2017 Finalists


Telstra Northern Territory Medium Business Award Finalist

For registered nurses Joanne Kovac and Maureen Schaffer, a move to the Royal Darwin Hospital in 2000 sparked a realisation that discharge services offered by hospitals located in northern and southern states were poles apart.

Finding there was no sole organisation in place to coordinate all of the services required to enable patients to make a smooth transition from hospital to home, the duo created Golden Glow Nursing to manage clinical care in the home.

Their service provision quickly gained traction, expanding into the aged care, disability, mental health and residential services sectors, resulting in purpose-built facilities to accommodate clients with high care disability requirements, mental health conditions and the homeless.

Having a mix of service provision agencies was causing enormous disruption to clients' and carers’ lifestyles following discharge from hospital, so Golden Glow Nursing was established to address this gap.
Joanne Kovac, Director / CEO

HiQA Geotechnical

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

Aged just 28, Luke Myall bought a small laboratory in a shed in Katherine with the dream of setting up a geotechnical services company. From these humble beginnings as a one-man operation nine years ago, HiQA Geotechnical has grown to 40 employees, three modern laboratories and a stellar reputation.

Now based in Darwin with NATA-accredited laboratories in Alice Springs and Katherine, HiQA delivers testing and sampling for the construction, defence and mining industries anywhere in the Northern Territory and Western Australia.

Luke says HiQA is a young company with energetic leaders and team members who are not afraid to push the boundaries. He believes that this, together with their core family values and customer-centric approach, is the key to their success.

We don’t accept being the same as every other construction materials testing company. Our aim is to always exceed industry expectations and go above and beyond to keep our clients’ projects running on time and to budget.
Luke Myall, Owner/Director

Northern Territory Veterinary Services

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

Northern Territory Veterinary Services provides animal care across the Northern Territory, with two full-service practices located in Katherine and Alice Springs.

Treating the likes of cattle, horses, buffalo, pigs and native wildlife alongside domestic animals, the team has established the first ever state-wide programme for providing care to animals in remote indigenous communities throughout NT and WA.

And it’s no mean feat – a round trip can entail two staff members spending two weeks and 2,000 kilometres travelling in a 4WD to treat patients that may not otherwise receive any veterinary attention.

Northern Territory Veterinary Services also provide online video consultations for communities and stations when veterinary care is urgent but distance is an issue.

We had a real desire to bring high quality veterinary services to regional and remote NT, improve animal welfare and use our skills to build and grow a small business.
Dr Sam McMahon, Owner

Nth Degree Engineering Services

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

Nth Degree Engineering Services is a multi-disciplinary consultancy offering services in engineering, project management, integrated management systems, business support, auditing, environmental planning and building design.

Established in 2011, the Darwin-based consultancy continues a family history of engineering spanning more than a century. Over the past six years, Nth Degree has successfully delivered landmark projects in the Northern Territory, including refurbishment of the Anzac Oval in Alice Springs and options for the repurposing of central Darwin's historic Chan Building.

The Company’s mission is to build a culture of collaboration and innovation, investing in our capability in the Northern Territory to best service our clients’ needs.

We go to the Nth Degree for our clients, in our service delivery, and to support our staff.
Andrew Neville, Founding Director

Precision Bookkeeping Solutions

Telstra Northern Territory Micro Business Award Finalist

Precision Bookkeeping Solutions is making life easier for small and medium businesses with a tailored solution to streamline their administrative, bookwork and compliance functions. Owner, Felicity Mathews, recognises that many small businesses struggle with bookkeeping compliance, such as ATO and employee superannuation reporting.

Felicity set out to understand and manage clients’ stress points through precision, care and honesty. In her words, “she calls a spade a spade” and says “this can only be a good thing for our clients’ businesses”.

By embracing technologies such as cloud-based bookkeeping solutions and online receipt storage, the team is helping small businesses achieve more through efficient bookkeeping, unlocking greater opportunities to invest in the things they do best.

We understand and manage stress points through precision and technology, making life easier for small business owners.
Felicity Mathews, Owner

Riding for the Disabled in the Top End

Telstra Australian Charity Award Finalist
Telstra Northern Territory Charity Award Finalist

Riding for the Disabled in the Top End has been riding high ever since its very first programme launched in 1990 from the backyard of a home in Humpty Doo.

Running a programme of sporting, therapeutic, educational and recreational equestrian activities designed to develop the abilities and enrich the lives of people with disabilities, its team of coaches work with more than 120 regular members throughout the Greater Darwin community.

The not-for-profit community organisation has come a long way from its humble roots and is now home to a full-size indoor riding arena, dry season outdoor arena and 20 horses.

We are always demonstrating that looking at things differently can change a life; we encourage new ways of thinking and doing in every field.
Lesley Monro, Centre Manager

Sterling NT

Telstra Northern Territory Medium Business Award Finalist

A locally-owned family business, Sterling NT is the largest cleaning and grounds maintenance contractor in Darwin. Operating in the Northern Territory for 31 years, the company started as a local cleaning contractor and has since grown to offer civil, landscape, general construction, building maintenance and remote area works.

Its 200-strong team does everything from cleaning toilets and mowing lawns to building parks and painting boat ramps for more than 500 clients across Darwin, Katherine and Alice Springs.

Director, Kamal Ali, is the first to admit that it hasn’t always been easy – the business fought back from the brink after interstate competition moved in. But, proving that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, Sterling NT has forged a new path through its dedication to providing outstanding service and investing in staff happiness.

The NT has for us become the land of opportunity and we look only to improve ourselves so that we can improve what we give back to our customers.
Kamal Ali, Director

Terracorp Industries

Telstra Northern Territory Micro Business Award Finalist

Daryn and Melissa Kerr have run sheep and cattle stations all their working lives, so they know the value of water in drought-stricken areas. In 2011, they established Terracorp Industries to provide innovative water storage solutions for Northern Australia. The company manufactures and supplies a wide range of plastic products, including water tanks, septic tanks and safety equipment, for domestic, commercial and agricultural customers.

Terracorp Industries is committed to reducing its impact on the environment, and that of its customers. Not only do they educate customers in water saving techniques, they also take customers’ old, damaged tanks and recycle them into new products. It’s all part of their vision to constantly challenge the status quo of doing business.

Water, or lack there of, is a social and environmental issue Australia wide. Currently there are very little water saving and storage solutions in NT. We address this by manufacturing water tanks suitable for domestic, commercial and agricultural operations.
Daryn Kerr, Owner

Tutor Me (NT)

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

Tutor Me (NT) is an educational learning centre dedicated to developing confidence and fostering the learning potential of children from Preschool to Year 8. After their own experiences and challenges sourcing tutoring for their own children, Founders, Kylie Clarke and Meagan Whitbourne, saw a gap in the market for professional, sincere and authentically driven tutoring support services. The centre brings together their 20 years’ teaching experience and business experience to help children reach their learning potential.

Kylie believes Tutor Me’s success lies in its tailored approach to individual needs. They use an assessment process to measure each child's ability, and from this they create an individual plan. For Kylie and Meagan, success lies in the positive feedback they receive from parents and students every day.

Each individual student who makes progress, whether it be showing the correct pencil grip or mastering vertical equations, is a great milestone for us and for them. We often get parents tell us that life at home is also improving because school is now more enjoyable.
Kylie Clarke, Director

Wicked NRG Supplements & Nutrition

Telstra Northern Territory Micro Business Award Finalist

Having personally reaped the benefits of living an active and healthy lifestyle for over 30 years, Vanessa O’Grady decided to use her own knowledge and experience to plug the gap in Darwin’s fitness market, by establishing a sports supplements warehouse.

Championing a holistic approach to nutrition, and sports nutrition in particular, Wicked NRG is a two-store strong retail business offering a wide range of high quality sports supplements, vitamins, minerals, herbs and organic and natural wholefoods. Its physical offering is underpinned by the Wicked NRG team’s professional support and advice, tailored to each individual customer to enable them to achieve their health and fitness and wellbeing goals.

It’s the comments we receive from customers visiting from the bigger cities that really make me realise we are on the right track and have something special.
Vanessa O’Grady, Director

Advanced Body Image & Spa Lotus Day Spa

Telstra Northern Territory Small Business Award Finalist

When 15-year-old beauty therapist Katy Sullivan met a young man with severe scarring from a road accident, she knew something had to change. At the time, Darwin had no specialist treatment centres equipped with lasers or high-end medical services to help the patient so Katy set out to fill the gap. Two years later, in 2000, she opened Advanced Body Image, which offers medically proven solutions for cosmetic concerns.

But she didn’t stop there. Katy had a dream of providing the same treatments in an environment that would nurture every aspect of her clients’ wellbeing. That’s why, in 2015, she opened Darwin’s first purpose-built day spa, cosmetic, skin and laser clinic. Advanced Body Image & Spa Lotus Day Spa is now the Northern Territory’s largest skin and cosmetic clinic, offering day spa services, holistic treatments and medically proven solutions in luxurious surroundings.

Our biggest milestone is the reputation we have earned amongst Darwin’s medical community. The client referrals from plastic surgeons and oncologists who entrust Advanced Body Image with care of their patient treatments mean the most to me.
Katy Sullivan, Owner


Telstra Northern Territory Small Business Award Finalist

It’s no secret that today’s Australians struggle to live without their mobile devices. Nobody understands this more than Tim McDonald, who has based his whole business on this fact. SmartLab is a smart device, mobile phone and tablet repairer servicing Darwin and the greater Northern Territory region. Armed with a clear vision to provide a well-priced, no-nonsense, transparent and quick service for the Northern Territory, Tim started offering repairs from home from 2011. It quickly became apparent that there was enough demand to open a bricks-and-mortar store. 

Now operating from two stores with qualified on-site technicians, Tim is determined to continue innovating to stay ahead of the curve. To this end, SmartLab has invested in advanced machinery that can refurbish LCD screens so they can be reused rather than contributing to electronic waste. SmartLab also offers micro soldering, circuit board level repairs and advanced data recovery services.

“Mobile devices are a kind of “digital pocket knife for life”. Today, the importance of having a functioning mobile device is paramount. SmartLab ensures that anyone experiencing mobile device dilemmas is back on the grid within hours.”
Tim McDonald

Adelaide Commercial Maintenance

Telstra South Australian New Business Award Finalist

Starting a business was always a pipe dream for both Jacob and Donna Stuart, when, in mid-2014, Jacob was made redundant from his role as a commercial site supervisor. Rather than being phased by unemployment, the couple saw it as the perfect opportunity to start their own business. Adelaide Commercial Maintenance was born shortly afterwards. A commercial interior fitout construction company, Adelaide Commercial Maintenance supplies and installs everything from skirtings to ceilings. The team also offers site supervision and project management services, as well as contracting other trades to streamline project processes. The business got off to a flying start, moving from sole trader to company structure within three months of being established.

We often work on projects that are full of unforeseen issues, so our ability to adapt and resolve issues swiftly gives us the edge when it comes to the client experience.
Donna Stuart, Managing Director

Adelaide's Haunted Horizons Ghost Tours

Telstra South Australian Micro Business Award Finalist

With the proliferation of supernatural-themed TV shows, movies and documentaries accelerating interest in the paranormal across all age groups, Adelaide's Haunted Horizons Ghost Tours taps into a very niche sector of the tourism industry. Running ghost tours, dark history excursions and paranormal investigations across eight of South Australia's most iconic haunted venues, including Adelaide Gaol and Old Tailem Town, the business looks to bring the past screaming back to life for horror-hungry customers. At present, Haunted Horizons conducts more paranormal investigations than any other organisation in Australia and works closely with other tourism associations to preserve the extraordinarily rich history in South Australia.

Interest in history, particularly among the younger generation, has been waning over the last decade, but we're confident enabling people to explore the paranormal will help to reignite the country's curiosity in its heritage.
Alison Oborn, Owner

Altitude Advisory

Telstra South Australian Medium Business Award Finalist

Altitude Advisory is on a mission to help people build and run better businesses. From a suburban accounting practice thirty years ago, the business has transformed to become a technology-led advisory company dedicated to giving business owners the focus, advice and tools they need to get their lives back. In addition to bookkeeping and taxation, services include investment advice, business coaching, and the implementation of cloud business systems _ something that Altitude Advisory was quick to adopt and benefit from. Having launched three new business brands in the past six years, each becoming profitable in their own right, Director, Andrew Mattner, says the company has learned many valuable lessons along the way. But there's one that drives the business forward and that's knowing that "if you stand still, you eventually get run over".

Too often, business owners- especially family business owners- get stuck in the doing and lose sight of why they are doing it. We take them back to the core of why they are in business, help them clarify their goals and assist them to build business or investment platforms to achieve those goals.
Andrew Mattner, Director

GenWise Health

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

Previously working as general practitioners (GPs) in residential aged care facilities, Dr Troye Wallett and Dr Sebastian Rees experienced challenges related to the inefficient recording of medical notes, poor communication, lack of peer support and low remuneration. As a solution, the two doctors established GenWise Health in 2014, an aged-care specific online clinic platform that is streamlined and cost-effective. The platform is designed for GPs working outside the traditional clinic environment, helping them save time, improve efficiencies, be better remunerated, and benefit from the support of a national community of fellow GPs. Dr Sebastian Rees says it quickly became apparent that the GenWise platform and systems could be applied anywhere, and they are now proud to also work with doctors who care for homeless people, disadvantaged families, and women leaving abusive relationships.

Traditionally, it is challenging for GPs to work in the aged care sector due to inherent inefficiencies. By building an online clinic platform, that saves time and allows for better remuneration, we're able to attract more GPs into the sector.
Dr Sebastian Rees, Co-Founder

His and Her Time Outdoor Fitness

Telstra South Australian Micro Business Award Finalist

While many health and fitness programs trade on the effects of unhealthy lifestyles, obesity and dissatisfaction with body appearance, His and Her Time focuses on happiness. By encouraging clients to prioritise their own happiness, participants naturally want to look after their own health and well-being. Anna Liptak commenced the business 12 years ago focussing on group outdoor fitness, however the business has grown and diversified into two other areas: Healthy Habits, health and wellness coaching aiming to decrease chronic disease; and Adventure Time, helping people participate in local, national and international team or running events. His and Her Time provides participants the opportunity to exceed their fitness, health and wellbeing expectations and turn their goals into reality.

His and Her Time is about real people enjoying their bodies for what they are, and becoming the healthiest, best version of themselves.
Anna Liptak, Owner

Homecare Equipment Services

Telstra South Australian Small Business Award Finalist

Homecare Equipment Services provides mobility, hospital and rehabilitation equipment services to South Australians. It all started in 2009 when Andrew Penn decided to withdraw from the corporate world to make a difference. With a desire to help people, supported by a background in business development, he saw an opportunity to fill the gap for a prompt and reliable healthcare equipment service. Homecare Equipment helps people of all ages recover from surgery or illness, rebuild their confidence and maintain their independence by providing specialised equipment that helps them fulfil everyday needs, such as walking or general mobility, sitting down comfortably, taking a shower or going to the toilet. In eight short years, Homecare Equipment has become the service provider of choice for more than 40 hospitals, healthcare organisations and government departments across Adelaide.

