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Winners

Celebrating Australia's leading business women

A massive congratulations to our Telstra Business Women's Award winners, who have been recognised by our expert judging panel for changing business for the better. We wish them the best of luck as they continue towards their future goals.

National winner

Anne Cross - UnitingCare Queensland

2014 Telstra Australian Business Woman of the Year

"I care about the wellbeing of people and communities and am driven by the contribution not-for-profit organisations make to the social and economic life of Australia." - Anne Cross

Anne Cross is passionate about the not- for-profit sector, particularly about the organisation she has led for the last decade. UnitingCare Queensland is interesting, complex and achieves amazing things, she says. Anne was engaged as CEO to undertake the consolidation of the Church’s health and community service operations in Queensland into one organisation.

QLD

National category winners

Swipe to explore

2014 Telstra Australian Business Innovation Award
NSW

Andrea Galloway - Evolve Housing

"Moving into the not-for-profit space required me to apply the commercial insights I gained throughout my career to improve core service delivery and generate outcomes that advance the needs of all stakeholders." - Andrea Galloway

From highly ranked tennis player at a young age to corporate high-flyer in the technology sector, Andrea Galloway has brought these skills to a role close to her heart. Now CEO of not-for-profit Evolve Housing, at 16 Andrea left a dysfunctional home and became passionate about creating safe and accessible homes for all.

2014 Telstra Australian Community And Government Award
QLD

Anne Cross - UnitingCare Queensland

"I care about the wellbeing of people and communities and am driven by the contribution not-for-profit organisations make to the social and economic life of Australia." - Anne Cross

Anne Cross is passionate about the not- for-profit sector, particularly about the organisation she has led for the last decade. UnitingCare Queensland is interesting, complex and achieves amazing things, she says. Anne was engaged as CEO to undertake the consolidation of the Church’s health and community service operations in Queensland into one organisation.

2014 Telstra Australian Business Innovation Award
TAS

Donna Adams - Tasmania Police

"I have a strong work ethic and believe I can make a difference. I appreciate the importance of maintaining a contemporary understanding of the environment and am committed to lifelong learning and development." - Donna Adams

Donna Adams was the first woman to be appointed Assistant Commissioner in the 114-year history of Tasmania Police. Joining the force aged 19, Donna worked across departments before taking on her current role, which she hopes will inspire other women to seek out senior positions.

2014 Telstra Australian Business Owner Award
VIC

Kate Weiss - Table of Plenty

"Always have a motivation that is bigger than yourself and never stop believing, you never know where your next breakthrough will come from." - Kate Weiss

Life is a precious gift. This truth hit home like never before after Kate Weiss gave birth to a daughter with a disability. It was a turning point that started her on a journey from surviving to thriving. She rediscovered a passion for life, and her subsequent research into food, nutrition and wellbeing led to the creation of Table of Plenty.

2014 Telstra Australian Private And Corporate Sector Award
NSW

Susan Lloyd-Hurwitz - Mirvac

"Along the way, I've had some important mentors who have invested in me, taken a risk, held up the mirror for me and guided me." - Susan Lloyd-Hurwitz

With 25 years in the property industry, working in Australia, Europe, the US and Asia, Susan Lloyd-Hurwitz brings a myriad of skills to her role as CEO and Managing Director of ASX top 50 company Mirvac. Susan has led complex businesses and strategies at top global companies such as LaSalle Investment Management, Lend Lease, and Macquarie where she established one of the first real estate funds to invest in Chinese shopping centres.

2014 Telstra Australian Young Business Women's Award
NSW

Tina Tower - Begin Bright

"My mission in life is to run fantastic companies that make people feel happy, smart and confident and to ensure that children throughout the world reach their potential." - Tina Tower

Straight out of school Tina Tower began studying a business degree, then switched to teaching. By her second year she had started a tutoring centre, combining business with education. But one tutoring centre was not going to enable her to reach all the children she wanted to help so, in 2008, looking for a way to better balance work and family, she started licensing the school readiness program and tutoring program she’d developed.

State winners

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
Allison Clark - Houston’s Farm
2014 Telstra Private And Corporate Sector Award
TAS

Allison Clark - Houston’s Farm

In just ten years Allison Clark has jumped from being a food safety consultant to General Manager of Marketing for Tasmanian family agribusiness Houston’s Farm. Set near Cambridge, the farm produced eggs until it shifted to growing fancy lettuce varieties 15 years ago.

