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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

Captain Mona Shindy - Royal Australian Navy

2015 Telstra Australian Business Woman of the Year

"I love making a difference solving problems and conflicts to develop a more productive, better and more cohesive world. I enjoy driving and observing shifts in human behaviour and attitudes.” - Captain Mona Shindy

As Director Littoral Warfare and Maritime Support, she presents business cases to government for acquisition of affordable and suitable Defence assets including patrol boats, tankers, and littoral warfare equipment.

NSW

National category winners

Swipe to explore

2015 Telstra Australian Government And Academia Award
NSW

Captain Mona Shindy - Royal Australian Navy

"I love making a difference solving problems and conflicts to develop a more productive, better and more cohesive world. I enjoy driving and observing shifts in human behaviour and attitudes.” - Captain Mona Shindy

As Director Littoral Warfare and Maritime Support, she presents business cases to government for acquisition of affordable and suitable Defence assets including patrol boats, tankers, and littoral warfare equipment.

2015 Telstra Australian Corporate And Private Award
QLD

Dr Catherine Ball - Elemental Strategy

"I have always been someone who has asked 'why', and who is not afraid to push the envelope and engender change." - Dr Catherine Ball

Dr Catherine Ball’s proposal to use drones for marine fauna surveys took her career to new heights at international engineering and environmental consultancy URS (now AECOM).

2015 Telstra Australian Start-up Award
ACT

Jessica May - Enabled Employment

"I believe wholeheartedly in self-determination for people with a disability, and the company I have built is the embodiment of the views I hold." - Jessica May

In 2011, Jessica May’s diagnosis with a panic disorder after the birth of her first child was the catalyst to starting up her own business Enabled Employment in 2014. Enabled Employment is an online portal offering flexible employment for people with disability or Australian Defence Force members with post-traumatic stress and other injuries.

2015 Telstra Australian Government And Academia Award
QLD

Katarina Carroll - Queensland Fire and Emergency Services

"My achievements establish the path for women to achieve as a norm, not as something 'unusual’, paving the way for the belief that they too are as capable and skilled." - Katarina Carroll

The first woman to be appointed Commissioner of Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) in 2015, Katarina Carroll has carved an impressive career within a largely male-dominated workplace. QFES is the primary provider of fire and emergency services in Queensland and Katarina’s role is to drive change including setting the vision and strategic direction.

2015 Telstra Australian For Purpose And Social Enterprise Award
SA

Kate Thiele - Guide Dogs SA/NT

"I am passionate about empowering others. Witnessing people living with disability opening up their worlds is truly humbling and I am proud to be part of their journey." - Kate Thiele

After a career spanning the health, manufacturing and retail sectors, Kate Thiele aligned her love of leading dynamic teams with social enterprise and became the Chief Executive of Guide Dogs SA/NT. Kate says the most significant change she has led at Guide Dogs SA/NT is driving the expansion of the Guide Dogs program to include Autism Assistance Dogs.

2015 Telstra Australian Young Business Women's Award
WA

Kim Tran - La Belle Peau Skincare Clinic

"My team provides solutions to our clients’ skincare and beauty needs, treating each person as an individual with five star customer service." - Kim Tran

Kim Tran opened her first skin and beauty clinic in 2007 at the age of 19, a year after she was Student of the Year in Dermal Science at Curtin University. As Managing Director of La Belle Peau Skincare Clinic, the dermal therapist runs a business offering clients cosmeceutical skincare, paramedical skin treatments and beauty treatments.

2015 Telstra Australian Entrepreneur Award
QLD

Marie Piccone - Manbulloo

"Mangoes are just such an important, highly desired healthy fruit that getting it right is a big responsibility for a large player like us." - Marie Piccone

Marie Piccone is a leading figure in Australia’s mango industry and Managing Director of Manbulloo, the nation’s largest producer of popular Kensington Pride mangoes. After 18 years running Piccone Horticultural Consultancy with clients in Australia, New Zealand and Asia, Marie bought three mango plantations in 2005.