We feel an inherent responsibility on our shoulders to elicit our
customers' trust by delivering robust equipment when they need it
that will last and function well after repeated daily use to enable their
personal transitions. This trust is fundamental to our business.
Andrew Penn, Owner & Director

ID Fabrication

Telstra South Australian Small Business Award Finalist

ID Fabrication supplies, manufactures and installs steel structures across Australia. Building everything from bridges to architectural structures, ID Fabrication was a major player in the redevelopment of the Port of Brisbane in 2012 and, most recently, building the structure for the Adelaide Festival's Riverbank Palais barge venue, which managing director Daniel Ffrench says is one of the most talked about structures in Adelaide. ID Fabrication's team takes great pride in its workmanship and is highly committed to delivering a consistently quality product using steel from Australian steel mills. To this end, a quality management system implemented in 2015 has helped the company reach its highest quality levels and increased customer satisfaction with every new project.

We encourage the use of steel from Australian steel mills in an effort to help the country's economy. We have built strong relationship with our suppliers and are proud that nearly 100% of the steel we manufacture comes from within Australia.
Daniel Ffrench, Managing Director

Kid Sense Child Development

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

Whilst gaining specialist paediatric training in the US in the 90s, Joanna Buttfield started thinking about bringing America's unique professional paediatric experiences, training and observations back to Australia. Kid Sense Child Development was born in 1998 and has since become one of South Australia's primary private providers of centre-based paediatric occupational therapy and speech pathology services. Supporting children with disabilities and developmental challenges, Kid Sense's paediatric team helps children to overcome the physical, linguistic and learning frustrations that can otherwise prevent them from functioning optimally, independently and confidently in a peer setting. But the organisation's offering stretches beyond its physical facilities, with the team acting as a source of continued emotional support for the family members of its young clients.

We ensure the daily lives of parents, siblings and the wider family, carers, teachers, school mates and friends are all impacted positively by the improvements made in the behaviours and abilities of a single child.
Joanna Buttfield, Founder and Executive Director _ Clinical Operations

L.V. DOHNT & CO. Pty Ltd

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

Back in 1932, with the economy in the grips of a deep depression, Lawrence Victor Dohnt set up a logging company with the simple goal to provide for his family. Now a fourth generation family business, L.V. DOHNT & CO. Pty Ltd is a revered name in the forestry industry, with a reputation for providing the Southern Hemisphere with sustainable and certified wood fibre to meet the needs of an expanding population. Celebrating its 85th anniversary in 2017, L.V. DOHNT & CO. Pty Ltd has overcome its fair share of challenges, from the Ash Wednesday fires burning through 20,000 hectares of pine plantations to the devastating impact of the global financial crisis on some of its largest customers. Through sheer resilience and the support of its loyal staff, the company today stands as one of South Australia's most iconic businesses and recently entered the South Australian Family Business Hall of Fame.

Our core business as a chipping contractor is providing the Southern Hemisphere with sustainable and certified wood fibre to meet the needs of an expanding population.
Phillip Dohnt, Managing Director


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

Myriota is opening the door to the Internet of Things (IoT) for Australian businesses, enabling them to benefit from remote machine-to-machine connectivity. The brainchild of Dr Alex Grant and Dr David Haley, and the culmination of three years' research with the University of South Australia, Myriota has developed a new class of satellite connectivity to provide access to small amounts of data, from any location on the planet, at a very low cost. For example, saving an outback grazier hundreds of kilometres of travel, Myriota's connectivity can remotely monitor livestock water tank levels. With Australia embarking on the IoT revolution, Myriota's founders believe its breakthrough technology will pave the way for everyone from farmers and resource companies to defence and environmental agencies.

Australia is poised to take part in the Internet of Things revolution, where machine-to-machine communications will drastically change the way we work, live, learn and play.
Tom Rayner, Business Development Executive

Pouch Australia Pty Ltd

Telstra South Australian Micro Business Award Finalist

As parents finding themselves constantly clearing up a rainbow sea of plastic building blocks and worrying about choking hazards, Kate Campbell and Kate O'Donoghue decided to fashion a storage solution that would maximise creative play and minimise mess. And so the Play Pouch was born. A portable, durable and stylish pouch designed to keep every last block together, the range is now three styles strong, with a further two products in the design phase. Available in over 200 retail outlets across Australia and New Zealand, the Play Pouch has also attracted an international customer base from the UK, Israel, Dubai, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the USA.

With the Play Pouch, all building blocks are mixed together, which encourages children to put down the instruction booklets and build freely from their own imagination. Pack up is also achievable for the kids
Kate Campbell, Co-Founder/Director

Racing Management Services

Telstra South Australian New Business Award Finalist

Ben and Nikki Pollock have been involved in horse racing for many years and have trained in England. They're acutely aware of the many challenges faced by trainers to operate a successful horse training business. Not only do trainers manage the horses, they also handle: invoicing, debtors and creditors, staff and obligations, paperwork, and juggle financial and fiscal liabilities. It doesn't take long for these extra duties to overshadow the essence of the business and the main source of earning an income: training winning horses. Racing Management Services was first established to help out a trainer as a favour, and supporting him in the day-to-day running of his business. Such experience being hard to come by, Ben and Nikki's business has since grown rapidly thanks to word of mouth.

On many occasions, our clients have actually improved their training performances after employing our services, purely because they are able to concentrate on their core business: training horses.
Ben Pollock, Director

Resonate Acoustics & Resonate Systems

Telstra South Australian Medium Business Award Finalist

Resonate is an engineering consultancy firm specialising in controlling noise and vibration, as well as electromagnetic fields around sensitive equipment. Resonate provides advice during the designing and constructing of buildings, roads, rail, mining, port facilities and more. Their work allows clients to understand potential design or environmental impacts and make decisions accordingly. With the aim to provide practical and easy to understand advice, the 30-strong team prides itself on building long-term collaborative working relationship with clients. Founder and Managing Director, Matthew Stead, encourages staff to live by the motto "invest time today to make tomorrow easier", which he believes will continue to drive the company's innovation and success.

Our specialist services are inherently complex. Clients often struggle to understand the science of what we do, so we provide the expertise in an easy to understand manner to solve their noise, vibration and electromagnetic issues.
Matthew Stead, Managing Director

Social Media AOK

Telstra South Australian Micro Business Award Finalist

Faced with a work-life that was severely impinging on her time spent parenting two young children, Simone Douglas decided to cut loose from employment and become her own boss. Determined to turn a passion into profit, Simone established a specialist agency that would help businesses navigate the veritable minefield of social media and explore its potential to improve revenue, sales, market presence, brand experience, customer relationships and market audience. Today, Social Media AOK is carving out a niche in one of digital's fastest evolving arenas, delivering a range of unique projects, from countering extremist violence using social media, to a series of federal and state election campaigns.

As a specialist agency that has resisted the temptation to diversify into other digital fields, we are across the changes and their impact often well before our competitors.
Simone Douglas, CEO

The Hessel Group

Telstra South Australian Medium Business Award Finalist

Entrusting the care of your children to someone you've never met is a huge decision, and when Tanya Cole enlisted the support of a nanny agency, she was shocked by the lack of communication about the candidate appointed to look after her young family. After experiencing this poor service, Tanya felt there was opportunity to establish her own professional nanny service with more thorough interview and review processes. Offering a mix of home-based, disability and youth care, along with a mobile cr?che service for corporate events and a children's centre in Shanghai, China, the Hessel Group has now grown into the largest approved in-home care provider in South Australia.

We believe that early years are crucial to achieving happiness, health and success as adults, so we aspire to empower children with the skills they need to reach their full potential.
Tanya Cole, CEO

The Online Director

Telstra South Australian New Business Award Finalist

Presented with a redundancy offer for the second time by the age of 30, Robyn Koldej realised that the only way she would ever have job security was if she created it for herself. Her business, The Online Director, was founded to enable customers to achieve their digital advertising goals, by expounding the commercial power of Google AdWords, helping businesses to nail their AdWords strategy and implementing effective campaigns. Acutely aware that the more successful a Google campaign, the greater the discount to the spend, The Online Director crafts campaigns designed to maximise outcomes and minimise financial costs for clients.

The Online Director is all about minimising spend and maximising outcome, meaning the problem we solve is overspending and poor ROI.
Robyn Koldej, Managing Director

Umoona Opal Mine & Museum

Telstra South Australian Small Business Award Finalist

Founder Nick Troisi was working as an outback tour guide bringing groups through Coober Pedy when he realised the potential of the Umoona Mine. When the opportunity arose to buy the mine in 2015, Nick knew that with his genuine passion for both tourism excellence and opal, it was a logical _ yet daunting _ move. Since taking the reins, Nick and his team have expanded Umoona Opal Mine & Museum to become a must-see tourist attraction in Coober Pedy. Dedication to the community is a major factor in their success. The mine has been an important icon in Coober Pedy for over 30 years. Nick is a strong believer that working with local businesses and developing positive relationships is the key to ensuring the local tourism industry thrives.

Our aim is to provide a destination for tourists; one that celebrates Australia's cultural history while delivering a unique and unforgettable experience.

Nick Troisi, Owner

Welden & Coluccio Lawyers

Telstra South Australian Micro Business Award Finalist

The decision to focus their practice in the area of Wills and Estates evolved from their recognition of Baby Boomers as being the largest users of legal services for the next 20 to 30 years. Principal Greg Welden says there was also the increase in divorce, blended families, de-facto and same-sex marriages, with each giving rise to increased complexity around estate planning. Furthermore, Welden & Coluccio Lawyers noted that the tradition for law firms to diversify across a range of legal areas, often resulted in lower overall success rates and a greater risk of professional negligence. Welden & Coluccio Lawyers strives to offer clients specialised legal counsel and counter the distinct lack of focused expertise in the area of estate planning and wills in South Australia.

We identified that the tendency for many firms to diversify across a broad range of legal areas was having a detrimental impact both on business outcomes and the client experience.

Greg Welden, Principal

Agri Labour Australia

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

The labour shortfall in regional Australia makes it challenging for agricultural employers to attract candidates with the right skills. Born and raised in the country to parents who worked on the land, Queensland brothers, Luke and Casey Brown, were acutely aware of this struggle.

In 2010, they started Agri Labour Australia, a recruitment agency specifically tailored to Australia's agriculture industry. The brothers believe the company is set apart by their understanding of how farming projects operate, and their knowledge of the diverse and ever-changing recruitment needs of rural Australia, whether it's an 800-strong team for a seasonal project or a single skilled employee for a month.

Casey says they are especially proud of their recently launched Agri Veterans, a service to place veterans in rewarding and stable jobs in agriculture to help them transition back into civilian life.

Our niche recruitment and HR consultancy solves workforce problems across all agricultural employers in regional Australia. We provide this industry in need with a steady stream of casual, seasonal and permanent employees.
Casey Brown, Managing Director

Best Practice Software

Telstra Queensland Medium Business Award Finalist

When changes in legislation allowed doctors to create typed rather than handwritten medical prescriptions, GP Dr Frank Pyefinch was frustrated by the lack of software available to support the move. So he turned his hand to writing his own simple, Disk Operating Systems (DOS)-based programs.

Twenty years on, his company Best Practice Software is home to BP Premier, a program used by 12,000 GPs across Australia and New Zealand. Functionally rich, clinician driven and intuitive, the software now holds just under 50 per cent of the market share.

Best Practice is a robust and scalable application that is affordable to maintain and is backed by ongoing professional support, allowing users to the get most out of their data.
Lorraine Pyefinch, Director

Bright Conferences

Telstra Queensland Micro Business Award Finalist

Everyone has a story to tell, and everything can be learnt. That's the mantra driving the team behind Bright Conferences, an educational experiences provider based in Queensland.

Founded in 2010, Bright Conferences started as a corporate events company. It wasn't long before co-founder, Nadine Zrinzo, realised its unique opportunity to bring people together to discuss, connect, share and learn from each other.

Today, whether it's educating millennials and creating future leaders through generationYOU, providing a creative meeting space in Bright HQ or solving a business problems in an industry setting, everything the business does aims to facilitate - awesome learning experiences.

We believe in the awesome power of face-to-face learning and want to see people experience lightbulb moments.
Nadine Zrinzo, Co-Founder


Telstra Queensland Small Business Award Finalist

Podiatrist and physiotherapist, Caroline McCulloch, had a dilemma: when treating patients, she found it difficult to recommend comfortable footwear she would want to wear herself. So, she set out to design her own fashionable footwear with body mechanics in mind. After ten prototypes and lots of testing, in 2011, she launched her first two styles into podiatry clinics and hasn't looked back.

Now with more than 20 styles, FRANKiE4 provides fashion-forward, comfortable footwear to over 90 Australian and New Zealand stockists, and to the public via an online store and two concept stores in Brisbane.

As proud family business owners and parents, Caroline and her husband Alan are always looking for ways to make a difference and recently developed a sock range to raise funds for charities such as Brisbane-based charity Brain Child.

We're on a mission to provide women with shoe styles that make them feel confident and comfortable. The shoes hide the support and cushioning, as if they were undercover orthopaedic shoes disguised as fashion.
Caroline McCulloch, Owner

GIS People

Telstra Queensland Small Business Award Finalist

Igor Stjepanovic was working in the Geographic Information Systems (GIS) sector when he spotted a gap in the market for independent geospatial professional services. So, in 2010, he created GIS People - a company that brought Australia's best independent geospatial experts under one roof.

Starting in his spare bedroom with an initial investment of $3,000, the company surged to multi-million revenue within three years. GIS People soon started offering its services beyond Australia's borders, becoming an internationally recognised location intelligence brand.

Today, the company focuses on developing software with global market potential. Their hugely successful mobile and cloud technology platform (Gruntify.com) was followed by development of a platform enabling transparency of political donations and expenses (OpenDeclare.com). Both harness the company's expert knowledge of location-based software and services, and were built 100% in-house.

Due to international demand for our innovative technology, we are seizing the opportunity to stretch the boundaries of our business operations and deliver our unique solutions to clients worldwide.
Igor Stjepanovic, Founder

Energy Skills Queensland Inc.

Telstra Queensland Small Business Award Finalist

Energy Skills Queensland's purpose is two-pronged: to provide Queensland's electricity, oil and gas, mining, renewables and telecommunications sectors with innovative solutions to ensure their strong and sustainable future, and to promote these industries as a career of first choice.

A not-for-profit organisation with one eye on the here-and-now and another firmly on the future of the industry, Energy Skills Queensland Inc. provides industry intelligence founded on research and analysis.

Alongside providing strategic insights, Energy Skills Queensland Inc. also facilitates the next phase in their clients' development, with workforce planning support and upskilling opportunities.

