Media Release, 03 October 2014

Twenty-one women from a range of sectors with diverse career backgrounds have been named as finalists for the 2014 Telstra New South Wales Business Women’s Awards.

Women honoured this year include the former Managing Director of Apple Australia and breast cancer survivor Diana Ryall AM, who launched her business Xplore for Success in 2002. It has provided career development services and support to 10,000 professional women in achieving their career aspirations.

Also on the list is Justine Curtis, founder of Inspire Adventures, who has tapped into the changing face of charity giving and raised $14 million by staging more than 300 events for participating adventurers in places from the Kokoda Trail to Mount Kilimanjaro.

Another finalist is Ming Long, joint Managing Director and Finance Director at Investa Property Group, who is currently working with the Human Rights Commission to advocate for the promotion of women into more senior levels within the property industry.

The finalists join a prestigious list of Telstra New South Wales Business Women Award winners since 1995, including Sydney Opera House CEO Louise Herron; Australia’s Sex Discrimination Commissioner Elizabeth Broderick; public servants Jeannine Biviano, the Deputy Director General at NSW Trade & Investment; Deputy Police Commissioner Catherine Burn; and racing royalty Gai Waterhouse.

Regional business women named as finalists include Liane Sayer-Roberts, founder of Leeton-based Sauce Communications; agronomist and farmer Kate O’Callaghan, who runs Southern Cotton in the Murrumbidgee Valley; and Tina Tower, CEO of tutoring business Begin Bright from Pottsville Beach in northern NSW.

Finalists in the Young Business Women’s Awards category include Emma Isaacs, CEO of Business Chicks, a national community of 32,000 professional women; and 26-year-old April Long, Senior Manager of the National Centre of Indigenous Excellence, who champions the role of social enterprises to empower Indigenous Australians.

Kate McKenzie, Telstra Chief Operations Officer and Telstra Business Women’s Awards Ambassador, said: “The diversity of our 2014 New South Wales finalists shines a light on Australian business women whose innovations and leadership are changing the industries and communities around them.

“As the longest standing national business awards program for women in Australia, the Awards have uncovered stories of amazing business women at all stages in their careers.

“The 2014 New South Wales finalists join a long list of incredible alumni who have inspired us with their individual achievements, and done so much collectively for the promotion of women in the Australian business world,” she said.

As a partner of the Telstra Business Women’s Awards, Vanessa Nolan-Woods, General Manager of Commonwealth Bank’s Women in Focus network, said: “For 20 years, the Telstra Business Women Awards have provided a high profile platform that celebrates the achievements of successful women. The Awards create positive role models for other aspiring women.

“Women in Focus is proud of our partnership with the Telstra Awards and the role we have played together to create a supportive network of women to inspire future trailblazers,” she said.

Winners of the 2014 Telstra New South Wales Business Women’s Awards will be announced on Friday 24 October in Sydney. The NSW winners proceed to the national finals in Melbourne on 26 November.

For finalists across Australia the awards offer a chance to share in $650,000 in cash and prizes.

Finalists for the 2014 Telstra New South Wales Business Women’s Awards are:

Business Owner Award
Justine Curtis, Inspired Adventures, Darlinghurst
Virginia Hyland, HM Communication Group, North Sydney
Dr Denise Meyerson, Management Consultancy International, Sydney
Diana Ryall, AM Xplore for Success, Birchgrove
Liane Sayer-Roberts, Sauce Communications, Leeton

Private and Corporate Sector Award
Susan Lloyd-Hurwitz , Mirvac, Sydney
Ming Long Investa, Property Group, Sydney
Jacinta McDonell, Anytime Fitness Australia, Lane Cove
Kate O'Callaghan, Southern Cotton Pty Ltd, Whitton

Community and Government Award
Margaret Bowen, The Disability Trust, Wollongong
Floyd Larsen, Heart Research Australia, St Leonards
Christine Morgan, The Butterfly Foundation, Crows Nest
Susan Murray, Suicide Prevention Australia, Sydney
Naomi Steer, Australia for UNHCR, Sydney

Business Innovation Award
Justine Curtis, Inspired Adventures, Darlinghurst
Andrea Galloway, Evolve Housing, Parramatta
Susan Murray, Suicide Prevention Australia, Sydney

Young Business Women’s Award
Yvette Bellamy, ChangeLabs, North Sydney
Anastasia Fai, Style & Image, Sydney
Emma Isaacs, Business Chicks, Sydney
April Long, National Centre of Indigenous Excellence, Redfern
Esha Oberoi, Afea Care Services Pty Ltd North, Sydney
Tina Tower, Begin Bright, Pottsville Beach

More information on the Telstra Business Women’s Awards can be found at