Community leaders and diversity champions recognised in women's awards

Media Release, 11 September 2015

Leaders of major community organisations and women driving gender diversity in business are among 26 finalists for the 2015 Telstra South Australian Business Women’s Awards.

Telstra Chief Operations Officer and Telstra Business Women’s Awards Ambassador, Kate McKenzie, said South Australian business women were excelling in a broad range of sectors.

“Now in their 21st year, the Telstra Business Women’s Awards not only celebrate women who have the courage to start their own business and lead their industries, but also offer them a platform to encourage others to challenge the status quo and think differently,” Ms McKenzie said.

“The 2015 South Australian finalists join a long list of successful business women, whose unique and innovative approaches to leadership at state and local community levels, and in some cases, globally, continue to impress and inspire the Awards judges.”

Community leaders named as finalists include:

  • Meals on Wheels SA CEO Sharyn Broer, an occupational therapist with a passion for supporting people living independently within their own homes and communities. She leads a team of more than 8000 voluntary and paid workers in preparing and delivering more than one million meals a year.
  • Julia Astley, Operations Director (client services) at Novita Children’s Services at Regency Park. Formerly Chief of Allied Health at the Women’s and Children’s Hospital and manager of her own business, Child’s Play Physiotherapy & Aquatics for Kids, she competed in the recent 2015 World Masters Swimming Championships in Russia.

Finalists driving diversity in business include:

  • Organisational psychologist Lucinda Hewitson, one of six finalists for the Start-Up Award, established her own consultancy to work with business leaders in changing workplace culture and creating more diverse organisations. She says: “My children are the reason I run my business today – I want their generation to experience a more inclusive and diverse workplace.”
  • Grace Lever from Aldgate formed last year to work with female entrepreneurs to build lifestyle-friendly businesses. A qualified workplace trainer and lecturer, she is Adelaide ambassador of the League of Extraordinary Women, a female entrepreneurs group.

Finalists from regional areas include Ashleigh Stiling of Harsco Metals and Minerals from Whyalla and Meadows biodynamic/organic farmer Ulli Spranz, managing director of B.-d. Farm Paris Creek at Meadows.

The German-born mother of five and sustainable farming advocate exports award-winning dairy products from her free-ranging, grass-fed cows to Asia and the UAE.

The 26 finalists join Alumni including winners Erma Ranieri, chief executive of the Office for the Public Sector, University of SA deputy vice-chancellor (research & innovation) Professor Tanya Munro, LBW Environment CEO Kylie Bishop, and Sue Chase, managing director of Cowell Electrics.

Vanessa Nolan-Woods, General Manager Business & Private Banking and Women in Focus, CommBank, a long-term partner of the Telstra Business Women’s Awards, said: “The South Australian Telstra Business Women’s Awards finalists are achieving extraordinary things.

“This is exactly the mandate of Women in Focus – to support women to succeed across diverse industries and become positive role models for other women through connection and collaboration. Women in Focus is proud to support these awards and play a proactive part in encouraging future trailblazers.”

Finalists for the 2015 Telstra South Australian Business Women’s Awards are:

Start-up Award
Sarah Bartholomeusz, You Legal, Adelaide
Dani Bieg, Harrison McMillan, Adelaide
Lucinda Hewitson, Lucinda Hewitson Consulting, Adelaide
Natasha Jones, KelledyJones Lawyers, Adelaide
Julie Lawrie, The Marketing Box Walkley, Heights
Carly Thompson-Barry, Sass Place, Parkside

Tammy Edwards, Tuckfield Conveyancing, Vale Park
Annie Flannagan, Better Business Basics, Adelaide
Emma Marks, Mum Media Group, North Adelaide
Dr Gemma Munro, Inkling Women, Adelaide
Marissa Schulze, Rise High Financial Solutions, Prospect
Ulli Spranz, B.-d Farm Paris Creek, Meadows

For Purpose and Social Enterprise

Julie Astley, Novita Children’s Services, Regency Park
Sharyn Broer, Meals on Wheels SA, Wayville
Karina Bunker, Novita Children’s Services, Regency Park
Helen Edwards, Helen Edwards Creates incorporating Recycled Interiors and Diabetes Counselling Online, Adelaide
Dr Michelle Stone, Girl Guides South Australia Inc, Norwood
Kate Thiele, Guide Dogs SA/NT, Adelaide

Government and Academia
Professor Allison, Cowin University of South Australia, Mawson Lakes
Jane Danvers, Wilderness School, Medindie
Professor Pascale, Quester University of Adelaide, Adelaide
Professor Marie Wilson, University of South Australia, Adelaide

Corporate and Private
Ashleigh Stiling, Harsco Metals and Minerals, Whyalla
Stella Thredgold, Bendigo and Adelaide Bank Limited, Adelaide
Michaela Webster, Peregrine Corporation, Norwood

Young Business Women’s Award

Dani Bieg, Harrison McMillan, Adelaide
Grace Lever, Inbound Marketing &, Aldgate
Ashleigh Stiling, Harsco Metals and Minerals, Whyalla

Winners of the 2015 Telstra South Australian Business Women’s Awards will be announced on Tuesday, 13 October in Adelaide. The SA winners proceed to the national finals in Melbourne on Wednesday, 18 November.

For more information on the Telstra Business Women’s Awards and to nominate brilliant business women for the 2016 Awards, visit