2016 Finalists

Adelaide Commercial Maintenance

Telstra South Australian New Business Award Finalist

Starting their own business had always been a pipe dream for Jacob and Donna Stuart. In 2014, after Jacob received an unexpected redundancy, the couple seized the perfect opportunity to start their own business and Adelaide Commercial Maintenance was born.

The commercial interior construction company offers projects ranging from small maintenance to full tenancy fitouts. The team offers site supervision and project management services in addition to contracting electricians, glaziers, tilers and cabinet-makers to provide a one-stop-shop service.

The team offers full services including plasterboard and aluminium partitions and ceilings, as well as a vast range of windows and doors. Having built a strong reputation with suppliers, employees and clients, Adelaide Commercial Maintenance is recognised with a high number of referrals, and a growing team of five full-time staff. Jacob and Donna are passionate about creating employment opportunities in the community and are proud to support a school-based apprenticeship program in 2016.

It's important for our employees to share our vision. Most of our new clients have been referred by existing clients, who are advocates for our business. One of our values is building relationships based on trust and quality solutions.
Donna Stuart, Co-owner

Adelaide Green Clean

Telstra Australian Business of the Year Finalist
Telstra Australian New Business Award Finalist
Telstra South Australian Business of the Year Finalist
Telstra South Australian New Business Award Finalist

Adelaide Green Clean is a customer focused provider of environmentally sustainable cleaning and waste management solutions set on revolutionising the traditional cleaning industry. Jordan Walsh recognised an opportunity to combine his passions for the environment, business and sustainable cleaning and created this unique ‘green’ cleaning and waste management company in 2014 with the primary focus on achieving positive environmental solutions for their clients' needs.

Adelaide Green Clean provides services for commercial properties, events and festivals and holds the majority market share in outdoor events in South Australia. Jordan is a passionate believer that the way we use our resources and reduce our waste now, will have an enormous impact on the future of our society. Currently employing more than 100 full-time and casual staff, Jordan is determined to improve perceptions of the cleaning profession. He says every staff member is professionally trained to deliver the highest standard of service and are provided with career advancement opportunities.

Sustainability is central to our business model. One of our core values is ‘environment first’ and we are passionate about providing our clients with a cost-effective cleaning and recycling solution incorporating unique processes that we have developed.
Jordan Walsh, Managing Director

Dressed for Sale

Telstra South Australian New Business Award Finalist

Leaving a life on the land, Tiffany Murray, and husband Angus, sold their farm with a plan to reinvent their lives. They bought a new home, and Angus got a new job working as a tradesman for a home stylist. After trying unsuccessfully for eight months to sell their Adelaide home, the couple found a new agent who insisted they replace flooring and place hire furniture. With an interest in home design, they styled their own house before putting it on the market. When it sold within a month - well beyond the agent’s expectations - Tiffany and Angus realised the commercial value of home styling.

Taking Adelaide by storm in 2014, they pooled their collective talents and created ‘Dressed for Sale’, described by happy clients as the “Uber” of home styling. Taking the headache out of selling your home, the business offers pre-sale preparation and services including hire furniture, project management, painting and gardening.

In its first month of operation, Dressed for Sale styled 20 houses and has since styled more than 600 houses and helped hundreds of agents and vendors sell their properties.

No matter the condition of the property market, everybody who owns a property wants a faster sale and a better price.
Tiffany Murray, Co-founder

Harrison McMillan

Telstra South Australian New Business Award Finalist

Adelaide recruitment consultancy ‘Harrison McMillan’ is an industry disruptor. Recognising the challenges organisations face when undertaking recruitment processes, founders Jodi Walton and Dani Bieg created the company with the belief that there must be a better way. The team offers affordable outsourced recruitment expertise, innovative processes and leading-edge technology to tailor a solution to assist clients in hiring the right staff.

Harrison McMillan’s unconventional model offers a flexible hourly rate, allowing clients to pick form a variety of services and only pay for those they need, making recruitment accessible to all organisations. Servicing more than 120 clients, the business has grown to 10 employees since 2013 and has an 86 per cent return rate of clients. With an eye towards the future, Harrison McMillan is striving to fill the gap between an organisation’s internal recruitment capability and ‘traditional’ agencies.

We are challenging the status quo of the recruitment industry, making it accessible and affordable to business of all sizes, allowing them to focus on their own core business.
Dani Bieg, Co-founder and director

Metric

Telstra South Australian New Business Award Finalist

Metric provides end-to-end marketing, strategy, and design solutions for their clients that mirror those offered by a large in-house marketing team. With backgrounds in property development and construction, Directors Bec Marshall and Melanie Scott began the company with a focus on their areas of expertise. The business has now expanded into a range of other industries including real estate, health and wellbeing, retail, and technology.

The team offers everything from proposals and submissions management, branding and graphic design, strategic and tactical communications, and events management through to social media and web design. What began with a team of two working in a make-shift office in the hallway of Bec’s home, Metric now has 28 staff across two locations and has worked on more than 140 integrated marketing campaigns, 100 events and client bids worth more than $5 billion.

We are proud to be recognised as industry leaders offering a flexible business model, strong marketing solutions for our clients and a ‘whatever-it-takes’ attitude.
Melanie Scott, Director

Welden & Coluccio Lawyers

Telstra South Australian New Business Award Finalist

Welden & Coluccio Lawyers is a boutique law firm practicing predominantly in the areas of Wills and Estates but also in Family Law. Principal, Greg Welden, states the firm identified a distinct lack of focused expertise in the area of estate planning in the South Australian legal community.

Greg wanted to provide a service where Wills were front and centre. Greg believes Wills are too often utilised or promoted as an add-on service for law firms rather than representing the largest transfer of wealth a person has in their lifetime. Welden & Coluccio Lawyers is committed to becoming the most respected, innovative and distinguished estate planning firm in South Australia.

The team applies experience and specialist knowledge to navigate the complexities that life, wealth and families bring to this area of law. The business has doubled over the first two years, from two to four lawyers, having built a strong reputation for their specialist expertise in the community.

We recognise the challenge of educating the community in the importance of having a thorough and well-drafted estate plan, including a Will. This is something the firm takes seriously but continues to approach with great passion.
Greg Welden, Principal

Adelaide's Haunted Horizons Ghost Tours

Telstra South Australian Micro Business Award Finalist

For those sceptical about the reality of ghost stories and paranormal activity, a tour with Adelaide’s Haunted Horizons Ghost Tours may sway your opinion. Founder, Alison Oborn, has researched the paranormal for more than 26 years, and after an investigation she conducted for the Adelaide Goal in 2002, she discovered a gap in the market for this type of niche tourism.

Popular culture has contributed to a rising interest in these phenomena, and Alison and her team know how to deliver. The team aims to keep its tours and ghost hunts ‘real’ with balanced research, real stories and an amazingly creepy experience. The tours are bolstered by state-of-the-art equipment, solid facts and often several witness reports. Since its inception in 2010 with two venues, Haunted Horizons Ghost Tours has added five venues and expanded its offering to include a dark history tour in which guests learn about historical crime.

People have a natural curiosity and most love a good mystery. Interest in the paranormal, ghosts, crime and punishment has been increasing in popularity and we see a business opportunity in that.
Alison Oborn, Founder

Chook's Little Winery Tours

Telstra South Australian Micro Business Award Finalist

McLaren Vale is a region famous for its winemakers and cellar doors but for a period it lacked a suitable and safe transport service to charter guests around its local wineries. Terry (Chook) McCoy and wife Kerry, locally known as ‘Mrs Chook’ identified this gap in the market, and today run a successful wine touring business which specialises in delivering personalised tours and transportation throughout McLaren Vale.

Delivering a flexible service to suit their clients’ needs is at the heart of the business’ success. With six vehicles currently in operation, the tours are a popular choice for locals, interstate and international guests. As locals themselves, the McCoys are passionate about showcasing this magnificent region and value the spirit and involvement of the community. Their community support also extends to local charities, donating approximately ten free tours and transports each year to the likes of organisations such as Flying Doctors Service, Cancer Research NETS and the Asthma Foundation of South Australia. Enhancing the experience of their guests is their sole priority and reason they continue to thrive on word-of-mouth referrals.

Our hard work and commitment to providing quality service has resulted in strong and reliable support from the community.
Terry (Chook) McCoy, Owner

dsquared Consulting

Telstra South Australian Micro Business Award Finalist

Striving towards a more sustainable future, Deborah Davidson and Paul Davy launched dsquared Consulting in 2012, aimed at delivering innovation and independent sustainable solutions to the building industry. By providing Ecologically Sustainable Design (ESD) advice from the earliest stages of project planning, through to the construction phase, dsquared Consulting hopes to create more sustainable spaces, places and communities.

Deborah and Paul see their business as essential in a time where climate change is recognised as a scientific fact and when businesses are growing more aware of their environmental footprint and impact on society. Since the business’ inception in 2012, the company has grown through its ability to be flexible and adaptable to the market and client needs and providing solutions at the leading edge of sustainability.

dsquared addresses their clients’ needs and desires to reduce their environmental impact with an eye to the ‘triple bottom line of sustainability’; the idea that desire to be more sustainable should make sense from a financial and social perspective as well.

We understand that desire to be more sustainable is often not a sufficient driver alone and that change must make sense from a financial and social point of view too; this is the triple bottom line of sustainability.
Deborah Davidson, Director

Nature's Quest

Telstra Australian Micro Business Award Finalist
Telstra South Australian Micro Business Award Finalist

Mum of seven, Edwina Pearce, needed an affordable, natural skincare for her child with eczema. Realising retail products tend not be priced for a family budget, Edwina set about developing a solution. Nature's Quest manufactures and supplies environmentally-friendly skin and hair care products which are free from harsh chemicals, parabens, artificial colours and fragrances. Nature’s Quest has overcome their share of setbacks - jostling for competitive shelf space at chemists, health food stores, and supermarkets. Edwina’s enduring vision and passion for the business has helped expand its distribution across five states in many pharmacies and health food stores. Recently, the company has broadened its horizons by introducing a supermarket range to capture larger market share.

We are passionate about creating a natural and affordable skincare product our customers can use without fear of exposure to harsh chemicals.
Edwina Pearce, Owner

Commercial and Legal (Legal Services)

Telstra South Australian Small Business Award Finalist

Elias Farah left a career at a top tier law firm in search of a more hands-on approach to helping others with legal matters. Elias established Commercial and Legal in response to a demand in the market he saw for a more personalised legal offering distinct from the approach of national firms.

Commercial and Legal is a full-service boutique commercial law firm with a focus on property law. The team’s background in property related matters, overseen by a highly qualified partner, offers extensive local and international property law expertise. The firm’s offering also includes a strong conveyancing division; a capability rarely found in commercial law firms.

In six short years, Commercial and Legal has not only established itself in an overcrowded market, but secured a number of large tenders for high-profile clients. It upholds a continued emphasis on teamwork and a rock solid company foundation.

We believe a personable approach to clients is what the industry’s motive should be.
Elias Farah, Partner

Country Blinds Curtains & Doors

Telstra South Australian Small Business Award Finalist

Jake Payne and his team have been dressing windows and doors of homes and businesses across the Mount Barker area for the past 29 years. Country Blinds Curtains & Doors prides itself on local manufacturing of bespoke window and door solutions. The team manufactures and installs everything from one-off bathroom blinds through to window furnishings for multi-unit aged care facilities. Jake is passionate about positive customer experience, and the family-run business is built on the values of quality and service.

Jake and his two brothers took the reins of the family business in 2011 after their father suffered from a stroke. Since then, the brothers have doubled the number of people the business employs and significantly increased profit and market share.

In an industry that is becoming increasingly reliant on imports, the Mount Barker business is bucking the trend by continuing to increase their local manufacturing capabilities.

For Jake and the team, success is measured not only by the amount of new business they generate, but by the incredible number of repeat and inter-generational clients who want to work with them.

Anyone can get ready-made blinds, but we pride ourselves on locally manufactured goods that are custom made to suit the individual look of a home.
Jake Payne, Owner/Operator

Future Footprints Conductive Education

Telstra South Australian Small Business Award Finalist

Unlike many business owners, Eszter Agocs of Future Footprints Conductive Education would be overjoyed if her customer base disappeared tomorrow. She knows it’s an unusual statement for a small business owner to make but it is one she stands by.

Unfortunately, Eszter says, there will always be people living with disabilities, and as such Future Footprints will continue to help those with neurological disorders to achieve greater independence.

Future Footprints provides Conductive Education (CE), Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy and Speech Pathology services to children and young adults living with neurological disorders. She and her team work with conditions such as Cerebral Palsy, Spina Bifida, Downs Syndrome, Autism Spectrum Disorder and chromosomal abnormalities. CE is a complex educational system using music, rhythm and repetition to ‘teach’ participants new skills to ultimately become more independent.

Eszter established the business in 2011 after she was consistently approached by parents who were so impressed with the results their children were achieving from CE therapy that they wanted to access more services from her directly. The transition to private practice ultimately allowed Eszter to implement her own CE practice philosophy.

In just five short years, she’s grown the team to nine therapists covering a variety of specialities and treating more than 70 children weekly. She cites the company’s agile approach to treatment as one of its greatest strengths, allowing the team to provide a holistic treatment plan for each client according to their unique situation.

Future Footprints is a true multi-dimensional team, where therapists work with each other and families towards the best possible outcomes for our clients physically, emotionally, socially and academically.
Eszter Agocs, Director

Positive Lending Solutions

Telstra Australian Small Business Award Finalist
Telstra South Australian Small Business Award Finalist

Founded in mid-2009 in the thick of the Global Financial Crisis, leading online finance broker, Positive Lending Solutions, provides car and asset finance, insurance and home loans to time-poor customers across Australia, and aims to empower Australians with knowledge in order to make wise financial decisions. Through the use of specifically developed software that streamlines inquiries and applications, this Adelaide-based small business is effectively removing the barriers its time poor clients face in obtaining finance, making the process quick and hassle free.

Positive Lending Solutions has built a 100% customer-focussed business, with systems in place to ensure the team is constantly listening and evolving according to the requirements of its customer base.

Managing Director, Tom Caesar, says that in establishing this business, he and his father Mark set out to create a venture the family could really be proud of, and by constantly looking for ways to improve the business, they’ve witnessed exponential growth almost doubling in size each year for the past three years.

We’re challenging the finance industry with a scalable business model driven by emerging technology.
Tom Caesar, Managing Director

RTC Facilities Maintenance (S.A.) Pty Limited

Telstra South Australian Small Business Award Finalist

RTC Facilities Maintenance provides responsive maintenance and property repair services to government and community social housing providers. Since 1986, the business has delivered quality, timely and cost-effective maintenance services to more than 1,500 properties in regional and remote areas.

The company was born from Director Richard Claut’s frustration from having experienced a lack of procedural refinement, poor use of technology and general lack of vision with some builders. In order to remedy this, Richard sought to learn as much as possible about the construction industry working pro bono with the most experienced tradesmen he could find. Ultimately he fed these learnings back into his business to create an offering he truly feels is a cut above the rest.

RTC actively contributes both socially and economically to the communities in which it operates through employment opportunities, financial support, donation of time to local charities and prizes given to sporting organisations.

We would be extremely proud to impart this knowledge to other businesses and promote a positive story from within an industry which is notorious for catastrophic business failure.
Michael Rigby, CEO

Barossa Fine Foods

Telstra Australian Medium Business Award Finalist
Telstra South Australian Medium Business Award Finalist

Barossa Fine Foods is a successful meat and smallgoods business, begun 25 years ago on a kitchen counter. Franz Knoll, a third generation smallgoods butcher, and his wife, Barbara, took over the business when it was just a market stall in the Adelaide Central Market. Now employing 200 staff across 14 locations and delivering to clients all around Australia, those humble beginnings seem a lifetime ago.

As a diverse business, Barossa Fine Foods is constantly looking to innovate and develop its offerings, and always involving its customers in the process. The company actively supports the business community through its involvement in industry organisations and through collaborative research alongside other businesses, on topics such as water waste treatments or energy efficiency.

The company’s efforts to never compromise on quality have been recognised many times. It is today the most awarded smallgoods producer in Australia, approaching 1,000 product awards.

We are early adopters of trends and changes. We invest great energy in research & development to adapt our offering to our customer lifestyle.
Franz Knoll, Managing Director

Robern Menz

Telstra South Australian Medium Business Award Finalist

Robern Menz is a long-standing South-Australian family business, manufacturing confectionery and fruit snacks. Established in 1908, it is now run by fourth generation brothers Phil and Richard Sims and has been acknowledged by the National Trust of South Australia as an Icon of SA.

In 2008, the company celebrated 100 years of family business ownership. In that time the family has learned a number of crucial lessons: the value of sustainability, the importance of embracing change and the courage to make bold decisions to evolve with changing market needs. An industry leader, Robern Menz is the first confectionery and chocolate manufacturer in Australasia to adopt a sustainable palm oil supply line.

Through the support of its loyal and committed staff, Robern Menz now stands as one of South Australia’s most iconic businesses. It is a shining star in the vibrant food manufacturing industry.

We have learnt through successful product launches and failures to adapt to market needs, striving to be ahead of the game while remaining relevant for the day.
Phil Sims, Chief Executive Officer

WorkXtra Aged Care

Telstra South Australian Medium Business Award Finalist

WorkXtra Aged Care provides physiotherapy and occupational therapies to residents of aged care facilities, applying the theories and practices used for elite athletes to aged patients.

Numerous studies have shown that chronic pain and lack of mobility are major factors affecting the quality of life for residents of aged care facilities. However, care for the elderly doesn’t usually stretch much further than meeting their basic everyday needs. WorkXtra has addressed this problem by implementing a multi-disciplinary approach to residential care; meaning every client has a comprehensive care plan with input from doctors, nurses, physiotherapists, occupational therapists and their families.

The company’s unique approach to servicing the aged care industry has led to rapid growth, expanding from three facilities in South Australia in 2006, to more than 70 facilities across five states in 2016, assisting more than 5,000 elderly patients in facilities and in their own homes.

Our business has grown through perseverance, hard work and our ability to respond to the rapidly changing demands of the healthcare industry.
Nicholas Chigwidden, CEO

Barkuma

Telstra Australian Charity Award Finalist
Telstra South Australian Charity Award Finalist

Nearly fifty years ago, ten parents of children with an intellectual disability in Adelaide’s Northern suburbs, successfully lobbied for the establishment of Barkuma, a school, kindergarten and workshop, which provides vital services to promote inclusion in the community. Barkuma is the Aboriginal word meaning ‘to aid’, and that is just what this not-for-profit organisation does. Today Barkuma supports more than 700 people and employs a total of 150 staff.

Barkuma provides a range of services, guided by a philosophy of individualised service delivery and community inclusion. These services include supported and open employment, community living support, school to work transition programs, and counselling and vocational training.

Barkuma has been recognised as a sector leader, consulted by peak bodies, National Disability Services, sector ministers and universities. The not-for-profit organisation seeks to grow its capacity to provide person-centred services that enable more people to reach their potential. Barkuma strives to be a leader in the provision of disability services and to inform and positively influence the community.

Barkuma focuses on ability rather than disability. We empower people so they can achieve rewarding jobs, learn new skills and explore their talents.
Geoff Blackwood, CEO

Community Bridging Services (CBS) Inc.

Telstra South Australian Charity Award Finalist

Over the past decade, Community Bridging Services (CBS) Inc. has been empowering, educating and negotiating employment for people with a disability. Their services help people with disabilities improve their literacy and numeracy skills, undertake skills training and become workforce ready.

Once equipped with these skills, they work closely with local employers to coordinate employment opportunities for each client. CBS also helps employers arrange wage subsidies, transport and specialised equipment to ensure that people are able to receive appropriate job support.