The organisation runs successful Skilling Queenslanders for Work programs to provide opportunities to those who have been unemployed for a long time or come from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Our mission is to promote the Queensland energy, mining, renewable and telecommunications industries as a career of first choice, encourage investment in skills and training, and increase the number of skilled workers in the industry.
Penelope Twemlow, CEO

Family Doctors Plus

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

Disillusioned with the proliferation of the five-minute medicine approach, Dr Fiona Raciti and Dr Maria Boulton started Family Doctors Plus with the goal to empower people to optimise their health and take charge of their well-being.

Community education is their number one remedy, and the family-friendly general practice holds regular events, which are proving highly popular, including puberty information sessions and school-readiness seminars.

The practice has extended to offer a Corporate Doctors Plus service, helping local businesses improve the health of their staff and reduce time lost due to illness or injury.

Recognising a need for on-site doctors in the aged care sector, Family Doctors Plus also recently established satellite clinics at two nursing homes.

Our focus is on preventing disease, as well as treating it. We aim to empower people to optimise their health and take charge of their well-being.
Dr Maria Boulton, Director

Mobile Test 'n' Cal Australia Pty Ltd

Telstra Queensland Small Business Award Finalist

Mobile Test 'n' Cal Australia Pty Ltd is an onsite, high voltage testing, calibration, inspection and repair service.

With the industry dominated by one provider, Andre Borell saw an opportunity to provide better and more efficient service, at lower prices. He came up with a business model that he believed would revolutionise the calibration industry. Six years on, his mobile labs provides a convenient compliance solution to clients across Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea, ranging from power stations, large hotels, schools and shopping centres to water treatment plants and regional councils.

Andre is determined to challenge the industry by offering the highest level of customer service. He says every staff member is professionally trained in customer service, as well as in accredited systems and processes.

We have built our business on putting customers first, and delivering an end-to-end compliance solution that makes their job of staying compliant as easy as possible.
Andre Borell, Founder and CEO

Expert 365 Pty Ltd

Telstra Queensland New Business Award Finalist

Every drop of water counts, especially for farmers. They need to ensure they are giving the precise amount of water needed depending on crops variety, soil types and age of the plants for optimum yield.

Professor Vishy Karri believes the Internet of Things (IoT), the inter-connection of objects through the internet, is the answer. In 2015, he founded Expert 365 to provide plant-centred irrigation solutions using IoT technology. Where existing irrigation practices are based mostly on experience and guesswork, Expert 365 provides farmers with facts about the current conditions of their farming production using real-time measurements. The app-driven technology then gives farmers daily irrigation quantities, moisture contents and precise amounts of time to run their irrigation motors for a healthy yield. An add-on control system then ensures the precise delivery.

Expert 365 solutions are now being installed by farmers in Queensland, Northern NSW, Western Australia, India and the United States.

The agricultural sector is not traditionally a technology-intensive field, but the Internet of Things is set to bring about a massive revolution in the industry. We're pioneering this technology race to enable the Australian horticulture market to adapt to this paradigm shift.
Professor Vishy Karri, Co-Founder, CEO and Chairman


Telstra Queensland Medium Business Award Finalist

Empowering productivity is at the heart of GlobalX's drive to disrupt Australia's $100 million-a-year legal software industry.

It is an Australian organisation that develops and supports software workflow solutions for the legal, conveyancing, and allied business communities.

All GlobalX solutions are fully integrated, providing access to the most comprehensive range of regulatory information searches and legal support services across Australia.

Tens of thousands of businesses use GlobalX's suite of workflow management solutions to facilitate matters end-to-end, in a way that complies with stringent legislative requirements, while enabling them to do more, in less time - and to do it better than most competitors.

With a rich history of innovation and industry firsts, GlobalX was the first company in 1994 to make Australian land titles available online direct to the consumer.

Today's business world requires organisations to constantly seek productivity gains. GlobalX continuously innovates to deliver our clients' new, smarter and more intuitive ways to work.
Peter Maloney, CEO

Layne Beachley - Aim for the Stars Foundation

Telstra New South Wales Charity Award Finalist

As a surfer striving to become a sporting World Champion, Layne Beachley quickly realised working four jobs and 60 hours every week to fund her overseas contests was taking its toll on her physical and mental health.

Inspired by her experience, Layne set up the Aim for the Stars Foundation, a community of male and female champions who support women on their journey to achieving their dreams. Providing scholarships, financial grants, mentoring and inspiration to empower women to invest in their future, Aim for the Stars has a 450-strong alumni, which includes Olympians, Paralympians, environmental activists, creative minds, science geniuses and more.

We cultivate courage and self-belief through mentoring and financial support for Australian girls and women who have a dream and need assistance achieving it.
Layne Beachley, Founder and Director

AMA Event Management

Telstra New South Wales Micro Business Award Finalist

Keen to find somewhere to sell her own hand-crafted products, Monique Annetts was so frustrated by the complex process involved in securing a weekly market stall, she decided to organise her own outfit. With the first market a roaring success, Monique's network has now grown to include eight locations around the Sydney area, and has extended its repertoire to include a portfolio of local corporate, consumer and charity events.

She now runs two weekly markets, including the used goods Wednesday Pickers Bazaar in Sydney, five monthly markets, four quarterly markets and 12 annual events. Some of these events and markets include: The Bridal Expo, The Ladies Night At The Trots event, The Black & White Ball charity event, the yearly Oztoberfest. Monique also recently started to work on Coscruise, Australia's first cosplay cruise, where participants come dressed in fictional characters' costumes.

My own experience of trying to become a market trader was a very lengthy process, so we try to reduce wait period for our customers and have attracted a very loyal and returning customer base as a result.
Monique Annetts, Owner

Amicus Digital

Telstra New South Wales New Business Award Finalist

Amicus Digital is a marketing and technology consulting business that specialises in helping organisations understand, use and take full advantage of the Salesforce Marketing Cloud software platform.

From the outset the founders, Blair Cooke and Jessie Mitchell, saw an opportunity to combine their expertise of the software with a consultative, client-friendly approach to deliver the best possible service and great outcomes for clients.

Blair believes the business provides organisations with the confidence to use the technology to materially change the way they conduct their marketing through digital channels and deliver significant return on their technology investment.

Amicus is Latin and means 'friend'. We chose the name specifically because we wanted to create a business that fosters friendship and teamwork amongst its colleagues, and that behaved as a friend, a coach and a true partner to its customers.
Blair Cooke, Managing Director


Telstra New South Wales Medium Business Award Finalist

Starting out as a simple side line project, Booktopia is now Australia's largest online book retailer, serving 3.6 million customers nationwide. With an $80 million edge on its nearest competitor and having been voted 2016's Best Book Retailer of the Year, the company's success has been attributed to its ability to challenge the status quo of online retailing.

Comprising 130,000 titles, Booktopia curates a comprehensive online library that includes everything from academic journals, through to an extensive range of best-seller fiction. The business manages a vast amount of stock, offers swift shipping, and access to a dedicated call centre of customer service representatives.

With algorithms that can identify what Australians want to buy and 700,000 units in-stock and ready to ship, Booktopia considers itself the Australian alternative to Amazon.?
Tony Nash, CEO

Cara House

Telstra New South Wales Micro Business Award Finalist

Cara House is a trauma counselling service for children, young people, adults and families who have been impacted by trauma or abuse. As a trained trauma therapist and accredited mental health social worker, founder and director of Cara House, Mary-Jo Mc Veigh, sees child abuse as not a family issue but a societal one.

That's why Cara House not only provides a safe place for victims to heal, but also to learn non-violent ways of interacting with others. Rather than formal counselling methods, Cara House runs unique and innovative group-work programs that assist young people through team activities.

Cara House's flagship program, Wrapped in Angels, established in the early 2000s, has been recommended as a best practice program for work with traumatised children and young people.

Cara House welcomes children, families, adults and professionals whose lives have been touched by trauma whether through their own experiences or through their work. Cara House is a safe place of healing and growth, steeped in a rich tradition of connection and hope.?
Mary-Jo Mc Veigh, CEO


Telstra New South Wales Medium Business Award Finalist

Cashrewards is an online community with over 250,000 Australians earning rewards for shopping online. The brainchild of Andrew Clarke, Cashrewards was founded in 2013, with the vision to help families with the rising costs of living.

The idea is simple: by offering cash back on the things people buy every day, the online business helps its members save money. Offering cash back on well-known brands is a popular concept, but that's not all. This award-winning business offers retailers a cost-effective medium to directly generate sales. Cashrewards has also become part of the Pledge 1% movement, meaning its members can get cash back from their shopping while also generating much-needed funds for The Starlight Foundation.

We tackle the issue of ever increasing living costs by providing our members with the cheapest way to shop in Australia. We give cashback when our members shop at brands such as Woolworths, eBay, Virgin Australia, Amazon, Apple, booking.com and hundreds more.
Andrew Clarke, CEO & Founder

Code Camp

Telstra New South Wales New Business Award Finalist

When tech entrepreneur, Benjamin Levi, realised kids were always asking him about how to build iPhone apps he suddenly had a light bulb moment. Teaming up with fellow entrepreneur and coder Pete Neill, they set up school holiday camps to teach kids how to build apps.

As Code Camp doubled in size every three months, the founders realised their two-man hobby had become a fully-fledged business. Shortly after, Hayley Markham joined them as head of operations, and Dan Zwolenski as head of technology.

Today, with more than 1,000 staff around Australia, the team is proud to have inspired more than 20,000 kids in school holiday programs, after-school coding classes, and in-school incursions. Benjamin says it's an incredible feeling to see students go home passionate and engaged with technology and coding. He believes they have not only taught kids valuable tech skills, they have created a movement that will inspire a new generation of superstars.

We're passionate about building a generation of creators and makers, a generation of change-makers _ students who see problems as challenges, and love to find and create the solutions.
Benjamin Levi, Co-Founder


Telstra New South Wales New Business Award Finalist

With Workplace Health and Safety (WHS) compliance ever-evolving and increasingly complex, Donesafe Founders, Matt Browne and Matt Knee, uncovered among businesses for a real need for a simple, yet effective, WHS management platform.

Seeing the alternative applications as jargon-laden and cumbersome, the founders set out to create a simple to use, entirely automated, end-to-end software solution. As the founders say, Donesafe is: The People's Safety Software. Counting Brickworks, Suncorp, IAG, Audi and McDonalds among its clients, Donesafe is gaining real traction across both the small and medium business and enterprise markets.

Dubbed 'The People's Safety Software', Donesafe opens the health and safety conversation to all workers, allowing clients to significantly alleviate the administrative burden of WHS and compliance.
Matt Browne, Co-Founder


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

gemaker is on a mission to help Australia's smartest people take their ideas to the world. With more than ten years experience in research commercialisation, founder Natalie Chapman knew that technology transfer was generally under-resourced in Australian research organisations.

So, in 2011, she took a leap of faith and set out to build a scalable, cost-effective team of commercialisation experts. gemaker helps researchers, inventors, start-ups and expanding businesses bring innovative products and services to global markets by connecting them to strategic partners, funding and customers. In a field where innovation is the key to success, Natalie says one of her biggest lessons is to keep moving and keep making decisions.

Our services bridge the valley of death between invention and business growth, by analysing the market, advising on IP and commercialisation strategy, identifying funding opportunities, promoting research-industry engagement, and providing marketing communications for our clients.
Natalie Chapman, Managing Director


Telstra New South Wales Medium Business Award Finalist

With just $2,000 in his pocket and a vision in his mind, Glenn Rosen founded GLENCO ELECTRICAL SERVICES out of the back of a station wagon in 1988. Glenn's brother, Brad, joined him a few years later after finishing his career as a professional basketball player.

Setting out to improve the customer experience and service delivery in the electrical industry, today GLENCO offers a 24/7, year-round service for the property management, residential, and commercial markets in the Sydney metropolitan area.

Whether the team is enlisted to simply change a lightbulb or build the entire electrical backbone infrastructure for a large manufacturing plant, GLENCO delivers a quality, reliable and affordable service with the customer at its core.

Glenco prides itself on being a differentiator in our market, by delivering superior electrical solutions, focusing on communication and providing a lifetime warranty on labour for an enhanced customer experience.
Glenn Rosen, CEO

G & M Cosmetics

Telstra New South Wales Small Business Award Finalist

Meshing his engineering expertise, business acumen and technical manufacturing skills, Zvonko Jordanov began developing and refining formulas for the mixed cosmetics industry.

G & M Cosmetics is the resulting brainchild _ a range of premium-grade skincare products, which cater to consumers of all ages and feature iconic, natural Australian ingredients, like Lanolin Oil, Kakadu Plum and Emu Oil to name a few.

Renowned for its gentle and effective formulas that shun the synthetic chemicals and petroleum-based mineral oils commonly used by the personal care industry, G & M Cosmetics is now one of the fastest growing skincare brands stocked by Australian supermarkets, and attributes 50 per cent of its turnover to export trade.

G&M Cosmetics is a 100 per cent Australian owned and made business, which has been manufacturing and selling skin health remedies to national retailers for 20 years.?
Zvonko Jordanov, Managing Director

Hanrob Pet Hotels

Telstra New South Wales Medium Business Award Finalist

When Hannie and Bob Biggs kicked off Hanrob Pet Hotels in 1981, they first ran their pet boarding facility from their family home. Realising there was a gap in the market for secure, safe pet accommodation, they focused on establishing a network of trusted partnerships with local vets, partners and communities. As the business grew, the two owners widened their services and started offering dog training courses, including scent detection courses for a number of Australian and overseas government agencies. Today, Hanrob Pet Hotels is run by Hannie and Bob's son, Andrew, and offers a vast range of pet services, from dog obedience training, agility and grooming to luxury accommodation in suites with TVs and heated beds, across six facilities in NSW, Queensland, Victoria and Canberra. They even give their pets' missing parents' the opportunity to video chat with their animal.

The original motivation to be the leaders in pet welfare, dog training and pet care services stands today, and has expanded to cater to the growing needs of pet lovers who can select from many different tailored services whilst enjoying the benefits of 24-hour care and emergency support by qualified pet care welfare staff and local vets.?
Andrew Biggs, Owner and CEO

Icon By Design

Telstra New South Wales Small Business Award Finalist

Struggling to find high quality furniture at an affordable price point, the founders of Icon By Design saw an opportunity to turn the conventional supply chain on its head. By cutting out the middlemen, whose costs were driving up the price for consumers, they were able to develop a lean and nimble sourcing model that delivers craftsmen's creations direct to the consumer. A further 20% saving is additionally applied to those who opt to pre-order their designs. Offering a collection of timeless designs made from sustainable materials, their quality assurance process is no less rigorous than their pricier competitors. Every single piece is carefully checked over prior to packaging to ensure customers are delighted with their purchase.

