Media Release, 24 September 2014

South Australian women leading sectors as diverse as heart disease prevention, engineering and wine exporting were named today among 21 finalists for the 2014 Telstra Business Women’s Awards.

They include Dr Amanda Rischbieth, who led Heart Foundation South Australia’s successful ‘Lock in the Love’ installation campaign, based on the padlocks on bridges phenomena in Paris, to raise awareness about reducing premature death from heart disease.

Another finalist is Kathy Drogemuller, who established Paracombe Premium Wines with husband Paul on farmland burnt out by the Ash Wednesday bushfires and now produces premium wines with China as their major exporter.

Civil engineer and former Vietnamese refugee Van Tang, whose role in the delivery of major Defence and private sector projects saw her appointed this year as Manager SA of engineering firm GHD, is also a finalist.

The 21 finalists join a prestigious list of South Australian Award winners including Precious Cargo Education founder Cheryl Shigrov, CEO of environmental consultants LBW Environment Kylie Bishop, Edible Blooms founder Kelly Baker-Jamieson and former senior public servant Sue Vardon AO.

Other 2014 finalists from SA’s Community and Government sector include Bonnie Cothren, founder of the Intensive English Language Institute (IELI) at Flinders University which helps improve the language and teaching skills of Indonesian and Japanese teachers, and St John Ambulance SA CEO Sharyn Mitten, who launched a first aid in schools program which 20,000 primary students take part in each year.

Young Business Women’s Award finalists include Emma Clark, publican of the Cummins Hotel on Eyre Peninsula, and former GMH manufacturing engineer Jo Schneider, who runs sustainable growth advisers DVE Business Solutions.

Kate McKenzie, Telstra Chief Operations Officer and Telstra Business Women’s Awards Ambassador said, “The diversity of our 2014 South Australian 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 South Australian 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 South Australian Business Women’s Awards will be announced on Tuesday 14 October in Adelaide. The South Australian 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 South Australian Business Women’s Awards are:

Business Owner Award
Sandra Berry, Sandra Berry Real Estate. Hahndorf
Kathy Drogemuller, Paracombe Premium Wines. Paracombe
Dr Andrea Robertson, Southside Osteopathy and Xtend Barre, Southside and Eastside, Unley
Dr Rebel, Skirving Gambier Vets Pty Lt,d Mount Gambier
Lisa Twyford, clear decisions, Blackwood

Private and Corporate Sector Award

Erica Babbage, Accolade Wines, Barmera
Cathy Main, Westfield West Lakes Scentre Group, West Lakes
Mirella Morizzi-Tambakis, T.I.M.E. Pty Ltd Training, Innovation, Management & Enterprise, Mile End
Van Tang, GHD, Adelaide

Community and Government Award
Bonnie Cothren, Community for Global Communication, Inc t/a Intensive English Language Institute, Bedford Park
Sharyn Mitten, St John Ambulance Australia South Australia, Unley
Dr Karen Nelson-Field, Ehrenberg-Bass Institute, University of South Australia, Adelaide
Erma Ranieri, Office for the Public Sector (Department of the Premier and Cabinet), Adelaide
Dr Amanda Rischbiet,h Heart Foundation South Australia, Adelaide
Rosemary Stehbens, Australian Kabuki Syndrome Association Inc., Erindale
Dr Michelle Stone, Girl Guides South Australia, Norwood

Business Innovation Award
Dr Karen Nelson-Field, Ehrenberg-Bass Institute, University of South Australia, Adelaide
Erma Ranieri, Office for the Public Sector (Department of the Premier and Cabinet), Adelaide
Dr Amanda, Rischbieth Heart Foundation South Australia, Adelaide

Young Business Women’s Award
Eszter Agocs, Future Footprints Conductive Education, Mile End
Emma Clark, Cummins Hotel, Cummins
Rebecca O'Rourke, O'Rourke PR, Upper Sturt
Jo Schneider, DVE Business Solutions, Adelaide
Astrid Varga, We Create Brands, Adelaide

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