The service has been embraced by the tight-knit community of Port Lincoln, growing to 152 employees across South Australia since it began in 1996.

CBS provides its clients with individualised programs and support plans to ensure that their disabilities don’t stand in the way of them achieving their goals.
Trevor Love, Operations Co-ordinator

Covai Cafe

Telstra Northern Territory New Business Award Finalist

Covai Cafe is Palmerston’s first Indian restaurant and offers a unique and affordable dining experience. Specialising in South Indian cuisine, Covai Cafe offers popular and distinctive dishes such as dosas, idlys and poori to enjoy in the restaurant or take away. Owners, Raju Dhamodaran and Mohan Kandasamy, and their team are committed to delivering high quality food at an affordable price and believe excellent customer service is paramount for their business’ success. In just over one year of operation, Covai Cafe has grown from two to 10 employees. With a new menu and special dishes every month, Covai Cafe has cemented a strong place in the competitive hospitality market in Darwin, with customers traveling from as far as Katherine and Gove to try their unique dishes.

We take pride in offering our customers distinctive and customary South Indian hospitality at an affordable price.
Raju Dhamodaran, Partner

Territory Logistic Solutions Pty Ltd

Telstra Australian New Business Award Finalist
Telstra Northern Territory New Business Award Finalist

Territory Logistic Solutions Pty Ltd provides specialised transport and logistic solutions for customers who demand a professional, cost-effective and dynamic solution for both general and project cargo. Providing end-to-end project management, the business incorporates personalised services with experienced operational compliance to health, safety and the environment. After working within the transport and logistics sector for more than 15 years, it became apparent to business owners, Ross Hughes and Taryn Batenburg, that there was a need in the market for a diversified offering that targets the needs of the businesses whom may need more than just a transport service.

Territory Logistic Solutions, not only specialises in road transportation but also offers a one-stop-shop solution for other services such as project management, labour hire and equipment hire. Territory Logistic Solutions provides flexible and cost-effective solutions for all businesses with personalised service, working with its customers to deliver reliable and cost-effective end-to-end solutions.

By assessing the needs of our customers, we are able to address their individual requirements and offer multiple options based on cost, time frames and regulations.
Taryn Batenburg, Director

Champagne Dance Fitness Studio

Telstra Australian Micro Business Award Finalist
Telstra Northern Territory Micro Business Award Finalist

After being diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, Kerryn Luby, turned her attention to exercise in an attempt to regain her mental wellbeing. It was throughout this journey that she discovered pole dancing, a fresh, fun and sociable alternative to regular exercise. Deciding she wanted to share this new love with all women she launched Champagne Dance Fitness Studio; an alternative fitness option for women.

The studio offers women a range of classes including pole dancing, dance aerobics, flexible fitness and ladies boot camp, which are designed for women of any age and any fitness level. Champagne Dance Fitness Studio is also the only studio in Darwin that offers Barre Fitness (ballet inspired fitness).

The classes and courses have physical and emotional benefits as they are designed to boost confidence levels and encourage women to feel empowered about their bodies. For Kerryn, much of this journey has been about trying to reclaim pole dancing as a sign of strength and empowerment, and debunk common misconceptions about the sport.

Champagne Dance Fitness Studio thrives off strong word-of-mouth referrals, which has contributed to more than 4,000 women walking through its doors. The studio maintains its focus on providing a positive, supportive and motivating environment for all. Kerryn and her team support the different needs of each woman and offer a flexible timetable to cater to clients’ different needs.

We provide women with a fun fitness alternative in a positive, supportive and motivating environment. It is an opportunity for women of all ages to boost their confidence and become empowered in their bodies.
Kerryn Luby, Owner

Clear Reception

Telstra Northern Territory Micro Business Award Finalist

Clear Reception is a technology solution provider offering services for residential, commercial, home or office. The business offers services with communication cabling, fibre optics, network and wireless network equipment, mobile antennas and coverage, as well as security and CCTV solutions. Clear Reception prides itself on its fast client-response time as well as maintaining a solid reputation for delivering top quality service. Rod is dedicated to the progression of his staff and has strong training plans in place for professional development.

Rod is planning for the future, by diversifying services, investing in up-skilling staff and designing programs that anticipate future trends in technology.

We solve communication technology issues with a commitment to providing a quality service with a quick response time.
Rod Teece, Owner

SmartLab

Telstra Northern Territory Micro Business Award Finalist

Many can relate to the frustration of dealing with a broken mobile phone or tablet device. The team at SmartLab seeks to alleviate this frustration and get customers’ devices ‘back on the grid’ within a matter of hours. Business owner, Tim McDonald, saw a gap in the market for quality phone and tablet repairs and set out to develop a solution to meet consumer demands. Now, SmartLab provides an affordable and efficient service to the people of the Northern Territory. The team prides itself on being able to fix 90 per cent of repairs within two hours of drop off with no booking required.

Tim refers to phones as a ‘digital pocket knife for life’ and doesn’t expect consumers to become any less reliant on mobile devices over the next five years. This means it is paramount for SmartLab to anticipate future shifts in market demand and make the relevant adjustments accordingly. The team works with innovative machinery to deliver 75 per cent of their services, at an affordable rate for customers, while still increasing profit margin.

We provide an affordable, no nonsense, transparent service that all Northern Territory residents can benefit from. We ensure that anyone experiencing mobile phone related difficulties is back on the grid within hours.
Tim McDonald, Owner

Able Finance Services

Telstra Northern Territory Small Business Award Finalist

Able Finance Services is a Darwin-based mortgage broking firm, which guides clients through an often daunting maze of lenders, in order to find the most adequate financial solution for their needs. Its sister company, Able Insurance, provides general and life insurance services, to ensure all facets of their clients’ financial situation are considered.

Founder Sam Crowley and his team are able to customise a holistic solution tailored to their financial matters. The company has built a bond of trust with their client base by operating under the mantra that the client always comes first. This trust has been built through often providing advice that stands to benefit the client.

Customer education is also helping to solidify Able Finance’s success in a busy market. The company invests heavily in the dissemination of free information through social media targeting. They feel strongly that by sharing this information with potential customers, they will be empowered to make better, smarter decisions when it comes to seeking guidance for the future of their finances.

Our proudest achievement happens daily when we help clients purchase their new home, help them through a tough time in an insurance claim, or get them out of a financial hole.
Shane Crowley, Managing Director

Dreamedia Events

Telstra Northern Territory Small Business Award Finalist

Dreamedia Events is the leading service provider of event technology, design and production across the Northern Territory. The company specialises in creating and supplying technology to conferences, events, forums, activations and exhibitions. With offices in Darwin and Uluru, Dreamedia has the most extensive and advanced production equipment inventory in the northern parts of Australia, allowing them to provide the best possible technical solutions for the harshest conditions and most challenging environments.

Founder Chris O’Brien understands the challenges of holding large scale events 1,000 kilometres into the bush. Some of the company’s biggest achievements include helping to deliver the G-20 summit, running the Uluru Convention Centre, helping NITV to launch at Uluru, bringing the Qantas Awards to life in the top end, and providing production equipment for a Cold Chisel tour.

Since Chris and Liz took the reins, Dreamedia has grown from two full time staff in a home office to 25, two warehouses and 600 part-time workers in peak event season. The business has expanded through the acquisition of their biggest competitor by 40 per cent in the last 12 months.

Our relationship with our staff is the key to success and focusing our attention on local industry has helped us to create great relationships and harness opportunities Territory wide.
Chris O’Brien, Managing Director

Hot Tamale

Telstra Northern Territory Small Business Award Finalist

Hot Tamale is a Mexican bar and restaurant located on Darwin’s picturesque waterfront. With a focus on local produce and one of the largest tequila bars in the southern hemisphere, Hot Tamale’s passion for fresh seasonal produce and a paddock-to-plate mentality has seen it become an emerging darling of the Darwin culinary scene.

The restaurant was established in 2012 in response to a gap in Darwin’s restaurant and bar culture, and a demand from visiting US Marines for Mexican-inspired cuisine. Owner David Robinson says the restaurant is one of a raft of new venues helping to change perceptions of Darwin’s bar and dining scene as lacking the dynamism of other parts of the country. David’s infectious passion for quality cocktails is also contributing to a burgeoning cocktail culture in Darwin; one that he’s proud to have had a hand in.

Hot Tamale achieved over $2.5 million in sales this financial year, and has grown at a rate of 20 per cent over the past two years. It was also a finalist in 2015’s Telstra Business Awards in the Start Up category.

The motivation for starting Hot Tamale was pretty simple, it was to open a wonderful restaurant and bar that was the type of place that we’d want to visit. Something completely different to what everyone was doing in the Territory.
David Robinson, Director

TERRITORY UNIFORMS

Telstra Northern Territory Small Business Award Finalist

Territory Uniforms has been supplying the Northern Territory with quality uniforms suitable for tropical conditions for the past 35 years. This locally-owned and operated business carries a range of corporate, industrial, hospitality, sports, casual workwear and personal protective equipment from a variety of brands.

When Darwin-born Diana and husband Mark Nicholls purchased the business 18 years ago, it stocked a small range of off-the-shelf uniforms, and its main source of income was manufacturing school dresses. Since then they have grown the business to become a one-stop shop, where customers can customise their uniforms with embroidery and branding and make alterations.

As a small business in a market of mostly larger companies often based offshore, Territory Uniforms aims to stand out with quality service, friendly staff and competitive prices.

We aim to supply quality products and great service at competitive prices while continually striving to improve.
Mark and Diana Nicholls, Owners

The Furry Godmother

Telstra Northern Territory Small Business Award Finalist

Offering pet friendly ice-blocks, doggy tapas and the opportunity to Skype your pet, The Furry Godmother is Darwin’s only luxury pet resort. Located at Darwin International Airport, the resort provides a safe, comfortable and stimulating environment for dogs and cats while their owners are away on holiday.

Since purchasing the business in 2013, owners Jason and Amanda Davies have been driven by a desire to create a resort where they would want their own pets to stay. The Furry Godmother is the first and only pet resort that offers fully air-conditioned facilities. In addition to pet boarding, owners can bring their dogs during the day for socialising with other dogs, or to keep them safe. Furry Godmother also offers Darwin’s only pet taxi service - a popular option with vets, groomers and busy clients- and are the Darwin agent for Jetpets Animal Travel. To help ensure the ultimate comfort of its guests, The Furry Godmother limits physical tours of the facilities to certain times where the pets may be less disturbed. In addition, a virtual tour is offered online, 24 hours a day.

The Furry Godmother was a Finalist in the 2015 Telstra Business Awards.

Ultimately, we wanted a facility where we would be comfortable leaving our pets and we believe we’re not alone in wanting the best for our furkids.
Jason Davies, Owner

Top End Medical Centre

Telstra Australian Small Business Award Finalist
Telstra Northern Territory Small Business Award Finalist

Top End Medical Centre has been providing residents of Darwin and its surrounds with access to quality medical care. The clinic offers a holistic approach to medicine, and is able to provide access to dermatology, travel medicine, ophthalmology, paediatrics, psychology and women’s health experts to those patients that require extra care. The company’s directors had extensive experience living and working as General Practitioners in the Territory. Responding to a direct shortage of GPs in the greater Darwin region, they realised a centre that provided affordable, reliable and professional health care all in one place was exactly what the community needed.

From its humble beginnings as a small general practice with six doctors, it has grown to two sites with 29 GPs and has just recently opened a third. The clinic has a database of over 90,000 and is growing at a rate of 49 new patients every day.

We aim to give our patients the highest possible quality of care, by ensuring excellence in all aspects of our practise.
Jacqueline Brandner, Practice Manager

Brown's Mart Theatre

Telstra Northern Territory Charity Award Finalist

Housed in one of the most significant heritage buildings in the heart of Darwin city, Brown’s Mart Theatre is an iconic, much-loved theatre and live performance venue that has been the centre of the community’s arts development for more than 40 years.

Brown’s Mart Theatre delivers four programs, designed to provide access for artists, arts organisations and community-based organisations. Brown’s Mart Theatre Executive Director, Sean Pardy, says that Darwin is filled with extraordinary artists and story-tellers, who deserve infrastructure to support their work and develop their skills. Since 2010, Brown’s Mart Theatre has provided a vital service in supporting the creative visions of Territory artists and the work they create, by offering Territory artists regular employment, space to develop and present their work and financial remuneration. In the past five years, Brown’s Mart Theatre has delivered 15 productions, staged 12 new works and employed 320 artists, with many of these touring nationally.

Territory artists have incredible stories to tell and Brown’s Mart Theatre enables them to deliver their work and secure regular gainful employment. Our aim is to support the creative visions of Territory artists and the work they create.
Sean Pardy, Executive Director

Cancer Council Northern Territory

Telstra Northern Territory Charity Award Finalist

Cancer Council Northern Territory (CCNT) is an independent NT association that offers information, support, practical assistance and understanding to Northern Territorians affected by cancer. While the NT community had provided ad hoc support to individuals impacted by cancer since the 1960s, there was an increasing need for services. Covering a spectrum of services – health promotion and risk minimisation, face-to-face counselling and practical professional support – CCNT provides peer to peer support and community advocacy.

CCNT's support services are available to all Territorians, regardless of their location, and operates a hub and spoke model through offices in Darwin, Katherine and Alice Springs. According to CEO, Kathy Sadler, in a culturally diverse and geographically dispersed population, a community response to cancer issues is critical to keep cancer issues visible and solutions approached from a community perspective. CCNT aims to reduce outcome disparity by educating people about lifestyle changes to reduce risk, supporting people through their cancer journey and working with others in the community in partnerships, advocating for positive cancer changes. With the help of CCNT, Katherine Hospital opened its Chemotherapy Delivery Centre in 2015.

A large percentage of cancers are lifestyle related and today more than half of those diagnosed survive. Territorians are on the wrong side of both statistics for many reasons and we are working to reduce that preventable outcome disparity.
Kathy Sadler, CEO

HPA "Helping People Achieve"

Telstra Australian Business of the Year Finalist
Telstra Australian Charity Award Finalist
Telstra Northern Territory Business of the Year Finalist
Telstra Northern Territory Charity Award Finalist

Formed by Darwin locals Harold and Peg Garner, HPA "Helping People Achieve" has offered supported employment and accommodation options to Territorians living with disabilities since 1963. Their passion and commitment to provide a better lifestyle for people with disabilities has led to the ongoing development of HPA Services for over 50 years.

Today, HPA employs 68 people with intellectual and physical disabilities across two worksites _ Kokoda Industries and Ausdesigns. In addition, it supports 35 people in their homes to live independently within the community. HPA helps its employees and clients develop work and life skills to empower them to participate in everyday community activities. Empowering the future generation, HPA engages with local schools to support work experience programs from Year 10 and a Work Ready Program for school leavers. CEO Tony Burns believes perceptions of people with a disability have changed dramatically over this time and HPA has adapted to the needs of its members and embraced the opportunities to assist and enhance their lives.

We are inspiring and empowering people with disabilities to lead fulfilling lives. Our employees and clients are developing confidence, independence and life skills enabling them to live an everyday life in a world where there are no barriers.
Tony Burns, CEO

Mental Health Association of Central Australia

Telstra Northern Territory Charity Award Finalist

The Northern Territory has the highest rate of suicide and trauma throughout Australia. Mental Health Association of Central Australia (MHACA) provides a range of services to support people living in Central Australia aimed at assisting people with a mental illness to live with hope, healing, respect, safety and opportunity. MHACA works in partnership with individuals and communities to actively improve wellbeing and recovery. MHACA works toward addressing community understanding, reducing stigma and providing accessible support services for people experiencing mental distress or psychiatric illness in Central Australia.

Through support work and community case management, MHACA provides assistance for people with mental illness in Central Australia. The dedicated team provides suicide bereavement support coordination, mental health training and community health programs, and activity programs for people living with mental illness. MHACA is also focused on developing culturally appropriate suicide prevention training and delivery in remote indigenous communities throughout the NT.

Through education, MHACA is addressing community understanding, reducing stigma and providing accessible support services for people experiencing mental distress or psychiatric illness in Central Australia. Recognising that the experience in the NT is different to that of Sydney or Melbourne, MHACA provides a distinct localised approach to support services.

Aboriginal youth are four times more likely to die by suicide than their non-indigenous peers. We believe that problems experienced by individuals and their communities can be solved by supporting them to develop solutions that meet their individual need.
Paul Tomaszewski, CEO

Riding for the Disabled in the Top End Inc

Telstra Northern Territory Charity Award Finalist

Riding for the Disabled in the Top End (RDA Top End) is a not for profit community organisation dedicated to providing opportunities for people living with disabilities, at-risk youth, community groups and volunteers to participate in equestrian and related activities in a safe and supportive environment.

RDA Top End was launched in 1985 to recognise a huge gap in the Northern Territory for children and adults with a disability to be able to participate in sports activities. The organisation offers a rare opportunity to people with disabilities to experience the enjoyment, laughter, independence and friendship and significant therapeutic benefits of the activity. The warmth and three dimensional movement of the horse is transmitted through the rider’s body, gradually making it more relaxed and supple, reducing spasms and improving balance, posture and coordination.

While gradual reform is being made towards services for disabilities, the RDA Top End team hopes to influence cultural change and facilitate reform by increasing awareness and education and shifting attitudes towards genuine community inclusion of people with disabilities.

We are striving for a cultural change within society. Our aim is to increase awareness, widely educate and shift attitudes towards genuine community inclusion. People with a disability are often left behind even though their skills and experience are of great value.
Lesley Monro, Centre Manager

Elite Enterprises Global

Telstra Queensland New Business Award Finalist

As a former Naval Officer, David Dugan believes entrepreneurs share the same courage and determination that he saw in the military. On leaving the Navy, David studied business so he could gain the credentials to coach entrepreneurs, the business category he feels has the greatest capacity to influence the community. His coaching and mentoring business, Elite Enterprises Global, gains results for its clients by simplifying systems, introducing intelligent innovation and developing connected communities.

Elite Enterprises’ approach has been effective for its clients, with the average client increasing revenue by 176 per cent. A fundamental element of Elite Enterprises is social entrepreneurship and its ELITE500 Mastermind program challenges clients to donate $500,000 to a worthy cause. Partnering with non-profit organisations such as ‘Buy 1 Give 1’, Elite Enterprises has been able to disrupt conventional giving models and embed giving activities in everyday business operations.

We believe entrepreneurs are extraordinary! Everything we do nurtures that spirit and creates inspiring results.
David Dugan, Owner

Empire Accountants

Telstra Queensland New Business Award Finalist

Empire Accountants is a boutique accounting firm based in Murarrie on Brisbane’s Southside specialising in accounting, taxation and business advisory for small to medium businesses. With clients across South-East Queensland, the business was started by Beth Hodge and Luke Gozzard, who have similar backgrounds and parents who owned small businesses. They independently worked in various accounting firms and always believed they could provide a better solution to SME clients than what was available.

While businesses come to Empire with tax compliance needs, the team also takes the time to help clients understand their business numbers and financial position. Beth believes the more informed clients are, the better decisions they can make and the more confidence they have, which will ultimately enable their business to grow. Empire Accountants tripled its client base within nine months and hit its first year annual financial targets just over six months after starting the business, proving the business’ potential to grow.

We are helping to change the accounting industry by embracing technological advances such as cloud-based accounting and integrating complementary systems. Many accountants are cautious of this, but we have made the strategic decision to embrace it and keep a core focus on continually adapting to technology.
Beth Hodge, Partner

FinNest Financial

Telstra Queensland New Business Award Finalist

FinNest Financial is a financial planning firm helping current and future clients plan, grow and protect their wealth. The team specialises in providing financial strategies and strategic support, with a fervent belief that with the right advice and support, the team can make a real and tangible difference to almost anyone’s financial position.