Our mission is to make our customers' dream interiors possible, by taking on the high-end retailers to offer our customers timeless, craftsman furniture at affordable prices.
David Light, Co-Founder and Director

Love To Dream

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

When Hana-Lia Krawchuk gave birth to her first child, Elijah, his reluctance to sleep for more than 45 minutes at a time quickly began to take its toll on family life. Sleep-deprived and subject to Elijah's continuous crying, Hana-Lia started to question the failsafe swaddling technique she had been taught by midwives, which was proving ineffective in soothing Elijah to sleep. Believing there was a safer and more effective way to swaddle babies, Hana-Lia developed a line of garments that would allow babies to sleep safely, soundly and more comfortably, whilst allowing them to have access to their hands for self-soothing. The result has been a true sleep revolution, with Love To Dream's shaped? swaddles, sleep suits and sleep bags now among the most successful items in Australia's infant products industry.

Love To Dream has designed a three-stage sleep system and accompanying garments that help babies sleep better from birth to four years of age.
Hana-Lia Krawchuk, Director

Mark Moran Vaucluse

Telstra New South Wales Medium Business Award Finalist

Husband-and-wife team Mark and Evette Moran strongly believe that old age can be the happiest time in life. Taking this philosophy and combining it with their experience in business and design, they set out to create lifestyle spaces that enrich lives and provide the ultimate standards in aged care, retirement living and wellness in nurturing and uplifting environments. The result is Mark Moran Vaucluse, an intergenerational ageing and wellness hub that is fully integrated within the broader community. Building on the reputation of the Mark Moran Group, Vaucluse is Australia's most technologically-advanced development complex for seniors, featuring innovations such as robot-led care, a digital concierge and circadian lighting. On opening, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull described it as "A work of art, indisputably setting the new standard for seniors planning worldwide".

The Mark Moran model has flipped a very established, conservative and highly regulated sector on its head to deliver consumer-oriented and community-led design and development.
Evette Moran, Co-Founder

MS Research Australia

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

In Australia, one to two people are diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) every day. This is just one reason why MS Research Australia is on a mission to accelerate research towards the prevention of MS, establish better treatments and ultimately find a cure. MS Research Australia is not only the country's largest not-for-profit organisation dedicated to funding and fostering collaboration in MS research; it is a globally recognised leader in the internationally coordinated effort to find a cure for progressive MS. With significant improvements in employment outcomes, quality of life and longevity, not to mention the staggering decrease in hospitalisations and mortality, the charity's work has transformed the entire MS landscape. CEO, Dr Matthew Miles, says the best testament to this is hearing people say: I have MS, but MS doesn't have me.

Until we find a cure - and we've made incredible progress towards that - we will devote our attention to ensuring we are completely and utterly aligned with the needs of people with MS. We are at a tipping point and the finish line could potentially be in sight.
Dr Matthew Miles, CEO


Telstra New South Wales Charity Award Finalist

The National Aboriginal and Islander Skills Development Association (NAISDA) Dance College has been Australia's premier Indigenous training college since 1976, with a proud tradition of producing the next generation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander performers. A member of the Commonwealth Roundtable for Excellence in Arts Training (Arts 8), the college provides training from Certificate III to Diploma level which is free of charge to Developing Artists who come from Australia's regional cites, urban centers and remote communities. Along with training in Indigenous and contemporary dance, NAISDA delivers a cultural learning program that is central to the Australian dance sector. NAISDA aims to provide its Developing Artists with the vocational skills to pursue a career in the Arts industry, and become leaders and trainers in their communities. One of its graduates, Stephen Page, is now one of the world's foremost dance choreographers and has earned 2008 NSW Australian of the Year.

We're a dance college that produces professional dancers and has paved the way for a contemporary Indigenous dance to be shared globally.
Kim Walker, CEO

Newington Dental Care

Telstra New South Wales Micro Business Award Finalist

The team at Newington Dental Care strongly believes that modern dentistry is all about providing life-changing dental care and exceptional customer service. A family-owned and operated business, Newington Dental Care has a consultative approach to appointments. The practice will always discuss a range of treatment options for dental problems before going ahead with any procedure. As one of the relatively few dental practices endorsed to provide conscious sedation, Newington also helps patients overcome dental fear and anxiety by using sedative and pain relieving medication. Dental surgeon, Dr Keith Hengpoonthana says that by increasing our patients' dental awareness, they are committed to ensuring they achieve long-term optimal health.

We aim to change our patients' perception of dentistry into a positive experience, so that they are proud to call our practice their own, and want to refer family and friends.
Dr Keith Hengpoonthana, Dental Surgeon

Nexus Law Group

Telstra New South Wales New Business Award Finalist

Three years ago, Nexus Law Group took the traditional law firm model and turned it on its head to create an entirely new category of practice in the legal industry. Its embedded contractor model organises a national network of independent specialist lawyers around a central hub office in each jurisdiction, connecting individuals via a unique practice system, OpenLaw. This setup allows lawyers the flexibility of sole practice, with an undercurrent of support from a large firm structure, meaning not only do Nexus lawyers typically earn more than double what they would within a traditionally structured firm, but with overheads so low it enables clients to obtain quality advice at unmatched value.

Nexus enables lawyers to collaborate and enjoy the benefits of working in a big firm, without the restrictions traditional practices impose, creating a more rewarding and productive practice structure.
Jacqueline Keddie, Business Manager

Nourished Life

Telstra New South Wales Small Business Award Finalist

Five years ago, Irene Falcone stumbled upon a report that revealed of the 90 per cent of Australians who claim they want to purchase environmentally friendly products, only 10 per cent actually did so. As part of the remaining 81 per cent, Irene believed it was an issue of trust rather than a lack of choice that was preventing Australian consumers from shopping more ethically. So she established Nourished Life, a blog that talked openly and honestly about 'green' products. It gained such popularity, it blossomed into a $20 million turnover retail brand, which today sells thousands of healthy, sustainably sourced alternatives across the personal care, beauty, home, health and fitness sectors to conscious consumers globally.

Australian shoppers crave substantiated information about environmental claims, cruelty-free testing and product performance, so Nourished Life is founded on delivering trusted personal service and products to an environmentally conscious community.
Irene Falcone, Founder and CEO

Over The Moo

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

As a lactose intolerant ice cream lover, Alexander Houseman struggled to find ice cream that ticked the boxes of catering for his requirements while also being reasonably priced, creamy and just a little bit indulgent. Seeing the huge growth of the dairy-free milk category, he took inspiration from the Asian desserts of his childhood and created dairy-free ice cream out of coconut milk. Over The Moo was born. Since inception two years ago, Over The Moo has grown its distribution network to comprise more than 400 independent supermarkets and over 500 Woolworth stores. Alexander says this exceptional growth is testament to their investment in developing an engaging brand, competitive pricing structure and products with bucketloads of flavour.

My proudest achievement was seeing Over The Moo roll out to more than 500 Woolworths stores in March 2017. It represented the 'coming of age' for Over The Moo. It's no longer a small niche brand, but now the first independent non-dairy ice cream product to crack mainstream supermarket retail in Australia.
Alexander Houseman, Founder and Head Honcho


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

As entrepreneurs themselves, Prospa founders Greg Moshal and Beau Bertoli know first-hand the difficulties small business owners face in accessing money to run and grow a business. Fuelled by an ambition to change the way people experience finance, Greg and Beau set up Prospa to provide fast, easy access to unsecured loans of between $5,000 and $250,000. Using an online application, coupled with smart technology to assess the health of a business and determine creditworthiness, Prospa can approve and fund loans in under one business day. In nearly five years, Prospa has delivered loans totalling more than $350 million and become the leading online lender to small businesses in Australia.

Prospa solves two critical pain points for small business owners: the glacial pace at which bigger banks evaluate loan applications and their inflexibility - especially the need to provide a family home as security.
Beau Bertoli, Joint CEO and Co-founder


Telstra New South Wales Small Business Award Finalist

Entrepreneurial by nature, Brett and Meagan Redelman ditched their corporate jobs to start a business of their own. After toying with the idea of manufacturing men's loafers and other entrepreneurial ideas, the couple decided to take the plunge into the pram market after finding that all of the more stylish models available were designed for colder climates. And so Redsbaby strives to disrupt the market, with products that are as beautiful as they are practical. Thoughtfully engineered and considerately crafted, each style has been built with the Australian lifestyle in mind, with lightweight materials and features such as Maxiair canopies for hot summer days, all designed to enrich the early parenthood experience.

We founded Redsbaby to provide Australian parents with a range of baby products that balance functionality with a sophisticated signature aesthetic.
Meagan Redelman, Managing Director and Co-Founder

Rufus & Coco Pty Ltd

Telstra New South Wales Small Business Award Finalist

As someone who has owned more than 40 pets in her life, Anneke Van Den Broek understands the importance of pet products that combine both style and quality, and offer a natural alternative.

And she isn't alone. With more and more owners around the globe beginning to treat their pets as human, and part of the family, there is demand for a brand that helps the world's fur babies look and feel better, while making life a little easier for pet parents too. R

ufus & Coco Pty Ltd is that brand. Bringing its range of innovative grooming and cleaning products, fashion and home accessories, vitamins and litter to the mass market, Rufus & Coco Pty Ltd is successfully reshaping the industry in Australia, with a growing presence in the USA, Canada, Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan and China.

Through continued innovation, Rufus & Coco solves everyday consumer needs with quality 'Best of Breed' products that make a genuine difference in the lives of pets and pet parents.
Anneke van den Broek, CEO / Owner

The Health Lodge

Telstra New South Wales New Business Award Finalist

After 20 years in the health industry, Reine Dubois realised complex and chronic health issues could not be resolved by one practitioner alone. Instead, she found that successful treatment depends on a blend of expertise from the mainstream medical model, as well as complementary therapies and allied health modalities.

At The Health Lodge, Reine has assembled a unified team of mainstream and complementary practitioners committed to collaboratively finding the underlying cause of a patients' illnesses, at a facility designed to answer the community's call for better health care.

At The Health Lodge, we offer patients new solutions to old problems, creating safe and cohesive treatment plans that integrate mainstream medicine, allied health and complementary medicine recommendations to address the growing health epidemic in Australia.
Reine Dubois, CEO/Clinical Director

The Shepherd Centre - for deaf children

Telstra New South Wales Charity Award Finalist

The Shepherd Centre provides early intervention programs for children who are deaf or have hearing loss, teaching them to listen, speak and socialise just like their hearing peers.

The centre was founded in 1970 by Dr Bruce Shepherd and his wife, Annette, when they couldn't find a suitable program to teach their children Penny and Danny who were born deaf.

Almost five decades later, with five centres in NSW, ACT and servicing all of Tasmania, The Shepherd Centre helps around 500 children and families a year, as well as families in rural and remote areas of Australia and overseas through its residential workshops, online support and teleintervention.

Children with hearing loss need intensive early intervention program from birth to five to develop speech and language like their hearing peers, so they can attend mainstream schools. They also struggle to gain social skills, necessary to be able to form friendships, meaningful connections and relate to others. We focus not only on helping the child with speech pathology and audiological needs, but also on their social and emotional wellbeing and supporting the entire family.
Dr Jim Hungerford, CEO

TOWNS Conveyancing Services

Telstra New South Wales Micro Business Award Finalist

Buying or selling property is considered one of the most stressful times of your life. TOWNS Conveyancing Services is on a mission to change that.

Their goal is simple: to ensure every client's property purchase or sale is stress-free. Licensed conveyancer, Kristi Towns, started the business from her dining room table in 2012. Her dedication to the whole client relationship, instead of simply focusing on the property transaction, fuelled referrals, and 12 months later, her client numbers had doubled.

Four years on, she has built an award-winning business with an all-female team known for their can-do attitude, user-friendly approach and community spirit.

We focus on building and solidifying relationships, establishing trust, being accessible, communicating regularly and openly, and ensuring complete transparency with our clients. This has positioned us as an industry leader in a short timeframe, and helped us in our goal to provide a stress-free experience.
Kristi Towns, Owner

Huxley School of Makeup

Telstra Queensland Micro Business Award Finalist

The Huxley School of Makeup is a private, internationally-accredited education provider of professional makeup artistry courses.

Experienced makeup artist, Michael Huxley, could see that, while young people aspire towards a career in the global makeup-artistry industry, existing curriculums weren't providing the tools and knowledge they needed to reach their goals. He set out to create Australia's best makeup school with ISO-accredited courses, work experience programs and a positive learning culture.

With its placements highly sought after, Huxley School of Makeup focuses on empowering students to - be inspired, be informed and be themselves. Michael is proud to see graduates go on to work in all aspects of the global makeup and cosmetics industries.

Makeup is a global industry that crosses cultural and ethnic barriers. Through the art of makeup, our students have the ability to not only create incredible characters, but also inspire confidence in the people they work with.
Michael Huxley, Director

Impact Innovation Group

Telstra Queensland Small Business Award Finalist

More than a decade ago, Brian Ruddle recognised a huge chasm in service delivery for enterprises needing help with innovation pipelines and turning their ideas into significant income.

Impact Innovation Group was established to meet this need and to challenge the accepted thinking of how organisations should innovate and be successful.

Working initially with start-ups emerging from universities, Brian built his commercialisation credibility raising multimillion-dollar seed rounds and negotiating licensing and joint venture deals with some of the world's largest multinationals. The company now establishes innovation systems for major Australian enterprises.

Brian says that Impact Innovation has become the go-to group for SMEs, corporates, multinationals, government agencies, profit-for-purpose organisations and start-ups wanting to transform their operations and their industries.

Australian-based with global reach, Impact Innovation enables organisations to design and implement effective innovation systems that drive differentiation, competitiveness and growth.
Brian Ruddle, Managing Director

Karlee Adams Foundation

Telstra Queensland Charity Award Finalist

Over the course of four and a half years, Karlee Adams underwent four major operations to remove malignant tumours in her neck, hip, leg and shoulder, while enduring years of chemotherapy and radiation treatments.

Unfortunately, after an extremely courageous fight, Karlee lost her battle with melanoma skin cancer at the age of 28. Her legacy lives on through the Karlee Adams Foundation.

A charity committed to building public awareness about the benefits of early detection and prevention measures, the Karlee Adams Foundation runs an education program designed to change Australia's sun exposure habits and reduce cases of skin cancers nationwide.

We know first-hand the damage that skin cancers can do to individuals and their families, so we work closely with high-risk groups to educate the Australian population on safer sun behaviours.
Ashley Dionysius, General Manager

King of the Wings on Wheels

Telstra Queensland New Business Award Finalist

Growing up across Australia, America and Canada, Dylan and Katrina Pires have been cooking up succulent chicken wings ever since they can remember. When the food truck industry kicked off in Brisbane, the couple decided to ditch their day jobs to launch a mobile wings restaurant - a big decision when you have four kids.

In just under three years since launching, King of the Wings on Wheels cooks up six different flavours of American-style chicken wings from two trucks operating across Brisbane and the Gold Coast.

They recently held a pop-up restaurant in Sydney, serving more than 5,000 customers in 6 days, and frying up a staggering two tonnes of wings.

Dedicated to fuelling the growth of the mobile food industry, the couple shares their experiences and knowledge with new food truck operators, and manages Brisbane's first Food Truck Collective, an alliance of 15 food trucks.

