Awards celebrating success of leading Queensland business women

Media Release, 27 August 2013

Leading Queensland business women from the health sector and young entrepreneurs from the fashion industry are among 19 finalists for the 2013 Telstra Queensland Business Women’s Awards.

Penny Beeston joined Autism Queensland as CEO eight years ago after training as a special education teacher when her second child was diagnosed with Autism, and has been named a finalist for the Community and Government Award. She is joined by Helene Frayne, who as CEO of Arthritis and Osteoporosis Queensland is driving self-management programs for the estimated one million Queenslanders with musculoskeletal conditions.

Jenny Stevens, a teacher turned audiologist who is CEO of Attune Hearing, a provider of services for people with hearing problems in three states, is a finalist for the Private and Corporate Sector Award.

Three finalists for the Young Business Women’s Award have shown the determination and flair to establish their own branded companies in the highly competitive fashion industry.

They include Jessica Russ, who established the accessories label Jessica T, Sarah Timmerman, whose online fashion store for 16 to 25-year-olds is called Beginning Boutique, and Jellaine Ross, director of Cherry Blooms whose eyelash extensions featured in the gift bags for guests at the 2013 Oscars.

Other finalists who are leaders in their sectors and communities include Rosemary Vilgan, CEO of QSuper, one of Australia’s largest superannuation funds with $45 billion under management, Anna Carroll, CEO of Netball Queensland, Alana McKenna, General Manager of Fleet and Materials for Hevilift Engineering, and Donnalea Ballard, who manages the historic Burke and Wills Hotel in Toowoomba for the Hakfoort Group.

Kate McKenzie, Group Managing Director Telstra Innovation, Products and Marketing and Ambassador of the Telstra Business Women’s Awards, said the Awards celebrated the hard work and determination of business women in Queensland.

“For 19 years we’ve run the Awards to inspire leading business women to realise their potential and celebrate their success. We believe the 2013 Queensland finalists are entrepreneurs, innovators and managers who can inspire our nation and the following generation,” Ms McKenzie said.

CommBank’s Women in Focus program, which opens doors to opportunity for women across Australia, is an Official Partner of the Telstra Business Women’s Awards.

Karen James, General Manager, Women in Focus and Affiliate Business Banking said: “Partnering with the Telstra Business Women’s Awards for the fifth year is vital to our purpose. The Alumni inspire the community through speaking at our events, sharing their story and expertise online, and mentoring women in the community.”

Previous winners of the Telstra Queensland Business Woman of the Year Award include Therese Rein, Managing Director of rehabilitation services provider Ingeus, Dimity Dornan, founder of the Hear and Say Centres, and Megan Houghton, CEO of the Brisbane City Council-backed CitySmart.

Winners of the 2013 Telstra Queensland Business Women’s Awards will be announced on Tuesday 17 September in Brisbane. The Queensland winners proceed to the national finals in Melbourne on 14 November.

For winners across Australia the awards offer a share in $200,000 in cash and prizes.

Finalists for the 2013 Telstra Queensland Business Women’s Awards are:

Business Owner Award

Shelley Boyd, Boyd Blue, Ashmore
Michelle Doherty, Alpha-H, Gold Coast
Christine Killip, Katestone, Milton
Vicki Warne, AIB Insurance Brokers, Maroochydore
Stephanie Wilson, TFI Dentistry, Thornlands

Private and Corporate Sector Award

Lisa Harrison, POMO, Sunshine Coast
Amanda Lear, Gilimbaa, Brisbane
Alana McKenna, Hevilift Engineering Pty Ltd, Cairns Airport
Jenny Stevens, Attune Hearing, Brisbane

Community and Government Award

Penny Beeston, Autism Queensland Ltd, Sunnybank Hills
Anna Carroll, Netball Queensland, Moorooka
Helene Frayne, Arthritis and Osteoporosis Queensland, Windsor
Fiona Jose, Cape York Institute for Policy and Leadership, Cairns
Rosemary Vilgan, QSuper, Brisbane

Business Innovation Award

Kate Austin, In the Booth, Narangba
Lisa Harrison, POMO, Sunshine Coast
Christine Killip, Katestone, Milton
Jenny Stevens, Attune Hearing, Brisbane
Rosemary Vilgan, QSuper, Brisbane

Young Business Women’s Award

Kate Austin, In the Booth, Narangba
Donnalea Ballard, Hakfoort Group, Toowoomba
Amanda Lear, Gilimbaa, Brisbane
Jellaine Ross, Cherry Blooms, Stafford
Jessica Russ, Jessica T, Manly West
Sarah Timmerman, Beginning Boutique, West End

For more information, visit the Telstra Business Women’s Awards website.