After many years of experience as a senior employee in the industry, Brendan Stone felt it was the right time to walk his own path. He wanted to create a company that embodied sound business acumen, while putting client’s interests first, that he would be proud to represent. FinNest Financial helps people make the most out of their financial potential, supporting valued clients to reach their financial goals. Brendan says that it’s not only the initial advice that is integral to clients’ ultimate success, but the art of keeping people motivated and financially on-track leading to sound financial outcomes. With a strong focus on strategy and support, FinNest Financial is fixated on achieving the ultimate outcomes for its clients.

We are a firm with the zeal and capacity to help current and future clients plan, grow and protect their wealth, and we are focused on achieving the best outcomes for our clients.
Brendan Stone, Director

LBFR Creative Pty Ltd

Telstra Queensland New Business Award Finalist

LBFR Creative Pty Ltd is the partnership behind Leina Broughton, a clothing label designed and made in Australia for the modern woman on the go. The core focus is to create garments that sit a cut above the rest offering premium fit, quality, style and service. Leina had a vision to change the face of boutique fashion in Australia and couldn’t do it alone. She met Fleur and the two realised their skill sets and style were symbiotic and their work ethic and business approach refreshingly identical. Their business’ vision is to combine forces and disrupt the typical way boutique fashion operates in Australia and beyond.

Selling through a direct online e-store and wholesale through national stockists, LBFR Creative creates mini capsule collections which are delivered each month to stores and split into weekly releases for online customers. Ensuring the product offering is fresh and season-relevant.

Our point of difference is not only in our non traditional approach of how we release product but also in the complete operations that we have custom built to support this model. We are strong believers in the boutique market and we’re here to disrupt in style!
Leina Broughton, Creative Director

Tow.com.au

Telstra Australian New Business Award Finalist
Telstra Queensland New Business Award Finalist

Tow.com.au is a high-tech towing company, and the only truly national towing service, operating in every state and territory in Australia. Through its first-of-a-kind automated towing dispatch platform, Tow.com.au provides rapid deployment of assets nationally, backed by its dedication to customer service. Tow.com.au provides Australian consumers, businesses and government a highly scalable, real-time towing management system, built to provide a rapidly available service, across the country, complete with asset tracking and vehicle management. Tow.com.au provides estimated time of arrival updates, scheduled bookings and SMS updates. Using an advanced geolocation system, Tow.com.au can quickly locate stranded motorists and cut hours of travel time for trucks and waiting time for customers. Prior to Tow.com.au, stranded motorists often relied on towing companies that only operated within a specific, small and localised geographic area.

Dominic Holland recognised that when customers need his service, they are in a frustrated, vulnerable, high-stress situation, and require peace of mind that they will be rescued quickly and safely. He says customers need support before, during and after these events, and his business gives priority to providing great customer service when arranging a tow. In just two years, Tow.com.au’s business has grown to be one the largest towing networks in Australia, with more than 550 trucks, 200 secure holding yards, and has successfully towed tens of thousands of customers across the country.

Our customers are frequently broken down and stranded in remote areas with no distinguishable landmarks, which makes position identification very difficult. We strive to use technology and innovation to provide efficiencies and eliminate challenges and obstacles.
Dominic Holland, CEO and Managing Director

Vision Money

Telstra Queensland New Business Award Finalist

When Bridget Headland started Vision Money, her motivation was to build something of her own. Recognising that people are time-poor, Bridget started her mortgage broking business to provide a one-stop shop with hundreds of loan options from across Australia’s leading lenders. Vision Money helps those looking to buy a first home, renovate, refinance or invest, to negotiate the right finance for their situation.

Bridget says the benefit of Vision Money for clients is they can search hundreds of products and find the right home or investment in a matter of minutes at a time convenient to the client. Bridget has experienced consistent growth and has gone from zero to a more than $165 million dollar book since 2013 when the Vision doors opened.

People are time-poor these days. We work with clients to find the right finance solution to meet their needs, at a time that is convenient to them.
Bridget Headland, Managing Director

BOAT A HOME

Telstra Queensland Micro Business Award Finalist

With a passion for boating and a love of the great outdoors, Luke Golding applied his Boat Building trade expertise and creativity to invent a unique product that would please boating and camping enthusiasts alike. Boat A Home combines the convenience of a caravan with the versatility of a houseboat, making it the ideal recreational vehicle for a weekend away.

From humble beginnings, Boat A Home is now a thriving business employing five full-time staff. The team is striving towards being recognised as the leading fibreglass boat manufacturer in Queensland by continuing to provide top-quality workmanship with personalised customer service to each individual client.

The business has recently diversified to develop new plugs and moulds for other service providers in the industry and continues to evolve its product range to meet consumer demand.

Our unique and innovative manufacturing business is leading the industry with creative new designs by combining the versatility of a boat and the convenience of a caravan.
Luke Golding, Owner

EMBR Group

Telstra Queensland Micro Business Award Finalist

EMBR Group is a digital marketing firm that specialises in lead generation for consumer brands. Owner, James L’Almont focuses on delivering real return on investment for his clients, generating more than 200,000 leads through digital media per month. In 2015 alone EMBR Group delivered more than one million leads to clients, meaning that more than one million Australian consumers saw and engaged with one of EMBR’s client’s advertisements or marketing campaigns. EMBR Group credits its focus on measurable return on investment to its client retention rate of 95 per cent.

EMBR is continuing its rapid growth in the industry by reinventing what it looks like for companies to engage and retain new clients through digital channels.

We are not a one stop digital marketing shop. Lead generation is not 'just something we do'... It's the only thing we do. We are a firm that is 100 per cent performance-based, meaning we deliver exactly what we say we will.
James L’Almont, Owner

Lingua Franca

Telstra Australian Micro Business Award Finalist
Telstra Queensland Micro Business Award Finalist

Katrina Waugh has had a love of languages ever since she was a child, but it was after returning from living in Paris that she started tutoring French after-hours and rediscovered her passion. Soon, Katrina had started her own French language school to share her knowledge in a way that was fun, engaging, enriching and beautiful. Lingua Franca offers private, group or specialist lessons and caters mainly to adult learners. Katrina and her team are aware that most students are taking these classes in their leisure time so seek to make the lessons enjoyable and stress-free.

Katrina started in 2008 out of her home and has since moved to a business premises and continued on a path of expansion. In 2014, the team decided to add specialist exam training and Skype lessons for more flexible learning. They have also since developed their own proprietary learning system and purpose-written textbooks, launched a website, and in 2015 incorporated overseas learning trips to their program. Katrina says that their high retention rate of nearly 80 per cent is a reflection of their enjoyable learning environment and effective learning systems.

By using our learning systems, students can have a clear and logical path to learning French. We implement frequent milestones to maintain enthusiasm and ensure success.
Katrina Waugh, Owner

Protein Supplies Australia

Telstra Queensland Micro Business Award Finalist

Protein Supplies Australia (PSA) was born and bred from a desire to develop health conscious products with a clear social message. Although the supplements market in Australia is an overcrowded one, Matthew Stillone realised that there were very few products available that are 100 per cent natural, free from synthetic additives and banned substances. The business has thrived on increasing demand from consumers who are looking for more natural products.

In a largely unregulated market with an abundance of misleading information, PSA seeks to encourage consumers to make informed choices about supplements and to be excited about what they use to fuel their bodies. Three years after launching PSA made two significant changes: they moved to a new warehouse to service growing demand and also made the decision to bring their manufacturing in-house. This meant that PSA could be more flexible and innovative in responding to changing consumer demands whilst helping to ensure consistency and the ongoing creation of top quality products.

Protein Supplies Australia challenges the industry everyday by providing a clear social message about their products and educating consumers on how to make informed choices when it comes to choosing supplements.
Matthew Stillone, Director

aXcelerate

Telstra Queensland Small Business Award Finalist

aXcelerate is an innovative training management system designed to support the complex business requirements of Australian Registered Training organisations (RTOs) and enterprises. aXcelerate manages all aspects of the training delivery process including marketing and CRM, enrolments, course management, progress tracking, quality, resources, certification and reporting, all from a standard web browser.

Since 1989, parent company VM Learning has been providing accredited education programs for job seekers across the eastern states of Australia. Like many training companies, their business processes were highly labour intensive, particularly when it came to dealing with continually changing compliance requirements. In 1992, Managing Director Reay Mackay realised there was no service to help training organisations manage the complexity of delivering training courses. Reay set about developing a solution; an integrated and easy to use management system that would increase process efficiency.

Since its launch in 2009, aXcelerate has expanded to Sydney and Melbourne, acquired multiple global clients such as Cotton On and Audi and achieved a compound growth rate of over 50% per annum.

aXcelerate's guiding philosophy and culture development revolve around the H.E.A.R.T. values of honesty, empathy, acceptance, respect and trust...simply put, it is the foundation of our relationships with clients, staff and all our stakeholders.
Reay Mackay, Managing Director

In Safe Hands Educators In Safety

Telstra Australian Small Business Award Finalist
Telstra Queensland Small Business Award Finalist

In Safe Hands Educators in Safety is a professional development training organisation in the early years sector specialising in providing industry training in child protection and safety. In Safe Hands has formed partnerships with other specialised trainers, forming a business model which provides licensees with a cost effective solution for quality training. The company seeks to provide parents, community members, volunteers and professionals responsible for children with the hands-on skills they need to promote child protection and safety.

More than 45,000 educators completed training with In Safe Hands in 2015 and the company has doubled in growth across the board in the past 12 months.

In establishing cost-effective, industry specific training, using multiple delivery types, we challenge the traditional in-house training methods of the sector to meet professional development.
Michael Pecic, CEO

NewBook eManagement Technology

Telstra Queensland Small Business Award Finalist

NewBook eManagement Technology is a cloud-based property management system for the tourism and hospitality sectors. NewBook facilitates reservation management and streamlines accounting, manages housekeeping and maintenance, helps to reduce staff overheads and works to improve marketing and sales performance.

With an extensive background in IT for the hospitality industry, owner Bradley Illich established NewBook eManagement Technology in 2010 in response to client requests for a tailored solution to their property management and reservation system needs _ both essential systems for running a successful business in the industry. Through his innovative software, Bradley aims to help, businesses reduce their IT expenditure and offer a faster, more professional service to their guests, whilst being able to monitor business performance and costs.

NewBook now handles more than $7 million worth of online bookings each month in Australia.

By automating booking systems, clients can focus on providing great customer service and creating wonderful experiences for their customers.
Brad Illich, CEO

The Creative Collective

Telstra Queensland Small Business Award Finalist

The Creative Collective is a digital marketing agency with offices on the Sunshine Coast and in Newcastle and services clients throughout Australia and New Zealand. The agency specialises in digital marketing and crowdfunding marketing, and is the only Australian/New Zealand partner of leading crowdfunding platform, Indiegogo. The agency prides itself on fast turnaround and affordable digital services, including flagship products, ‘Website in a Day’ and ‘Brand in a Day’, which expedite typically time-consuming projects.

Since opening in 2007 from founder Yvette Adams’ home, the business has grown to a team of 10 and has increased growth by 50 per cent over the past two years.

Every agency moves fast, we've just found ways to innovate traditional approaches to digital projects and move even faster.
Yvette Adams, Partner

The Print Bar

Telstra Queensland Small Business Award Finalist

The Print Bar offers digital garment and fabric printing, embroidery and vinyl printing as well as bulk and unique screen printing for corporate clients, artists and fashion designers.

Founder, Jared Fullinfaw, was an actor looking for a way to supplement his income between roles, when he decided to learn screen printing and sell his designs. He noticed increasing interest from people printing their own designs, but no easy way to do this in small numbers.

When he launched The Print Bar in 2011, the business provided a way for customers to express their creativity through custom-made screen printed designs. At the time, it was the only website in Australia that allowed customers to design their own garment, have it printed in retail-quality and delivered anywhere in Australia within a week. The Print Bar now also runs DIY workshops and events from its studio to encourage creativity in the community.

The Print Bar has grown from garage start-up to national brand within four years. In this time, The Print Bar has quintupled revenue and last year posted a record profit of $2.5 million. It also reached the milestone of printing its one-millionth t-shirt and continues to work with clients including Spotify and CSIRO.

What makes us different is that we don't define ourselves as just a printing company. We tap in to our clients’ need to be creative. We allow people to be creative. We nurture creativity.
Jared Fullinfaw, Director

Xennox Diamonds

Telstra Queensland Small Business Award Finalist

Managing Director and Jeweller of Xennox Diamonds, Karl Schwantes believes he has one of the best jobs in the world; he specialises in making people happy.

Brisbane-based and family-run, Xennox Diamonds specialises in the design and hand craftsmanship of unique diamond rings. The team helps people celebrate their special moments in life through a bespoke piece of jewellery that tells their unique story.

The business understands that due to recent changes in international diamond grading systems, most jewellery craftsmanship is executed overseas, and access to individually handpicked stones can be limited. In these circumstances, customers can find it difficult to create something unique for their partners but Xennox Diamonds is challenging this assumption through its customer focus. At the company’s Queen Street Mall showroom the focus is completely on client experience; visitors can sit down with their jewellery designer in a specially customised design pod and bring the ring they’ve been dreaming of to life.

Over the past five years, Xennox Diamonds has doubled their workshop and front of house teams from six to 12. They have also enjoyed growth of 25 per cent over the past year.

We want our clients to feel that they have just been part of something special when they leave our showroom.
Karl Schwantes, Managing Director

Coronis Group

Telstra Queensland Medium Business Award Finalist

Coronis Group is a wholly-owned real estate business that offers every piece of the property puzzle.

Three years ago, Andrew Coronis identified a need to simplify and streamline the property transaction for consumers wanting to buy, sell or rent. With sound insight into the property transaction, Andrew created an end-to-end service that incorporates sales, property management, mortgage broking, financial planning, conveyancing, estate planning, international services and building and pest services. In 2015, Coronis comprised more than 300 people located across 21 offices in South-East Queensland. The team has sold more than 2,000 properties collectively worth more than $1 billion and managed nearly 7,000 investment properties worth more than $2.7 billion.

Our vision came from seeing the stress our clients were suffering from chasing separate conveyancers, brokers, banks and building and pest companies in order to buy or sell a house.
Andrew Coronis, Managing Director

Engineering Applications

Telstra Queensland Medium Business Award Finalist

Engineering Applications, or ENAP, is an Australian manufacturing success story. Founded in 1979 by two long-term friends, it initially provided services to feedmill sites around South-East Queensland. The company now employs 150 people and has expanded its range of services to structural, mechanical and piping work across a diverse range of industries including manufacturing, mining, chemicals and food processing.

General Manager, Drew Stephensen, attributes the business’ success to its focus on being agile, developing novel engineering concepts and providing great, responsive client service. ENAP’s specialty is to provide highly capable and efficient engineering, fabrication, maintenance and installation services. The company has demonstrated a successful growth path of between 15 and 20 per cent for the last seven years.

ENAP has received strong positive feedback from clients about its capacity to be extremely responsive and provide turnkey project solutions.

The feeling of continuously looking to improve ourselves is embedded at many levels throughout the organisation.
Drew Stephensen, General Manager

Packer Leather Pty Ltd

Telstra Queensland Medium Business Award Finalist

Packer Leather is a manufacturer of high-performance leather for global niche markets. Focused on delivering high quality products, the company provides its customers with lightweight material that is strong enough to sustain high-stress performance uses. Their leather is engineered to be up to five times stronger than competitive products whilst allowing movement and flexibility.

Founded in 1891, the business has become a global leader in the production of performance leathers with a unique reputation for quality and innovation. Continuous research and development is integral to Packer Leather, enabling it to stay ahead of market demand.

The leather produced by the business is natural and sustainable, and is produced through environmentally-friendly processes, using the world’s best green chemistries.

To survive and thrive through 125 years of business, you must value the traditions of the past with a care and commitment to staff and the community around you.
Graham Packer, International Sales and Marketing Director

QUIK CORP

Telstra Australian Business of the Year Finalist
Telstra Australian Medium Business Award Finalist
Telstra Queensland Business of the Year Finalist
Telstra Queensland Medium Business Award Finalist

QUIK CORP is defying the odds of the Australian manufacturing industry by focussing its efforts on innovation and providing premium services to its diverse range of clients. The company supplies premium equipment and vehicles to the agricultural, emergency services and mining industries. Highly customisable, the products are always developed in consultation with clients and are considered the industry standard for many projects.

Founded in 1988, the business initially prototyped and commercialised a remote-controlled spraying system; it has now developed into a multi-million dollar business with five sites and 112 staff. Part of its expansion plans, QUIK CORP opened a 4,500 sqm factory in Melbourne in 2015 and in 2016 won its second major contract with the Victorian Government for an additional 80 fire appliances valued at over 15 million dollars.

The company’s distinct focus to work in markets such as agriculture and firefighting, has proven to be a resilient strategy as it has been able to diversify from hose reels to multi-million dollar vehicles in only six years.

As an Australian manufacturer, we are very aware that to remain viable, we must innovate and manufacture quality Australian-made products.
David Wardle, Managing Director

Orange Sky Laundry

Telstra Queensland Charity Award Finalist

Every night 105,000 people find themselves homeless, an uncomfortable statistic for Nic and Lucas, who wanted to do something to help. They became determined to improve the hygiene standards of homeless Australians, and stumbled upon the idea of providing fresh, clean clothes through a mobile laundry, and so, started Orange Sky Laundry, Australia’s first free mobile laundry service for the homeless.

The organisation provides free mobile laundry from custom fitted vans that work in conjunction with other service providers. The world first initiative began in Brisbane in October 2014 and has since expanded to the Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, Sydney, Canberra, Adelaide, Melbourne and Perth.

Orange Sky Laundry aims to restore respect and raise health standards for the homeless while facilitating positive connections among the community, whether it be the homeless, community services or volunteers. Believed to be the only mobile laundry service for the not for profit sector in the world, Orange Sky Laundry has grown in 18 months from its two founders to more than 620 volunteers, washing more than 130,000 tonnes of washing and enjoying more than 32,000 hours of positive, genuine conversation with the community.

Nic and I wanted to do one thing - wash and dry clothes for free. However, what we stumbled on was an innovative opportunity to connect communities and reduce the transmission of disease, but most importantly, improve the lives of others.
Lucas Patchett, Co-Founder

Suncare Community Services

Telstra Queensland Charity Award Finalist

Suncare Community Services provides frontline services in community care, respite care, allied health and nursing across the metropolitan, regional and rural areas of Queensland. Suncare’s principal role is to understand and identify the needs of the community and support those people who are ageing, living with disability and/or mental illnesses. The not-for-profit organisation provides a variety of services including training workshops about using digital technologies and living independently, and is seeking to expand into physical activities to improve health and wellbeing.

After beginning 44 years ago with one Meals on Wheels service that provided food to 23 families, Suncare now provides catering to 420 people and has grown to become a medium-sized provider with nine offices across Queensland. With an ageing population, Suncare plans to maximise their work with technological and digital innovation, continue to create workforce efficiencies and develop innovative enterprise solutions to generate self-sustaining income for their programs and services.

Our aim at Suncare is to identify the strengths of individuals as well as their goals and aspirations and to address them in timely and creative ways.
Russell Mason, CEO

World Wellness Group

Telstra Australian Charity Award Finalist
Telstra Queensland Charity Award Finalist

World Wellness Group is a social enterprise multicultural health and wellbeing organisation which runs a clinic for socially disadvantaged people including refugees, asylum seekers, and marginalised migrants. The clinic was formed by a group of health workers, all of whom had many years of experience in the public health system, who had grown increasingly frustrated by lack of referral options for accessible, affordable and appropriate primary health care services for disadvantaged groups. The World Wellness Community Clinic provides essential health services such as GP, psychiatry, mental health, allied health, nursing and traditional medicine such as a community acupuncture clinic. The clinic specifically responds to the needs of a growing diverse population with complex health needs including chronic diseases and mental illnesses and is expanding into providing holistic wellness services.