We're getting people outdoors and enjoying nature while experiencing restaurant-quality food. We love seeing families setting up picnics in the park and socialising in the beautiful Queensland weather instead of sitting in an air-conditioned establishment.
Dylan Pires, Owner


Telstra Queensland New Business Award Finalist

For years, Rob Rand harboured a quiet hatred of poorly made undies and travelling three hours to the nearest shops to buy a new pair. Figuring that other Aussie blokes might also be wanting to get the mundane out of buying new undies, in 2014, he set up a subscription underwear club and called it KNOBBY.

His inkling must have been right, because KNOBBY now delivers underwear to tens of thousands of members worldwide every month - for just $20. Uninspired by the underwear in shops, Rob still designs and collaborates with global artists to create a new custom design each month, ensuring his customers are always the flamingo in a flock full of pigeons.

After huge interest from women wanting their own custom designs, he expanded the business with a female range in late 2016.

My goal was to create a long-lasting product that was fun, cheeky and put a stop to blokes walking around in underwear that has more holes in it than a golf course.
Rob Rand, Founder

MouldMen Pty Ltd

Telstra Queensland Micro Business Award Finalist

As a volunteer in the Mud Army helping with the clean-up in the aftermath of the 2011 Brisbane floods, Gerard Murtagh became acutely aware of the threat of post-flooding mould.

After research revealed the majority of mould removal options in the Brisbane area to be expensive, time-consuming, overly invasive, or a combination of all three, Gerard was inspired to come up with an easier, more affordable solution.

Enter MouldMen - a company disrupting the industry by guaranteeing they will investigate the cause, remediate the mould and provide a mould prevention plan all within 48 hours of the initial enquiry being made.

We offer an affordable solution to resolving mould issues with minimal disruption to lives and workplaces, creating healthier living and working environments for our clients.
Gerard Murtagh, Managing Director

Mountain Bikes Direct

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

In the face of increasing competitive pressure from international online retailers, bike store owners, Michael Geale and Tim McCullough decided to transition their retail business to a pure-play e-commerce operation, called Mountain Bikes Direct.

Making it possible for riders to buy from an Australian retailer at a globally competitive price, Mountain Bikes Direct is dedicated to countering the issues customers often face when purchasing from an overseas retailer, by stocking carefully curated products backed by local warranty support and offering next day delivery for much of Australia.

In the traditionally-male mountain biking industry, the business sets itself apart by also having two female co-owners, Jen Geale and Mel McCullough, and a strong female customer base and social following.

Mountain Bikes Direct is our response to the shift in consumer buying habits - low overheads, great partnerships with our suppliers, streamlined systems and a focus on addressing customers' needs by being online only.
Jen Geale, Co-Founder


Telstra Australian Medium Business Award Finalist
Telstra Queensland Medium Business Award Finalist

Frustrated by the service he received as a competitive clay target shooter and hunter, Bill Nioa began exploring the possibility of establishing his own ammunition distribution business, founded on providing exceptional levels of customer support.

Starting out as just a dedicated corner of the service station he owned, the NIOA firearms outfit has now grown into the country's largest, privately owned supplier of arms, ammunition and associated accessories.

The business supplies customers across the military, law enforcement and sporting sectors, offering a wide range of high quality products from international suppliers, as well as responsive support in the way of spare parts, repairs and technical advice.

NIOA is able to adapt more quickly, assemble more attractive and innovative solutions, offer more intrinsic value and provide higher levels of support than our competitors in the field of arms and ammunition.
Robert Nioa, Managing Director

Off the Track Training

Telstra Queensland New Business Award Finalist

As a new mum living 100km from town, Joy McClymont struggled to stay motivated towards her fitness goals. Online fitness trainers didn't provide the personal approach she needed, and she found that exercise simply wasn't encouraged in the rural community.

Determined to create a new norm in remote, rural and regional areas, Joy established Off The Track Training to inspire healthy fitness and nutritional habits, regardless of location or lifestyle. Not only does it offer the support of an interactive fitness community, her program doesn't require special equipment or internet access to take part.

Members across Australia and New Zealand can dial in and sweat it out in an exercise session led by a qualified trainer over the phone. With extra resources, such as workout recordings, provided on an MP3 player, Joy says, now there's no excuse!

One of the most common barriers to health is motivation, so we focus on delivering experiences, support and resources that keep people excited, interested and engaged - wherever they are.
Joy McClymont, Founder

PD Training

Telstra Queensland Medium Business Award Finalist

PD Training empowers enterprises across Australia, New Zealand, America, the United Kingdom, Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia and the Philippines to reach their business goals by enhancing their teams' professional skills and overall wellness.

The company offers a combination of instructor-led training, micro-learning, eLearning, personality profiling and team development workshops across more than 200 topics.

Alongside, is a dedicated wellness programme, ORANGES, which provides people with the tools to be more productive, positive and stable in all areas of their lives.

The professional development training industry is notorious for not being able to measure and report on training outcomes, so PD Training aims to show clients how real knowledge transfer delivers demonstrable return on investment.

Real knowledge transfer is difficult to monitor and measure, so by using our pre and post-course systems, we enable clients to accurately report how personal development is helping to achieve business objectives.
Curtis Chappell, Director of Marketing


Telstra Queensland Micro Business Award Finalist

Propertyology specialises in helping everyday Australians invest in residential real estate.

Built on the belief that property investing requires completely different skills to buying a family home, the business has formed a team of specialists to research, select and negotiate the right property purchase for aspiring investors.

With a national focus on property markets, Propertyology is out to prove that you don't need to live or work in a particular city to enjoy a successful property investment.

Founder, Simon Pressley, says his team studies fundamentals of property markets of the entire country, drawing on that research to identify one from 9.7 million properties nationally for a client's needs.

We have a vision to revolutionise the way people invest in Australian real estate. We follow a structured analysis process that aims to remove emotion from the investor's buying decisions and helps them focus on the financial potential.
Simon Pressley, Managing Director

New Beginnings

Telstra Queensland Charity Award Finalist

Ben Brauer believes passionately that every person who has suffered disadvantage deserves a chance at a new beginning. After tragic events affecting young friends and family members, Ben decided that action was needed to bring positive change to the lives of Australia's most vulnerable and disadvantaged young people.

In 1999, he established New Beginnings, a charity dedicated to boosting self-esteem and instilling sound community values in disadvantaged and at-risk young people. The charity does this through camps, which are designed to provide skills in a quiet and natural environment, and in-school anti-bullying programs.

In its own small way, Ben says the charity is contributing to much-needed change in the prevailing attitudes of today's young people.

We have created wonderful turnarounds in young people's lives. A shy young lad who was being bullied recently told us he not only learnt how to cope with the bullies from what he learned at camp, but went on to do community work, walked the Kokoda Track and graduated as a paramedic. Many similar examples of positive program outcomes have been fed back to us over the years.
Ben Brauer, President


Telstra Queensland Charity Award Finalist

When Rochelle Courtenay heard about the plight of homeless women who couldn't afford sanitary items, she decided there and then to make a difference. But what she expected to be a small collection in her local area resulted in over 450 packets of pads and tampons for distribution to women.

The cause quickly gained momentum nationwide and, two years on, Share the Dignity has collected and distributed over 650,000 packets of sanitary items and 135,000 handbags filled with essential items for women.

Today, Share the Dignity and its army of 1,000 volunteers run a number of initiatives with the goal to restore dignity to homeless and at-risk women and girls, in particular those fleeing domestic violence. Rochelle says their biggest achievement to date is the design and rollout of Australia's first Dignity Vending Machine, providing free sanitary items to homeless and at-risk women.

Many women who share their story with us speak of having to choose between feeding their children and buying pads and tampons each month.
Rochelle Courtenay, Founder


Telstra Queensland Medium Business Award Finalist

SignManager was founded by a trio of friends working in the signage manufacturing business, who spotted an opportunity to use their knowledge to support large corporations in improving the way they manage their brand.

Working on major rebrands, roll-outs and maintenance, SignManager's services include planning and consultation, design, risk management, engineering, manufacture and installation, tendering and procurement, life-cycle management, and reporting and metrics.

With a team with decades of branding implementation programs, SignManager aims to take the complexity out of jobs, no matter the scale.

It's great to think that we can provide the brand management expertise, knowledge and systems to corporations with thousands of in-house resources but who still see value in our service.
Daniel McHugh, Director

Studio Culture

Telstra Queensland Small Business Award Finalist

Studio Culture started in 2013 with a vision that businesses deserved better in the way of digital marketing. Partners, Joe Fox, Fil Cristaldi and David Bobis, believe in providing a service centered on specialist knowledge and a commitment to producing exceptional and ethical work that would generate authentic results well into the future.

And so, armed with a team of bright minds and specialist skill-sets, the three set about developing creative digital solutions that would deliver real value for businesses and their customers.

Counting website design and development, app design, search engine optimisation, social media marketing and pay-per-click advertising amongst their core expertise, Studio Culture has supported businesses of all sectors and sizes in achieving their online goals.

We believed our skillset, business experience and passion for creating great digital work could positively impact on all kinds of businesses, brands and dreams - and they did.
Joe Fox, Business Development Director

Suited to Success

Telstra Queensland Charity Award Finalist

Through its range of high quality programmes and services, Suited to Success empowers disadvantaged individuals to overcome barriers to employment.

Firmly believing that looking good on the outside instils a sense of self-confidence that helps people thrive in professional situations, Suited to Success supplies clients with a capsule wardrobe containing a week's worth of corporate wear for interview and work. Training programmes are designed to boost self-esteem and basic employability skills, focusing on areas including job search, interview preparation and the work place.

We believe supporting our clients in terms of personal development and presentation is key to helping them thrive both in and out of the workplace.
Dr Geraldine Elliott, President


Telstra Queensland Medium Business Award Finalist

Tanda is an all-in-one software solution to manage workforce administration by streamlining rostering, time and attendance, leave management and payroll integration.

The founders attest although it is a technologically impressive piece of kit, the software's true value lies not in what it can do, but in what it enables its users to do. Alleviating the administrative burden associated with managing staff, Tanda provides an effective way for business owners to increase their team's productivity and profitability.

This ultimately allows owners the freedom to be future-focused on growing their business and enable them to reach their goals.

For many businesses, managing staff is an arduous and time consuming task that distracts them from reaching their own business goals. Tanda works to alleviate those everyday hassles.
Bridget Mahon, Marketing Communications Officer


Telstra Australian Charity Award Finalist
Telstra Queensland Charity Award Finalist

Youngcare is fighting for freedom of choice for young people with high care needs and their loved ones. Right now, there are simply too many young people in Australia being left behind, living in inappropriate and unacceptable housing.

These young people deserve the freedom to choose where they live, who they live with and how they live their lives. Together with the support of the community and corporates, Youngcare is boldly tackling this national issue to bring much-needed change to the disability housing sector.

Through developing premium, age-appropriate housing solutions, access to grants and running a national support line, since launching in 2005, Youngcare has enabled 689 young people with high care needs to exit or avoid admission into inappropriate housing.

Our vision is a future where all young people, regardless of their care needs, have the freedom to choose where they live, who they live with and how they live their lives.
Anthony Ryan, CEO

ABS Façade

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

For ABS Façade, it's what's on the outside that counts.

Handling the design, engineering, fabrication, assembly and erection of custom facade systems, ABS Façade provides complete design-build solutions for the construction marketplace. 

The business, founded by Nick Mynott and Jack Vanderglas, is led by a team of experienced carpenters, engineers and architects, who are bucking the trends across the commercial building industry with their use of innovative modern materials.

With the likes of aluminium and glass facade, ABS creates bespoke aesthetics that deliver in terms of both style and safety, across all projects Australia-wide including the Perth Stadium.

Within our business we strive to solve our clients issues by introducing a product that is made from durable, reliable, quality material.
Jack Vanderglas, Logistics Coordinator

The Academy of Interactive Entertainment Ltd

Telstra Australian Capital Territory Medium Business Award Finalist

Today's digital industries are booming, but back in 1996, when the owners of computer game development studio, Micro Forte, were looking to grow their business, an industry shortage of 3D animators and artists put the brakes on their expansion plans. 

In a bid to plug the widening skills gap, the studio partnered with the Canberra Institute of Technology (CIT) to create the very first Academy of Interactive Entertainment (AIE) course. 

Collaborative, career-focused and led by industry veterans, AIE courses are producing the next generation of digital creatives, from campuses across Canberra, Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide, with alumni holding senior positions in studios around the world. 

An incubator program, which houses graduates, provides business support to innovative technology start-ups. The AIE has invested $5.4 million in these projects since 2012, and helped create 73 small businesses.

Created by industry for industry, AIE nurtures talent through intense, specialised learning designed to grow the creative digital sector.
David De Margheriti, Business Development Manager/Director

Barton Private Hospital

Telstra Australian Capital Territory Medium Business Award Finalist

Barton Private Hospital offers a new model of care for Canberra and its surrounds. Previously known as Capital Day Surgical Centre, Barton Private Hospital opened in 2008 with the vision to provide patients with a unique experience away from the traditional hospital environment. 

The hospital ward of ten beds is located in the five-star Realm Hotel, affectionately known as the 'MediHotel'. Patients are cared for by Registered nurses in a relaxing environment, with an a-la-carte menu prepared by professional chefs. Understanding that companionship can help with recovery, Barton Private Hospital allows a family member or friend stay with the patient at no extra cost. 

CEO, Jessy McGowan, says the team is proud of their achievements so far, and believes that having a clear vision and unique proposition will continue to grow the business.

This is a totally new concept in Australia and has proven to be highly valued by patients and surgeons, as pain relief needs and stress experienced by patients is enormously reduced.
Jessy McGowan, CEO

Black Fire Restaurant

Telstra Australian Capital Territory New Business Award Finalist

Having never had the chance to live out his dream of opening his own restaurant in his home country of Italy, Paolo Milanesi jumped at the chance to infuse some Mediterranean flavour into his new home in Canberra.

Backed by 30 years of hospitality experience, Paolo opened the doors to Black Fire Restaurant in 2014. 

A venue championing organic, sustainable and local produce, the restaurant garnered its name from its large open woodfire pit - the focal point of the space, where suckling lambs and pigs are roasted to bring a dramatic flair to patrons' dining experience.

Black Fire has clearly tickled the capital city's tastebuds, having out-performed 500 venues to win the 2016 Savour Best European Restaurant in Australia Award.

Through Black Fire Restaurant we aim to support local farmers and agribusinesses, bringing our customers an experience that goes beyond just a great meal.
Paolo Milanesi, Director

Capital Chemist Wanniassa

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

Capital Chemist Wanniassa has served the Canberra community since 1978 with extended-hours healthcare. 

A $300,000 renovation in 2015 transformed the chemist into a future-ready health hub with two medical-grade consultation rooms and cutting-edge pharmacy services such as sleep apnoea screening, diabetes education and anaemia screening. With Managing Partners, Elise Apolloni and Honor Penprase, at the helm, Capital Chemist Wanniassa also boasts a majority staff of pharmacists - a unique feature that allows patients better access to expert advice.