Andrea Galloway - Evolve Housing
2014 Telstra Business Innovation Award
NSW

Andrea Galloway - Evolve Housing

"Moving into the not-for-profit space required me to apply the commercial insights I gained throughout my career to improve core service delivery and generate outcomes that advance the needs of all stakeholders." - Andrea Galloway

From highly ranked tennis player at a young age to corporate high-flyer in the technology sector, Andrea Galloway has brought these skills to a role close to her heart. Now CEO of not-for-profit Evolve Housing, at 16 Andrea left a dysfunctional home and became passionate about creating safe and accessible homes for all.

Anne Cross - UnitingCare Queensland
2014 Telstra Community And Government Award
State Winner QLD

Anne Cross - UnitingCare Queensland

"I care about the wellbeing of people and communities and am driven by the contribution not-for-profit organisations make to the social and economic life of Australia." - Anne Cross

Anne Cross is passionate about the not- for-profit sector, particularly about the organisation she has led for the last decade. UnitingCare Queensland is interesting, complex and achieves amazing things, she says. Anne was engaged as CEO to undertake the consolidation of the Church’s health and community service operations in Queensland into one organisation.

Capt. Jan Becker - Becker Helicopter Services Pty Ltd
2014 Telstra Business Owner Award
QLD

Capt. Jan Becker - Becker Helicopter Services Pty Ltd

"I lead by example, in the helicopter, the boardroom and with the team. I refuel my own helicopter, clean toilets, wash dishes, take out garbage. I’m not precious, no matter the task." - Capt. Jan Becker

It all started with a 1961 helicopter called Oscar – a Bell 47. Jan Becker did her first solo flight and passed her pilot’s licence in Oscar, inspiring a dream to teach the next generation of helicopter pilots worldwide. She began a journey in business with a clear vision encompassing her two professional passions – flying helicopters and midwifery.

Debby Bell - Ella Baché Fannie Bay
2014 Telstra Business Owner Award
NT

Debby Bell - Ella Baché Fannie Bay

"The desire to be successful and develop a good reputation in my industry has been my largest driving factor. I’m not complacent about my business and I’m dedicated to deliver a high standard of knowledge and service to my clients." - Debby Bell

Debby Bell turned her love for beauty therapy into more than just a business. As well as growing her Ella Baché Fannie Bay business over 20 years, she extends her enthusiasm and shares her expertise with people aspiring to join the industry. Debby Bell turned her love for beauty therapy into more than just a business.

Dixie Emmerton - Centre for Tasmanian Industry
2014 Telstra Business Owner Award
TAS

Dixie Emmerton - Centre for Tasmanian Industry

"My philosophy is that you must take risks, work hard to achieve your dream, find a career that gives you enjoyment and not forget to support others along the way." - Dixie Emmerton

With such wide-ranging career experience, it’s no surprise that Dixie Emmerton says her Centre for Tasmanian Industry has no boundaries. She’d managed complex workers compensation claims and rehabilitation, Fair Work Ombudsman complaints, grievances and safety for the Australian Trade Commission and performed a variety of HR and industrial relations roles.

Donna Adams - Tasmania Police
2014 Telstra Business Innovation Award
State Winner TAS

Donna Adams - Tasmania Police

"I have a strong work ethic and believe I can make a difference. I appreciate the importance of maintaining a contemporary understanding of the environment and am committed to lifelong learning and development." - Donna Adams

Donna Adams was the first woman to be appointed Assistant Commissioner in the 114-year history of Tasmania Police. Joining the force aged 19, Donna worked across departments before taking on her current role, which she hopes will inspire other women to seek out senior positions.

Dr Karen Nelson-Field - Ehrenberg-Bass Institute, University of South Australia
2014 Telstra Business Innovation Award
SA

Dr Karen Nelson-Field - Ehrenberg-Bass Institute, University of South Australia

"Timing was everything, there were no other academics in this space, and while there are some now, very few apply the rigorous empirical generalisation approach I (we) do." - Dr Karen Nelson-Field

New York’s 2012 Advertising Research Foundation conference opened with a warning that marketers were putting "change ahead of learning" and a clarion call for more rigorous research in the fast-paced digital media space. Karen Nelson-Field, a senior researcher for South Australia’s Ehrenberg-Bass Institute, presented findings at the same conference that catapulted her on to the global stage.

Dr Tracey Brown - Alchemia
2014 Telstra Private And Corporate Sector Award
State Winner VIC

Dr Tracey Brown - Alchemia

"My mother was diagnosed with ovarian cancer at the young age of 53. By supporting her through her devastating disease and chemotherapy I realised that there was a significant unmet need for better anti-cancer therapies." - Dr Tracey Brown

After experiencing personal loss from cancer, Tracey Brown decided to use her biomedical research background to develop a platform that could produce a range of tumour-targeted therapies. Tracey has identified a non-toxic, naturally occurring sugar, Hyaluronic Acid, which acts as a delivery vehicle and targets the tumour cells instead of healthy cells.