The business started out of a room that was provided to the team rent-free but after a successful crowdfunding campaign in 2013, established their own clinic in April 2014. The business remains set on increasing growth and remaining a viable social enterprise business.

Our vision of building health equity was founded in response to addressing a key gap in access to health care for marginalised population groups, such as disadvantaged migrants, refugees and asylum seekers.
Rita Prasad-Ildes, Founding Director

Artlivemedia

Telstra Australian New Business Award Finalist
Telstra Victorian New Business Award Finalist

Artlivemedia is a digital growth agency focused on driving demand and conversion for brands through specialist services in search marketing, digital advertising, conversion optimisation and digital analytics, web application and website development, and call centre operations and technology. Its clients include government, corporates, funded startups and not-for-profits. Michelle Bourke started the business after becoming frustrated with a lack of passion agencies seemed to have for business. She wanted to create an organisation that maintained high levels of transparency, a strong sense of accountability and urgency, and was built from a foundation that encouraged the highest levels of performance for each and every customer. Artlivemedia can forecast marketing results using its proprietary digital tool and algorithm, ‘Predictor’, which combines data and customer insights enabling informed marketing investment decisions.

Many marketing managers are held accountable for unrealistic targets, or having to prove the benefits of their digital marketing spend, without a clear view of what channels to prioritise. We help forecast marketing results using ‘Predictor’, which combines data and customer insight.
Michelle Bourke, Founder and CEO

FG Advisory

Telstra Victorian New Business Award Finalist

FG Advisory (FGA) provides independent, multi-disciplinary engineering and advisory services to a diverse range of clients across the public and private sectors. Its team specialises in building performance optimisation and strategic infrastructure planning. A unique FGA characteristic is the team’s talent to distil complexity into simplicity and deliver measurable performance outcomes. FGA’s aim is to make an indelible mark on the Australian built environment and push the envelope for sustainability in design. The company provides performance-based building productivity improvements and is committed to making Australia’s buildings more efficient through innovative engineering design, and create compelling business cases for investment into building productivity. After only two years of operation, FGA is working with some of Australia’s most iconic institutions including the MCG, Federation Square, RMIT, Monash University and Museum Victoria.

We create ideas, overcome challenges and construct solutions, together with our clients, seamlessly integrating a principles-based engineering approach with strategic systems thinking. Our team has a passion for elegant, innovative design, and are determined to raise the bar of the industry by bringing our best every single day.
Randy Gadient, Managing Director

Gippsland Cosmetic Laser Clinic

Telstra Victorian New Business Award Finalist

After experiencing the life-changing results of laser treatments in Melbourne, Gippsland-based Registered Nurse, Anita Turner, established Gippsland Cosmetic Laser Clinic with the aim of providing life-changing treatments locally, and safely, in an unregulated industry.  Anita and her team are committed to providing the safest quality services with specially trained staff and quality machines and technology. All treatments are performed exclusively by Registered Division 1 Nurses with Laser Safety Officer Certification and comprehensive training. Using the world’s leading Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved technology and products, the clinic offers services including permanent hair reduction, tattoo removal, pigmentation removal, anti-wrinkle and dermal filler injections, treatment for hair loss and a range of skin treatments. Gippsland Cosmetic Laser Clinic also provides a number of previously unavailable, and unique services to the Gippsland region and has recently opened a second clinic.

With no regulations existing in Victoria for the use of laser in healthcare, we wanted to establish a clinic that would provide clients with the highest level of safety, right here in Gippsland, without the need to travel to Melbourne.
Anita Turner, Owner

M-innovation

Telstra Victorian New Business Award Finalist

M-innovation is a national company which provides testing, inspection and compliance to help Australian companies achieve world class standards. The business’ services make it easy for clients to meet statutory obligations, reduce their risk of plant and product failure, prevent injuries to people and the environment, and minimise their operational costs. Slipping into the market at a low-to-mid-price point, M-innovation has been quietly disrupting the testing industry by providing services that appeal not only to engineers but also to managers, stakeholders and decision makers. Simon Maselli launched the business in May 2013 after becoming frustrated by the slow pace of change in the testing and diagnostics industry. He saw that what was once considered leading edge, was failing to keep up with changes in the digital world, providing an opportunity for his business. M-innovation reduces the costs by using computational mechanics, and using adaptive technologies to reduce time, risk and expense of physical testing. Started out of a spare bedroom in Simon’s home only three years ago, M-Innovation has grown to have nine staff across two locations.

We are disrupting the industry by pushing technical boundaries and approach all problems with innovation, agility and speed.
Simon Maselli, Operations Manager

Matcha Maiden

Telstra Victorian New Business Award Finalist

Matcha Maiden is Australia’s leading supplier of matcha - green tea leaves ground into a fine powder. Rather than throwing out the leaves like regular green tea bags, matcha drinkers consumer the whole tea leaf along with all its nutrients, gaining 137 times the antioxidants and 10 times the overall nutritional content of regular green tea. 

Owners, Nic Davidson and Sarah Holloway first discovered matcha several years ago while travelling Japan and encountering the leaf used in its traditional context as a ceremonial tea. After further travelling Asia and the US, they encountered its use in drinks, desserts and other creative recipes and tried to purchase it for home use but could only find it exorbitantly priced, with added sugar and bad labelling. Being familiar with the vast health benefits of green tea, Nic set out to make this amazing superfood affordable, accessible and appealing for a broader audience. Matcha Maiden’s tea is certified organic and sourced from its birthplace in Uji, Kyoto. What started 14 months ago as a humble online store, Matcha Maiden now has Australian and US warehouses, more than 1,000 physical stockists worldwide and more than 76,000 social media followers. Matcha Maiden is the first company to make matcha mainstream and provide a superior alternative for people limiting or quitting coffee. They hope to move the product from a “ceremonial special occasion tea” to a “daily affordable superfood.”

We want to educate and change people’s perceptions to understand that matcha is a versatile health food, not just a boring tea.
Nic Davidson, Owner

Performance Property Advisory

Telstra Victorian New Business Award Finalist

Having worked in the property industry for many years David McMillan, Phillip Almeida and Michael Sier had all too frequently heard bad luck stories of people buying badly thanks to poor investment advice. As directors of Performance Property Advisory (PPA), they decided to challenge this model by developing an ethical, low-risk approach to investing, focussing on counter-cyclical value investment in blue-chip established properties across capital city markets nationwide. 

PPA’s core investment property services include macro capital city research, property sourcing and selection, property due diligence and assessment, negotiation and acquisition, property management, annual portfolio reviews, and renovation and development feasibility. With a data-driven investment methodology, PPA helps investors build their “retirement nest egg” by ensuring sound buying decisions and their property portfolios continue to perform. One of PPA’s core business values is to provide quality and ethical advice and have a strict policy doing everything possible to grow and protect its customers’ wealth. In two and half years, PPA has expanded from two directors to 25 staff across three commercial offices in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane.

We work with investors who are serious about building and growing their property portfolios. We enable our investors to make decisions with full visibility and peace of mind that they are receiving the best and most ethical advice available.
Michael Sier, Managing Director

Little Innoscents

Telstra Australian Micro Business Award Finalist
Telstra Victorian Micro Business Award Finalist

Antonette Golikidis identified a gap in the market for natural and organic baby skincare products effective in treating skin ailments while being eco-friendly and affordable. After having her first child she searched for baby products that were completely chemical free but was disappointed to find a limited range that were also difficult to locate, overly expensive and often presented misleading information. 

Drawing from her experience and qualifications in health sciences and natural therapies as well as previous executive sales experience, Antonette embarked on her journey to develop Little Innoscents, Australian-made organic solutions for both mother and baby. The multi-purpose range therapeutically treats eczema, dermatitis, psoriasis, dryness and sensitivity. Little Innoscents is the first complete baby care range to be certified organic by the independent body, Australian Certified Organic. 

After only nine years the brand is now stocked in more than 800 stores nationally, exported across Asia, and rapidly expanding by the day. With one in three children suffering from some form of skin allergy, Little Innoscents products provide much-needed relief to many families.

My aspiration is for every consumer to be able to have the choice to experience pure and natural products which are better for themselves, their children and the environment.
Antonette Golikidis, Founder

Log Cabin Camp

Telstra Victorian Micro Business Award Finalist

Log Cabin Camp is a camping facility in Creswick Victoria, which provides cabin style accommodation alongside a range of outdoor activities to community groups. The camp offers activities such as high ropes, canoeing, orienteering, archery, raft building, and much more. It is a secure environment where people of all ages can have fun, be challenged and experience the outdoors whilst building resilience and relationships.  

For camp owners, Grant and Christine Laidlaw, being flexible to the client’s needs is essential. The camp is a popular destination for many school groups who want fun activities for their students but also a program that can reflect the key values of the school. The camp has continued to grow through delivering high levels of customer service which results in positive word of mouth referrals

We have designed and built activities that are exciting, challenging and that promote inclusivity. This allows for greater positive peer outcomes.
Grant Laidlaw, Owner

MindTribes

Telstra Victorian Micro Business Award Finalist

MindTribes improves the way people from different cultures connect professionally so that businesses can sell, service, administer, negotiate and lead better in foreign markets. Business owner, Div Pillay, noted that enterprises of developed countries lean on developing countries for growth and cost efficiencies but poor relationships between the two can restrict productivity. She realised that companies engaging in offshore business or communicating with foreign internal staff can experience problems that arise from cultural barriers, which can result in performance problems, unrealised sales, poor service, low utilisation rates and operational inefficiencies. 

Div believes that her business will continue to succeed as the pace of globalisation increases. MindTribes is aligned with several industries, some of which have an  established and expanding offshore presence (e.g. finance, telco, online education) and others (aged care, health, global mobility) that are nascent and will need mid to long term support.

We bring the developed and the developing world of work closer together through our cross-cultural business services.
Div Pillay, Owner

Planet Luxe

Telstra Victorian Micro Business Award Finalist

Planet Luxe was born from Toni Lawler’s desire to develop an environmentally friendly range of products that function effectively and are also aesthetically appealing. Whilst working for a corporate sustainability business Toni was exposed to global research and conversations around the growing interest in sustainable living. She saw the opportunity to be part of this flourishing market for ‘green products’ as people continue to make more informed choices when it comes to purchasing products for use in the home and on themselves.

Planet Luxe offers consumers eco-luxe products for household cleaning and personal care and promises to provide safer cleaning options for people, animals and the environment. There are currently 17 products on offer including; hand wash, laundry liquid and glass cleaner with all products being designed in Australia and 16 manufactured locally. The products are comprised of botanical blends of organic herbs, plant extracts and essential oils and are all free from nasty chemicals, toxins and are 100 per cent biodegradable. 

From humble beginnings when it launched in 2011, Planet Luxe is now stocked alongside top lifestyle products. Toni is ever-expanding her retail network to enable her brand to continue to grow and be recognised as a household name.

We are responding to growing consumer demands for effective cleaning products and personal care products that contain not only natural and sustainable ingredients but are also aesthetically packaged.
Toni Lawler, Founder

Shine Trimmings & Fabrics

Telstra Victorian Micro Business Award Finalist

Shine Trimmings & Fabrics imports exclusive fabrics and materials as well as trimmings, feathers and lace used for costume design and stage productions globally. Business owner, Tanya Szulc, was a professional dancer for 15 years and on her travels often found herself assisting the wardrobe designers with creating and mending costumes. She then went on to manage a fabric store which is when she realised that consumers were looking for a local alternative to sourcing fabric from overseas, and thus Shine Trimmings & Fabrics was born. The fabrics are supplied to retail stores throughout Australia as well as manufacturers, wardrobe departments, milliners, dancing schools and television studios. Clients include The Australian Ballet, Dancing with the Stars’ participants, J’Aton and Steven Kahil. 

Tanya is constantly sourcing new products and keeping up-to-date with overseas fashions and trends so that is she able to supply her clients with the most current fabrics and trimmings. Tanya says that when clients find something unique, they tell their friends, making word-of-mouth their biggest asset when it comes to attracting new clients. 

Shine Trimmings & Fabrics is also in the process of implementing sewing classes, tutu making workshops, and millinery classes, to educate the next generation as well as those wanting to refresh and update their skills.

Customers love the unusual and extensive range. Shine Trimmings and Fabrics have a range of materials that is large enough to create an entire costume, making it a one-stop shop for unique costumes.
Tanya Szulc, Owner

The Candy Buffet Company

Telstra Victorian Micro Business Award Finalist

The Candy Buffet Company transports its customers back to their joyful childhood days of consuming colourful sweets and treats.  The boutique event company creates exquisite lolly buffet tables for any events including weddings, private parties or corporate events. The buffets are a vibrant display of lollies that are styled to suit each client’s need. With a new layout, theme and design for every event, clients are ensured that no two displays are ever the same. 

The Candy Buffet Company offers clients something special that is not typically available from traditional catering companies. This unique point of difference results in repeat customers year after year and positive word-of-mouth referrals. 

As special events will always play an important role in the events and hospitality industry, Cynthia Hawkins and husband Murphy, believe that their business will continue to thrive. In the last 12 months alone they have seen their followers on Facebook more than double, from 5,000 to 12,000 followers, reflecting a positive attitude from consumers. 

Cynthia believes that having a candy buffet table at an event adds a new and exciting element to any occasion. The impressive displays always generate a positive atmosphere as they provide guests a unique location to congregate and have fun.

We are continually challenging the customer service standards in the hospitality industry. We set the bar higher by consistently delivering superior service.
Cynthia Hawkins, Owner

b.box for kids

Telstra Australian Small Business Award Finalist
Telstra Victorian Small Business Award Finalist

After becoming parents, close friends Dannielle Michaels and Monique Filer wanted to create a business that utilised their creative, financial and commercial acumen, while also enabling them to balance the demands of young families. Dannielle and Monique saw a gap in the market for an all-in-one portable baby change solution and so, b.box was born.

b.box for kids designs, manufactures and distributes products for the 0-3 years market, focussing primarily on feeding and nappy changing both at home and on the go. The company’s product range is Australian designed, fun and functional and delivers innovation, quality and value to its customers. The range is available in 750 stores nationally and in 22 countries.

When b.box for kids entered the market in 2009, it had one product. The company now boasts a range of more than 15 products and 80SKUs, with more scheduled for release later this year. Over the past two years, the company has doubled its warehouse capacity, enabling them to scale up production and meet growing wholesale and export demand more cost-effectively.

Our mission from the outset was to be commercially successful and build a global brand, recognised for its cool ideas and practical product execution.
Dannielle Michaels, Co-founder and Director

CENTORRINO Technologies

Telstra Victorian Small Business Award Finalist

Priding itself on delivering exceptional levels of customer service and client support, Centorrino Technologies is a proactive-managed IT services company that focuses on business and government agencies with 15 to 250 staff, as well as schools.

Managing Director, Adam Centorrino, says the company has obsessed over customer service ever since it was established more than 10 years ago, providing enhanced support for clients in the technology arena. The company is continually building on this fundamental value to ensure its clients always receive a positive customer service experience. 

Adam says the smile on a client’s face when their issue is solved is the best part of his job.  He attributes the year-on-year growth which they have experienced for ten years to a strong culture and their unwavering focus on customer service.

Centorrino Technologies understands the importance of staying ahead of the curve when it comes to innovation, continually investing in technologies, people and processes that give the company a strategic edge.

The IT industry is complex and confusing. Our mission is to break this barrier down and show the customer exactly what is happening and how we are going about it. We want to put the power into the hands of the end user – to understand and appreciate all it can do for them.
Adam Centorrino, Managing Director

danaher legal

Telstra Victorian Small Business Award Finalist

danaher legal provides legal advice on business, estate planning and property law matters. The firm aims to maximise its clients’ positions while minimising their risk.

After years of working in several firms, Director Dennis Danaher felt there was a gap in the market for a firm with a different approach in the legal industry. He felt that all too often, legal firms focus on their bottom line rather than their clients’ needs. In response, Dennis created a firm that not only simplifies the legal process for its clients, but operates with a friendly outlook. 

At danaher legal, the team works with the client to identify client problems and give solid solutions without over-complicating matters. Hindsight and foresight are combined with strong practical knowledge to mitigate risks and advise clients accordingly.  

From a staff of one with a revenue of zero and no existing clients in 2011, danaher legal has grown to a staff of nine and generates an annual turnover of $1.2 million. The firm also has a large and active referral base that produces three to four new matters each day.

I wanted to simplify the legal process for clients; we offer quality advice, in a timely manner for a reasonable cost.
Dennis Danaher, Director

Marque of Brands

Telstra Victorian Small Business Award Finalist

Marque of Brands is a beauty product development business that approaches opportunities with a disruptive strategy. The Melbourne-based business handles brand development, licensing, web, software and equipment design for a number of established and up-and-coming beauty brands, mainly in the self-tanning industry. 

When new compliance regulations were introduced in 2010, Cameron Campbell saw an opportunity for a business that would not only help to guide brands through the new regulatory territory, but to also harness the opportunities arising from the ephemeral nature of the beauty market.

Over the past six years, Marque of Brands has enjoyed year-on-year growth, and has since expanded from a humble garage operation to global team based in multiple offices around the world, with warehouses in three key global locations.

We believe in our entrepreneurial creative ability, knowing the demands of the market, our agility and our willingness to take calculated risks.
Cameron Campbell, Managing Director

Megaphone Marketing

Telstra Victorian Small Business Award Finalist

Megaphone Marketing is a Melbourne-based digital agency with a focus on social media, pay-per-click marketing and conversion rate optimisation. The agency works to produce real return-on-investment by understanding the customer acquisition funnel which includes identifying target audiences, building communities and engaging with those markets to cost-effectively boost sales.

Shortly after Maxwell Hertan finished his degree at Monash University, he established Megaphone Marketing (2013) in response to what he felt was an opportunity for a social media marketing agency to understand what efforts produce actual results for business. He saw a great opportunity to help small to medium enterprises leverage the power of social media and took it.

Megaphone Marketing continues to grow and acquire more clients, some of them larger international businesses. In 2016, the company has doubled its staff to a team of six and continues to heavily invest in its marketing and sales strategies.

Online marketing is a great way to target a really specific audience at a great rate. Once you understand the process of awareness to engagement to demand to acquisition you can leverage the suite of digital marketing tools to produce some fantastic results for a wide range of businesses.
Maxwell Hertan, Director

mycause

Telstra Victorian Small Business Award Finalist

mycause is helping Australians to raise money for causes they care about by providing a single space for cause related fundraising and crowdfunding. In 2007, Melbourne’s Tania Burstin was helping to fundraise for a fun run when she experienced difficulties in handling cash and cheque donations. She noticed that people felt limited by the difficulty of the donation process, and envisaged an easier way to give. 

In an effort to simplify the process, Tania created a secure, online fundraising platform called mycause.com.au to make fundraising and donating easy. The addition of a personal cause crowdfunding facility means individuals can raise money for friends, family and even pets in need, separately or in partnership with a charity. 

mycause has raised over $40 million for a wide range of causes since it launched. In the last four years, Tania says the company has tripled the amount donated through the site, for more than 7500 causes, and made a difference for thousands of Australians.

We've learned that the best way to encourage charities and personal fundraisers to use our platform is to make it simple to use, easy to customise and very secure.
Tania Burstin, Founder and Director

ADROIT INSURANCE GROUP

Telstra Victorian Medium Business Award Finalist

ADROIT Insurance Group is an insurance broker, with a strong focus on building lasting relationships with its clients. Getting to know the client and what they need is central to everything the company does, in order to bring them peace of mind. ADROIT started as a small Geelong-based brokerage firm in 1978, working with small and medium businesses regionally. The company has enjoyed exponential growth over the past fifteen years, through leadership change and new acquisitions. It has grown from general insurance to holistic brokerage firm offering a multitude of services, and has now reached more than 100 employees servicing more than 25,000 clients. Keen to give back to the community, the business has also helped raise more than $1 million for local charities over the past 10 years.