It is also now the first pharmacy in the country with accreditation as a Gold Skilled Workplace in Mental Health First Aid, and has developed a mental health support program for patients, called Pharmafriend.

We know our community loves our team, values our contribution to their healthcare, and trusts us to be their partner in health. That is the ultimate motivator for what we do.
Elise Apolloni, Managing Partner

Corporate Catering by Mr Cappuccino

Telstra Australian Capital Territory Small Business Award Finalist

According to the team behind Mr Cappuccino, the recipe for business success relies on the perfect mix of ingredients: talented staff, financial backing, and sales and marketing expertise that, when blended together, creates one of Canberra's most trusted names for corporate catering.

Alongside preparing and personally delivering an extensive menu to their corporate and government clients in Canberra, Mr Cappuccino has also worked closely with the ACT Government and Nutrition Australia to create a traffic light menu that supports the ACT's drive to tackle obesity.

Corporate Catering by Mr Cappuccino is renowned for efficient event planning and administration, delicious food, quality Vittoria Coffee and remarkable service.
Nicholas Pinter, Sales and Marketing Manager

Forward IT

Telstra Australian Capital Territory Medium Business Award Finalist

Starting out 15 years ago with one client, ForwardIT has grown to be one of the largest locally owned IT service providers in the Canberra region.

Supporting around 200 local and interstate businesses, ForwardIT delivers a range of IT services and support to SME, education, not-for profit sectors. They are also a trusted supplier for Federal Government hardware and a value added reseller.

The Directors, Dom Polegubic, Stephen Seckar and Nick Kattas, recognise that much of their success comes down to reliable, pro-active IT support that is delivered locally. Customer satisfaction is key - no two businesses are the same - so designing and delivering innovative IT solutions that fit their individual needs now and into the future is critical.

Our clients are at the centre of everything we do. The solutions we develop are all about helping our clients succeed and we back this up with personal and local support.
Dom Polegubic, Director


Telstra Australian Capital Territory New Business Award Finalist

With the rapid evolution of technology and increasing demand for faster deployment of IT systems, quality control has become a critical element of modern IT projects.  

Nathan Bligh and Scott Cleburne recognised a strong market need for experienced IT testing professionals. Spurred on by this need and the desire to make testing a respected discipline, the duo jumpstarted their own professional IT testing services firm, Informatech.

The business has rapidly built a reputation as a go-to business in the testing of niche areas, such as enterprise data centres, virtual desktop solutions and disaster recovery, helping organisations reduce the risks associated with the delivery of IT systems. 

We often hear of the spectacular failures of IT systems, such as organisations being hacked and data breached. Our mission is to solve these problems before they happen. We provide experts in the IT testing discipline to identify and eliminate organisations IT systems shortcomings.
Nathan Bligh, Director

Ki Acupuncture Pty Ltd

Telstra Australian Capital Territory New Business Award Finalist

Ki Acupuncture is a clinic with a difference. With a team of highly trained registered practitioners, the Canberra-based clinic prides itself on providing customised treatment plans that blend traditional medical wisdom with cutting-edge medical research.

Clients range from professional athletes wanting faster recovery time to hayfever sufferers and people with chronic pain seeking a better quality of life. Ki Acupuncture focuses on providing dramatic and sustainable improvements to all patients' health through what Dr Kal Ientile calls a 'slower paced approach to health care'.  

Ki Acupuncture is also working towards raising community awareness of the benefits of acupuncture, which it does through education of employees, sporting club members and community organisations. 

With acupuncture, we offer a fast and effective way to achieve dramatic and sustainable improvements in our patients health. Because we help trigger the bodies built in healing mechanisms, we can help solve health issues that other branches of medicine are unable to resolve.
Kal Ientile, Director and Registered Acupuncturist


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

Anaesthetist, Dr David Reiner, recognised that patients in hospital waiting to undergo surgery were 'hangry', which means being both hungry and angry at the same time. 

Patients were arriving to the operating theatre with headaches, nausea, lethargy, anxiety and they were thirsty. In collaboration with his wife Anna who is a food technologist they set out to find a solution.

The solution found was Dex. A calorie-dense complex carbohydrate drink that empties rapidly from the stomach. Dex is safe to drink before surgery and minimises all the issues that are associated with starving. Dex is the only Australian made pre-operative carbohydrate drink.

Dex improves the entire hospital experience for patients. Patients are comfortable during the hours preceding surgery, veins are more easily accessed avoiding repeated needles, recovery is improved as Dex puts the patient's metabolism into an anabolic state, which helps the body heal after the trauma of surgery.

We have successfully produced a liquid meal that can safely be consumed before surgery. We provide patients with the opportunity to be comfortable before surgery. We are proud that the Australian Society of Anaesthesia now supports Dex.
Dr David Reiner, Director

Mint Content

Telstra Australian Capital Territory New Business Award Finalist

As a former business and technology journalist and software marketer, Amy Birchall knew that writers who could strike the balance between informative and interesting for tech-related content were few and far between.

So, she decided to create Mint Content, a specialist content agency for IT and technology companies, and brought on board a team of writers, strategists, editors and designers with the talent to turn complex concepts, like cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, cloud and robotics, into winning content. 

Enabling niche companies to keep their collateral current and maintain a competitive edge, Mint Content delivers brand-making results that don't break the bank.

Were committed to making content development as straightforward as possible for clients working in highly specialised and technical fields.
Amy Birchall, Founder

Rork Projects Pty Ltd

Telstra Australian Capital Territory Medium Business Award Finalist

Armed with a calculator and his grandfather's desk, Brian O'Rourke started his business with a 'dare to dream' attitude. Over the past two decades, Rork Projects has expanded to become a nationally-accredited, interior fit-out and refurbishment specialist with offices in Brisbane, Canberra, Sydney and Melbourne. 

People are at the heart of the business; as creative problem solvers, Rork Projects is constantly seeking to deliver spaces that bring out the best in people. 

The same applies to Rork Project's own team, too. Fueled by the motto 'All in Together', staff are encouraged to contribute ideas and solutions to all aspects of a project. Staff are empowered to bring the best of their abilities, skills and diversity to each project.  Managing Director, Brian O'Rourke, believes this approach brings out the best in everyone and delivers high quality, creative outcomes.

For 20 years, weve been delivering amazing environments for people to work, dine and create in, for both corporate and government organisations.
Brian ORourke, Managing Director

Tailored Accounts

Telstra Australian Capital Territory Small Business Award Finalist

A start-up by a team of young international graduates, Tailored Accounts is putting university knowledge into practice to deliver improved accounting solutions.

The business specialises in providing hands-on, timely and innovative solutions in bookkeeping and accounting services for Australian small and medium businesses. Adopting the role of the accounts department for their clients, the team undertakes regular account health checks to provide relevant financial advice and effectively manage their clients' expenses and cash flow.

Tailored Accounts aims to become a data mining centre that provides essential business intelligence to support the strategic decision making of their clients.

We enable our clients to make informed decisions that result in the improved financial health of their business.
Harry Hoang, Executive Director

Wholistic Financial Solutions

Telstra Australian Capital Territory Small Business Award Finalist

From the very start of her career Catherine Smith had a vision of using her knowledge to help people build better lives for themselves, a task which unfortunately was not in the scope of her role as a tax auditor and fraud investigator at the ATO.

Intent on providing the Australian population with rounded and objective financial advice, tailored to their own individual circumstance, Catherine set up multi-disciplinary firm, Wholistic Financial Solutions in 2010.

A team of professionals qualified to advise clients across a broad spectrum of financial fields, the business works in the best interests of its clients to successfully guide them to financial freedom.

We believe in partnering with clients to advise, educate and guide them to make the right financial choices. We always put people before profit.
Catherine Smith, Director


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

BIG hART was established 25 years ago, in what was at the time the poorest electorate in the poorest state of the country.

Set up as an innovative experiment to find new ways of dealing with disadvantage, the collective unearths cases of hidden injustice, working closely with those experiencing the issue to overcome it.

They then share their stories, evidence and method of change with the media and on social networks, so as to drive sustained generational change.This year alone BIG hART will tackle issues including slavery at sea, the incarceration of indigenous people and family violence prevention in rural areas.


Big hART works across vast geographies nationally, including remote and isolated communities. As a result, the organisation remains very light on infrastructure, so many workers rely on technology for almost every aspect of their project delivery in the field.
Scott Rankin, CEO

Ankalia Textiles

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

Not many people would commit to starting a business without ever having met their business partner. But for Kellie Rakich and Alexandra Lyons, the risk paid off.

Pooling their talents from their respective locations in Hobart and Townsville, the two mothers set up Ankalia Textiles, a company dedicated to producing Australian-made baby carriers and accessories.

As the popularity of their stylish, but practical, baby wearing products skyrocketed, Kellie and Alexandra quickly realised they would have to re-address their original business plan.

Adjusting their sights to beyond the borders of the Australian market, the business is now focused on becoming the leading Australian supplier of baby wearing products in the global market.


As parents ourselves, we understand the bond that baby-wearing products can foster between a parent and child, so we wanted to create a range that would support this experience.
Kellie Rakich, Director

House of Dance Tasmania

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

As an ambitious young dancer, Michelle Williams had to leave home to get the training she needed to perform professionally. Some years later, after a successful performing arts career, she returned to Tasmania with the mission to bring opportunities to aspiring dancers in her home state. In 2000, the enthusiastic 25-year-old opened the doors to House of Dance Tasmania. What started as a one-woman show in a local hall in Hobart quickly expanded to meet demand and changing market needs.

Today, in addition to its original dance program, House of Dance offers Elite Squad, a training program for dedicated dancers; Tasmanian Youth Classical Ballet Company for serious ballet students; and Angelina Ballerina Academy, which is currently the largest preschool program of its kind in Tasmania.


My philosophy is to encourage dancers of all skills, levels and body types and abilities, to dance. Dance is a wonderful way to express oneself, and helps develop cultural understanding and community awareness.
Michelle Williams, Creative Director/Owner

Salamanca Dental

Telstra Australian Small Business Award Finalist
Telstra Tasmanian Small Business Award Finalist

Salamanca Dental is proud to be known as the 'smile providers' to the people of Southern Tasmania and beyond. Salamanca Dental provides one-appointment smile makeovers through a range of cosmetic options, which founder Dr Marta Bauk says are virtually pain-free and affordable on most budgets.

Since starting in 2014, the practice has focused on creating a culture of continuous improvement that embraces the latest techniques, technology and training, as well as building relationships and confidence within the community. Salamanca Dental doesn't only create healthy smiles in their office; they also work with charities and organisations to help spread smiles and positivity throughout the Hobart community.



Telstra Victorian Medium Business Award Finalist

With their corporate project experience, the team behind technology consulting organisation, Araza, felt they had the skills required to help large organisations better execute emerging technologies and expand their product capabilities for better business benefits.

Specialising in cloud and digital transformation, Araza now helps some of Australia's major companies to implement innovative technologies allowing them to work more effectively and operate in a more agile manner.

The business is currently employing new robotics programs for a major institution and an enterprise-wide migration from old tech to cloud for an ASX top 10 client.

We help clients to implement new technology solutions and update existing systems in order to expand their capabilities in mobility options, as well as manage and maintain effective strategies.
Victoria Kluth, Managing Director

Ardoch Youth Foundation

Telstra Victorian Charity Award Finalist

Since 1988, Ardoch Youth Foundation has been on a mission to close the educational gap between children in disadvantaged schools and their peers in other schools.

Each year, Ardoch recruits and trains more than 1,400 community and workplace volunteers to deliver programs to enhance the engagement and learning of children in disadvantaged communities.

One of Ardoch's most celebrated achievements is its Literacy Buddies program. Established more than 18 years ago and delivered in association with corporate partners, the program matches primary school students with corporate volunteers to improve literacy and inspire their learning through the art of letter writing. Today, the program proudly supports 1,000 students each year.

Our volunteer programs support the education of children by developing skills in literacy and numeracy, providing caring adult role models, building aspiration and developing social skills in children who need additional support to learn and realise their potential.
Kylee Bates, CEO

Arlo & Co

Telstra Victorian New Business Award Finalist

On maternity leave with a 19-month-old, an eight-week-old and a craving for creativity, Gemma Holt decided to shift her crafting hobby from the kitchen table to the online marketplace.

As the virtual till began to ring, it became clear that Gemma's quality, personalised decor offered a refreshing change in an industry dominated by imported, cliche products - and so the Arlo & Co online shop was established soon after.

With a comprehensive range of unique and meaningful products, from customised cake toppers and name plaques to wall decals and bamboo wares, Arlo & Co is now one of Australia's fastest growing bespoke interior decor and gift companies.

Arlo & Co responds to the growing trends and demands for personalised decor, particularly for newlyweds and style-conscious families with children.
Gemma Holt, Owner

Australian UAV

Telstra Victorian Small Business Award Finalist

If it's a high-flying career you're after, James Rennie and Andrew Chapman are your go-to guys.

Founders of the country's first nationwide provider of professional drone data services - Australian UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) - the duo and their team provide aerial mapping, survey, inspection and aerial photography services to more than 200 commercial and government clients across Australia, Antarctica and internationally.

Capturing in an hour what traditional land surveyors can do in a day, Australian UAV is setting the bar for what can be achieved using drone technology.

In addition to providing imagery of the areas surveyed, the business can also produce accurate 3D models, and provide in-depth reports on the data for more immediate and efficient decision-making.

We provide our clients with access to safe, cutting-edge and cost-effective drone data, which digitises aspects of the physical world, for planning, analysis and a high-resolution archival record.
Andrew Chapman, Director of Operations

Crime Stoppers

Telstra Victorian Charity Award Finalist

"If you see something, say something!" That's the motto of Crime Stoppers. Established in 1987, the not-for-profit crime-fighting organisation is on a mission to make Victoria a safer and more secure place.

Working together with the community, Crime Stoppers runs community crime prevention campaigns throughout the state and helps Victoria Police reduce crime levels. Its goal is to empower Victorians to take control of crime in their community, by providing the only confidential reporting mechanism that feeds information directly to the police.

Crime Stoppers averages 222 community contacts every day, which lead to 40% of the intelligence reports for the Victoria Police. Each information report received from the community saves an estimated two investigation days of police time, so there are more Victorian Police on the streets keeping the state safe.

We're different from other charities. Victorians trust us with confidential crime information and we deliver high-quality intelligence reports to Victoria Police. What's more, our media campaigns are shown to generate immediate, high-impact results and get arrests. All this is making Victoria a safer place.
Cathy Rhodes, General Manager

DEK Technologies

Telstra Victorian Medium Business Award Finalist

DEK Technologies develops hi-tech cutting-edge software and hardware solutions across a diverse range of technology sectors.

Today, DEK Technologies has a 400-strong team providing some of the world's largest technology companies with end-to-end product development, support and maintenance services. With offices in Australia, USA, Sweden, Vietnam and Italy, DEK's engineers work on products that handle over 40% of the world's daily mobile and internet traffic.