Elizabeth Harper - GHD
2014 Telstra Private And Corporate Sector Award
QLD

Elizabeth Harper - GHD

"The foundation of my philosophy in leading and managing others is to build relationships based on honesty and openness. I provide my team with autonomy to deliver results by providing clear objectives and effective delegation." - Elizabeth Harper

From what she calls ‘humble beginnings’ as a software developer, Elizabeth Harper was inspired by great CEOs and encouraged by terrific mentors to drive business improvement and service excellence across a range of industries. She is passionate about supporting women to excel and this has been a major motivation throughout her career.

Erma Ranieri - Office for the Public Sector (Department of the Premier and Cabinet)
2014 Telstra Community And Government Award
State Winner SA

Erma Ranieri - Office for the Public Sector (Department of the Premier and Cabinet)

"What I have learnt from leading change programs during my career is the critical importance of people being engaged and wanting to participate. This includes both senior people, and people at lower levels and in direct service delivery roles." - Erma Ranieri

Erma Ranieri knows that without engaged employees, change will not succeed. Coming to Australia when she was young, with English as her second language, she saw how government services changed the lives of her parents and relatives and became a passionate believer in what the public sector can achieve.

Jan Mason - Department of Finance
2014 Telstra Community And Government Award
ACT

Jan Mason - Department of Finance

"The breadth of my responsibilities is both daunting and rewarding. I would not want it otherwise." - Jan Mason

Jan Mason claims a series of accidents of fate led her to her current role, pursuing opportunities – often with considerable trepidation – whenever they presented themselves. Jan has developed a vision for the Business, Procurement and Asset Management Group that she currently leads – 'Getting the job done’ and ‘Government that Works’'

Jennifer Wyborn - Clayton Utz
2014 Telstra Young Business Women's Award
ACT

Jennifer Wyborn - Clayton Utz

"My driving values of fairness and justice inform the sort of work I do, the clients for whom I act and the way in which I behave when representing them." - Jennifer Wyborn

Fairness and justice have always been critical drivers for Jennifer Wyborn. Admitted as a lawyer in 2004, she has since held a variety of roles in the public, and now the private, sector. Her vision and strategy is to remain connected with her motivating values of excellence, fairness and justice, and to use them to guide her practice and her clients through difficult and turbulent times.

Jillian Ritherdon - YWCA of Darwin Inc.
2014 Telstra Community And Government Award
NT

Jillian Ritherdon - YWCA of Darwin Inc.

"My approach was to add value to an existing service and use the surpluses generated to fund new or support existing community programs and provide employment and training opportunities." - Jillian Ritherdon

Being an entrepreneur is more than starting up a business. For Executive Director at the YWCA of Darwin, Jillian Ritherdon says it’s about ‘outside the box’ solutions. Through her vision to empower children, women and families, Jillian created a suite of social enterprises called “For Futures”.

Jo Schneider - DVE Business Solutions
2014 Telstra Young Business Women's Award
SA

Jo Schneider - DVE Business Solutions

"My focus is on the sustainability and viability of the company into the future, so building future leaders and setting up a strong foundation for growth is of paramount importance in everything I do." - Jo Schneider

A serial entrepreneur, Jo Schneider started her first business ‘Jo’s Toffees’ at age 11. After rising to the position of Senior Manufacturing Engineer in Holden, Jo was again called into business using her redundancy package to start Animal Therapeutics Online. Through her new venture DVE Business Solutions, she’s helped organisations standardise and streamline their business to create sustainable growth.

2014 Telstra Private And Corporate Sector Award
State Winner NT

Julie Crisp - Deloitte

"I identified significant potential for growth in providing business process solutions to centres beyond Darwin – businesses everywhere are seeking to deliver the same outcomes more effectively." - Julie Crisp

As head of Deloitte’s Darwin Assurance and Advisory division, Julie Crisp has brought a business improvement mindset to all projects. In practice, it meant being on top of emerging industry issues affecting her clients and offering solutions to run their businesses more efficiently, effectively and economically. A results-focused believer in the principle ‘if you choose to do it, do it well,’.

Justine Curtis - Inspired Adventures
2014 Telstra Business Owner Award
NSW

Justine Curtis - Inspired Adventures

"I love a challenge and the satisfaction of achieving goals, both in business and personally. I may succeed in inspiring one person, but that one person may inspire many more." - Justine Curtis

Meeting a Tibetan monk who was jailed in China for 33 years was a life-changing moment for Justine Curtis. Having worked in sales and marketing, the meeting in India inspired her to develop a fundraising agency partnering with charities to create events and raise money. The sustainable travel packages deliver enjoyment for travellers and cash for charities.

