2012 Tasmanian Winners Announced
18 Sep 2012
Accounting trail-blazer wins top Tasmanian Business Women’s Award
A woman who deferred the offer of a partnership in a Tasmanian accountancy business while she drove a strategic review to shake-up the firm’s culture was named today as the 2012 Telstra Tasmanian Business Woman of the Year.
Lucinda Mills, 31, is now an equity partner of Camerons Accountants and Advisers, the largest locally-owned accounting practice in Tasmania with 65 staff in offices in Launceston, Scottsdale, Ulverstone and Devonport and mobile services in King Island, St Helens, Hobart and Swansea. Ms Mills also won the Hudson Private and Corporate Sector Award at the Awards ceremony held in Hobart.
When offered a partnership in 2008, Ms Mills declined on the condition that she would first lead a comprehensive business review. Outcomes of the review included improved staff morale and retention, higher client satisfaction and an 88 per cent increase in profitability. It also led to a rebranded organisation, a renewed focus on technical excellence, innovation in work practices and a new professional development policy.
The outcomes made investing in the business as a partner more attractive and in 2010 Ms Mills became the first woman to be a partner at Camerons. She enjoys the newly developed family-friendly work culture, working two days a week from home to spend more time with her young daughter. Camerons has since brought on a second woman as a partner and more women in the business are combining senior management roles with raising families.
While leading a team to deliver accounting and financial planning services to individuals, families and small to medium businesses, Ms Mills has also made significant industry contributions in her roles as Tasmanian Chair of the Taxation Institute of Australia from 2010-12 and as a lecturer in applied taxation.
Other Awards winners included Paula Leishman, founder and managing director of Hobart conference and events business Paula Leishman Associates, Diana Butler, Executive Director of Launceston not-for-profit The Care for Africa Foundation, and Julia Ralph, owner of Newstead Hair, a hair salon in Newstead.
Kate McKenzie, Group Managing Director Telstra Innovation, Products & Marketing and Telstra Business Women’s Awards Ambassador, said the winners in Tasmania were inspirational business women and leaders in their sectors. “They have displayed innovation in their business or community that influences and motivates others and their achievements are cause for celebration,” she said.
Ms McKenzie said Telstra Awards judges were impressed by the success Ms Mills had achieved in driving practice and process innovation in a traditionally conservative business sector of accounting, taxation and financial planning.
In introducing these changes at one of the largest regional accountancy practices in Australia, Lucinda’s mission was to improve profitability, staff retention, client satisfaction, streamlining of processes and the family-friendly nature of the work environment. All of this was undertaken prior to her agreement to become the first female partner in this longstanding accounting business and it was all achieved before she was 30,” Ms McKenzie said.
Mark Steyn, CEO of Hudson Asia Pacific, said: “As sponsor of the Private & Corporate Sector Award, Hudson is passionate about profiling successful women in business and recognising the hugely valuable contribution they continue to make to corporate and community life.
It is a privilege to be associated with an event that showcases the excellent calibre and quality of talented women working across Australia such as Lucinda Mills. We are also proud to promote the opportunities available to high performing women across Australia,” he said.
Winners of the 2012 Telstra Tasmanian Business Women’s Awards are:
2012 Telstra Tasmanian Business Woman of the Year
Lucinda Mills Camerons, Launceston
Commonwealth Bank Business Owner Award
Paula Leishman Leishman Associates, Hobart
Paula Leishman launched a conference and events management business when she was 38 to help pay her daughter’s school fees. Leishman Associates blossomed into a business with offices in Hobart and Melbourne that employs 17 and co-ordinates local, national and international conferences. Telstra Awards judges said Ms Leishman has excellent people skills and leadership acumen that is rewarded with staff and client loyalty and long-term business and personal relationships.
Hudson Private and Corporate Sector Award
Lucinda Mills Camerons Accountants & Advisers, Launceston
White Pages® Community & Government Award
Diana Butler The Care for Africa Foundation, Launceston
While working as an emergency nurse, Diana Butler was inspired to establish The Care for Africa Foundation to address poverty in Tanzania’s Tarime region. She is Executive Director of the not-for-profit that has delivered education programs, child and teacher sponsorships, a water well, mobile medical clinic and $700,000 in medical, educational, and community equipment. Judges said Ms Butler was a wonderful inspiration to women in the community who had set up the business from scratch with passion and commitment for no personal gain.
Nokia Business Innovation Award
Julia Ralph Newstead Hair, Newstead
Third generation hairdresser Julia Ralph developed a free interactive iPhone and iPad application that offers online bookings, client feedback and videos on the latest hairstyles Judges said she was a savvy young business woman with a flair for technology who has driven innovation in an unheralded business environment with up to the minute apps and practices rarely seen to date in this sector in Australia.
marie claire Young Business Women’s Award
Julia Ralph Newstead Hair, Newstead
Since buying her mother’s Launceston hair salon when she was 21, Julia Ralph, 27, transformed Newstead Hair, tripling staff numbers and increasing turnover fivefold. Winner of the International Hairdressing Society Tasmanian Salon of the Year four times since 2007, the business has 18 staff and a client list of 6000. Judges said she was a talented and passionate small business owner with strong values and recognised nationally and globally through her contracts with the TV show Project Runway and international fashion shows.
The Tasmanian winners proceed to the national finals of the Telstra Business Women’s Awards that will be announced in Sydney on 21 November. The winners share in $200,000 in cash and prizes split among the state, territory and national winners and become part of an exclusive national business alumni with wide networking opportunities.
More information on the Telstra Business Women’s Awards can be found at www.telstrabusinesswomensawards.com
James Howe | 0488 065 058 | Telstra
Marcela Balart | 0422 483 371 | Lighthouse Communications Group
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Telstra Business Women's Awards Network