In 2013, the company established the DEK Foundation after witnessing the struggles of poor and disadvantaged communities. With a focus on children, the DEK Foundation has funded numerous missions, including open-heart operations, cancer treatments and surgeries for critically ill children. Their aim is to provide long-term quality of life improvements.

Our people are our strength! We provide some of the world's largest technology companies with a competitive advantage in the delivery of advanced hi-tech product development.
Drini Mulla, CEO


Telstra Victorian Small Business Award Finalist

Digital360 is a digital and technology business that delivers end-to-end solutions for small and medium businesses (SMBs) looking for market share growth.

Co-founder Adam Laurie's motivation from the outset has been to demonstrate that the right application of data and technology can build a significant commercial advantage in almost any field, whether it's a new industry or a traditional one.

The Digital360 solution offers full-service digital expertise, including marketing, web development, data analysis and advisory services, and the delivery of Digital360's technology platform, EngineRoom, that supports SMB's digital transformation requirements.

By working closely with our clients and continuing to invest in future technology solutions, we believe we can empower small and medium businesses to unlock the potential of digital technology for business success.
Adam Laurie, Managing Director

Doxa Youth Foundation

Telstra Victorian Charity Award Finalist

In 1972, Doxa Youth Foundation was formed on the single principle that all children, regardless of their backgrounds, deserved to have positive experiences outside the confines of their socioeconomic standing. This principle of access and equality continues today.

Working with individuals aged eight to 22, Doxa provides a range of programs designed to give young people from challenging backgrounds access to positive life experiences, education opportunities and employment pathways.

From outdoor education camps to its dedicated flexible learning School, the Foundation supports disadvantaged young people to achieve personal greatness.

Through our programs, we share the knowledge, skills and experiences required to empower disadvantaged young people to realise their potential.
Dr Stephen Silk, CEO

Dr Paws

Telstra Victorian Medium Business Award Finalist

Veterinarian Adam Russell, had heard stories time and time again about practice vets who had been promised a practice partnership, only for it to never materialise.

Looking to remedy this common frustration within the vet community, he established and began to build the Dr Paws, a network of joint-venture veterinary clinics. The model sees each clinic run as a partnership between an ambitious and skilled veterinarian, and a business management organisation, which is headed by Adam, called Veterinary Practice Partners (VPP). The vet partner driving the clinical side of operations and VPP providing business support services.

The VPP business services include alleviating some of the administrative pressures associated with running a successful clinic, as well as providing access to state-of-the-art facilities and enabling professional development of partner and clinic staff. The overall aim being to provide vets with the opportunity to enter the marketplace with their own venture and enjoy complete clinical freedom.

The two worlds of practice management and veterinary medicine require completely different skill sets, so we offer business management support services that allows the veterinarian partner to focus on pet care.
Adam Russell, Director


Telstra Australian Medium Business Award Finalist
Telstra Victorian Medium Business Award Finalist

Husband-wife team Adam Koniaras and Marnie Goding always knew they wanted to work together. Combining their technical and marketing skills with a shared love for design, they launched ELK in 2004.

The independent fashion label creates a diverse collection encompassing apparel and accessories. Operating with two Melbourne retail stores, a highly successful, global e-commerce store and a network of 1200-plus independent retailers worldwide.

Marnie says their motivation from day one has been to create opportunities and a positive impact on all that work with, for and around the business. They pride themselves on offering fashion that is "designed locally, handmade globally". They're committed to working with small, ethical manufacturers whose traditional skills and techniques guarantee authentic, high quality products.

In an environment where so much fashion is seen as disposable and at the whim of fleeting trends, ELK offers a head-to-toe wardrobe solution that can be worn across seasons.
Marnie Goding, Co-Founder & Creative Director

Engage & Grow

Telstra Victorian Micro Business Award Finalist

Business coach and former athlete, Richard Maloney, believes the answer to business success lies in employee engagement.

Where traditional leadership and engagement programs rely on training and workshops, Richard has created an all-inclusive group activation system, which is neurologically designed and proven to motivate individuals and teams.

While it took time for businesses to warm up to this unconventional method, four years on, the global success of Engage & Grow speaks for itself. Represented now in 74 countries, with over 130 business coaches worldwide using the flagship program with their clients. Meanwhile, in Australia, the business has successfully unleashed engagement to bring 32 sporting teams to premierships, as well as dramatically improving bottom-line profitability in business.

Engage & Grow helps businesses create fully engaged employees in a matter of weeks by neurologically activating and motivating the minds of individuals.
Richard Maloney, CEO


Telstra Victorian Micro Business Award Finalist

Ettitude is an online retailer of eco-friendly bedding essentials.

Drawing on her entrepreneurial instincts, an interest in sustainability, and environmental awareness, Phoebe Yu created Ettitude with the vision of offering luxury and ethical bedding essentials at an accessible price directly to consumers.

Constantly researching new sustainable materials, Ettitude was the first in the world to use 100% Organic Bamboo Lyocell bedding fabric. In 2016, Phoebe also ran a crowdfunding campaign to support the launch of another world first: the odour and bacteria-controlling Bamboo Charcoal Lyocell bedding. The campaigns raised almost USD$170,000 and skyrocketed Ettitude's international customer base.

We have revolutionised luxury bedding fabric with our world-first 100% Organic Bamboo Lyocell fabric. Customers who've slept with Ettitude sheets keep returning to us for more, because, as they say, 'Once you go bamboo, you can't go back to cotton'.
Phoebe Yu, Founder and CEO

FG Advisory

Telstra Victorian New Business Award Finalist

Leaving the comfort of promising careers and secure, high-paid jobs in a multinational corporation, the founders of FG Advisory risked everything to build a sustainability company in a highly competitive marketplace.

Specialising in clean power and sustainability, building performance and optimisation, asset strategy and planning, and risk management and facility audits, FG Advisory creates compelling business cases for investment in sustainability.

Despite facing the usual challenges that surround start-up life, the decision to establish FG Advisory paid off and, in under three years, the company has built strong relationships with a portfolio of Australia's most iconic institutions.

Through our innovative engineering practices, holistic design process and ambition to create a better future, we will become the leader in sustainability and emissions reduction across Australia.
Randy Gadient, Managing Director


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

Hivint founders Craig Searle and Nick Ellsmore believe "community-driven security" is the future of cybersecurity management.

Focused on fundamentally changing the way cybersecurity professional services are provided and consumed in the Australian market, the duo developed SecurityColony.com, an Australian-first collaboration platform that allows subscribers to access solutions to cyber security issues faced and resolved by organisations across the country. Creating a multiplier-effect, the tool enables Hivint to support a broader pool of businesses in protecting their assets against threats.

Currently counting 1,000 subscribers, with membership growing at 50% quarter-on-quarter, Hivint has been identified as the fastest growing cyber-security consulting business in Australia in Deloitte's Fast 50.

We're all at risk of coming under cyberattack, and we need to work together to improve our collective security. Hivint enables cybersecurity collaboration to share resources and solutions, rather than just locking them away.
Nick Ellsmore, Chief Apiarist

Hunting for George

Telstra Victorian Small Business Award Finalist

Founded by sisters, Lucy Glade-Wright and Jo Harris, Hunting for George is an online destination that makes your home awesome.

The sisters started the company in 2010 after spotting a gap for inspiring and affordable homeware products that appeal to both men and women. The decision to design their own unisex range of homeware products was a defining moment, propelling the business to success as a multi-million dollar company in 2017.

The business puts strong focus on its community, and encourages honest communication, collaboration and outstanding service with consumers, suppliers and employees alike. Thanks to this, Hunting for George now boasts an engaged and devoted following of more than 300,000 people in Australia and the world.

Hunting for George is an aspirational brand that brings unique products and personality to the Australian homewares industry. We are passionate about inspiring both men and women to take pride in their homes.
Lucy Glade-Wright, Director

iBuild Building Solutions

Telstra Victorian New Business Award Finalist

When Jackson Yin and Michael Zeng immigrated to Australia from China in the late 1990s, affordable accommodation was almost impossible to find. The pair quickly concluded that building a house in Australia is among the most expensive and time-consuming places in the world to do so.

A research and development journey to find fast and cost-effective accommodation solutions culminated with the creation of iBuild, a startup specialising in the design and supply of kit homes and prefabricated buildings.

Stylish, smart and flexible, iBuild's products are designed to sustain outstanding living and working conditions in almost any location.

iBuild looks to address customers' primary pain points around housing affordability in Australia by providing prefabricated green buildings that are stronger, smarter, faster and cheaper.
Jackson Yin, Director

Kester Black

Telstra Victorian New Business Award Finalist

Growing up in rural New Zealand, Anna Ross felt a profound connection with the environment, but struggled to find cosmetic products that aligned with her values of ethical manufacturing.

So she set about instilling those values into her own venture - Kester Black, an Australian beauty brand that looks to redefine the industry standard for cosmetics.

Using small batch manufacturing to reduce waste; 100 per cent green electricity, and a combination of recycled and recyclable materials, Kester Black produces beautiful, ethical, high quality products, with a positive social and environmental impact. It was the first cosmetics company in the world to attain the prestigious B Corporation certification.

An industry leader in innovation, the company is behind the world's first water-based nail polish remover and a breathable, halal nail polish line designed for Muslim women.

We believe consumers should have a greater choice of beautiful products that also align with their lifestyle and values, so we offer a manicure and skincare range for people who value ethics and sustainability as well as beautiful design.
Anna Ross, Director

Maree Pigdon Sewing Centre

Telstra Victorian Micro Business Award Finalist

Having started sewing aged six, and making her first made-to-measure evening gown at 14 and her first bridal gown by 17, Maree Pigdon, likes to think she was born with a needle and thread in hand.

Wanting to share her passion with like-minded creatives and show others how to sew professionally, Maree began teaching classes in dressmaking, fashion design and step-by-step garment construction, online and at her eponymous sewing centre.

With students aged eight to 85, classes cover all ability levels, from complete beginners to upcoming fashion designers, and strive to challenge the notion of sewing as a dying art.

The Maree Pigdon Sewing Centre and online sewing courses aim to foster a love of creative design and show people how to make beautiful clothes like a professional.
Maree Pigdon, Owner

Melbourne City Institute

Telstra Victorian Medium Business Award Finalist

Melbourne City Institute of Education (MCIE) is a vibrant and innovative training organisation which helps local and international students fulfil their career goals.

Through on-campus and workplace training, MCIE enables students to acquire new skills, build their self-esteem, and ultimately increase their contribution to the Australian economy. All MCIE courses are developed in consultation with relevant businesses and industry stakeholders to bridge the gap between training and employers' needs.

Students come from all walks of life, from 50-year-old retrenched employees pursuing a new career or 20-somethings just starting their journey; MCIE supports all students' in achieving career success.

We offer industry-relevant training, delivered in innovative and technology-centric learning environments to ensure future students go on to meet their employers ever-evolving business needs.
Gary Coonar, Managing Director

Muscular Dystrophy Australia

Telstra Victorian Charity Award Finalist

One in 625 men, women and children in Australia live with Muscular Dystrophy (MD). The Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) provides support and advice for these families, from the moment of diagnosis throughout their journey with MD.

Founded by Boris M Struk after his son was diagnosed with the muscle destroying disorder, MDA has raised over $43 million in funding for the condition, as well as providing research and quality-of-life programs. The charity is one of the biggest donors to the Murdoch Children's Research Institute, where the National Muscular Dystrophy Research Centre is located, and the charity sponsors a dedicated team of scientists who are working towards treatments and, ultimately, a cure for MD.

In 2015, MDA celebrated its 100th camp in its CampMDA program, which has been running since 1989 and has provided more than 14,000 hours of care and support per annum for people with MD, while giving their carers much needed respite.

Muscular Dystrophy Association adopts the philosophy that if you are a member of the Muscular Dystrophy community, you should be able to receive information and support within a caring environment, regardless of where you live and what type of dystrophy you have.
Boris M Struk, Executive Director

Rad Bookkeeping & Business Solutions

Telstra Victorian Micro Business Award Finalist

Seventeen years ago, when the Australian Tax Office changed its submission process from manual to online, it presented Debbie Demooy with the perfect opportunity to start her own business.

With a decade of accounting experience behind her, Debbie felt there was a shortage of accurate and timely bookkeepers, making the decision to establish Rad Bookkeeping & Business Solutions in order to address the skills gap.

A boutique bookkeeping practice, the Rad team keeps clients abreast of their financial developments to provide valuable insights into business growth, as well as helping to identify areas for improvement and potential new opportunities.

We provide clients with professional service and a tailored approach that gives businesses an accurate overview of their hard-earned gains.
Debbie Demooy, Business Owner

Showkidz Management

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

As a young performer from a minority background, Terri Svoronos was frustrated at being typecast in roles because of her Greek heritage, not necessarily selected for her talent. With the goal to break down barriers of the entertainment casting culture, Terri successfully started and ran numerous entertainment companies culminating in Showkidz, a talent agency that supplies diverse children's talent to industry.

Showkidz goes against the grain by providing opportunities, education and development for talent from all backgrounds to participate in TV, film, fashion, theatre and musicals. With an enormous emphasis on the development of young talent, the agency also provides skills workshops and audition preparation sessions, as well as chaperone services for kids on set.

Showkidz is the preferred supplier of child talent for a number of local and US-based companies when filming in Australia - a testament to their professionalism and success.

We are a talent agency with a clear message for the industry: diversity is key. Working with national and international casting agents, we aim to ensure the right child is skilled and orientated to work as a professional within the industry.
Terri Svoronos, Owner and Director


Telstra Australian Charity Award Finalist
Telstra Victorian Charity Award Finalist

In 2015, while forging a successful career in the corporate world, a chance encounter with a homeless man changed Simon Rowe's life. Using his 20-plus years of business experience, Simon set about developing a simple solution with a mission: to bring safe overnight accommodation to people sleeping rough in Australia.

Founded in 2016, sleepbus is the world's first charity converting old buses into temporary overnight accommodation for homeless people. It took just eight weeks of crowdfunding on GoFundMe to raise the $100,000 needed to begin building the very first sleepbus, which features 22 sleep pods, two toilets, personal lockers, pet pods for companion animals, overnight security person and monitored security system.

With the first sleepbus completed, the charity's goal is to build 319 buses, which would provide more than two million safe sleeps per year for an operational cost of only $20 per sleep.

Our goal is to prevent people falling deeper into a cycle of homelessness by providing a safe place to sleep until they can get back on their feet.
Simon Rowe, Founder and CEO

Textured Concept Foods

Telstra Victorian Small Business Award Finalist

Largely due to swallowing difficulties - or dysphagia - related to age, injury or disability, many people need texture-modified meals. Textured Concept Foods (TCF) started out of a passion to restore dignity to those who need this special diet.

