Media Release, 20 August 2012

Hobart IVF clinic named Telstra Tasmanian Business of the Year

5 July 2012: TasIVF, Tasmania’s longest serving and most successful in vitro fertilisation clinic - and one of the first IVF units in Australia - has been named the 2012 Telstra Tasmanian Business of the Year.

TasIVF, which also won the MYOB Small Business Award, was joined by food scientist consultants MacTavish West of South Hobart, Shima Wasabi, owner of the biggest wasabi crop in the southern hemisphere near Launceston, and Kingston-based lightning and surge protection solutions innovator Novaris as winners of the 2012 Telstra Tasmanian Business Awards.

TasIVF began treating patients as a part-time fertility service in Hobart in 1983. When Dr Bill Watkins joined the unit in 1996, it developed into a full-time, full-service unit specialising in affordable fertility treatment and associated assisted reproductive technology.

In 2007, Dr Watkins, now clinical director, took over sole ownership of TasIVF which has expanded to include a clinic in Launceston, its own theatre and laboratory, counsellors and 20 full-time staff.  Continuing growth has occurred despite a decline of IVF pregnancy attempts nationally.

Telstra Business Group Managing Director and Telstra Business Awards Ambassador, Will Irving, said TasIVF had many attributes that made it a stand-out among the 19 finalists in 2012.

"Judges were particularly impressed how TasIVF always puts its customers first - mentally, emotionally and physically. They act with absolute honesty and integrity in everything they do with and for their customers. They have succeeded against similar mainland businesses by providing genuine competition in services, price, results and facilities," Mr Irving said.

The Telstra Australian Business Awards were launched in 1992 to recognise the achievements of small and medium businesses and to encourage strategic planning for business growth.  

"I’m pleased to see that each year we uncover exceptional small and medium businesses, such as TasIVF, and I encourage all Tasmanians to nominate businesses now for the 2013 Awards," he said.

MYOB CEO, Tim Reed, said it never ceased to delight him that there was such a deep pool of talented business owners, such as TasIVF, in Australia. "Telstra Australian Business Awards finalists and winners can be just as much an inspiration to industry leaders as they are to their peers, staff, family and friends. They demonstrate the heights that can be reached with the application of passion, strategic vision and a strong execution plan," he said.

The winners of the 2012 Telstra Tasmanian Business Awards announced tonight in Hobart are:

Telstra Tasmanian Business of the Year

TasIVF Pty Ltd - Hobart

HTC Start Up Award

MacTavish West Pty Ltd - South Hobart

The food science consultancy helps farmers and food manufacturers improve flavour, colour and nutritional qualities of plant-derived products. Judges said the business’s service offering is unique with strong potential for revenue growth and well positioned to support Tasmania’s agricultural industry.

News Limited Micro Business Award

Shima Wasabi - Perth

Supplies leading Australian restaurants, the food service industry and selected overseas markets with locally-grown wasabi. Judges said Shima Wasabi was an exciting business and a brand advocate for Tasmania, adding that years of R&D and perserverance has developed a sustainable business with the world at its feet.
MYOB Small Business Award

TasIVF Pty Ltd - Hobart

Commonwealth Bank Medium Business Award

Novaris Pty Ltd - Kingston

Starting in a small workshop in 1993, the company has become a global leader in inventing and manufacturing lightning and surge protection solutions. Judges said Novaris was a high-performing business with high staff engagement that used innovation to increase productivity and reduce manufacturing costs.

Regional Award

Shima Wasabi - Perth

1300Australia People’s Choice Award

Ink Sleeve Tattoos - Berridale

Glenn and Katrina Pate established their body art and piercing business Ink Slave Tattoos early in 2011, maintaining steady growth through a reputation for great designs and referrals via social media.

Open to all entrants in the 2012 Awards, the People’s Choice Award is decided by a public vote, allowing customers, staff, suppliers and colleagues to show their support for their local businesses.

The winners of the Telstra Tasmanian Business Awards will be judged against category winners from other states and territories in the lead up to the national Telstra Australian Business Awards to be announced in Sydney on 29 August.Winners of the 2012 Awards receive a share of $500,000 in cash and prizes and become part of an exclusive national business alumni.

For more information about the Telstra Australian Business Awards, visit