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State winners of the 2019 Telstra Business Women’s Awards

For 24 years, the Telstra Business Women’s Awards have recognised and celebrated the outstanding achievements of Australian women in business.

Telstra says these winners are undoing traditional business practices by using their own unique approach to rewrite what it means to be successful. They’re championing inclusion, innovation, and inspiring others to do the same.

They are all inspiring examples of leaders challenging the status quo within and beyond their industries.

All 2019 State and Territory winners will be invited to Sydney for the National Awards judging on Wednesday 15 May. The national winners will then be announced at a dinner celebration on Thursday 16 May.


Selection of Small Business and Emerging Leader Award winners:


Catherine Smith, Director of Wholistic Financial Solutions

2019 Telstra Australian Capital Territory Business Women’s Small Business Award winner

From the very start of her career, Catherine Smith had a vision of using her knowledge to help people build better lives for themselves. Intent on providing the Australian population with rounded and objective financial advice, tailored to their own individual circumstances, 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. Up until recently, Catherine was the sole Owner, Director, Practice Manager, and only go-to person to solve all problems. She has since trained highly skilled specialists to take the lead on some parts of the business, leaving her to focus on what she does best: guiding clients’ wealth through financial planning, investment and property investment.



Lauren Crystal, Co-Founder and Managing Director, Your Creative

2019 Telstra Victorian Business Women’s Emerging Leader Award winner

Lauren Crystal is the Co-Founder and Managing Director of Your Creative, a full-service creative agency that focuses on human-centred design and development. While running Your Creative, Lauren and the team became frustrated by the multiple tools it took to get things done. She co-founded Hassl, a project collaboration tool that streamlines every day workflow, and is now recognised internationally. Believing that providing people with purpose is more important than profit, Lauren offers not-for-profit start-ups pro bono design and strategy work. In her spare time, she also volunteers as a mentor for student start-up teams, teaching them how to communicate their ideas clearly.



Talitha Devadass, Program Manager for the Van Diemen Project

2019 Telstra Tasmanian Business Women’s Emerging Leader Award winner

Talitha Devadass, Program Manager at The Van Diemen Project, creates spaces for deep conversation, connection and diversity. Her purpose is to help new and existing businesses in Tasmania thrive. Weighing idealism with cheques and balances, Talitha brings her clients’ ideas to life. Talitha believes all individuals have the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of others and for the planet. Weaving this philosophy into her advice for her clients, she actively promotes equality, diversity and activism. As she is also involved in the Young Social Pioneers Program, Talitha has had the opportunity to develop initiatives with measurable impact in her region such as facilitating youth workshops about work-readiness, confidence, and leadership.



Angie Mansey, Owner/Managing Director, Kuluin Mufflers

2019 Telstra Queensland Business Women’s Small Business Award winner

Angie Mansey followed her dreams, selling the family home and assets to build her exhaust specialist business, Kuluin Mufflers. The business is not only known for its high-end workmanship and fantastic customer service, but also for its contribution to the local community. As an advocate for raising awareness for mental health and suicide prevention, Angie has created a place where people can come and learn how to work on their cars when they want company or need help with work placements. She has also recently started a charity called Driven By KM, aimed at helping chronically and terminally sick children in the community.


Northern Territory

Leah Sloan, Berry Springs Tavern

2019 Telstra Northern Territory Business Women’s Small Business Award

Leah Sloan is joint Director of Berry Springs Tavern, a food and entertainment destination in rural Northern Territory. She aims to create a comfortable, clean, safe and friendly dining experience where customer satisfaction is her highest priority. The business supports the local community, providing sponsorships and fundraising opportunities for numerous local schools, sporting and community groups. Leah has also invested time into building relationships with training providers, mentoring and training seven apprentices in the kitchen over four years.


Western Australia

Brie Healy, Founding Director, From Dust Creative Arts

2019 Telstra Western Australian Business Women’s Emerging Leader Award winner

Brie Healy’s vision is to ensure high quality arts education is available to all rural children and adults in the Pilbara region of Western Australia. As Founding Director and Dance Educator at From Dust Creative Arts, Brie helps develop classes that aid development of physical, mental and social skills for children.  Brie seeks to connect artists, art organisations and businesses to facilitate growth and recognition of local talent. Her approach to business focuses on passion and altruism, with a focus on implementing sustainable processes. Placing extraordinary value on local talent, Brie is also the Regional Arts Hub Project Officer at Nintirri Inc, a not-for-profit organisation that works to improve the quality of life of Western Australians.


South Australia

Lidia Conci, Managing Director, AvantiCare

2019 Telstra South Australian Business Women’s Small Business Award winner

Lidia Conci first began her career as a speech pathologist, with a growing passion for rehabilitation and treating clients with a swallowing disorder. She ventured on her own with a mobile clinic for 10 years before establishing AvantiCare, an allied health and wellbeing service for the elderly. Driven by authenticity, Lidia develops modern solutions for aged care, both in their home, in the community and in residential care centres. Providing services such as occupational therapy, dietetics and speech pathology, physiotherapy, and even yoga and meditation, AvantiCare takes a holistic, long-term approach to looking after the health of older generations. Through her organisation, Lidia’s goal has always been to selflessly provide and maintain purpose in her clients’ lives as they inevitably age.



Edwina Sharrock, Chief Executive Officer, Birth Beat

2019 Telstra New South Wales Business Women’s Small Business Award winner

As CEO of Birth Beat, Edwina Sharrock has made it her mission to transform the traditional model of childbirth education. She delivers quality antenatal classes on online digital health platforms that are accessible to anyone, anywhere. Drawing on her 13 years of midwifery experience and seeing a large number of maternity units closing their doors, Edwina saw a gap in the market. She created Birth Beat to be a one-stop portal that educates, empowers and supports all pregnant women and all pathways into parenthood, including adoption and surrogacy.



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Loren Webb

Loren Webb

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