We recognise our network and relationships are our strongest asset. Understanding people and their needs is the most important factor and we must evolve to meet their expectations.
Andrew Locke, Managing Director

Arden Building Maintenance Pty Ltd

Telstra Victorian Medium Business Award Finalist

Arden Building Maintenance Pty Ltd provides commercial construction and property maintenance services to blue-chip clients. It delivers a unique, all-encompassing service covering advice on design, budgets, planning and programming with electronic job management, great value for money, and the highest quality of workmanship. 

Arden’s unique value proposition is to remove problems in the commercial construction, refurbishment and maintenance of assets. The team takes the entire project into their own hands, enabling its clients to focus on their core business. Arden values transparency and honesty, and responds to all tenders with a fixed, no-hidden-cost price.

The company expanded gradually throughout Australia, and is now a fully national operator with its own staff, premises, vehicles and infrastructure in each state.

Our business has grown and we are responding to the demographic and cultural shifts by embracing technology. All of our technicians receive their jobs on a tablet via a cloud-based app.
Alan Maden, Director

DEK Technologies

Telstra Victorian Medium Business Award Finalist

DEK Technologies develops cutting-edge software and hardware solutions across a diverse range of technology sectors. DEK’s team has extensive experience in a range of applications, including software embedded systems, real-time solutions, hardware design, telecoms and data communications. The company provides product development services, from initial design concept through to implementation, verification, delivery and field support for its clients. 

DEK’s cost-effective business model and highly skilled staff allows them to create innovative end-to-end solutions and deliver high quality and dependable results to maximise customer value and flexibility, while reducing risk. 

Founded in 1999, the business has grown from three people in Melbourne to a global organisation of more than 300 employees. Their track record has earned recognition from the world’s leading high-tech companies and government organisations. 

We are developing tomorrow’s technology. In today’s world of new developments, emerging markets and outsourcing, companies must either reinvent themselves or seek new innovative ways to stay in the game.
Drini Mulla, CEO

DFP Recruitment

Telstra Victorian Medium Business Award Finalist

Established in 1981, DFP Recruitment Services has developed a strong reputation for delivering specialist services in temporary, permanent and volume staffing services combined with ethics, integrity and professionalism. The business offers a broad range of recruitment solutions aligned with best practice methodology and a team of experienced consultants.

DFP has created a national platform of offices through growth and acquisitions, going from three to 14 locations and from $25 to over $100 million turnover in ten years. Its staff tenure is more than twice the industry standard and the majority of clients have worked with DFP for more than five years. DFP works collaboratively with its client base to create solutions that add enduring value. The company structure and operating philosophy enables swift decision making and an ability to implement enhancements faster.

With a focus on innovation, DFP has been able to engage 1,600 on-hired staff across a broad section of business, industry and government.

Our primary focus is the pursuit of quality talent and its retention, a key issue facing our clients.
Robert van Stokrom, CEO

Gordon McKay Pty Ltd

Telstra Victorian Medium Business Award Finalist

Gordon McKay Pty Ltd is a national provider of electrical services to the industrial and commercial sectors. 

Established in 1953, the business was first contracted to install power supplies to farming communities around Geelong. Agriculture was then the engine room of the regional economy, but electricity was driving change. By constantly anticipating the road ahead, Gordon McKay has remained at the forefront of innovation in its industry for over 60 years by developing a culture of collaboration with its employees, customers and suppliers to bring the latest technologies and trends to its clients. 

The business’ ability to continually innovate and stay in touch with society’s changes has allowed it to stay at the forefront of the electrical infrastructure industry. Gordon McKay is now one of the largest privately-owned Australian electrical companies. It constantly raises the benchmark through investment in systems, training, plant and equipment to provide cutting-edge solutions, whilst making sure that it never compromises one of its strongest core values: that everyone deserves to work in a safe environment.

Operating for over 60 years, our culture is a strong foundation of loyal people, including fathers and sons, built on the values of our founder and my father Gordon McKay.
Gavin McKay, Managing Director

Vinomofo

Telstra Australian Business of the Year Finalist
Telstra Australian Medium Business Award Finalist
Telstra Victorian Business of the Year Finalist
Telstra Victorian Medium Business Award Finalist

Vinomofo is an online wine store which promises to change your wine purchasing experience. Started in 2007 by two brothers-in-law, André Eikmeier and Justin Dry, the business wanted to disrupt the wine industry which, according to them, had grown conservative and intimidating for consumers. The brothers realised that there was a real opportunity in speaking to an entire new generation of wine lovers, and decided to make good wine more accessible to everyone with Vinomofo.

The customers, or more precisely the ‘tribe of vino-loving mofos’, get access to great wine deals, curated to their tastes and delivered to their door. The focused range, along with the buying power of its tribe of customers, means that Vinomofo can share great wines at the best price, making it fun in the process. 

Vinomofo has already won a host of awards and has just raised $25 million which will enable the business to expand internationally to the US, UK, Asia and New Zealand.

Our mofo tribe of more than 400,000 customers is helping us with our business mission: Saving the wine world!
André Eikmeier, Co-founder and Joint-CEO

Arts Project Australia

Telstra Victorian Charity Award Finalist

The first full-time art studio in Australia for artists with an intellectual disability, Arts Project Australia has built a reputation both in Australia and internationally for its philosophy to support many highly talented, skilled and passionate artists and to raise the visibility of the outstanding work that they produce in Melbourne. The organisation’s artists have been included in exhibitions all over the world, and they are now represented in numerous public and private collections. 

Executive Director, Sue Roff, believes that artists with intellectual disabilities require a safe and supportive environment to develop their art practice and be promoted to the broader contemporary art sector and general public. In addition to sustaining a creative environment that fosters and supports visual artists with disability, Arts Project Australia also facilitates their professional development, creates career networks and promotes artists to a broad audience. Arts Project Australia has enabled hundreds of artists to develop their practice and career.

We provide a sustained creative environment that fosters and supports artists with a disability, and insist their work be presented in a professional manner and accorded the same dignity and respect as their non-disabled peers.
Sue Roff, Executive Director

Fitted for Work

Telstra Victorian Charity Award Finalist

Fitted for Work is a not-for-profit that helps women experiencing disadvantage break through barriers to get work, develop their confidence and achieve economic security. The idea came out of a casual chat between co-founders, Marion and Renata, discussing research around the judgements potential employers make on first impressions of women, in terms of appearance. They saw the opportunity to make a big difference in a woman’s life at a critical time. According to CEO, Donna de Zwart, when women are unable to work they experience economic setbacks and miss out on the social inclusion and empowerment that comes from employment, which impacts families and communities. 

There are 375,000 Australian women currently registered as jobseekers and 21.3 per cent of employees are women working part-time, which can mean only working one hour a week. For many women, the first step to getting back to work is simply having a suitable outfit to wear to interviews. She says women continue to experience inequality and disadvantage which can limit their employment opportunities. In ten years, Fitted for Work has assisted over 22,000 women with its free services to clients. These services include the provision of interview and work-appropriate clothing, interview and resume preparation, personal presentation workshops, coaching and mentoring, life skills training and staying employed work programs. In addition to its core service, the organisation also offers employment programs to women exiting prison. To close the loop of its range of services, Fitted for Work also runs a social enterprise, called SheWorks, which connects its work ready clients with prospective employers.

When women have economic security through work, the flow on effect is transformational. Women are a catalyst for creating a more socially cohesive, prosperous society. Female participation in the workforce needs to increase for the economy to thrive.
Donna de Zwart, CEO

Give Where You Live Foundation

Telstra Victorian Charity Award Finalist

The Give Where You Live Foundation is a community organisation aiming to solve one of the most complex and entrenched social issues – disadvantage. The foundation seeks to do this in two ways. Firstly by creating partnerships with community organisations to assist with funding that operate across a range of areas including homelessness, disability support, food insecurity and domestic violence. Secondly, the foundation operates three major programs of their own; a regional emergency and crisis relief program, a regional program targeting entrenched place-based disadvantage through addressing joblessness, and a youth philanthropy project designed to give vulnerable young people a voice. 

For CEO Bill Mithen, addressing disadvantage is as relevant today as when the organisation commenced in 1954, with recent reports showing that inequality in Australia has never been higher. Give Where You Live Foundation will continue to implement change by tackling the complex social issues of socio-economic disadvantage, disability, and homelessness.

At the core of the organisation is the mission to create long-term sustainable change for the most vulnerable community members.
Bill Mithen, CEO

Safe Futures Foundation

Telstra Victorian Charity Award Finalist

Safe Futures Foundation provides specialist family violence responses and advocates for the safety, wellbeing and justice to victims of control, abuse and violence. Family violence harms individuals, families and communities and presents immense social and economic challenges for governments across the world. The United Nations has determined that violence against women and children has now reached epidemic proportions and continues to be one of the most pervasive human rights violations in the world. Safe Futures’ CEO, Janine Mahoney, appreciates that governments have attempted to develop integrated responses to the issue but there is still a long way to go. 

Safe Futures was formed in 2012 from a merger of two anti-family violence organisations with a combined total of ten staff. Since then it has continued to grow, with two subsequent service acquisitions resulting in more staff and resources. This has meant it’s now become one of the largest family violence organisations in Victoria and has a total of 38 full and part time staff. The foundation is committed to building an understanding of the long-term impact and cycle of violence, creating solutions to protect those at risk and to have a community united in their commitment to ensuring a safe future for all.

We are committed to providing every child, young person and adult with choices and opportunities to holistically heal the mind, body and soul and to reach their potential after the trauma of control, abuse or violence.
Janine Mahoney, CEO

Snowdome Foundation

Telstra Australian Charity Award Finalist
Telstra Victorian Charity Award Finalist

Formed in 2010, the Snowdome Foundation is a not-for-profit organisation with a mission to help those fighting against blood cancers and bone marrow failure syndromes (BMFS) live longer, better lives. The name of the foundation was inspired by Co-founder, Grant Rutherford’s daughter Chloe, whose fascination with snowdomes saw her gifted over 60 throughout her fight against leukaemia. Tragically, she lost her fight at the age of nine.

In May 2015, Maddie Riewoldt’s Vision formed a collaborative partnership with the Snowdome Foundation to fund research into a cure for BMFS. 

Every year 12,000 Australians are diagnosed with blood cancers such as leukaemia, lymphoma and myeloma and a further 140 are diagnosed with Bone Marrow Failure.

The Snowdome Foundation’s founders identified a gap in funding between basic research supported by government and large trials commissioned by pharmaceutical companies.  Snowdome’s focus is to support early phase clinical trials to accelerate next-generation treatments for Australian blood cancer patients.

Over the last five years, the collaboration has raised an amazing $11.5 million, resulting in new research, clinical trials and projects that have helped 229 Australian blood cancer patients gain access to treatments that were not otherwise possible.

 

Snowdome is fast-tracking clinical trials by providing multi-year infrastructure funding to get trials activated. No other organisation is solely focused on this research opportunity for Australian blood cancer patients.
Professor Miles Prince AM – Co-founder

Women's Property Initiatives

Telstra Victorian Charity Award Finalist

Women’s Property Initiatives (WPI) is a community housing developer creating homes that enable women and children in need to live with dignity as contributing members of local communities. WPI redresses discrimination towards low income women and families to enable them to access safe, good quality, affordable housing. WPI was established in 1996 after a study revealed a distinct lack of availability of long-term appropriate and affordable housing options for women-headed households. It is governed by a voluntary board of management and supported by highly skilled professionals on a pro-bono basis, including an external advisory panel of members with legal, financial and property expertise. WPI currently has more than 200 women on the waiting list. WPI’s tenants are empowered through the stability of housing in an environment free from physical and domestic violence. After securing housing with WPI, CEO Jeanette Large says tenants return to study, access employment, and become involved in their children’s lives and the community they live in. Their children return to school with an increased sense of safety and improved social relationships.

Our purpose is to build a secure future for women and children in need by developing and providing good quality, long-term affordable housing.
Jeanette Large, CEO

Cataract on Paterson

Telstra Australian New Business Award Finalist
Telstra Tasmanian New Business Award Finalist

Providing contemporary cuisine, polished service and quirky charm makes Cataract on Paterson a Launceston dining experience like no other. With a love of the farming lifestyle, Karen Burbury oversees the restaurant with dedication to sustainable development, focusing on the use of seasonal products and supporting Tasmanian producers. She says giving back to the community is an essential part of the business’ ethos, and that it’s her staff that are crucial in helping Cataract on Paterson deliver a value-for-money dining experience that appeals to a wide demographic. She believes her passionate and dedicated team – one she’s committed to nurturing and developing - drives the business’ success. Cataract on Paterson has grown to almost 50 staff since 2013 and profit has increased significantly each year. Karen believes in ongoing research and development to continue to meet the changing needs of her guests and has so far adapted opening hours and changed their approach to reservation management as a result.

We offer a unique Launceston dining experience that focuses on supporting seasonal products and local Tasmanian producers. I am also committed to employing and supporting local apprentices and trainees. Our staff are our secret recipe.
Karen Burbury, Managing Director

Lomond Windows and Doors

Telstra Tasmanian New Business Award Finalist

Having emigrated from the UK, Jamie Bishop is not unfamiliar with cold weather but was shocked by Tasmania’s harsh winters, and subsequent freezing homes. He discovered many homes were poorly insulated thanks to sub-standard windows. 

Frustrated with the windows on offer, and certain that Tasmanians deserve better, he opened Lomond Windows and Doors. Lomond design, manufacture and install innovative, energy efficient European style uPVC double-glazed windows and doors. The business’ innovative window design helps homes retain heat, operate more efficiently, reduce power bills, stop condensation, improve security and reduce noise. In two years, Lomond has grown from a one-man-and-a-tape-measure outfit to a thriving $2 million business with five full-time employees and its own manufacturing facility. 

Lomond’s products are superior to aluminium windows due to the thermal insulating properties of uPVC and multi-point locking systems. The result is greater efficiency – warmer homes in winter, cooler homes in summer.
Jamie Bishop, Owner

Salamanca Dental

Telstra Tasmanian New Business Award Finalist

Local Hobart dental practice Salamanca Dental’s aim is refreshingly simple: give its clients “a smile to be proud of” with minimal investment in time and cost. 

Salamanca Dental Director Dr Marta Bauk and her team of “smile providers” use the latest techniques, technology and training to give clients healthy smiles. Salamanca Dental also strives to educate patients about oral healthcare. Dr Bauk says her team loves working for an organisation that encourages personal growth, learning and being part of something bigger than just one self. 

By taking the time to listen and understand patient concerns, Salamanca Dental aims to address the physical and emotional pain often associated with dental care, ensuring patients receive an outstanding experience and feel calm and relaxed throughout the process.

We love what we do. We empower our patients to have healthy smiles, with exceptional customer service, care and education that’s tailored to their needs.
Dr Marta Bauk, Director

Fudge'n'Good Coffee

Telstra Tasmanian Micro Business Award Finalist

Fudge’n’Good Coffee is a boutique café that offers the ultimate indulgent experience, with a large range of fresh gourmet fudge and barista-made coffee. Open every day, it warmly welcomes all tourists visiting the region. The concept was originally created to fill a niche in the local market, as a need for this type of cafe was identified in the very touristic area of North-West Tasmania. The large number of interstate and international visitors travelling through the town of Sheffield provided a perfect opportunity for combining a tourist attraction with a luxurious epicurean experience. 

At Fudge’n’Good Coffee, visitors can now enjoy the delights of fudge all year round, made using local high-quality butter, and experience unique entertainment such as an interactive fudge robot. The café also hosts monthly art exhibitions and has become a tourist attraction in its own right, with visitors commending the excellent service and atmosphere. It is widely recognised in the region as a positive economic asset. Fudge’n’Good Coffee is currently rolling out its unique concept to mainland Australia via franchises.

Our continued success has elevated Sheffield to become a significant stop in the Cradle Mountain region. We are proud to have watched the area grow and more businesses open around us.
Rini Puccetti, Managing Director

Mode Electrical

Telstra Australian Micro Business Award Finalist
Telstra Tasmanian Micro Business Award Finalist

Mode Electrical designs, supplies and installs solar power systems for home, business and commercial applications. Business owner, Martin Dingemanse, and his team custom build systems that are designed to power homes in remote locations. They also design and build high-powered, sophisticated solar power systems that are shipped worldwide and set up in extreme locations, mainly in the developing world. 

With more than 10 years of experience, Martin believes Mode Electrical will continue to grow its client base and remain leaders in the industry. His vision for the future is to embark on more aid projects in third world countries by providing sustainable solar power stations where power is not readily available. Mode Electrical has already completed two projects in South Sudan and is currently discussing implementing a commercial system for a technical college in Uganda.

We do not compromise on quality and we do not take short cuts. We travel the journey with our clients through the entire process, from initial consultation to installation and final handover.
Martin Dingemanse, Owner

Scorpion Universal Pest Management

Telstra Tasmanian Micro Business Award Finalist

Scorpion Universal Pest Management is a pest control service servicing both residential and commercial properties. After his son was diagnosed with a life-threatening medical condition, Jason Eyles wanted to work for himself in order to allow for more flexible hours, and so decided to launch his own pest control business. Scorpion Universal Pest Management is equipped to deal with almost any pest, from cockroaches, scorpions and rats, to possums, rabbits, wallabies and geese. 

Jason’s experience working for other pest management companies was that they were always profit driven and not consumer focused. His mission was to provide a service that was specifically tailored to suit customers’ needs. 

Since the business’ inception in 2008, Jason has seen a steady increase in his customer base, which he attributes to top-quality service. This, in turn, has resulted in positive customer testimonials and word-of-mouth referrals. The business is continuing to expand and is in the process of tackling new pest management problems such as wildlife control, bird management and reptile removal.

Pest control can be a huge problem affecting many Australian households and businesses. We seek to alleviate the problem by offering services that go above and beyond the typical pest control business.
Jason Eyles, Founder

Thompson's Window & Solar Panel Cleaning Services

Telstra Tasmanian Micro Business Award Finalist

Led by Julie Delamore-Thompson her husband Andrew, Thompson’s Window & Solar Panel Cleaning Services provides a window and solar panel cleaning service to consumers as well as exterior building cleaning of roofs, fascias, gutters and eaves. 

Since 2001 when the business was launched, the services on offer have expanded from solely providing window cleaning to now providing solar panel and complete building cleans. In the 2014/15 financial year, the business achieved a growth rate of 41 per cent and is expected to continue on its path of expansion. Julie says that they will continue to strive to be an innovator and leader in their industry by investing back into the business by modernising equipment, undertaking training and ensuring all licences/legislation requirements are met. 

We look for a solution to the problem and find a way we can do it safely and efficiently. We are always looking for the best possible ways to do a job.
Julie Delamore-Thompson, Co-Owner

Bridestowe Estate

Telstra Australian Business of the Year Finalist
Telstra Australian Small Business Award Finalist
Telstra Tasmanian Business of the Year Finalist
Telstra Tasmanian Small Business Award Finalist

Bridestowe Estate is located in North-East Tasmania and provides a unique tourism experience attracting more than 65,000 visitors annually. It is an agri-tourism business and world-class producer of lavender oil and associated products, which are available in all major Australian capital cities, airports and are exported throughout Asia. Bridestowe Estate is also one of the most widely recognised Australian brands in China.