TCF produce pureed items which resemble the actual foods that they are, in contrast to the bowls of mush that are typical for those on texture-modified diets. This remoulding of food means people with dysphagia can enjoy attractive recognisable meals that prompt memories and stimulate appetite; returning dignity to dinnertime. TCF's carefully crafted recipes also use all-natural ingredients to ensure every meal is highly nutritious and tastes as good as it looks.

Managing Director, Darren Benfell, says their proudest moments are every time they hear from customers who have been able to enjoy their meals for the first time in years and are now putting on much-needed weight.

Textured Concept Foods offer a wide variety of texture-modified foods that look good, taste good, are nutritious and easy to prepare. Never before have the meal options for those suffering dysphagia been so appealing.
Darren Benfell, Managing Director

The Mission to Seafarers Victoria

Telstra Victorian Charity Award Finalist

Fatigue-related mental health issues, feelings of isolation, and reports of bullying and intimidation are rife amongst some sections of the shipping industry, making the extensive periods of time seafarers spend away from home all the more arduous.

The Mission to Seafarers Victoria (MtSV) was set up in response to this plight 160 years ago by Reverend Ebenezer James and is now one of Australia's oldest charitable institutions.

With 60,000 seafarers visiting Melbourne annually, MtSV ensures every individual has a friendly welcome, a point of contact, a place of refuge and access to a 'home away from home' experience during their shore leave.

The MtSV provides a sense of community and connectivity, which is so crucial for those living and working in the isolated and often dangerous conditions experienced at sea.
Nigel Porteous, Vice Chairman

The Royals

Telstra Victorian Medium Business Award Finalist

A bunch of thinkers, tinkerers, hustlers and hackers, The Royals is a communications agency looking to reign supreme in the post-digital era.

Connecting businesses and brands with the right consumer in a way that's relevant, engaging, entertaining, memorable and commercial in nature, the team create work designed to challenge the current standards and norms within the advertising industry.

Armed with their perpetual curiosity and an insatiable appetite for knowledge, The Royals are driven by their ambition to become the most interested agency in the world - a philosophy that permeates everything they do, from talent recruitment and insight acquisition to internal behaviours and the way they interact with clients.

We think modern marketers need an agency fuelled by passion and curiosity and that by continually researching, learning and experimenting, we can create the kind of work that has the right impact on consumers.
Dan Beaumont, Managing Partner


Telstra Victorian New Business Award Finalist

During her extensive career working for Australian and international financial and banking institutions, Charlotte Petris noticed that long payment terms and a lack of finance from banks were becoming a major cause of failure for Australian small and medium businesses (SMB).

Wanting to tackle the issues head on and enable the country's SMB sector to thrive, Charlotte channelled her entrepreneurial ambition into creating Timelio, a financial technology company, which provides short term funding to businesses.

Helping to shorten the cash flow cycle, Timelio enables businesses to secure the capital they need to hire new staff, take on new projects, buy new equipment and ultimately grow their business faster.

Many businesses that we've helped improve their cash flow, had previously been refused finance or found the existing providers too expensive or restrictive. By removing the many hurdles that financial institutions put up, we can help organisations grow, employ and build great businesses again.
Charlotte Petris, Founder and CEO

TM Insight

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

TM Insight is a specialist consultancy firm bringing together industry experience in supply chain optimisation, property advisory, and project management to help businesses adapt and thrive in a changing industry.

Founded by Travis Erridge and Milan Andjelkovic in the wake of the Global Financial Crisis in 2010, TM Insight quickly built a small but loyal customer base that included some of Australia's best-known brands, such as Kmart.

Seven years on, the team has expanded to 18 specialists across offices in Melbourne, Sydney and Hong Kong focused on identifying and enabling significant efficiencies through the entire supply chain. Travis says the company's core principles remain the same: always put the client first, and never over-promise and under-deliver.

TM Insight is the only business in Australia that provides a fully integrated approach to supply chain, property and project management. Harnessing our supply chain, property & project services expertise, we help businesses adapt and thrive under the market's rapidly changing pressures.
Travis Erridge, Director


Telstra Victorian Small Business Award Finalist

When civil construction worker, Marcus van Enk, jumped into his 4WD, flipped down the sun visor and got showered with receipts and paperwork, he knew there must be a better way to manage them while on the road. In 2011, he met software developer, Courtney Smith, and the pair realised there was a need for mobile-based enterprise management frameworks focusing on mobile, compliance quality, project management & job costings.

A year later, Kontrol4 was born. With the vision to help businesses run more efficiently, the company delivers mobile technologies for field-based employees that streamline business processes, job scheduling, forms capture, project management, safe work practices, and, ultimately, reduce the administrative burden of paper documentation.

The team strongly believe they are agents of change helping companies meet the paradigm shift driven by mobile smartphone emergence.

Kontrol4 helps businesses reap the benefits of the Cloud, smartphone and tablet revolutions. With simple mobility solutions, we help them create mobile workflows and streamline their operations to become more efficient businesses.
Marcus van Enk, CEO

Drop Dead Bread

Telstra Tasmanian New Business Award Finalist

Who said sweet treats must be bad for you? Not Lucy Milwood, founder of Drop Dead Bread, that’s for sure.

After being diagnosed as coeliac, Lucy found she really struggled to successfully satisfy her sweet cravings and so set about conjuring up an alternative from her own kitchen.

With her Paleo brownies forming the backbone of the business, as Lucy’s imagination – and penchant for experimentation – ran away with her, the business branched out to include all manner of slices, cakes, truffles and biscuits.

Using only natural ingredients, the Drop Dead Bread range of handmade sweets spans the full free-from spectrum: dairy, gluten, nut, grains, refined sugar, artificial additives and vegan.

The number of people living with special dietary requirements is increasing, as is our heightened sense of health consciousness. Our bakes mean people don’t have to give up the things they love in spite of their diet.
Lucy Milwood, Owner and Director

Property Wise Launceston Pty Ltd

Telstra Tasmanian New Business Award Finalist

Property Wise Launceston is a boutique property management agency owned and operated by Sally Shaw and Celeste Adkins. 

Launched in 2016, the business provides a full property management service, including investigation and sourcing of suitable investment properties, a review of return rates, presentation for the rental market and much more. 

The small but perfectly formed team prides itself on a personal approach, which enables them to select and secure quality tenants who, according to Sally, become “part of our family, not just part of a factory."

The number one focus of this property duo lies in treating their clients as highly-valued individuals. Through their honest and personable style, the business has flourished through mostly repeat and referral clients.

Our unique value is the size of our business. We will always know our clients personally. It also means our tenants become part of our 'family'.
Sally Shaw, Director

Scoot Boots

Telstra Tasmanian New Business Award Finalist

Scoot Boots is the only Australian manufacturer of protective equine hoof boots.  

Dave MacDonald had been working with horses as a trainer and farrier for 30 years, so he knows the benefits of hoof boots, which are designed to allow horses to forgo the steel shoe. Seeing that most hoof boots are clunky, heavy and over complicated, in 2014, Dave designed and created a unique one-piece hoof boot that is simple, lightweight and easy to fit. Scoot Boot provides a solution to protect a horse's hooves but does not impede its movements. Nor does it get soggy, heavy or wet when the horse moves through muddy and wet terrain. 

Since launching in 2015, Scoot Boots has attracted a growing share of a rapidly emerging global market.

Scoot Boots are a unique, superior protective equine hoof boot on the market for barefoot horses travelling through rough terrain. It's the closest thing you can get to natural.
Annette Kaitinis, Sales and Marketing Director

The Vanadium Lounge

Telstra Tasmanian Micro Business Award Finalist

For ten years, The Vanadium Lounge has been providing personalised hair design together with knowledgeable advice, premium products and exceptional customer service.

The Lounge’s client experience goes beyond the simple expectations of a hair appointment. Clients enjoy a candle-lit ambience and music from the salon’s own specially developed playlists. What might start with a simple treat from the extensive complementary drinks menu, soon leads to an immersive escape from the hectic daily grind. Staff have been trained in the Lounge's signature scalp massage that ensures clients receive a truly relaxing experience. 

Salon owner, Alison Goss, is also committed to creating a unique culture for her team. She encourages employees to design their own employment packages, to ensure they achieve lifestyle, personal and professional goals.

At The Vanadium Lounge, we believe it's all about the relaxing experience. The fabulous hair is just an added bonus.
Alison Goss, Salon Owner and Manager


Telstra Tasmanian Micro Business Award Finalist

Founded by a group of experienced healthcare business professionals in Hobart, Evomed scours the globe to find new and innovative healthcare technologies to develop and bring to market. 

Driven by a mission to advance the quality of healthcare received by patients, the founders realised that larger companies were neglecting some of the smaller opportunities that existed in the market. In five short years, the company has introduced six healthcare technologies to Australia and New Zealand. Every product is completely different, including Gloup, the first purpose-designed medication lubricant to make tablets easier and safer to swallow, and PAINmate, a wearable electroceutical pain relief technology.  

The products sold by Evomed had previously never been sold in the market and participate in raising the benchmark in the standard of care.

Our products have a direct impact on the quality of healthcare received by patients in Australia and internationally. This is a very rewarding business and industry to be involved in.
Penny Mcshane, Owner

Fudge’n’Good Coffee

Telstra Tasmanian Micro Business Award Finalist

Nestled in the rural town of Sheffield, close to the World Heritage area of Cradle Mountain, Fudge’n’Good Coffee takes advantage of the local ingredients to serve an epicurean experience of fresh gourmet fudge and barista-made coffee in luxurious surroundings. 

Owners, Chris and Rini Puccetti, have a goal to give local and international visitors something to remember. That’s why they not only whip up a gourmet menu; they also host monthly art exhibitions and entertain customers with an interactive fudge robot. 

The café 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.

We were motivated to introduce an excellent standard of hospitality to the region and give visitors something to remember.
Christopher Puccetti, Director

Neveco Business IT Solutions

Telstra Tasmanian Small Business Award Finalist

Neveco Business IT Solutions is the human interface to information technology for small business, providing a mix of products and services including hardware, software, CCTV, wireless communications, cloud-based storage and more. 

Committed to providing a superior level of customer service, Neveco is a complete technology solutions provider, support mechanism and consultation for the day-to-day technology needs of any business. 

With a mantra centred on always delivering what’s promised, the business goes above and beyond to ensure its clients can continuously function, improve and grow.

We are committed to providing high-level service and quality products to ensure optimum productivity and efficiency for businesses.
Stuart Green, Director

Brave Foundation

Telstra Tasmanian Charity Award Finalist

A mum at 16, Bernadette Black encountered such severe discrimination when attempting to continue her schooling, it very nearly made her give up her education altogether.

Not wanting other expecting or parenting teens to encounter the same experiences, Bernadette founded Brave Foundation, a charity that strives to strengthen the family unit and reduce the stigma around teen pregnancy.

Brave provides a triage referral service to help clients access local support and education services, develop the skills to build a stable family unit and avoid becoming welfare-dependent – a reality for 80 per cent of teenage parents in Australia even seven years after having given birth. 

Teenage parents demonstrate a higher propensity to premature births, postnatal depression, generational teen pregnancies and domestic violence. We champion a model of social inclusion to help teen parents build happy, healthy and skilled family units free from these challenges, impacting generations.
Bernadette Black, CEO & Founding Director


Telstra Tasmanian Small Business Award Finalist

Sometimes a change is as good as a rest. And for Justin Derksen, leaving a career in the hotel industry to begin a mature-aged carpentry apprenticeship was the change he needed.

While learning his new trade, Justin’s eyes were opened to the lack of quality small housing that was financially viable for those trying to enter the property market for the first time. 

CRUSADER HOMES build affordable houses in the Derwent Valley Region, working with clients to create their dream homes within their budget constraints. The company also specialises in ‘liveable housing’ – homes designed to meet the needs of their residents at every stage of their life.

As a construction company we are constantly trying to find solutions for people to realise their homeownership dreams, within their budget.
Justin Derksen, Director

Parry Property

Telstra Tasmanian Small Business Award Finalist

Parry Property is a family-owned real estate business based in Launceston. In their ventures, owners, Renee and David Parry, were determined to challenge the perception of the industry.

Wanting to prove that it is possible to buy, sell and rent properties in an honest and authentic way, the business strives to eliminate all of the stresses that surround real estate-related transactions.

Always placing the customer at the heart of activity, Parry Property’s team of qualified and considerate agents are on hand to ensure their clients receive both an exceptional service and price when negotiating their most valuable asset.

Our fresh, innovative approach gives our client's an edge when it comes to selling, buying and renting their properties. In building value-added, high-trust relationships with our clients we’ve proven we can deliver unsurpassed results.
David Parry, Director

South Eastern Community Care

Telstra Tasmanian Charity Award Finalist

Tasmania’s ageing population and increasing number of elderly people living in rural and isolated areas of the state called for a service capable of caring for more vulnerable members of the community. 

South Eastern Community (SEC) Care was a not-for-profit organisation set up to do precisely that. Empowering vulnerable people to remain in their own homes, even as their health and mobility deteriorates, it offers a range of support services designed to help clients maintain their independence for as long as is feasibly possible.

In addition to one-on-one, in-home social support, SEC Care also runs three day centres, six days a week.

SEC Care offers a range of flexible in-home care, community support and centre-based services to enable the people of Tasmania to thrive in their communities.
Helen Pollard, CEO

Cancer Council Tasmania

Telstra Tasmanian Charity Award Finalist

With nearly nine Tasmanians receiving a cancer diagnosis a day, Cancer Council Tasmania (CCT) was established more than 22 years ago to minimise the incidence and impact of cancer on all Tasmanians. 

CCT is determined to make a difference through rolling out prevention programmes to educate communities about the lifestyle choices that could decrease their risk of developing cancer, providing high quality support services for those already affected, and investing in Tasmanian based research projects.

90 per cent funded by community donations, with every cent committed to remaining in Tasmania, CCT is a state wide organisation that provides 5,000 occasions of support, and on average transports over 220 Tasmanians to 3,800 treatment appointments annually.

The Cancer Council of Tasmania’s programmes and services are developed to ensure that support can be provided for all cancers and all ages.
Penny Egan, CEO

Epilepsy Tasmania

Telstra Tasmanian Charity Award Finalist

Epilepsy Tasmania is a not-for-profit association that has been improving the quality of life and community participation of Tasmanians living with, or affected by, epilepsy for over 40 years.  

Epilepsy is a common brain disorder that can develop at any age regardless of ethnicity or gender, and one in 25 Australians will develop epilepsy at some point during their life. 

The association helps them: make new connections through support networks and communicate better with their medical specialists. Staff can also create personal epilepsy management plans and arrange epilepsy awareness, first aid training and education for individuals’ workplaces, schools or community groups.

Today the motivation for Epilepsy Tasmania continues to be the desire to improve the quality of life and community participation of Tasmanians living with or affected by epilepsy. By increasing general awareness and understanding of the condition, we’ll reduce the stigma and discrimination that surrounds epilepsy within Tasmania.
Wendy Groot, 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 Winners have been announced. Please check again soon.