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
2015 Telstra Young Business Women's Award
VIC

Alicia Stephenson - Active Playgroup

"I'm very energetic and I laugh a lot. I like to know people's stories and experiences and I like to make people smile. I could have honestly been a children's party clown!" - Alicia Stephenson

From training to become an Australian Army platoon commander to education manager at a women’s prison, Alicia Stephenson today is founder and director of Active Playgroup, a fitness group for mothers and their children. After working in a women’s prison, Alicia became interested in women’s mental and physical health.

2015 Telstra Young Business Women's Award
SA

Ashleigh Stiling - Harsco Metals and Minerals

"I love what I do because it is invigorating to get the results you desire but also very rewarding when you feel like you have helped someone in need." - Ashleigh Stiling

Joining Harsco Metals and Minerals in 2008 as a cadet from university, Ashleigh Stiling is the company’s first and only female Operations Manager in Australia. Part of Harsco Corporation, Harsco Metals and Minerals, located in Whyalla, is a specialised material handling and resource recovery provider to the steel industry.

2015 Telstra Start-up Award
QLD

Belinda Brosnan - HR Junction

"I believe in my own self-worth and can now bring that to my clients - particularly the women in organisations who are struggling to balance everything that life throws at them." - Belinda Brosnan

For 19 years Belinda Brosnan led teams and drove strategy for more than 60 well-known brands in the marketing and sales corporate world, before redirecting her career and launching HR Junction in 2014. HR Junction is a consulting business that specialises in people performance and organisational culture.

2015 Telstra Entrepreneur Award
State Winner TAS

Beth Mathison - Centaur Business Networks Pty Ltd

"My greatest thrill is when I see my mentoring 'click' and everything falls into place. That's when I know I can leave the business and it will be in good hands." - Beth Mathison

Beth Mathison had a vibrant business career which included running a yacht charter business in Malacca and operating a historic castle in Scotland before she started her Hobart based consulting business in 2003. With more than 35 years’ experience in senior management and board positions, as the company director and business manager of Centaur Business Networks Pty Ltd, Beth manages every aspect of her business.

2015 Telstra Start-up Award
NT

Brigid Beilby - Alley Cats Patisserie

"From organic artisan sourdoughs to naughty handcrafted almond croissants, I believe we make a mark in Darwin and fill a void." - Brigid Beilby

Food changes people, enhances relationships and brings communities together, according to Alley Cats Patisserie owner Brigid Beilby. Sydney-born Brigid worked in bakeries and restaurants as an apprentice pastry chef before moving to Darwin in 2012.

2015 Telstra Government And Academia Award
State Winner NSW

Captain Mona Shindy - Royal Australian Navy

"I love making a difference solving problems and conflicts to develop a more productive, better and more cohesive world. I enjoy driving and observing shifts in human behaviour and attitudes.” - Captain Mona Shindy

As Director Littoral Warfare and Maritime Support, she presents business cases to government for acquisition of affordable and suitable Defence assets including patrol boats, tankers, and littoral warfare equipment.

2015 Telstra Start-up Award
VIC

Colette McShane - The HIIT Mum

"I love taking people out of their comfort zones and showing them anything is possible. I have people who couldn't run two km without gasping for breath now running marathons." - Colette McShane

Pregnant with her daughter Isla, Colette McShane decided to put her passion for fitness into a business by creating The HIIT Mum. Two years later, Colette has 400 clients attending weekly classes at The HIIT Factory in Melbourne, more than 100,000 following her free online workouts, and 28,000 using her fitness app PT IN MY POCKET.

2015 Telstra Entrepreneur Award
State Winner VIC

Cyan Ta’eed - Envato

"I hope I encourage other women to aim for positions of leadership, in and out of Envato. Tech in particular needs more women in leadership to make real cultural change." - Cyan Ta’eed

Cyan Ta’eed is co-founder of Envato which she describes as an ecosystem of websites to help people get creative. Envato Market is a leading marketplace for digital goods such as images, themes, project files and creative assets. Envato Studio connects clients with hand-picked freelance talent and Tuts+ is a home to tens of thousands of hours of creative educational content.

