Perth dermal therapist named Australia's Young Business Woman of the Year

Media Release, 19 November 2015

Kim Tran, a Western Australian dermal therapist who opened her first skin and beauty clinic at the age of 19 has taken top honours as the 2015 Telstra Australian Young Business Woman of the Year.

Ms Tran opened her business just one year after she was Student of the Year in Dermal Science at Curtin University with the dream of providing a place where anyone with skincare issues could go for help. Now, as Managing Director of La Belle Peau Skincare Clinic in North Perth, Ms Tran runs a business offering hundreds of clients’ cosmeceutical skincare, paramedical skin treatments and beauty treatments.

Other Award winners were Captain Mona Shindy from New South Wales, who was named 2015 Telstra Business Woman of the Year and joint winner of the Government and Academia Award, Jessica May from ACT, who took home the Start-Up Award and South Australia’s Kate Thiele who received the For Purpose and Social Enterprise Award.

Marie Piccone of Manbulloo took out the Entrepreneur Award, Katarina Carroll of the Queensland Fire and Emergency Services was the joint winner of the Government and Academia Award and Dr Catherine Ball won the Corporate and Private Award. All three women are from Queensland.

Ms Tran, who is driven by her own battle against skin problems, and the damaging emotional effect it had on her, established her business in order to help others regain their confidence through the treatment and ongoing care of their skin.

“Growing up, I experienced terrible skin conditions which had such an adverse effect on me and destroyed my confidence,” she said.

“My vision is to stand out as a leader in skin care and to deliver real, visible results for my clients. We continually source the latest and best technology, and only employ highly qualified, experienced and passionate therapists who share the same vision.”

Telstra Business Women’s Award Ambassador and Chief Operations Officer Kate McKenzie, said all of the national winners have demonstrated incredible resolve and determination throughout their careers.

“The 2015 Telstra Business Women’s Awards winners are seven brilliant, courageous women who have pushed the boundaries and truly innovated in their respective categories.

“Kim has proven she is an incredibly strong, determined woman who has overcome adversity and significant hurdles to achieve what she has.”

The Telstra Awards Judges also noted Ms Tran’s strong desire to lead, not only in business, but within her philanthropic work in the community.

“From a business point of view, Kim has articulated her business and vision beautifully and has ambitious expansion plans. She is also heavily involved in inspiring charity work within the Vietnamese community. Kim is a stand out role model.”

The Telstra Business Women’s Awards were attended by Telstra Chairman Catherine Livingstone AO, Telstra CEO Andrew Penn and Awards Alumni including 2014 Telstra Business Woman of the Year Anne Cross of UnitingCare.

2015 Telstra Australian Business Woman of the Year

Captain Mona Shindy, Royal Australian Navy, Maroubra
After 26 years’ service in the Royal Australian Navy, Captain Mona Shindy’s current role is vital to Australia’s future military preparedness. As Director Littoral Warfare and Maritime Support, she presents business cases to government for acquisition of affordable and suitable Defence assets including patrol boats, tankers, and littoral warfare equipment. Migrating to Australia from Egypt when she was three, Mona has led teams in operational roles as a weapons engineer on warships and in technical support organisations. In 2013, Mona became the Chief of Navy's Strategic Adviser on Islamic Cultural Affairs, receiving a Conspicuous Service Cross for this work on Australia Day 2015. Judges were struck by Mona’s strength in the face of adversity and her determination to effect change and pave the way for those who follow in her footsteps.

Start-Up Award
Jessica May, Enabled Employment, Canberra
In 2011 Jessica May’s diagnosis with a panic disorder after the birth of her first child was the catalyst to starting up her own business Enabled Employment in 2014. Enabled Employment is an online portal offering flexible employment for people with disability or Australian Defence Force members with post-traumatic stress and other injuries. The business is owned, run and managed by people with disability and employs an Australian Defence Force veteran to assist with employment of other veterans. Enabled Employment has filled more than 100 positions of the 240 advertised in the last twelve months. The Telstra Awards judges praised Jessica’s tenacity in changing the way people with disability are perceived by employers, and expanding job options for people with disability.

Entrepreneur Award
Marie Piccone, Manbulloo, Horseshoe Lagoon
Marie Piccone is a leading figure in Australia’s mango industry and Managing Director of Manbulloo, the nation’s largest producer of popular Kensington Pride mangoes. After 18 years running Piccone Horticultural Consultancy with clients in Australia, New Zealand and Asia, Marie bought three mango plantations in 2005 and in 10 short years has developed a sophisticated business that is revolutionising the mango production industry. The Telstra Awards judges praised Marie’s visionary leadership, her dedication to growth and inspiration as a female trailblazer within agriculture.

For Purpose and Social Enterprise Award
Kate Thiele, Guide Dogs SA/NT, Adelaide
After a career in the private sector, Kate Thiele aligned her love of leading dynamic teams with social enterprise and became the Chief Executive of Guide Dogs SA/NT. Kate says the most significant change she has led at Guide Dogs SA/NT is driving the expansion of the Guide Dogs program to include Autism Assistance Dogs. When Kate joined in 2009, the economy was uncertain. Using her sales and marketing experience, Kate brokered a multi-faceted giving program which has tripled turnover, grown active donors from 5,000 to more than 50,000 and grown regular donors from 450 a year to an amazing 21,000. Judges highlighted Kate’s ability to marry her business acumen with her passion for the cause; as well as her inate understanding of the organisation at a grassroots level.

Government and Academia Award
Captain Mona Shindy, Royal Australian Navy, Maroubra

Katarina Carroll, Queensland Fire & Emergency Services, Brisbane
The first woman to be appointed Commissioner of Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) in 2015, Katarina Carroll has carved an impressive career within a largely male-dominated workplace. QFES is the primary provider of fire and emergency services in Queensland and Katarina’s role is to drive change including setting the vision and strategic direction. Last year, as Queensland Police Assistant Commissioner, Katarina led the Queensland Police Service (QPS) G20 security operation in Brisbane. Judges described Katarina as a visionary leader, who has driven substantial cultural change and championed gender diversity in her position.

Corporate and Private Award
Dr Catherine Ball, Brisbane
Dr Catherine Ball has delivered a number of world firsts the use of drones for environmental and infrastructure surveying. This includes high-resolution, 3D-walkthroughs of remote islands from data collected by drones, enabling scientists to assess turtle rookeries without leaving the office. Catherine is an active contributor to Emberin’s My Mentor Ignite: Courageous Women program and a mentor for the Smith Family, where she supports a pair of young female twins. She is passionate about more women becoming involved in technology and innovation, particularly in male dominated areas such as aviation, technology, UAS, big data and science. Telstra Awards judges praised Catherine as an inspiring, bright and vibrant leader - someone who stands up in the face of a system that needs change, identifies solutions and makes things happen.

Young Business Women’s Award
Kim Tran, La Belle Peau Skincare Clinic, Perth

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