Paulina Skerman

St Patrick’s College in Townsville had declining enrolments before Paulina Skerman took on the role of Principal.

2017 Telstra Young Business Women's Award
VIC

Penelope O’Sullivan - Exponential Events

"Life is short, and true individual happiness comes from supporting others and bringing a bit of happiness and joy into as many lives as you can touch." - Penelope O’Sullivan

After reading shocking statistics on violence against women in Australia, Penelope O’Sullivan decided to apply her skills in event consultancy to bring about social change. Her business, Exponential Events, runs the Ultimate Weekend Women’s Expo, a showcase of up to 115 small and medium businesses, offering seminars and classes to the general public.

2017 Telstra Entrepreneur Award
NSW

Penny Spencer - Spencer Group of Companies

"Travel brings people together, and facilitates trade and innovation. It also directly impacts a business' bottom-line. My mission is to enhance clients’ travel experiences through personalised services and open communication." - Penny Spencer

When Penny Spencer left New Zealand for Australia at the age of 18, she was determined to find work in the travel sector. However, without any industry experience, this proved to be a real challenge, with Penny eventually deciding to intern for free at a travel agency.

2017 Telstra Entrepreneur Award
NSW

Petra Playfair - PLAYFAIR Visa and Migration Services

"I am passionate that my work contributes to an inclusive and multicultural Australia while enabling our clients to commence a new life in our ‘land of opportunity." - Petra Playfair

Petra Playfair started her career as a social worker specialising in cross-cultural casework, and global migration. After being awarded a prestigious Churchill Fellowship, she became passionate about creating an inclusive and multicultural Australia, setting up PLAYFAIR Visa and Migration Services in 1988.

2017 Telstra Public Sector and Academia Award
SA

Professor Leah Bromfield - University of South Australia

"My teams are producing world-class research that is leading change in policy and practice in child protection. It is my role to continually reinforce and communicate the importance of our work." - Professor Leah Bromfield

As Co-Director of the Australian Centre for Child Protection, Leah Bromfield deals with the worst things that can happen to children. This helps her stay focused on the overall goal of her teams’ research: not just to provide research, but to inform real change in policy and practice around child safety.

2017 Telstra Public Sector and Academia Award
NSW

Professor Robin Stonecash - University of Sydney

"I absolutely believe that education is the way to lift people, whether out of poverty, or for women to have independence, and for leaders to be better versions of themselves." - Professor Robin Stonecash

Professor Robin Stonecash swore she’d never be a teacher. Now, after 40 years in the occupation, Robin is director of the Global Executive MBA and Executive Education (GEMBA) at the University of Sydney Business School.

2017 Telstra Young Business Women's Award
TAS

Rachel Roberts - Beauty of Arcadia

"The purpose of my business is to provide a natural, vegan beauty destination, a place that acknowledges and educates on the importance of self-care, while bringing positive change towards sustainable, environmental-friendly practices." - Rachel Roberts

As a new mum, Rachel Roberts craved the flexibility that running your own business can bring. She decided to open her beauty salon, Beauty of Arcadia, just a few months after the birth of her daughter.

2017 Telstra Entrepreneur Award
VIC

Ruth Mackay - OURTEL Fundraising Solutions

"I believe that the company that stands still will fall behind. I am constantly looking to overseas markets to ensure OURTEL maintains our status as a leading service provider to the Australian not-for-profit industry.” - Ruth Mackay

Melbourne business woman Ruth Mackay has been a pioneer of effectively employing technology in the workplace for more than 30 years. She recently published her first book, ‘The 21st Century Workforce’, to help businesses plan and manage their employees virtually.

2017 Telstra Corporate and Private Award
QLD

Sandra Gillanders - Hy-Performance Fluid Power

"The world needs people with good competencies but also the confidence to use them. Empowerment leads to confidence, confidence leads to success." - Sandra Gillanders

Sandra Gillanders ran her own business management consultancy firm for eight years. But when she suffered debilitating spinal injuries in a horse-riding accident, the upheaval to her personal life necessitated a change. Upon moving to Queensland in 2012, she was appointed CEO of Hy-Performance Fluid Power, a niche manufacturer and supplier of components for mining drills.

2017 Telstra Young Business Women's Award
NSW

Sara Kahlau - Icare (Insurance and Care NSW)

"Future generations want to make societal impact and feel valued. I want to inspire millennials to invest their time and energy in industries like insurance." - Sara Kahlau

As someone who always wants to do it all, Sara Kahlau has proven herself to be quite the achiever. Born in Sweden, she moved to Australia in 2010 where she completed a Bachelor of Business before working at Booz&Co (now PwC’s Strategy&). In just two years, Sara was promoted to associate.

2017 Telstra Young Business Women's Award
NSW

Sarah Battenally - Royal Australian Navy

"The decisions and actions I take today will hopefully open the minds of young men and women and inspire them to pursue their passions." - Sarah Battenally

Sarah Battenally is a proud member of the Australian Defence Force (ADF), undertaking the role of Leading Seaman Marine Technician for the Royal Australian Navy. In this demanding role, Sarah provides technical advice regarding assessment and control of marine engineering equipment, while also acting as a trade supervisor in a military operational environment.