2015 Telstra Government And Academia Award
NT

Deborah Hall - CPA Australia

"I believe showing empathy and respect to everyone regardless of their circumstances, speaking up when I see or hear of abuse and not passing judgement is my contribution to a more inclusive society." - Deborah Hall

Deborah Hall is the General Manager Northern Territory of CPA Australia, an accounting body with a global membership of more than 150,000 members working in 120 countries around the world. Based in Darwin, Deborah is the most senior CPA Australia representative in the Northern Territory focusing on more than 500 local members.

2015 Telstra Corporate And Private Award
State Winner QLD

Dr Catherine Ball - Elemental Strategy

"I have always been someone who has asked 'why', and who is not afraid to push the envelope and engender change." - Dr Catherine Ball

Dr Catherine Ball’s proposal to use drones for marine fauna surveys took her career to new heights at international engineering and environmental consultancy URS (now AECOM).

2015 Telstra Government And Academia Award
State Winner ACT

Georgeina Whelan - Joint Health Command, Department of Defence

"I am an active mentor in support of the Army/ ADF diversity program and assisted in the development of the inaugural ADF Mentoring and Network Program." - Georgeina Whelan

Joining the Australian Army in 1985, Georgeina Whelan has completed 30 years’ military service within the Australian Defence Force health management. Overseas deployments included East Timor in 1999 and Northern Sumatra where she commanded the ANZAC Field Hospital after the 2004 Boxing Day Tsunami.

2015 Telstra Young Business Women's Award
TAS

Hanny Allston - Find Your Feet

"Whilst I strive for success, I am not driven by it. Rather, I am driven by a love of being active, the wild outdoors, optimal health and education." - Hanny Allston

Endurance runner Hanny Allston turned her sporting success into a business idea, launching Find Your Feet in 2009, where she coaches and mentors runners around Australia and hosts running tours. In 2014 Hanny opened the Find Your Feet retail store in Hobart with partner Graham Hammond.

2015 Telstra Government And Academia Award
TAS

Jenny Self - The Hutchins School

"I love a challenge. I am organised, I prioritise, I have empathy, and I work hard. I share my knowledge, support other staff, and encourage people to fulfill their potential." - Jenny Self

Jenny Self is business manager at one of Australia’s oldest schools, The Hutchins School, an Anglican day and boarding school for boys established in 1846 at Sandy Bay. Jenny is also President of School Business Administrators Tasmania.

2015 Telstra Government And Academia Award
VIC

Jerril Rechter - Victorian Health Promotion Foundation (VicHealth)

"Empowering people to think about driving change and leading change is incredibly important and my philosophy is that leadership can be practiced everywhere." - Jerril Rechter

After a successful career as a professional dancer and artistic director, extensive experience in leadership across government and the not-for-profit sector, Jerril Rechter is the CEO of VicHealth. As CEO since 2011, Jerril leads 100 people and is responsible for a $38 million budget.

2015 Telstra Start-up Award
ACT

Jessica May - Enabled Employment

"I believe wholeheartedly in self-determination for people with a disability, and the company I have built is the embodiment of the views I hold." - Jessica May

In 2011, Jessica May’s diagnosis with a panic disorder after the birth of her first child was the catalyst to starting up her own business Enabled Employment in 2014. Enabled Employment is an online portal offering flexible employment for people with disability or Australian Defence Force members with post-traumatic stress and other injuries.

2015 Telstra Young Business Women's Award
ACT

Joanna Richards - Solution Solution

"As a woman in business and science as well as a scholar studying female leadership, I spend every second of every day fighting for gender equality by disrupting the status quo." - Joanna Richards

Understanding the high risks involved when wearing a $3000 costume and a full face of makeup, Joanna Richards, an experienced theatre and film performer, co-founded Solution Solution in 2014. Solution Solution is a scientific laundry brand that has developed a product with the CSIRO to take makeup out of fabric instantly, without damaging clothing.