With the acquisition of the iconic but neglected 90 year old property in 2007, the company’s directors identified growth in tourist numbers to the site as an imperative to turning around the struggling business. Using evidence gathered through Austrade and Tourism Australia, Bridestowe Estate began the systematic cultivation of relationships with key influencers across Asia. Success followed, and over the past nine years Bridestowe Estate has become a bellwether business, indicating the potential impact tourism from Asia to Tasmania.

Today visitors to the estate can enjoy 107 hectares of manicured fields, gardens and forests, experience the harvesting and distillation of Bridestowe Lavender Oil, see manufacturing of the company’s world famous mascot ‘Bobbie the Lavender Bear’, indulge in lavender enhanced cuisine and enjoy informative guided tours.

Bridestowe Estate presents a comprehensive agri-tourism experience in that it encourages visitors to experience the “end-to-end” components of large scale agriculture, harvestings, fine oil distillation and value-added manufacturing and then purchase these items on site.
Robert Ravens, Managing Director

SFM Environmental Solutions

Telstra Tasmanian Small Business Award Finalist

SFM Environmental Solutions (SFM) is a provider of independent certified forest management and forest consulting across Australia. For the past 15 years, SFM has offered fence-to-fence management of commercial forestry estates, harvesting logistics solutions, market options and independent advice to a wide range of forest-based projects.

In 2015, SFM commenced Hydrowood. This innovative timber harvesting operation reclaims otherwise forgotten submerged rare specialty Tasmanian timbers from the bottom of Lake Pieman for use in furniture design, boat building, high end residential and commercial construction and bespoke objects such as musical instruments. 

After a two year accreditation process, in 2013 SFM became one of the first companies in Australia to achieve Forest Stewardship Council Certification (FSC) for both native and plantation forest management. This globally accredited certification is only awarded to companies who demonstrate their business practises and procedures meet global level best practice benchmarks.

Over the past 15 years, SFM has gone from a Hobart based business with two full time staff, operated only in Tasmania and providing consulting services for a handful of local landowners, to a company with national footprint and 20 full time staff.

The old adage ‘innovation is one percent inspiration and 99 per cent perspiration’ is very true, and our team have worked diligently to get us where we are today.
David Wise, Director

SRA Corporate Change

Telstra Tasmanian Small Business Award Finalist

SRA Corporate Change assists in unlocking the potential of organisations and their staff to achieve high performance outcomes. The team of corporate change agents work with leading organisations to drive positive change in the business areas of strategy, leadership, culture and wellbeing. They do this by working closely with their clients to deliver coaching, workshops, development programs and full-scale change programs to help clients on their path to success.

SRA’s Directors, Tony Chapman and Sara Redman, were inspired to establish the business after they had witnessed people and organisations who weren’t achieving their objectives or weren’t happy at work and desperately needed support and guidance to make the changes needed. In response they created a professional services firm that seeks to understand the client first, and then create a tailored solution that utilises tools such as coaching, facilitation, training and workshops.

Our business has grown since inception as more organisations identify the vital role that workplace culture and a focus on people has to their bottom line success.
Renée Wilson, Business Manager

Willie Smith's Organic Cider

Telstra Tasmanian Small Business Award Finalist

Just as the name suggests, Willie Smith’s Organic Cider produces and sells award-winning organic ciders made on the Smith family farm in the Huon Valley, Tasmania. The company has recently also diversified their product offering to include farm-made Apple Cider Vinegar, Apple Schnapps and Apple Brandy.

The Smith family farm is certified organic, meaning more natural processes and intensive labour are involved in creating their cider products. Willie Smith’s Organic Cider aims to build a sustainable cider category through the provision of drier, more complex and premium cider varieties, made from fresh Australian apples. 

In 2013, Willie Smith opened The Apple Shed - a refurbished apple packing facility – a kilometre up the road from the family’s orchard. The Apple Shed houses a museum, a provedore-style shop stocking local Huon Valley produce, and a simple menu developed using regional and seasonal produce designed to accompany the Willie Smiths Cider range.  To further expand on the incredible experience at The Apple Shed, the business has recently installed a Tasmanian-built Alembic Copper Still enabling visitors to watch the process of distillation from inside the venue.

We felt there was a great opportunity to value-add to this so-called ‘waste’ fruit from the orchard and in doing so support the Australian apple industry. We set about creating a hand-crafted, traditional style cider to counter the sweet fizzy ciders which dominate the market.
Sam Reid, Managing Director

Hobart City Mission

Telstra Australian Charity Award Finalist
Telstra Tasmanian Charity Award Finalist

Hobart City Mission is a not-for-profit, charitable organisation that provides help and support to people in need in Southern Tasmania. The Mission offers emergency assistance and a range of other support services and programs, to enable people to participate in community life to the best of their ability. Services include family, housing and disability support and counselling. 

Clients in need may be offered help with provision of food, furniture and clothing. Many people assisted by the Mission are experiencing a crisis, from a lack of housing, facing health issues or simply needing support with basic necessities. The Mission seeks to address these issues by offering life skills education for people in the community who are socially disadvantaged. 

Hobart City Mission works to build the community's awareness of the needs of its most vulnerable people and encourage resilience, which helps strengthen the local community. 

Over the past six years, the Hobart City Mission has grown from operating six programs in 2010, to 16 programs in 2016, with an additional three initiatives currently in development. With a robust strategic plan, the Mission’s focus is to continue meeting the changing cultural and demographic needs of the community.  

We are leading the way in changing how the not-for-profit sector addresses unmet needs of the community, by actively identifying service gaps and developing solutions.
John Stubley, CEO

Holyoake Tasmania

Telstra Tasmanian Charity Award Finalist

Holyoake Tasmania provides specialised, evidence-based, therapeutic interventions aimed at reducing the negative health, social and economic consequences associated with alcohol or drug use or other addictive behaviours. 

Through a range of programs, the organisation is able to meet the needs of all age groups, including children, young people, adults, couples and families. In an environment underpinned by acceptance, respect and self-responsibility, Holyoake believes that every person has the capacity to change through the development of insight into the origins of their addictive behaviour.

Founded in 1989 in response to a strong need for support for families affected by addiction, the service has expanded, and grown 149 per cent over the last eight years, through strategic marketing campaigns. The success of Holyoake’s approach to treating addiction is continually recognised through the positive feedback received from its clients, whose lives in many instances have changed completely.

The primary drug of concern for 26 per cent of our clients is now crystal meth (ice), compared to only one per cent four years ago. The need for a highly specialised secular counselling service for addictive behaviour in Tasmania has never been greater.
Sarah Charlton, CEO

L'Arche Beni-Abbes Community

Telstra Tasmanian Charity Award Finalist

L’Arche Beni-Abbes, in Hobart, is one of 140 communities around the world enabling people with and without intellectual disability to live together as a community.

Hobart’s L’Arche began as a small community welcoming two people with a disability in 1986. It has now expanded to include a membership of 80 people with and without disabilities. Employees and volunteers offer support and friendship to the members with intellectual disability, creating an environment together where life is lived in a meaningful and responsive way.  This model offers each person the opportunity to explore interdependent relationships where their talents are explored and encouraged. Live-in assistants are all volunteers and each person contributes fully to the community.

The organisation offers support to people in their own homes, in the educational setting and to individuals living in their own home or with their family. It offers a radical personal planning process called Remembering, Celebrating, and Dreaming, which recognises the value of each person, celebrates their life and assists them to dream about their future.

Our experience recognises the ability of people with intellectual disabilities to welcome and accept others as they are. It has an important and transformative effect on many people.
Cindy Treanor, Community Leader

BOOKPLATE

Telstra Australian Capital Territory New Business Award Finalist

BOOKPLATE is steadily becoming the most publicised and awarded new cafes and caterers in Canberra. The business is a high-volume catering operation involving two cafes, an outdoor alfresco venue and event catering. Its most unique venue, and business namesake, is tucked away inside the iconic institution, The National Library of Australia. The 46-strong team provides fantastic food experiences for its diverse visitors’ budgets and tastes – from students through to high-profile dignitaries and international visitors. BOOKPLATE is constantly innovating to deliver increasing customer benefits that grow its client base. Managing Director, Tracy Keeley, has the vision to develop BOOKPLATE into an iconic dining Canberra destination, while supporting younger people growing into good leaders and exploring their own business ownership potential. Tracy advocates for variety and quality in the menu choices, and remains strong to her values of healthy eating and genuine care for clients.

Most iconic buildings have a café, but ours is a stand-alone. People now come to Bookplate as a destination, not only because of the library, but because of the dining experience we offer – fresh wholesome food for a healthier consumer.
Tracy Keeley, Managing Director

Enabled Employment

Telstra Australian Capital Territory New Business Award Finalist

Jessica May’s diagnosis with an anxiety disorder was the catalyst to starting her own business. Started in 2014, Enabled Employment is a web-based recruitment and labour hire company for people who often struggle to find suitable employment, including those with a disability and Australian Defence Force veterans wounded by their service. The business provides a one-stop-shop for employers to source the right person and skills for the job and to increase their diversity. The team ensures that candidates are able to self-select for the positions available, and do not receive any government funding to ‘place’ people into work. Jessica decided that ‘reasonable adjustment’ should include flexible work conditions such as working from home, flexible hours, and a results oriented work environment. There are approximately 2.2 million Australians living with a disability who could manage their condition and work if given more flexible working options. Enabled Employment is broadening the available work options for people with a disability through sourcing roles which provide these flexible work conditions. The business has grown substantially in the past year, and has grown from 1,300 candidates to 3,900, and from 85 to 234 employers. 

There are 2.2 million people in Australia of working age who have a disability and 50-100,000 ADF veterans leaving service. All of these people require a dedicated, innovative employment initiative to ensure they have access to meaningful, flexible work which uses their skills and qualifications.
Jessica May, CEO

Ki Acupuncture Pty Ltd

Telstra Australian Capital Territory New Business Award Finalist

Ki Acupuncture Pty Ltd provides services in the Canberra region to everyone from women trying to improve their fertility, allergy sufferers, professional athletes, chronic pain suffers and office workers experiencing tension headaches and migraines. A common thread with all clients is a barrier to optimal health and achieving an ideal quality of life. Ki Acupuncture offers a fast and effective way to break down these barriers and achieve long-lasting positive health outcomes in a completely safe and natural way. Its practitioners service a limited number of clients per day in order to provide one-on-one treatments, which allows practitioners scope to work on multiple health issues simultaneously and ensures the practitioners have ample time to meet their clients’ needs. With a growing network grown from word-of-mouth referral, the business has more than tripled in size from its first year 2014.

We take pride in seeing our patients return to good health. Our ultimate aim is to help more people reach their health goals.
Kal Ientile, Director

Relken Engineering Pty Ltd

Telstra Australian New Business Award Finalist
Telstra Australian Capital Territory New Business Award Finalist

Relken Engineering Pty Ltd helps its clients measure, understand and then improve the performance of their physical assets in order to increase productivity and reduce total cost of ownership. Director, Benjamin Mailler says the motivation for starting Relken was to establish a sustainable business founded on a team of cohesive and motivated professionals that enjoys the freedom to adopt innovative approaches to solving client’s problems.

Ben and co-director Andrew O’Connor believe that informed decision making which acknowledges uncertainty, is critical to achieving positive business outcomes. They also believe that organisations with critical or expensive assets need to fully understand the performance of their assets and the risk of undesired events to deliver effective asset management. 

The Relken team blends post graduate reliability engineers, asset management specialists and program managers to tailor the approach to the specific problem being addressed. This allows Relken and their clients to fully understand the issues involved and develop practical solutions that optimise the outcome for the client.

People often struggle to predict or manage uncertain events, resulting in decisions that do not accurately consider the potential impacts on their business objectives.
Benjamin Mailler, Director

Canberra Decks

Telstra Australian Capital Territory Micro Business Award Finalist

Canberra Decks designs and builds unique outdoor living spaces for new and existing homes to suit each individual client’s needs, lifestyle and budget. Prior to launching Canberra Decks, Leigh Bason was a subcontractor to builders, which is where he observed that outdoor living spaces were not included in a large number of new homes that were being built. Identifying this as a crucial gap in the market and believing that he was equipped with the necessary skills and creativity to fulfil these market demands, Leigh set out with a mission to provide the Canberra market with outdoor living areas for any occasion. 

Canberra Decks is continuing to expand its offering and now provides clients with an ongoing maintenance program, which involves the oiling and upkeep of existing decking. The business has also since established an online shop for customers to purchase products to assist them in their own deck maintenance. Leigh and his team are also conscious of responding to consumer demands in regards to using more sustainable materials, providing an environmentally friendly option for clients and a cleaner future for Australia.

We provide a professional and reliable service and take the time to listen to and interpret the ideas of our clients, working with them closely to make their dreams become a reality.
Leigh Bason, Owner

Capital Fibreglass Pools

Telstra Australian Capital Territory Micro Business Award Finalist

With more than 26 years of experience in the pool industry, Simon Gainey and his wife Zofia are well equipped with knowledge of all things pool related. Capital Fibreglass Pools installs, maintains and services fibreglass pools in the ACT and surrounding NSW region. Additionally, the business is licensed to build concrete pools and has now expanded their offering to include concrete plunge pools to appeal to those who cannot accommodate a larger swimming pool. 

Capital Fibreglass Pools has a network of associated tradespeople who work in conjunction with the building process, including an electrician, plumber, stonemason, excavator, landscape designer and fencing company. This unique point of difference is what sets Capital Fibreglass Pools apart from its competitors as it gives the client a whole ‘poolscape package’.

The business has had a surge in growth following recognition of industry awards over the past two years. The Canberra community has also contributed to positive word-of-mouth referrals which have resulted in new and repeat customers.

Capital Fibreglass Pools works closely with clients to deliver their dream ‘poolscape’ to enhance their living and entertaining areas.
Zofia Gainey, Director

Emirias

Telstra Australian Capital Territory Micro Business Award Finalist

Emirias provides I.T. talent solutions by matching highly qualified, solution-orientated and business focused professionals wherever and however clients need them. Emirias has defined itself as a 360-degree recruitment and consultancy agency that out-competes other similar organisations by being technically focused and truly understanding of the needs of the client. Technical discussions underpin every conversation. 

With social media, the internet and the dynamic technology environment, Joe believes that only innovative I.T. talent agencies will survive and flourish. Emirias has formed strong relationships with both individuals and businesses in response to anticipated future shifts in the market. Joe believes that innovation needs to be endemic and intrinsic and never and after-thought.

We always start by listening – listening to our customers, and listening to our talent. Perhaps the sincerest form of respect is demonstrated by listening to the other. And when you are quiet and listening, opportunity has the chance to speak to you.
Joe Negem, Managing Director

iSimulate

Telstra Australian Micro Business Award Finalist
Telstra Australian Capital Territory Micro Business Award Finalist

A monitor/defibrillator is a device used by health professionals to restart the heart when a patient is ill or the body goes into cardiac arrest, and can often be the determiner between whether someone lives or dies. Whilst defibrillators are literally life savers, they are expensive and cost prohibitive for training purposes. iSimulate sought to alleviate this problem by developing emergency, obstetric and stethoscope iPad simulator systems. The innovative software and bespoke hardware of the emergency system, ALSi, can turn an iPad into a simulated patient monitor or defibrillator, which is completely safe to use on a human actor or mannequin for educational demonstration purposes. The iSimulate systems are more affordable, versatile and realistic than any other systems currently on the market.

The iSimulate systems have grown in popularity worldwide, as they give health educators the tools to conduct simulations anywhere within minutes. In 2015, ALSi became the main teaching device for the European Resuscitation Council Advanced Life Support Course. Similarly the systems have been adopted in Australia and New Zealand by The Advanced Paediatric Life Support Course.

We believe that we are at the forefront of the ideas boom, as advances in technology increasingly influence our culture. We realised five years ago that an iPad was more than just a touch screen computer, it was a device that could be used to lead the way in medical simulation.
Peter Mckie, Co-Founder & CEO

Oxygen Essentials for Life

Telstra Australian Capital Territory Micro Business Award Finalist

Oxygen Essentials for Life is a health food and supplement retailer specialising in natural alternatives to aid in a variety of health and sports related issues. Products on offer target weight loss, immune boost, stress, detox and much more. The solution at Oxygen is to provide a thorough diagnostic approach where staff ask a set of questions to zero in on the problem afflicting their clients, find a solution and educate clients on how to maintain wellness.

Oxygen Essentials for Life stocks their own range plus other reputable brands, available direct to consumers and wholesale to more than 120 businesses across Australia. The fastest avenue of growth for Oxygen has been online sales, which was reflected by an average growth rate of 200 per cent in the latter half of 2015. The organisation has also entered a partnership with UNICEF where at least one superfood meal is donated to a child in need for every order placed online, however big or small.

Our products are unique and our prices are very competitive but I do believe that our success is due to our willingness and openness to challenge the out-dated sales model in the health supplement industry with our ever-improving focus on ethics and knowledge.
Joel Fraser, Owner

Capital Chemist Charnwood

Telstra Australian Capital Territory Small Business Award Finalist

Capital Chemist Charnwood is a Northern Canberra community pharmacy challenging the model of its industry, by offering services extending beyond traditional medicine and dispensing. Its goal is to ultimately drive change that will lead to improved health outcomes for locals.

When Managing Partner and 2014 Telstra ACT Business Woman of the Year, Samantha Kourtis, took over the business, she brought with her a vision inspired by more than 20 years of work within the industry. She saw gaps in healthcare and knew she needed a vehicle to deliver change. To this end, Capital Chemist Charnwood is ideally placed to identify patient needs and connect patients with the right treatment through its specialised wound care, medical compression, maternal and infant care services. Their pharmacists are trained to engage fully with the customer, coming out from behind the dispensary to deliver their recommendations.

Over the past two years, Capital Chemist has extended their hours and increased the number of health care professionals it employs to meet the needs of the growing community.

Our community knows that our specialised services are unique, based on evidence, well-connected in the healthcare system and deliver outcomes that change lives.
Samantha Kourtis, Managing Partner

Corporate Catering by Mr Cappuccino

Telstra Australian Capital Territory Small Business Award Finalist

In 2007, Mr Cappuccino recognised the need for a kitchen and supply of fresh, wholesome, affordable pre-made cafe food in Canberra. Renowned for their efficient event planning, delicious food and remarkable service, Corporate Catering by Mr Cappuccino has become one of Canberra’s most trusted caterers. The company prepares and delivers breakfast, lunch, morning and afternoon teas for corporate and government clients in Canberra and its surrounds. They provide a wide range of catering choices and are one of Canberra’s top suppliers of specialty and food allergy meals.

Our value proposition is to get it right from administration, quality and presentation of the order to punctuality of the delivery.
Nicholas Pinter, Sales and Marketing Manager

Residential Reports

Telstra Australian Capital Territory Small Business Award Finalist

Residential Reports specialises in building, compliance, pest and energy efficiency inspections, and is run by father and daughter team, Lindsay Collison and Kelly Hill.

The business was founded in 2004, when a change in ACT legislation drove real estate agents and vendors to engage a service provider to deliver mandatory pre-sale inspection reports. Lindsay and Kelly established Residential Reports as a one-stop shop, which has since grown with an increase in staff, productivity and revenue.

Throughout the years, the business has kept in touch with the realities of the real estate market, and has adapted to customer demand by investing in its own customised data gathering software, diversified product options, a new website and a job booking mobile app. 

Residential Reports was the proud recipient of the 2013 Telstra ACT Small Business Award, and has since taken this opportunity to challenge the status quo and work with government and organisations in the industry.

It is critical for our business to work closely with and listen to real estate agents and we are constantly developing new technology and services to meet their needs.
Kelly Hill, Operations Manager

Solace Creations Double Glazing

Telstra Australian Capital Territory Small Business Award Finalist

Solace Creations Double Glazing is a double glazing specialist that can cater for all budgets and tastes. As the longest standing company of its kind in Canberra, and with the largest showroom, it provides insulation solutions to both new and existing homes, as well as a design service and in-home consultations. 

