The 2022 Telstra Best of Business Awards was a celebration of leadership, innovation and demonstrated the positive impact small and medium businesses have on our community and industries. As someone who has judged these awards for seven years, the incredible achievements of these businesses and those whom lead them never ceases to amaze me.
From She’s a Crowd CEO Zoe Condliffe, who won the inaugural Accelerating Women category, for her vision to make the world safer for women by collecting crowd sourced data to passionate environmentalist Sea Forest CEO Sam Elsom, who founded an eco-tech company that cultivates a natural solution to climate change; the winners were all making an impact on our world.
Listening to them make their acceptance speeches at Telstra’a Gala event held on Thursday at the International Convention Centre in Sydney inspired us all to want to make our own lives count by also contributing to our community however small or large.
As Telstra’s Consumer and Small Business Group Executive Michael Ackland said: “With more than 24,000 small businesses nominated through this year’s program, the inaugural winners of the Best of Business Awards program have demonstrated exceptional leadership in their categories, and importantly, have made a meaningful and positive impact within the communities and industries they operate in.”
The reimagined program builds upon Telstra’s impressive legacy of awards programs over the past 25 years, recognising exceptional leaders and small and medium businesses, and providing them with the opportunity to further their success and inspire others.
2022 Telstra Best of Business Awards Accelerating Women Award winners
She’s A Crowd (NSW)
She’s A Crowd makes cities safer for women. By collecting and mapping crowdsourced data about women’s unsafe experiences, She’s A Crowd aims to address unsafe areas in city planning and close the gender data gap.
Zoe is accelerating action against inequality with her data driven business She’s A Crowd. By using data to protect women’s safety, Zoe’s victory on the night was undoubtedly a win for all women globally.
2022 Telstra Best of Business Awards Building Communities Award winner:
West Australian Shalom Group (WA)
The West Australian Shalom House rehabilitation centre’s founder Peter Lyndon-James received a standing ovation for his acceptance speech. He talked about the need for rehabilitation from his own personal experience. In particular, he shared how hard it is to break free from life controlling issues, having himself come from a background of 26 years in addiction. Peter comes from a broken home, and was institutionalised from the age of nine, and addicted to drugs for most of his life. His struggle to break free from the life that held him captive was a process that taught him a great deal. Peter now uses what he has learned to help set others free from what held him captive for so many years. Shalom House is a residential rehabilitation centre in Swan Valley, Perth. The program focuses on restoration and reintegration, and everyone leaves 100% debt free, with a current drivers’ license, a car, and full-time work.
2022 Telstra Best of Business Awards Championing Health Award winner:
Ear Science Institute Australia (WA)
With 1 in 6 Australians having some form of hearing loss, Ear Science Institute Australia works to raise awareness and enhance the lives of those living with ear and hearing disorders through innovative treatments.
The judges said they were blown away by the huge impact this business was having, both in Australia and internationally. The team showed a strong commitment to research and clinical service delivery that will truly improve health outcomes for generations to come.
2022 Telstra Best of Business Awards Embracing Innovation Award winner:
Sea Forest (TAS)
Sea Forest CEO Sam Elsom took to the stage twice, winning the Innovation and the Sustainability category. And rightly so, Sea Forest cultivates a natural solution to climate change. The eco-tech company is among the first to commercially grow Asparagopsis, a native red seaweed with the ability to significantly reduce livestock methane emissions.
After winning the award, he told me that Sea Forest had also had success growing kelp forests thanks to the world class innovation of his team.
2022 Telstra Best of Business Awards Indigenous Excellence Award winner:
Killara Services (NSW)
Killara (formerly GJK Indigenous Solutions) is an Aboriginal owned and operated Cleaning Company. Killara is Supply Nation certified and creates real pathways for Indigenous Australians to gain access to sustainable employment. Founded by Jasmine Newman, great granddaughter of Aboriginal activist Bert Groves, Killara aims to Engage, Employ and Empower.
The judges said they were impressed by the founder’s exceptional commercial acumen, deep commitment to cultural preservation and passion for supporting other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples – regardless of their status in her business or the broader community.
2022 Telstra Best of Business Awards Outstanding Growth Award winner: Complete Home Filtration (WA)
Complete Home Filtration designs, manufactures, and installs water filtration solutions to deliver premium in-home water. One hundred percent Australian, the company prides itself on helping fellow Australians access the best water possible.
Founder & Managing Director Suzanne Dodds and her team have driven huge growth thanks to a strong commitment to ongoing improvement and innovation, which has seen it develop world-first product innovations tailored to the needs of its customers both locally and abroad.
2022 Telstra Best of Business Awards Promoting Sustainability Award winner:
Sea Forest (TAS)
Sea Forest has taken an unassailable and intractable problem – being the impact methane has on global warming – and come up with a unique ability to do something about it by pairing a deep focus on the science with a strong commercial plan to bring it to market.
Nominations for the 2023 awards are open now: www.telstrabestofbusinessawards.com