2017 Telstra Entrepreneur Award
VIC

Sarah Holloway - Matcha Maiden

"The only thing between you and the life you dream of is whether you have the courage to choose it." - Sarah Holloway

Sarah Holloway’s career in law was advancing rapidly when she reached a fork in the road: her superfood business, Matcha Maiden, needed her full-time attention to achieve its next goals.

2017 Telstra Corporate and Private Award
NSW

Sarah Hunter - Virbac Animal Health

"With microbial resistance to antibiotics increasing, the importance of developing alternatives for use in animal treatment has never been more critical to human and animal health. I am proud to be part of this important mission." - Sarah Hunter

Sarah Hunter’s studies in agricultural science took her from the University of Sydney to Canada and the UK. Now, as commercial director of Virbac Animal Health, Sarah’s international experience has made her more aware than ever of the challenges faced by the Australian livestock community.

2017 Telstra Entrepreneur Award
VIC

Shan Morrison - Women's & Men's Health Physiotherapy

"I am motivated by making a positive difference in people’s lives. My passion for the mission of WMHP is infectious, inspiring my team to ensure my vision has become our reality." - Shan Morrison

When Shan Morrison was 16, her mother returned to work as a physiotherapist, and Shan noticed how it improved her sense of self. This inspired Shan to enter physiotherapy herself, and twelve years later, she became a partner in Women’s & Men’s Health Physiotherapy.

2017 Telstra Public Sector and Academia Award
QLD

Sharon Cowden - Australian Federal Police

"My role is important to other women in the AFP because I advocate for them and understand the journey up through the ranks. I need to exemplify the values of the AFP." - Sharon Cowden

Sharon Cowden joined the Australian Federal Police (AFP) 33 years ago at just 19. She now holds the rank of Commander and is the only female State Manager in the AFP.

2017 Telstra Entrepreneur Award
VIC

Sheree Rubinstein - One Roof Coworking

"Every decision I make is towards how I can best support women to thrive and succeed in business to reach their greatest potential in life." - Sheree Rubinstein

Like many fellow female entrepreneurs, Sheree Rubinstein found the decision to leave a stable and financially secure job, with a top tier law firm, extremely difficult. However, Sheree had a clear goal in mind, co-founding One Roof to provide the professional support and inspiration that women in business need to thrive.

2017 Telstra Public Sector and Academia Award
NSW

Simone Constant - NSW Treasury

"My strengths are identifying and defining strategy to deliver on opportunities of scale for broader community, membership or public purpose." - Simone Constant

Following a diverse private sector career in law, banking and fund management, including appointments in the UK, US and Australia, Simone Constant joined the NSW Treasury in 2011. In her six years with the public service, Simone has held four deputy secretary roles and is currently deputy secretary of financial and risk management transformation.

2017 Telstra Entrepreneur Award
NSW

Suzi Jamil - Think Inc.

"Think Inc.’s purpose is to make science and evidence-based thinking sexy and to remind people that being intelligent is cool!" - Suzi Jamil

Suzi Jamil is on a mission to enrich society by producing highly entertaining events which both educate and inspire. Her business, Think Inc., looks to spark conversation that ignite science and rationale-based debate, with their events designed to specifically engage a younger demographic of Australians.

2017 Telstra Corporate and Private Award
QLD

Tishara Mina - Michael Hill International

"As General Manager, I am able to use all of my retail experience to build a team, brand and legacy for the company." - Tishara Mina

Tishara Mina is the general manager for jewellery brand Emma and Roe – part of international jewellery conglomerate, the Michael Hill Group.

2017 Telstra Entrepreneur Award
SA

Tracy Marsh - Tracy Marsh Publications

"Our programs are about creating a positive problem-solving mindset in young people that lasts a lifetime. It’s about encouraging young Australians to think big and follow their dream." - Tracy Marsh

Tracy Marsh’s first foray into entrepreneurship was at age 18, when she wrote and self-published her first book. The book, Touch of Nostalgia, went on to sell over 200,000 copies and become an Australian best-seller.

2017 Telstra Entrepreneur Award
QLD

Vivian Jarrett - Vision Psychology

"I’ve come to appreciate how much our community needs counselling to save lives. People struggle to find the right kind of help. My business provides an army of mental health experts available 7 days a week, and explains counselling to the community, making accessing help very easy." - Vivian Jarrett

Mental health no longer has to hide behind closed doors, according to Vivian Jarrett. Under her direction, Vision Psychology advocates the business benefits of knowledge-sharing, with its range of websites offering free information and advice to 1,000 new visitors every day.

The 2019 Telstra Business Women's Awards are now closed. Nominate an inspirational woman in business for the 2020 Telstra Business Women's Awards.

It’s easy. Just tell us a little more about who you’re nominating.

Nominate now