When she started the business, Karen Porter noticed a lack of knowledge in the market around the benefits of double glazing, namely energy savings and noise reduction. She has since worked to educate builders and home owners and has shared her passion for low-cost, energy-efficient homes and buildings. She says that although homeowners think of insulating their walls, ceilings and floors, they often forget windows which do take up about 30 per cent of wall space. 

Since it began as a micro business in 2011, Solace Creations now has seven employees and experiences steady growth of about 40 per cent per year.

I am challenging the industry on appropriate insulation and they are slowly waking up to the reality of the benefits of double-glazing.
Karen Porter, CEO

TAILORED ACCOUNTS

Telstra Australian Capital Territory Small Business Award Finalist

TAILORED ACCOUNTS is a bookkeeping and management accounting firm providing services to small and medium businesses, using cloud-based technology. Founder Harry Hoang started the business in 2009 when he noticed that many small and medium business owners in Canberra were struggling to manage bookkeeping and accounting by themselves.

Since its inception, TAILORED ACCOUNTS has grown to 15 highly qualified accountants, servicing 160 clients and processing almost $100 million in customer transactions annually. This year, it opened its first interstate offices in Sydney and Brisbane, and is looking to expand internationally to Singapore.

The team prides itself on its cultural diversity, which it believes is a key to being a service provider of choice for its multicultural community.  

Our ultimate goal is to be Australia’s leading specialist for back office accounting and bookkeeping services in 2020.
Harry Hoang, CEO and Founder

The Rehabilitation Specialists

Telstra Australian Small Business Award Finalist
Telstra Australian Capital Territory Small Business Award Finalist

The Rehabilitation Specialists launched in June 2012 when co-founder Fiona Fonti identified a business opportunity to create her own venture in rehabilitation services. The core of the business is about helping people return to health and return to work. A range of services are delivered including case management, return-to-work and assessment services. Targeted interventions including return to work and executive coaching, cognitive training, resumé services and early intervention services are aimed at preventing and managing workplace claims and injuries, and at providing practical solutions to barriers that arise. The Rehabilitation Specialists also offer conflict resolution and mediation services, workplace training and education and specialist consulting services. Services are provided under Comcare and State Workcover legislation to life insurers and directly to government and private employers. 

Over the past four years, The Rehabilitation Specialists have grown from three staff to 23, have successfully tendered for a number of large corporate and government contracts and expanded their geographic footprint to include NSW, ACT, Victoria and the Northern Territory.

Our achievements and growth can be attributed to the quality of our work, our committed team and our relationships with our clients. We’ve built what we aimed to build by staying true to our values and remaining adaptable to market needs.
Fiona Fonti, Managing Director

Capital Airport Group

Telstra Australian Business of the Year Finalist
Telstra Australian Medium Business Award Finalist
Telstra Australian Capital Territory Business of the Year Finalist
Telstra Australian Capital Territory Medium Business Award Finalist

When commercial pilot and former property developer, Terry Snow, acquired Canberra Airport in 1998, it was little more than a clunky terminal with a rundown runway. Snow set out to rebuild and create an airport worthy of the Australian capital city. With a vision of building the world’s best small airport, Capital Airport Group has invested $2 billion in the modernisation of Canberra Airport. Making the most of his property expertise, Snow developed 200,000m2 of office, retail and accommodation space adjacent to the airport, and used the revenue generated from the project to fund the redevelopments. 

In April 2014, after 16 years of work, then Prime Minister Tony Abbott unveiled the transformation saying it spoke of the pride and confidence of the city and of Australia. Now, the airport enables frequent and direct flights to almost all of Australia’s capital cities, with the first two international flights, to Singapore and Wellington, opening later this year. In addition, more than 12,000 people currently work at the airport precinct across 280 businesses. 

Each year, almost 3 million passengers travel to and from Canberra Airport to fly, greet, work, and do business. This number is expected to more than double within the next decade, but the Capital Airport Group is ready to tackle the challenge. 

As the aviation gateway to Australia’s capital city, Canberra Airport makes a major contribution to the local and national economy.
Stephen Byron, Managing Director

Pushys

Telstra Australian Capital Territory Medium Business Award Finalist

Pushys is a bicycle and accessories retailer. It was created out of a huge demand in the Australian marketplace for a cycling store that would be approachable for all cyclists, no matter their age, experience or budget. For Pushys, it doesn’t matter if you have never been on a bike before, if you ride competitively or if you just enjoy a family ride around the lake, they aim to have what you need in-store or online. 

The company’s approach to make buying a bike an unintimidating experience is paying off as it has now become Australia’s first online cycling retailer. Not listening to nay-sayers, who predicted the company would not make it, Pushys kept pushing on and will soon reach $20 million sales online and $10 million sales from its retail store. Going against major international players, Pushys’ difference is in super-fast delivery and exceptional customer service. Distributors are now actively seeking its unique platform to sell and promote their brands, particularly electric bikes which appeal to its many environment-conscious customers.

People often feel intimidated walking into a bike shop. Our mission is to make everyone at ease by providing great customer experience from the get go, regardless of their cycling knowledge.
David Knight, Operations Manager

AIDS Action Council of the ACT

Telstra Australian Capital Territory Charity Award Finalist

The mission of the AIDS Action Council of the ACT is to work with individuals, communities and partner organisations to virtually eliminate new HIV transmissions by 2020, provide support for individuals and families living with and impacted by HIV and build a strong and safe community that is free of discrimination, marginalisation and stigma.

Founded in 1983 as a peer-led, community based health organisation, the Council was established in response to the looming AIDS crisis. Over the past 30 years, the Council has provided care and support to people who are living with and impacted by HIV and AIDS and plays a central role with the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Intersex and Queer (LGBTIQ) communities. 

The Council acknowledges and values the expertise that comes from lived experience, employing peer-based approaches and committing to nurturing and supporting individuals and communities to reach their potential. The Council complements the peer-based approach with a strong evidence-base to ensure programs and services are founded on latest research and responds to emerging needs.

The challenges of HIV are neither simple nor easy. Stigma and discrimination are the biggest social issues we work to address.
Philippa Moss, Executive Director

John James Foundation

Telstra Australian Capital Territory Charity Award Finalist

The John James Foundation has a proud history of support of volunteer work by medical specialists, medical educators and researchers. The Foundation provides opportunities for clinical placements for medical students and supports local organisations by providing donations to fund activities and causes that may not otherwise find financial support.

As a not-for-profit organisation, the Foundation uses income from its land holdings to support its programs and medical education activities. It also provides charitable support to grassroots charities and organisations that have a close fit with the Foundation’s objectives.

In 2015, the ACT Government donated land for the John James Village - residential accommodation for the families and carers of people undergoing treatment for blood cancer and related diseases. This $7 million project is the signature program for the John James Foundation, with John James Village set to open in August of this year. It will then be handed over to the Leukaemia Foundation at no cost to them or to the people who will use the facility.

It is a privilege to be able to support some grassroots organisations doing tremendous work, often running on a budget of nothing but providing much needed support.
Phil Greenwood, CEO

Physical Activity Foundation

Telstra Australian Capital Territory Charity Award Finalist

The Physical Activity Foundation was launched in 2007 to address rising rates of childhood obesity. In Canberra, almost two-thirds of adults are overweight or obese and approximately one in four children. The need to combat these issues at an early age is imperative and the Physical Activity Foundation seeks to do that by providing a range of initiatives to inspire and educate youths about the importance of physical activity. 

The objective of the foundation is to be an advocate of healthy lifestyle choices by instilling this in children and engaging other influencers on its path ‘Towards Zero Growth’, the ACT Government’s healthy weight action plan. CEO Lucille Bailie, stresses the importance of long-term approaches to drive down obesity levels as well as preventable illness and disease such as type two diabetes, heart diseases and some cancers. 

Since the foundation’s inception, they have maintained a strong track record of delivering results. The programs have reached more than 70 per cent of ACT primary schools and more than 200 ACT workplaces, with expansion into more than 20 ACT High Schools underway.

The foundation ensures its programs and approaches are in line with government initiatives with the ultimate goal of driving down overweight and obesity statistics.
Lucille Bailie, CEO

Ronald McDonald House Canberra

Telstra Australian Charity Award Finalist
Telstra Australian Capital Territory Charity Award Finalist

Ronald McDonald House Canberra supports families from ACT and Southern NSW in their time of need by keeping families close through its four core programs: Ronald McDonald House, Family Room, Family Retreat and Learning Program.

Ronald McDonald House Canberra is part of a global charity founded 40 years ago in Philadelphia by four people who saw a need for accommodation for families going through childhood illness. In 1981, the first Ronald McDonald House opened in Australia. Nationally, the charity runs 15 houses, 14 Family Rooms and five Family Retreats. 

Ronald McDonald House Canberra opened in October 2012 in the Centenary Hospital for Women and Children. The Canberra house features 11 guestrooms for the families of sick kids. The convenient location of the House inside the hospital ensures antenatal patients are cared for and nursing mothers are close by their baby’s side 24 hours a day.

In May of this year they welcomed their 1000th family into the fold.

Over our 30+ years we have learned that it is the small things we are able to do to support a family that will more often mean the most to them.
Michelle McCormack, Executive Officer

HERO Condoms

Telstra New South Wales New Business Award Finalist

The idea for HERO Condoms stemmed from Dustin Leonard’s university marketing project in 2012.

The idea was based on creating a business that would help make the world a better place, and the more Dustin learned about the HIV/AIDS epidemic, the more passionate he became about turning his project into a real business. 

HERO Condoms’ one-for-one business model has never before been applied to a similar product in Australia – for every one condom bought, one is donated to a developing country. Botswana is the first developing country chosen for donations, because it has the second highest HIV prevalence rate in the world and the Botswana Government has placed a significant focus on sexual health education and correct and consistent condom use.   

With one in four of the sexually active being diagnosed with HIV/AIDS, HERO’s collaboration with the local government and non-government agencies in the fight differentiates the company from its competitors, working to ensure they have the right people on the ground distributing the condoms and educating the community. HERO has donated more than 500,000 custom made condoms to the people of Botswana, and is stocked in major supermarkets across Australia and New Zealand. 

Australians can directly help developing countries around the world fight the spread of HIV/AIDS, by choosing to purchase HERO condoms.
Dustin Leonard, CEO

Refraction Media

Telstra New South Wales New Business Award Finalist

Joining forces after being co-workers at a science magazine, Karen Taylor-Brown and Heather Catchpole started Refraction Media in 2013. With a solid understanding of STEM – science, technology, engineering and maths - strong relationships in the industry and some top-notch editorial skills, the duo hit the ground running with confidence and momentum. Refraction Media is Australia’s only STEM-specialist content company and the team aims to engage students, teachers, parents and professionals with exciting content in the form of magazines, websites, educational resources and animations. They cover topics such as nuclear science, sustainable farming and safe driving. The Sydney-based business has gained national recognition for its magazine, Careers with Code, which showcases the wide variety of careers based on computer science. Refraction Media is challenging the science community to be active in their communication and harness mainstream audiences.

Our vision is to inspire a smarter future. We want to tell stories that will inspire, impress and excite audiences with the marvel that is science and technology.
Karen Taylor-Brown, Publisher

Sendle

Telstra Australian New Business Award Finalist
Telstra New South Wales New Business Award Finalist

Sendle is an online service that unlocks the power of big business delivery networks for two million small businesses in Australia. Sendle picks up and delivers parcels with low, national flat-rates across Australia, making parcel delivery simple, reliable and affordable for small business. Co-founders, James Moody, Sean Geoghagan and Craig Davis and their team recognised the pain points that many businesses experience with existing delivery services including the inconvenience of dropping parcels off to post offices, navigating complex web interfaces, unpredictable pricing, inadequate tracking, minimum order requirements, and the lack of customer support. Sendle is Australia’s first carbon neutral delivery service and Australia’s first technology B Corp. Its rapid success has been fuelled by customer referrals and positive word of mouth and has seen the company grow by 75,000 per cent from August 2015 to February 2016.

We are committed to creating a remarkable user experience, and have placed customer-centricity and word-of-mouth at the heart of our growth strategy. Our vision is to enable anyone in the world to send a parcel to anyone in the world, with a minimum order quantity of one.
Craig Davis, Co-Founder and CMO

THINK CHINA

Telstra New South Wales New Business Award Finalist

In 2013, friends Benjamin Sun and Johnny Wong wondered why it couldn’t be easier for Australian SMEs to share their products with Chinese consumers. They recognised a number of Australian businesses with premium Australian goods who were trying, and often failing, to enter the China market successfully due to the nation’s ‘great firewall’. Co-founder, Benjamin Sun, says the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA) has made Australian products more affordable and competitive in the China market, which has grown the number of Australian SMEs looking for a digital partner to assist them in their entry into the China market. For many of these businesses, accessing consumers in China can be a difficult and risky challenge. THINK CHINA is a team of digital marketing and technology experts who assist Australian businesses unlock the Chinese market with innovative ecommerce, social media, analytics, research and web technology solutions. Two years after opening office in Sydney, THINK CHINA established its second office in China in 2015 to give Australian businesses an edge in the competitive China market.

We facilitate Australian businesses entering the Chinese market successfully by creating tailored solutions for our clients to create meaningful conversations with Chinese consumers, sell premium Australian goods to China, and conduct successful marketing campaigns.
Benjamin Sun, Founder

Think Inc.

Telstra New South Wales New Business Award Finalist

Think Inc. is a young, Australian-based initiative dedicated to reinvigorating the excitement of rational discourse through creating events with leading world-class intellectuals. Run by directors Desh Amila and Suzi Jamil, Think Inc.’s goal is to bridge the gap between inquisitive members of the public and those making significant strides in their academic and professional endeavours in the sciences and humanities. Think Inc. intends to inspire learning through engaging and affordable events which blend education with entertainment. These unique ‘edutainment’ events provide Australian intellectuals a platform to share their brilliant ideas and are designed to leave guests with an intellectual buzz. Attendance at Think Inc.’s events more than tripled from 7,000 in 2013 to 26,000 in 2015 and continues to increase.

Australians – regardless of age, gender or cultural background – yearn for intelligent discussion, and we are driven to continue our unique approach of facilitating a culture that regards critical thought and intellectual discourse as fashionable.
Desh Amila, Director

Christina Guidotti International

Telstra New South Wales Micro Business Award Finalist

Christina Guidotti is a keynote speaker, author, mentor and a trusted professional advisor who has built her business by passionately sharing her thoughts and stories to audiences around Australia. She is one of Australia’s leading experts on belief, conviction and commitment in the areas of sales, leadership, productivity, achievement and fulfilment. She partners with individuals, businesses and organisations to work with them to create life-changing and sustainable outcomes. Christina helps remarkable men and women to live their best lives and supports them to take their businesses to new levels. 

Since beginning her journey, Christina Guidotti has prioritised developing quality connections with clients over quantity, and credits this approach to the development of her influence and commercial success.

I try to facilitate mindset shifts when speaking to an audience in the hope to create ripples of influence from the individual through to family members, work colleagues and members of the community.
Christina Guidotti, CEO

FireSafe

Telstra New South Wales Micro Business Award Finalist

Fire protection is not only a regulatory requirement but also plays an important role in saving lives and property. After hearing about local fire safety companies falling short, David Sayes and a business colleague and friend decided to launch FireSafe, a fire protection equipment and system installation, testing and inspection, maintenance and certification business. FireSafe also offers clients annual fire safety statements and fire compliance for all residential, industrial and commercial buildings. 

The risk of fire is constantly present, meaning that fire equipment always needs to be ready to perform. To ensure that fire safety is always a number one priority, FireSafe provides a tailored solution to all clients including a 24/7 contact line in the event of an emergency. David believes in ongoing learning and development about technological and regulatory change to ensure that they are the most equipped when it comes to fire safety. 

Through regular servicing and comprehensive maintenance, our highly trained technicians work to ensure the fire equipment and systems of clients are always functioning at their peak.
David Sayes, Managing Director

Highlands Drive Safe

Telstra New South Wales Micro Business Award Finalist

Located in Moss Vale NSW, Highlands Drive Safe is a driving school that is committed to keeping the roads a safe place for all. Highlands Drive Safe provides driving instruction to suit a wide spectrum of client needs including learner driver lessons from beginner to advanced, older driver lessons and assessments, international license conversion classes and community education sessions. Highlands Drive Safe also offers services to cater to drivers with special needs such as clients with autism or physical disabilities. 

All instructors are trained to develop training aids for non-English speaking drivers and special needs, encouraged to devise age-friendly policies and procedures and identify specific needs of each individual to create a tailored program. 

Over the past nine years, Highlands Drive Safe has been recognised as a leader within its industry, particularly within research and development for young drivers and those on the Autism Spectrum.  

We launched our driving school as we are fully committed to educating the community about road safety in the hope to reduce road trauma and keeping the roads safe for all road user groups.
Sue Tyler, Co-Director

KENT Conveyancing

Telstra New South Wales Micro Business Award Finalist

Michelle Kent launched KENT Conveyancing after having her second child and being informed that she could only return to her former role in a full-time capacity. With a shortage of daycare facilities, Michelle decided it was the right time to start her own business, converting a spare bedroom in her house into a home office, laying the foundations to what would become KENT Conveyancing. 

The business specialises in conveyancing law, which provides clients fast and precise legal advice for property transactions in NSW. Michelle believes that in today’s booming property market it is more important than ever to engage a committed conveyancing team. Michelle and her team seek to improve their clients’ advantage points by quickly clarifying their needs so as to put them in a position to secure or dispose of a property on a ‘same day’ basis. 

Aware that many of her clients are in the ageing population, Michelle has employed dedicated staff who specialise in supporting the needs of her elderly clients, such as meeting with their clients’ immediate family members in their home to prepare for the emotional process of moving from the family home into a retirement home.

From humble beginnings, KENT Conveyancing now runs three successful offices in Boolaroo, Hamilton and Toronto, with all three branches supporting varying demographic regions. 

We empower our clients with the necessary strategies and processes so that they can gain an upper hand against competitors when it comes to securing property in the NSW region.
Michelle Kent, Founder

Rufus & Coco Pty Ltd

Telstra Australian Micro Business Award Finalist
Telstra New South Wales Micro Business Award Finalist

One might say that Anneke van den Broek is the ultimate pet owner. After owning more than 40 pets in her life, she was well aware of the challenges associated with finding natural, fashionable and well-made goods for her pets. With a marketing and business background, Anneke set out on a mission to create an Australian pet brand that offers inspired, trusted and original products that make a genuine difference in pets’ lives. The Rufus & Coco range currently includes vitamins, grooming, cleaning products, litter and accessories that are available to pets ranging from horses to hamsters.   

In 2008 Rufus & Coco products launched with a range of five vitamins. Eight years on the brand has more than 70 products available nationally in Woolworths, Coles and IGA as well as pet stores and online retailers. The brand is also expanding globally, with products available across Asia, North America and New Zealand. This significant growth is the result of the business’ commitment to understanding and solving consumer needs. Innovation is core, with the range receiving six product awards for innovation and excellence.

We offer a unique solution to retailers in the pet category. We have created a carefully collated cross-category range of well-branded products that offer improved solutions to pets’ everyday health and care needs.
Anneke van den Broek, CEO

Smarttek

Telstra New South Wales Micro Business Award Finalist

One of the simple joys in life is enjoying a nice hot shower. Smarttek have made this domestic luxury a reality for campers traversing the country thanks to their portable hot water solutions. 

The business manufactures certified portable outdoor gas hot water systems using standard BBQ gas bottles. A standard nine kilo gas bottle allows users up to 50 hours of hot water and the portable nature of the system means that the perfect hot shower is available in even the most remote location. Smarttek products are available wholesale to the camping and equine industries and through camping and outdoor retailers. 