2015 Telstra Start-up Award
TAS

Karen Burbury - Cataract on Paterson

"I am a firm believer in investing in staff development and encourage staff to further their learning. I am committed to employing apprentices and trainees, as people have to start somewhere." - Karen Burbury

Despite some early setbacks after opening her Launceston restaurant Cataract on Paterson in 2013, Karen Burbury showed tremendous resolve and leadership. During these early months, Karen says it would have been easier to give up, but this experience made her fight harder. The restaurant focuses on seasonal products and supporting local Tasmanian producers.

2015 Telstra Entrepreneur Award
ACT

Karen Porter - Solace Creations Double Glazing

"The belief in yourself is very important and I believe that I have the right personality, humility and inner strength to be a shining light for other ladies." - Karen Porter

As CEO and sole director, Karen’s role includes managing staff, strategic relationships and planning. Karen says the secret of her success is that she knows her product well and focuses on getting it out to the market wherever possible.

2015 Telstra Government And Academia Award
QLD

Katarina Carroll - Queensland Fire and Emergency Services

"My achievements establish the path for women to achieve as a norm, not as something 'unusual’, paving the way for the belief that they too are as capable and skilled." - Katarina Carroll

The first woman to be appointed Commissioner of Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) in 2015, Katarina Carroll has carved an impressive career within a largely male-dominated workplace. QFES is the primary provider of fire and emergency services in Queensland and Katarina’s role is to drive change including setting the vision and strategic direction.

2015 Telstra Young Business Women's Award
NSW

Lindsay Rogers - Chello

"I have always regarded competency as more important than age or gender, and as such I have always prided myself on my work ethic, output and competency." - Lindsay Rogers

After handing in her resignation and heading to India for a holiday, Lindsay Rogers decided on her return in 2014 she had nothing to lose and co-founded creative content agency Chello. As Business Director, Lindsay, 27, is responsible for the finances, project scope, employment, business contracts and key accounts.

2015 Telstra Entrepreneur Award
QLD

Marie Piccone - Manbulloo

"Mangoes are just such an important, highly desired healthy fruit that getting it right is a big responsibility for a large player like us." - Marie Piccone

Marie Piccone is a leading figure in Australia’s mango industry and Managing Director of Manbulloo, the nation’s largest producer of popular Kensington Pride mangoes. After 18 years running Piccone Horticultural Consultancy with clients in Australia, New Zealand and Asia, Marie bought three mango plantations in 2005.

2015 Telstra Entrepreneur Award
SA

Marissa Schulze - Rise High Financial Solutions

"I have personally helped hundreds of Australians turn their lives around and go from significant personal debt to getting in control of their finances and building a property investment portfolio." - Marissa Schulze

Marissa Schulze’s passion for business was obvious from an early age when she was named Australian Young Achievement Business Person of the Year at 16. After gaining a Commerce and Law double degree at the University of Adelaide, she received an innovation award for developing an SA Department of Trade and Economic Development program teaching entrepreneurship to Indigenous youth.

2015 Telstra Entrepreneur Award
State Winner NT

Mary Linnell - Easy Glass Services

"I live by the adage that you don't have to know all the answers. You need to know where to find them." - Mary Linnell

Mary Linnell has proudly run a successful glazing business for 13 years in Darwin’s male-dominated construction sector. Raised in Canada, Mary worked in hospitality and won ‘top novice worldwide’ awards at Flight Centre Ltd before launching Easy Glass Services in 2002.

2015 Telstra Corporate And Private Award
SA

Michaela Webster - Peregrine Corporation

"The ability to make a small difference in Adelaide and to provide an environment of learning and recognition based on merit is what drives me." - Michaela Webster

Michaela Webster is Chief Operating Officer for On The Run (OTR), a privately-owned convenience store chain operating across South Australia that is part of the Peregrine Corporation. Having worked for OTR for more than ten years, Michaela has been instrumental in growing the business from 25 to 125 sites with 2000 employees.

2015 Telstra Corporate And Private Award
TAS

Naomi Walsh - Venarchie Contracting

"By creating a culture of flexible work arrangements I have retained highly skilled and valuable employees. We are collaborative and hard-working and have genuine respect for the contribution of each member." - Naomi Walsh

Naomi Walsh heads an all-female finance and administration team at fast-growing Venarchie Contracting, a privately-owned civil and road construction business. As corporate services and finance manager, Naomi is responsible for financial and administration, corporate compliance, risk management, HR and other functions.