Kate Morris - Adorebeauty.com.au
2014 Telstra Business Innovation Award
VIC

Kate Morris - Adorebeauty.com.au

"I set out to solve a problem for my customers - and inadvertently ended up creating a solution for makeup shoppers worldwide. I believe there are many more opportunities for tools to help beauty consumers choose products online." - Kate Morris

Growing up in Launceston, Kate Morris was frustrated at being unable to access the beauty products she saw in magazines. So in 2000 she started her own online retailer, adorebeauty.com.au. Rarely a day passed without a customer commenting that they couldn’t match foundation colours online. Kate mused that it would be great if there were a site that could collate and compare all the shades available. So she decided to build it herself.

Kate Weiss - Table of Plenty
2014 Telstra Business Owner Award
VIC

Kate Weiss - Table of Plenty

"Always have a motivation that is bigger than yourself and never stop believing, you never know where your next breakthrough will come from." - Kate Weiss

Life is a precious gift. This truth hit home like never before after Kate Weiss gave birth to a daughter with a disability. It was a turning point that started her on a journey from surviving to thriving. She rediscovered a passion for life, and her subsequent research into food, nutrition and wellbeing led to the creation of Table of Plenty.

Margaret Bowen - The Disability Trust
2014 Telstra Community And Government Award
NSW

Margaret Bowen - The Disability Trust

"I'm continually delighted at how hard our people work to make good things happen for our client group. Our mission of inclusion operates at all levels and is a key to our success." - Margaret Bowen

Despite having served 27 years in the one job, CEO Margaret Bowen has remained refreshed and energised by reinventing both herself and the not-for-profit, The Disability Trust. Passionate about social justice, Margaret has overseen The Trust’s growth from a disability advocacy organisation with four staff, to a sector leader employing more than 1000 people with a turnover of $72 million.

Maria Deveson Crabbe - Marie Stopes International Australia
2014 Telstra Community And Government Award
VIC

Maria Deveson Crabbe - Marie Stopes International Australia

"For millions of women around the world, the right to choice is precluded by a lack of options. I am privileged to work for an organisation that enables me to direct my passion towards creating those options." - Maria Deveson Crabbe

Maria Deveson Crabbe has a long-held passion and interest in women's health - first as a patron and board member for Marie Stopes International (MSI) Australia, then as its CEO. MSl’s vision is of a world in which every birth is wanted, children by choice, not chance. In 2013, more than 15.6 million people globally used a contraceptive method provided by MSI.

Mia Klitsas - Millie & More
2014 Telstra Young Business Women's Award
VIC

Mia Klitsas - Millie & More

"I've discovered that consumers are expecting more from the products they buy and the businesses that provide them; corporate social responsibility is becoming a huge motivator in the decision-making process as consumers vote with their dollar." - Mia Klitsas

Mia Klitsas decided to design her own range of women's personal care products after she was sick of tampons rolling around in her handbag. At 22, with a mere $1,000 to start, she resigned from her job in brand development and started her own business, Millie & More. In 2006, Moxie tampons were launched in Woolworths stores nationally, and later became available at all major Australian retailers.

Rebecca Owens - Mizzle
2014 Telstra Young Business Women's Award
TAS

Rebecca Owens - Mizzle

"My main focus is to create a business that can provide for our family while maintaining flexibility and a work–life balance." - Rebecca Owens

Inspired by her parents, fifth-generation fruit growers, and with personal experience as a financial planner, Rebecca Owens’ entry into running a business was to open a Howards Storage World franchise in 2006. It set her up for her next venture in 2010, babywear business Mizzle.

2014 Telstra Business Innovation Award
State Winner ACT

Samantha Kourtis - Capital Chemist Charnwood

"My success has been created by my ability to share my passion of community and healthcare with my team and by surrounding myself with people who are equally committed and excited about making a difference in these areas." - Samantha Kourtis

At the age of 14, working after school in her local pharmacy, Samantha Kourtis knew she had found her vocation. After obtaining a degree, and with five years’ experience as a community pharmacist, she took the next step into management and then pharmacy ownership.

Sandra Berry - Sandra Berry Real Estate
2014 Telstra Business Owner Award
SA

Sandra Berry - Sandra Berry Real Estate

"I am passionate about making change that would ensure greater longevity and prosperity to those who choose this industry as their profession. My most significant achievement is the ongoing employment opportunities offered by my small, dynamic business." - Sandra Berry

Driven and competitive by nature, Sandra Berry describes her approach as intuitive rather than academic. Sandra is sole Director of an innovative real estate business in the Adelaide Hills. She credits her team with the creative development of the business and gives them autonomy and responsibility for ideas and solutions.