Smarttek’s target audience was initially family campers but after interest for the product continued to grow they began supplying the hot water systems to camper trailer manufacturers. There are currently 10 manufacturers that use Smarttek’s systems. 

The initial husband and wife duo now employ three additional staff, including two state managers. The team is continuing to explore new business ventures, with new products currently in the pipeline. 

We offer an affordable portable hot water system that provides campers with the perfect solution to all their hot water woes, especially for those camping in remote locations.
Greg Inwood, Owner

Babyology

Telstra New South Wales Small Business Award Finalist

Babyology is the premiere digital media company for Australian parents.

Mandi Gunsberger launched the company in 2006 after she realised the market for new baby products and services had exploded, and there was no trusted online destination catering to this market.

Through Babyology, Mandi and her team provide content, social media communities, events and products that are all focused on helping parents navigate the ever-increasing complexities of bringing up children in the modern world. Babyology reaches over 3 million Australian women each month.

Mandi says one of her goals was to build a company that lets women have a flexible working environment, where they can balance a challenging career and also raise their families. The company has since achieved this, with its staff of 21 working in Sydney and across Australia.

We now have a community of over a million people on Facebook and are working with some of the biggest brands in the world. I’m incredibly proud of the things we’ve achieved.
Mandi Gunsberger, CEO

Internetrix

Telstra New South Wales Small Business Award Finalist

Headquartered in Wollongong, Internetrix provides services such as digital consulting, website design and development, search engine optimisation, search engine marketing and digital analytics.  

The business delivers web-based consulting, development and performance projects to clients ranging from government to small and large companies across Australia, the Asia Pacific region and now entry into China. 

Internetrix’s three current directors acquired the 15-year-old business four years ago. Since then, revenue has doubled, the company has expanded to Beijing and staff numbers have increased annually.

In the digital world, nothing stands still: business roams nervously, constantly looking to refresh, innovate and stay ahead of the pack. Without reinvention, business becomes stale, loses momentum and commercial bite. What unites us and drives our company’s mission is a passion to shine in this digital space.
Daniel Rowan, Managing Director

Nourished Life

Telstra New South Wales Small Business Award Finalist

Nourished Life sells sustainable, eco-friendly, natural personal care, home and lifestyle products and provides naturopathy services.

Irene Falcone was prompted to establish the business in 2012 when she became concerned that she couldn’t ever really be sure of just what was in her favourite beauty and lifestyle products. She noticed that consumers were craving substantiated information about green benefits, cruelty-free testing and product performance. Irene set out to create an e-commerce destination that provided its customers with products they could feel confident about using without impacting the environment.

Since then, Nourished Life has grown from its humble beginnings as a passion project with a $100 buying budget and a staff of two, to 20 employees and an $8 million turnover.

Along the way I’ve learnt to trust my own instincts and that it’s crucial to invest in a team with one set of common values.
Irene Falcone, Founder

Spell and The Gypsy Collective

Telstra Australian Small Business Award Finalist
Telstra New South Wales Small Business Award Finalist

Spell and The Gypsy Collective is an Australian fashion and lifestyle brand with a continually expanding international presence. With a celebrity following that includes the likes of Alessandra Ambrosio and Katy Perry, the label is fast becoming recognised in global fashion circles for its grassroots approach to business and fashion. Spell and The Gypsy Collective have become known for their unique take on vintage-inspired style and incorporating original prints. Having come from a creative family, sisters Elizabeth Abegg and Isabella Pennefather created the brand as a creative outlet for their everyday lives.

The label currently ships to more than 130 countries, and in the six years since its inception, has expanded its categories to include accessories, homewares, children’s wear and bridal, all with the brand’s signature modern-bohemian aesthetic. The label continues to grow at an impressive rate, as more and more digital influencers take to social media to share their Spell wares with their communities. Spell and The Gypsy Collective itself has a social media following of more than 800,000, and cites this presence across multiple platforms as central to its international growth and success.

Spell and The Gypsy Collective employs 50 women across its Byron Bay based warehouse, office and flagship boutique.

We’re demonstrating to the fashion industry how a female-centric small business can grow and flourish in regional Australia.
Elizabeth Abegg, Owner and Founder

Suburbanite

Telstra New South Wales Small Business Award Finalist

The team at Suburbanite are property investment specialists who work exclusively with buyers to help them start their investment journey, or take their portfolio to the next level. All team members are also qualified valuers and have a proven track record of buying properties that perform. The company provides strategy-based advice, sources good value properties in affordable growth areas and takes clients through the entire purchase process with ease.

As a valuer, principal and senior property advisor, Anna Porter saw many people losing money through bad advice, or a complete lack of advice. She had seen first-hand what financial devastation could do to families. She wanted to be the strategic advisor that helped people get it right from the beginning, and so created Suburbanite.

Suburbanite has grown quickly since beginning nearly five years ago, growing from from a team of four to 12. Anna is a regular contributor to industry publications and has negotiated close partnerships for Suburbanite with some of Australia’s leading financial institutions and businesses.

We offer independent advice from tertiary qualified and experienced property professionals at an affordable price.
Anna Porter, Principal and Senior Property Valuer

Sydney Criminal Lawyers

Telstra New South Wales Small Business Award Finalist

Experienced criminal lawyer, Ugur Nedim, started his firm in 2001 with the motivation to provide clients with a superior level of service, focused on results over profit. 

Chatting online with individuals charged with criminal offences, Ugur realised there was a gap in public knowledge about many laws. His firm freely disseminates information about NSW Courts and advice ranging from rights when approached by police to representing yourself in different types of court cases, through its nine advisory websites, social media channels and the NSW Pocket Lawyer application. The team at Sydney Criminal Lawyers strives for a high level of transparency in its dealings, and was the first criminal firm in Australia to offer fixed fees in criminal and traffic cases in 2004. It is currently building a website where those who are not eligible for legal aid but cannot afford a private lawyer can seek help from hundreds of participating lawyers across Australia.

The firm has experienced huge growth over the past few years, with the team of five growing to 18 and continuing to expand.

We strive to provide the highest quality service to our clients and never lose sight of the fact that achieving results, client satisfaction and giving back to the community are our highest priorities.
Ugur Nedim, Principal

Booktopia

Telstra New South Wales Medium Business Award Finalist

Booktopia, Australia’s largest online book retailer, was started in February 2004 on a $10 per day budget as a small side project for a web marketing consultancy. Four years later the consultancy was forced to wind down as the book business grew rapidly. Today, Booktopia stocks 120,000 titles, ships more than four million items per year and owns 80 per cent of all online book sales in the country. 

The secret to their success, its CEO, Tony Nash says, is selling more books, hiring more people, writing more software, holding more stock, and growing their facilities. Growth has been driven by re-investment in the business and through acquisition.

In 2015, the retailer acquired Angus & Robertson, a 130 year old Australian iconic brand, to further their book market share and DC Cameras & Optics to diversify their offering. The business expects to grow almost 60 per cent in 2016.

After being nominated for three years in a row, Booktopia was the proud recipient of the Telstra NSW Medium Business Award in 2014.

It appears the way we do business resonates with the Australian public buying their books from a local Australian online bookstore. In fact, we have a specific focus on Australian titles which is a key differentiator against larger international competitors.
Tony Nash, CEO

ITS PipeTech

Telstra New South Wales Medium Business Award Finalist

ITS PipeTech provides trenchless solutions for the renewal and maintenance of water, sewer and stormwater pipelines. The business repairs aging infrastructure using technologies that reduce the environmental and community impacts. ITS PipeTech solves the issue of bursting water mains and leaking sewers and prevents the incidence of collapsing roads and railways by reinforcing drainage structures that become unstable with age. 

Founded in 2005 by Trevor Groeneveld, who has played a pivotal role in the growth of the pipe rehabilitation industry in Australia, ITS PipeTech employs 120 people in Sydney, Brisbane and Perth, and is the country’s fastest growing pipeline rehabilitation business. Its technologies allow customers to maintain ageing pipes, extending their service life by at least 50 years.

Trenchless technologies are challenging the way projects are traditionally delivered. New technologies and developments require ITS to continually adapt. The company continues to pioneer innovations and drive change to improve outcomes for its customers. 

We extend the reliable service life of aging pipeline infrastructure for less cost, waste and disruption to the community than traditional methods.
Trevor Groeneveld, Executive Director

Jewel Fine Foods

Telstra Australian Medium Business Award Finalist
Telstra New South Wales Medium Business Award Finalist

As Australian consumers are becoming increasingly busy with their work and lives, demand has grown for easy access to nutritional, healthy and good value-for-money meals that feed the family. Jewel Fine Foods products supply just that: fresh, authentic, premium quality products, available through major supermarkets. 

Since its inception in 1997, Jewel Fine Foods has established itself as the leading manufacturer in the rapidly growing chilled ready-to-eat meals, soups and breads sector. Jewel supplies an extensive and innovative range of both private label and branded ready Thai, Indian, Malaysian, Vietnamese, Chinese, Mexican and European meals with an outstanding reputation for superior quality and authentic taste.

All products are free from artificial flavours, colouring, additives, preservatives and MSG and they are prepared fresh daily and fit for foodies.

Jewel’s success is partly due to being flexible in meeting clients' constantly changing needs and being able to drive growth through innovation. Together, its experienced, passionate and focussed team has led the business to deliver over 15 million meals in FY16.

We are driven by the core belief that taste and quality should never be compromised for convenience meals.
Kishore Matta, Co-Owner & Managing Director

Prospa

Telstra New South Wales Medium Business Award Finalist

Prospa aims to change the way small business owners experience finance. Prospa’s founders, Greg Moshal and Beau Bertoli, understand first-hand the difficulties faced by small business owners in accessing money to run and grow a business: standing in queues, filling in endless paperwork and waiting up to six weeks for a decision that is usually negative. 

Prospa gives small business owners fast and easy finance, with unsecured loans and cash-flow-friendly repayment terms. The application process can be done quickly and easily online. Prospa’s main differentiation point is that the decision on a loan is based on the business’ health - by analysing demographic, firmographic, as well as social and banking data - rather than the personal credit score of the owner.

Over the past three years, Prospa has been growing at exponential speed, with revenue increasing 6,971 per cent, and a headcount that went from 15 to 85 people.

We solve two critical pain points customers experience with the bigger banks: the glacial pace at which they evaluate loan applications and their inflexibility, especially the need for property security.
Beau Bertoli, Joint-CEO

Right2Drive

Telstra New South Wales Medium Business Award Finalist

A vehicle accident can be one of the most traumatic experiences in a person’s life. In their time of need, Right2Drive is a compassionate and proficient exponent of accident assistance. On call 24/7 to assist motorists who have been involved in an accident, Right2Drive provides roadside assistance, claim lodgement and repair management services through to cost recovery and compensation. Right2Drive also upholds the legal rights of the motorists by ensuring a complimentary replacement vehicle is provided for the duration of their vehicle repair or total loss settlement. 

Right2Drive is rapidly expanding across Australia and New Zealand and now has 1,500 vehicles ready to be loaned to victims of accidents. The business has helped over 35,000 customers to get back on the road at no out-of-pocket cost.

Right2Drive has a team of 150 employees, many of whom are hired locally, and reflect the cultural demographic of each area the business operates in, in order to ensure they can identify and communicate effectively with customers. 

There is a tremendous energy in this business because we are helping thousands of drivers to get back on the road each month after they have lost the use of their vehicles through no fault of their own.
Damian Mullins, CEO

The Entourage

Telstra New South Wales Medium Business Award Finalist

Jack Delosa is working towards changing the face of education. He founded The Entourage in 2010 with the vision of enabling people to live a life on purpose, by delivering education that emphasises innovation, emotional intelligence and creativity.

The Entourage is now Australia’s largest and most disruptive educator and community of entrepreneurs, with 300,000 members worldwide. They achieve their vision through their delivery of entrepreneurial education in both the accredited and unaccredited spaces. 

The business currently offers a BSB50215 Diploma of Business specialising in Entrepreneurship and intensive programs that cover the three key stages of the business cycle: Launch, Build and Scale. Additionally, they provide a variety of online short courses which are tailored specifically to address the key growth challenges faced by entrepreneurs.

Programs are taught by real-world experts who have a proven track-record of success in their particular fields. With program retention rates that are four times the industry average, The Entourage is focused on driving change in the field of education by pioneering intuitive learning.

We deliver a style of education that equips the individual with the practical knowledge and skills they need to be effective in the modern business landscape.
Jack Delosa, Founder and CEO

Butterfly Foundation

Telstra Australian Charity Award Finalist
Telstra New South Wales Charity Award Finalist

Eating disorders are estimated to have affected approximately one million Australians in 2015 but less than 25 per cent of these people are accessing treatment. National charity, Butterfly Foundation, seeks to raise awareness of the neuro-psychiatric disorders known as eating disorders at all levels of government and community, with a particular focus on the experiences of individuals and their carers. Butterfly Foundation delivers education programs for young people, a national tele-web counselling service, clinical treatment and community support services, and conducts research and development and national awareness campaigns. Eating disorders can last for more than 10 years, the recovery rate is less than 50 per cent and they have the highest fatality rate of any psychiatric disorder. With early intervention, recovery rates can be increased to 80 per cent and recovery achieved in 12 months.

Butterfly Foundation was founded to raise awareness, reduce stigma, change the culture of treatment and support, and raise funds from government and philanthropy to invest in support services for people suffering from eating disorders.
Christine Morgan, CEO and Director

CUFA

Telstra New South Wales Charity Award Finalist

CUFA is an Australian not-for-profit organisation focused on alleviating poverty in ultra-poor communities across the Asia-Pacific region. CUFA works to provide economic aid through education, employment and enterprise opportunities. It encourages financial inclusion and gives communities the opportunity to build self-reliance and self-determination.

CUFA facilitates the development of grassroots village savings and loans banks for poor people otherwise excluded from formal financial services. It works hard to teach financial literacy to children to ensure their futures are secure. Through the Village Entrepreneur program, it also provides support to micro-enterprise owners so that they can create sustainable livelihoods for their families and communities. 

CUFA believes in equality of opportunity, regardless of gender, disability or ethnicity.

We work to provide people with a chance to enjoy financial inclusion and to help them to break free of poverty. Our business is about people and for people; the more we talked to people in rural areas, the more we realised how strongly they wanted to change their lives and how easily it could be achieved with the knowledge that we were privileged to get in our lives.
Dr Peter Mason, CEO

Dress for Success Sydney

Telstra New South Wales Charity Award Finalist

Every year there are more than 100,000 women in New South Wales who find themselves unemployed or underemployed. Many of these women are faced with barriers that prevent them from re-engaging into the workforce. Dress for Success Sydney exists to remove these barriers for their clients.

The organisation’s mission is to help women in need achieve economic independence, by providing free professional attire, career support programs, mentoring services and a network of support to give them the confidence to succeed in today’s workplace. The services provide women with an important first step towards gaining employability, crucial support and financial independence. 

Powered by volunteers, Dress for Success Sydney receives nearly 16,000 volunteer hours every year, and in January of 2016 the team successfully dressed its 10,000th client. Annually, the organisation is now dressing more than 2,000 clients, conducting 70 workshops for more than 550 attendees and has an outreach program that supports approximately 500 women in regional NSW and women in correctional centres each year.

Removing the barriers to employment is a key priority for us. Our aim is to empower women to achieve economic independence so they can realise their full potential, support themselves and their families, and make positive contributions to their communities.
Ursula McGeown, CEO

Jarrah House

Telstra New South Wales Charity Award Finalist

Jarrah House is a 24-bed residential treatment and outpatient services facility for women with substance misuse problems. Operated by the Women’s Alcohol and Drug Advisory Centre (WADAC), Jarrah House is Australia’s only non-government, not-for-profit organisation that can support both a mother and her baby through the detox process. 

Established in 1984 in response to an identifiable lack of substance misuse services that could cater for both women and their children, Jarrah House continues to give women the chance they need to change their lives. Today, the clinic has a waiting list of over 120 women seeking to turn their lives around through detox. Clients at Jarrah House can access medically supervised detox services, yoga, and mindfulness and relaxation classes. Children of clients are looked after in a caring and supportive environment with skilled staff and a purpose built child care space.

Over the past 30 years, Jarrah House has supported thousands of women who would not otherwise have had access to ongoing treatment if they weren’t able to detox, and remain with their children through these challenging times.

Every woman and child deserves the right to lead a happy and healthy life. Every woman who stays an extra day at Jarrah House is a success for us. It means that we’ve got them through the day and one step closer to recovery.
Sandy Kervin, Chief Executive Officer

Love Mercy Foundation

Telstra New South Wales Charity Award Finalist

Founded on the inspiring stories of two Olympic athletes, Love Mercy Foundation exists to empower rural communities in Northern Uganda to overcome poverty after decades of civil war. At the age of 12, Julius Achon was forced to become a child soldier.  He managed to escape his captors, and after discovering he had a talent for running, went on to compete in the Atlanta and Sydney Olympics for Uganda. Julius’ story so profoundly inspired Eloise Wellings that she promised to help him fulfil his lifelong dream of restoring hope to his village in Northern Uganda. 

The Foundation’s ‘Cents for Seeds’ program empowers women to reinvest their earnings into food, education, and health care through the provision of agricultural loans. The women then give back their loan of seeds at the end of their first harvest so it can be passed on to another like her, making it a sustainable project whilst reaching more communities. 

The Love Mercy Foundation is challenging the traditional models of child sponsorship where one child is sponsored through one donor’s efforts. Instead, the Foundation’s ‘Cents for Seeds’ program enables Ugandan families to earn their own income by providing women with a loan of seeds, gardening tools and education on best farming practices. The Foundation’s vision for the future is to continue to bridge the gap between poverty and prosperity by providing simple and sustainable solutions to the extremely complex problem of global poverty.

Our value proposition is unique in that we choose justice over charity, empowerment over help and ambassadors over sponsors.
Eloise Wellings, Co-Founder

Raise Foundation

Telstra New South Wales Charity Award Finalist

In Australia today, more young people die from suicide than any other cause. It is after tragedy struck too close to home that Vicki Condon, driven by her concern to help young Australians, registered Raise Foundation as a charity. With the ideology that it takes a village to raise a child, Raise Foundation is actively creating villages around our youth and providing them support in times of struggle. By being a neutral, positive role model, mentors help them improve relationships, develop coping strategies, increase confidence, identify and achieve goals, engage with education or work, and learn to trust adults enough to ask for help. Vicki passionately believes that if she could change the outcome for even one teenager, then it would be worth trying. Started in a home office with one person seven years ago, Raise has now grown to 48 staff, across three states and has trained more than 1,700 volunteers to become qualified youth mentors for more than 2,400 struggling young Australians.

Raise works at bridging the gap that lies between young people asking for help and young people obtaining help.
Vicki Condon, Founder and CEO

Finalists are announced progressively around the country. Finalists for this State/Territory will be published shortly. Please check again soon.

Finalists are announced progressively around the country. Finalists for this State/Territory will be published shortly. Please check again soon.

Finalists are announced progressively around the country. Finalists for this State/Territory will be published shortly. Please check again soon.

Finalists are announced progressively around the country. Finalists for this State/Territory will be published shortly. Please check again soon.

Finalists are announced progressively around the country. Finalists for this State/Territory will be published shortly. Please check again soon.

Finalists are announced progressively around the country. Finalists for this State/Territory will be published shortly. Please check again soon.

Finalists are announced progressively around the country. Finalists for this State/Territory will be published shortly. Please check again soon.

Finalists are announced progressively around the country. Finalists for this State/Territory will be published shortly. Please check again soon.

National Finalists will be announced once all State Finalists have been selected. Please check again soon.