Outstanding achievements by women in small business celebrated

The winners of this year’s Telstra Business Women’s Awards have been revealed. In their 25th year, the awards recognise and celebrate outstanding women shaping the future of Australia business. This year saw over 22,000 nominations for women across Australia, with judging focusing on the contribution women make to business through their:

  • leadership skills and impact,
  • personal impact in business,
  • innovation impact,
  • driving value, and
  • driving socio-economic change.

The highly competitive Small Business category saw winners recognised in each state and territory. And they are…

ACT – Rhiannon Beach

Rhiannon’s unique approach to pet care is driven by investing in people and collaboration. Her dog daycare business, Pups4Fun, has grown from caring for a few pups per day, to more than 400 dogs per week. An advocate for the benefits of dogs on people’s mental and physical health, she is determined to be a driving force in Australia becoming a truly dog-friendly nation.

New South Wales – Dr. Majeda Awawdeh

Dr. Awawdeh founded Global Education Academy, her learning centre modeled on her PhD research into cognitive load theory and mathematics education, in 2011. A domestic violence survivor, she moved to Australia in 2005 with her three children after receiving a scholarship to undertake her PhD at UNSW. Dr. Awawdeh credits her tenacious yet empathetic leadership style to the obstacles she faced and ultimately overcame.

Northern Territory – Glenys Tarrant

Glenys co-founded a small engineering company which has evolved into Micronised Mineral Solutions, a business that helps manage and repair the environmental effects caused by the mining and industrial sectors. Arriving in Darwin in 1988, an initial career in the banking sector led Glenys to a role at the Territory Wildlife Park. This sowed the seed for her current venture. Having overcome opposition from industry and corporate establishments early on yet, through a hands-on approach, her ambition is to take on global clients in the near future.

Queensland – Julie Verner-Mackay

Julie decided to establish her own business largely as a result of working in a challenging and highly inflexible workplace where her hard work and determination were not appreciated. Passionate about establishing a flexible and positive workplace culture, Julie plays a big role in the recruitment process of her venture – aXcelerate and takes pride in the team she has cultivated.

South Australia – Mellissa Larkin

20 years practicing law taught Mellissa that the traditional legal model was broken and there had to be a better way. In founding Peripheral Blue in 2016, Mellissa has disrupted the legal and professional services industries by giving her clients access to top tier, responsive legal and advisory services in a flexible and affordable way.

Tasmania – Alison Flakemore

Having started out with just an old van, a lawnmower and some basic tools over 20 years ago, today Alison’s Garden & Landscape Pty Ltd is an industry leader. Having no formal education past year 10, Alison studied horticulture at night school to gain her qualifications, while working during the day. Alison’s team work on public and not-for-profit housing and helped introduce a sharps disposal system that has significantly reduced community risk.

Victoria – Hannah Spilva

Hannah, a 2019 Inside Small Business Top 50 Small Business Leader, is the Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of online flower-gifting company LVLY. Setting out to challenge the floristry industry, Hannah’s passion to create a positive impact for her team, customers, industry and the environment has seen the company achieve year-on-year growth.

Western Australian – Adjunct Professor Tracy Westerman

Tracy founded Indigenous Psychological Services in 1998, to address the significant gaps in treatment and intervention into suicide and mental health in Aboriginal populations. Through her business, Indigenous Psychological Services, Tracy has self-funded world recognised research, intervention programs, training, clinical and psychological assessment tools to improve the cultural competence of services and their capacity to deliver evidence based, best-practice services into Australia’s highest risk communities.