Brilliant Western Australian businesses chase their dreams

Media Release, 04 June 2014

Twenty-three dream-chasing finalists have been named in the 2014 Telstra Western Australian Business Awards.

The finalist’s hail from around the state, from the Pilbara and the state’s Mid West, to Margaret River and Albany.

Telstra Retail Group Executive, Gordon Ballantyne, said the quality of the 23 Western Australian Awards finalists boded well for the state’s economy.

“It’s fantastic to see finalists from the length and breadth of Western Australia and representing a variety of industries. These brilliant Western Australian businesses are at the heart of many local communities and they’re the backbone of the Australian economy.

“The Telstra Business Awards recognise the brilliance of Australian businesses and help business leaders to reflect on their strategies, their goals and how to create a better future. The awards also inspire communities by celebrating the skill and passion that goes into running a small business,” Mr Ballantyne said.

In Margaret River, Top Drop Tours owners’ Chris and Kerry O’Hare gave up city living to run a tour company for wine lovers, while Peter and Debbie Noonan left roles as a retail manager and a TAFE lecturer to renovate an historic convent-come-guesthouse into the luxury B&B Margaret River Guest House.

Over in Port Hedland, Kristy Jeffs and Daniel Page traded in their jobs as labourers to set up Pilbara Flavours and now lead a competitive local food trailer market, while former executive assistant Laila Gampfer used her coeliac diagnosis as inspiration to establish her raw sweets business, Rawsome.

Former company secretary and legal counsel for a mining company, Laura McMahon Blechynden now follows her dream of running her own business after she and husband Mark took over Questamon and expanded the training and consulting business nationally.

Other WA finalists this year include Pindari WA Pty Ltd, an Aboriginal trade services business servicing the Pilbara resources sector, and Fordham & Roast, a multidisciplinary law practice established by ex-detective superintendent Steve Roast and lawyer and forensic scientist Professor Judith Fordham.

Regional finalists also include Albany’s Great Southern Distilling Company, run by Cameron Syme; TeleMed Pty Ltd, established by nuclear medicine practitioner Peter Tually; and Mandurah Cruises & Gift Shop, owned by Rod Bishop who left the Fisheries Department to buy a small ferry business.

More than $800,000 in prizes is available for winners of the 2014 state, territory and national Telstra Business Awards - a program that has celebrated brilliant Australian small and medium businesses since 1992.

The finalists for the 2014 Telstra Western Australian Business Awards are:

Start-Up Award
Fordham & Roast, Perth
JuJu Menstrual Cup, Swanbourne
morries anytime, Margaret River
Nitalie Delouse, Inglewood
Pilbara Flavours , South Hedland
Rawsome, North Fremantle
Valenti’s on the Brook, Millendon

Micro Business Award
Armed For Life, Aubin Grove
AudioVault Industries Pty Ltd, Osborne Park
Margaret River Guest House, Margaret River
Questamon, Fremantle
Top Drop Tours, Cowaramup
TeleMed Pty Ltd , Rural Western Australia

Small Business Award
Australind Veterinary Hospital, Australind
Great Southern Distilling Company, Albany
Mandurah Cruises & Gift Shop, Mandurah
Meridian Services, Burswood
TWD, West Perth

Medium Business Award

ALYKA, Subiaco
AML Equipment Pty Ltd, Maddington
Monford Group Pty Ltd, Victoria Park
Pindari WA Pty Ltd, Pilbara
PSS Group, Landsvale

Regional Award

Australind Veterinary Hospital, Australind
Great Southern Distilling Company, Albany
Mandurah Cruises & Gift Shop, Mandurah
Monford Group Pty Ltd, Victoria Park
Pindari WA Pty Ltd, Pilbara
Top Drop Tours, Cowaramup

Winners of the Telstra Western Australian Business Awards will be announced at Crown Perth on 24 June 2014. They will proceed to the national Awards in Melbourne on 7 August.

Awards information and tickets for the Awards Gala Dinners can be purchased by visiting the Telstra Business Awards website or by calling 1800AWARDS between 9am and 7pm AEST Monday to Friday.