Shannon Hallatt - OT for Kids NT
2014 Telstra Young Business Women's Award
NT

Shannon Hallatt - OT for Kids NT

"I believe children are filled with potential and, through my business, I am able to assist them to fulfil this potential." - Shannon Hallatt

Shannon Hallatt believes her purpose in life is to bring joy to the lives of children. Starting her occupational therapy career in government agencies, she soon saw an incredible need for families to have better access to services and other options. So, in 2010, OT for Kids NT was born. She had a vision: to help children and families connect, understand their unique self and grow their potential.

Skye Anderton - Ruby Olive Jewellery
2014 Telstra Young Business Women's Award
QLD

Skye Anderton - Ruby Olive Jewellery

"Like a compass, the principles underpinning my innovation guide the decisions I make, from the quality and style of the product, to having coherent marketing and branding messages, and how I engage with staff and customers." - Skye Anderton

Skye Anderton has always been drawn to business. Returning to Australia after eight years abroad, she wrote down what she wanted her life to look like – a family and a flexible business so she could be present for her children and stay true to her creative, business-hungry self. In 2010 her primary brand, Ruby Olive Jewellery, was born.

Squadron Leader Samantha Freebairn - Royal Australian Air Force
2014 Telstra Business Innovation Award
QLD

Squadron Leader Samantha Freebairn - Royal Australian Air Force

"My scheme has successfully expanded the pilot recruiting pool by incentivising the option of a military flying career to those who had never previously considered it." - Squadron Leader Samantha Freebairn

Squadron Leader Samantha Freebairn, began to develop the Graduate Pilot Scheme (GPS) in response to the 2009 Australian Defence Forces’ action plan for the recruitment and retention of women. As a trailblazing pilot herself, Samantha was determined to address this imbalance as research consistently shows that organisations with higher percentages of women in decision-making roles markedly outperform organisations with fewer women.

Susan Lloyd-Hurwitz - Mirvac
2014 Telstra Private And Corporate Sector Award
State Winner NSW

Susan Lloyd-Hurwitz - Mirvac

"Along the way, I've had some important mentors who have invested in me, taken a risk, held up the mirror for me and guided me." - Susan Lloyd-Hurwitz

With 25 years in the property industry, working in Australia, Europe, the US and Asia, Susan Lloyd-Hurwitz brings a myriad of skills to her role as CEO and Managing Director of ASX top 50 company Mirvac. Susan has led complex businesses and strategies at top global companies such as LaSalle Investment Management, Lend Lease, and Macquarie where she established one of the first real estate funds to invest in Chinese shopping centres.

Tammy Garratt - TG’s Hair Studios
2014 Telstra Business Owner Award
ACT

Tammy Garratt - TG’s Hair Studios

"Anyone can work hard, but good business decisions and judgement in the industry has allowed me to position myself to be successful over 25 years in the business, across three salons with quite different client bases." - Tammy Garratt

Tammy Garratt established her first hair salon when she was just 19 years old. She has built on and consolidated that experience ever since, and today she owns three salons operating under one umbrella. Her driving force is her passion for the hair industry. She loves developing her staff to become excellent hairstylists and business-savvy professionals.

Tina Tower - Begin Bright
2014 Telstra Young Business Women's Award
NSW

Tina Tower - Begin Bright

"My mission in life is to run fantastic companies that make people feel happy, smart and confident and to ensure that children throughout the world reach their potential." - Tina Tower

Straight out of school Tina Tower began studying a business degree, then switched to teaching. By her second year she had started a tutoring centre, combining business with education. But one tutoring centre was not going to enable her to reach all the children she wanted to help so, in 2008, looking for a way to better balance work and family, she started licensing the school readiness program and tutoring program she’d developed.

Van Tang - GHD
2014 Telstra Private And Corporate Sector Award
SA

Van Tang - GHD

"People are our greatest asset, but they can also present challenges. A successful manager needs to be responsive to different personalities and acknowledge the attributes each person contributes to the process –creating an opportunity for everyone to succeed." - Van Tang

Since joining GHD in 2006, Van is proud of the role she has played in the successful delivery of major Defence and private sector projects. Developing others is an important characteristic of her role, and something Van wants as part of her career legacy. She was appointed GHD's Manager for South Australia, having led GHD’s contribution to the Australian Department of Defence's aircraft acquisition project, Air 7000.