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Telstra WA Business Women’s Awards finalists defy convention

Whether by igniting conversations about mental health or turning classical music on its head, the 21 finalists of the 2017 Telstra Western Australian Business Women’s Awards are striving to challenge some of the state’s most ingrained perceptions.

One such orchestrator of change is Bourby Webster. Royal College of Music alumni and the founder of the Perth Symphony Orchestra (PSO), Bourby has become a model entrepreneur for WA’s arts sector. Her belief that successfully bringing people together over classical music rests on breaking the rules, is what has driven Bourby to produce adventurous, alternative shows, like Steampunk Mozart and UNPLUGGED: Nirvana Reimagined.

Peta Slocombe is also among the group of change makers. Growing up with a quadriplegic father, Peta was taught that the only thing that matters in life is the good you choose to do with it. And so, using her 20 years’ experience as a psychologist, she set up Australia’s Biggest Mental Health Check-in (ABMHC). An online screening program that helps users to identify and manage mental health issues effectively, ABMHC supports over 4,000 people across Australia.

Charlotte Mills’ work with Racing and Wagering Western Australia demonstrates the change that has occurred within the WA sporting community. In her role as General Manager Racing, Charlotte has worked to promote racing as one of few sports where women and men compete together. Her aim is to encourage people to participate in the industry regardless of their gender.

Now in their 23rd year, the Telstra Business Women’s Awards celebrate the achievements of extraordinary business women and the contribution, support and participation of everyone in pursuit of this goal.

Telstra Business Women’s Awards Ambassador, and Group Executive, Media, and Chief Marketing Officer, Joe Pollard, said that the Western Australian finalists are exceptional women who deserve to be celebrated.

“The role of the Telstra Business Women’s Awards is to shine a light on women’s achievements as business leaders and celebrate the positive results of inclusive leadership, which include better organisational performance, increased competitive advantage and at a macro level, a thriving economy,” Ms Pollard said.

“The 2017 finalists have followed very different paths to business success but they have all shown determination, innovative thinking and exceptional leadership to deliver real business impact.”

Winners of the 2017 Telstra Western Australian Business Women’s Awards will be announced at a Gala Dinner in Perth, on Tuesday 24 October. State and Territory category winners will be flown to Melbourne for the National Awards judging, followed by a celebration dinner on the night of Tuesday 21 November.

For information about the Awards and to purchase tickets to the Awards Gala Dinners please call 1800 817 536 between 9am and 7pm AEST Monday to Friday. 

The finalists of the 2017 Telstra Western Australian Business Women’s Awards are:

Entrepreneur Award

Caroline Monet, Carolines Skincare, Hamilton Hill

Gemma Tognini, gtmedia, Perth

Peta Slocombe, Vital Conversations, Subiaco

Dr Anh Nguyen, Dr Anh Plastic Surgeon Medispa & Wellness Clinic, Perth

For Purpose and Social Enterprise

Asha Bhat, Southern Aboriginal Corporation, Albany

Kim Eckert, Kalgoorlie-Boulder Urban Landcare Group, Kalgoorlie-Boulder

Jahna Cedar, Gumala Aboriginal Corporation, East Perth

Bourby Webster, Perth Symphony Orchestra, Swanbourne

Public Sector and Academia

Charlotte Mills, Racing and Wagering Western Australia, Osborne Park

Rhonda Hardy, City of Kalamunda, Kalamunda

Michelle Fyfe, Western Australia Police Force, Perth

Corporate and Private

Anna Dartnell, Bis, Osborne Park

Dhakshi Weerwardena, BHP, Perth

Jennifer Franceschi, Fresh Produce Alliance, Manjimup

Deanne Watts, GE Group Australia, Gerlaldton

Derry Simpson, 303 MullenLowe Group, Perth

Julia Schortinghuis, Lighthouse Capital, Perth

Young Business Women's Award

Dhakshi Weerwardena, BHP, Perth

Maitri Patel, Bolly Active, Victoria Park

Hannah Mills, WestCoast Fireworks, Bunbury

Jessica Williamson, Ete Swimwear, Perth

Katherine Roberts, This Little Pig Went to Market, Bassendean


Media contact:

Mark Thompson, 0477 701 814

Media reference: 109/2017

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