Media Release, 03 February 2015

Flexible working practices among Australia’s small and medium businesses will form a new part of judging for the 2015 Telstra Australian Business Awards.

Nominations are now open for the 23rd Telstra Business Awards and entrants will be judged on broadened human resources criteria in 2015 along with business achievements, strategy, customer service, financials, sales and marketing, innovation and social responsibility.

Telstra Business Group Managing Director Will Irving said flexible working practices should be just as important to small and medium businesses in attracting and retaining talent as they are for Australia’s largest corporations.

“Staffing and management practices are a critical part of any successful business, no matter how big or small, but they can often go unnoticed and unrewarded,” Mr Irving said.

“To acknowledge this, we’re asking whether an entrant offers flexible working for employees, if it has policies or targets for improving workplace gender equality, if it’s achieving a workforce that reflects its customer base and how it is creating an inclusive culture.”

With entries for the 2015 Awards open from 9 February to 30 March, Mr Irving said innovation, often the driving force for entry into new markets will again be closely scrutinised in judging this year.

“Last year’s Telstra Australian Business of the Year, electronics manufacturer REDARC, is a great example that innovation is fundamental to growth in international markets, and that’s something we really want to recognise more of this year,” he said.

Businesses can enter five Awards categories - Start-Up, Micro, Small, Medium and Regional.

“Small and medium businesses contribute a significant amount to Australia’s economy and employ almost three quarters of the national workforce,” Mr Irving said.

“These Awards celebrate inspirational achievements for both small and medium businesses and aim to help these brilliant businesses become the best they can be.”

REDARC’s Managing Director Anthony Kittel has called on Australians to nominate local businesses this year because of the range of benefits that finalists and winners enjoy.

“Since our Awards win we’ve seen an increase in business activity, consumer recognition, enquiries for our services and a significant lift in morale of our employees. The Awards process has allowed us to take stock, challenge our business plan and have the confidence to go to the next level.” Mr Kittel said.

Other Telstra Australian Businesses of the Year include Bruny Island Cheese Co.,, Australian Pressure Testing Services, stratsec and MYOB.

Awards category, nomination and entry information can be found at