2015 Telstra Entrepreneur Award
NSW

Naomi Whitfeld - iKOU

"I have a gift for blending scents and products that make people feel different, transporting them to feel the way they want." - Naomi Whitfeld

In 2007, Naomi Whitfeld founded iKOU with her husband Paul, making natural Australian skin care and body products, candles and organic herbal teas from their kitchen in the Blue Mountains. Naomi says her goal is to make people’s lives healthier and happier through taking time for rest and relaxation.

2015 Telstra Corporate And Private Award
NSW

Penny Diamantakiou - Yahoo7

"I love inspiring people, driving change and transforming businesses especially in periods of uncertainty and ambiguity." - Penny Diamantakiou

With the dual role of CFO and HR Director of Yahoo7, Penny Diamantakiou’s accountability extends to all commercial, financial, organisational change and people and culture activities across Australia and New Zealand. Penny helps drive the strategic agenda and future vision for the business to effect change and deliver sustainable and enduring value.

2015 Telstra Government And Academia Award
SA

Professor Pascale Quester - University of Adelaide

"Ignorance, in my view, is the root cause of all that has plagued us as a species. I am convinced that education (not wealth) is the ONLY weapon against ignorance." - Professor Pascale Quester

French-born Professor Pascale Quester joined the University of Adelaide in 1991 as a lecturer, climbing the academic ladder and becoming a full professor in 2002. An active researcher in the areas of consumer behaviour and marketing communications, Pascale is the author of two textbooks and many journal publications.

2015 Telstra Corporate And Private Award
VIC

Rohini Kappadath - Pitcher Partners

"The world needs inspiration - from stories of hope, positivity and optimism. Women need to see other successful women combine professional and personal dreams. My story shows this is possible." - Rohini Kappadath

Moving to Australia from India in 1987, Rohini Kappadath has a career spanning 28 years in the information technology industry and operating her own international consulting business. Today Rohini is director of Cross-Border Business at Pitcher Partners where she is responsible for the internationalisation strategy, for the firm and its clients, staying at the forefront of the Asian engagement space as a thought leader and practitioner.

2015 Telstra Start-up Award
SA

Sarah Bartholomeusz - You Legal

"Our model suits companies that don't need a full-time in-house lawyer or companies with an in-house lawyer that has too much work and needs scalable, flexible support." - Sarah Bartholomeusz

At 32 weeks pregnant, Sarah Bartholomeusz was made redundant from a role as an in-house lawyer and joint company secretary at a leading public company. It provided her with the incentive to establish You Legal, her own independent law firm of virtual lawyers.

2015 Telstra Corporate And Private Award
ACT

Sarah Valentine - Raytheon Australia

"I am a senior female leader at a traditionally male dominated defence and technology organisation." - Sarah Valentine

Sarah is responsible for marketing communications for the company within these markets, including advertising and corporate identity, public relations, media management, organisational communications, web and social media messaging, as well as community relations.

2015 Telstra Young Business Women's Award
QLD

Susie Upton - Child Aware

"I believe passionately about early intervention for children with symptoms of mental health issues. Children that obtain support and early intervention psychology services are more resilient." - Susie Upton

Susie Upton’s passion for child protection, service accessibility and early intervention in children's mental health led to Child Aware being founded in 2013. Susie gained early entry in Year 12 to study a Bachelor of Psychology and graduated in 2006 with First Class Honours.

2015 Telstra Start-up Award
NSW

Zoe Pointon - OpenAgent.com.au

"I love what I do at OpenAgent because I can see the practical, positive impact of our service. Selling a home can be a stressful, unfamiliar process." - Zoe Pointon

Zoe Pointon, business analyst with global consulting management firm McKinsey & Co and independent consultant, co-founded OpenAgent.com.au in 2013. As co-CEO, Zoe is responsible for setting the vision of the business, hiring the right people and securing financial backing.