Media Release, 30 April 2020

Ethical tea founder named Telstra Victorian Business Woman of the Year

Melbourne, Thursday 30 April 2020: Julie Hirsch, Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer of Eloments Natural Vitamin Tea, is the 2020 Telstra Victorian Business Woman of the Year.

From her early years in California, Hirsch has had a passion for progressive causes. After becoming Deputy Director of a climate action organisation, she co-founded Eloments, one of the world’s first natural vitamin teas.

Ms Hirsch sources Fairtrade ingredients from around the world, from bourbon vanilla in Madagascar to cardamom in Sri Lanka. These teas and spices are then blended with nutrient-rich fruit and herbal extracts so that every cup contains nine essential nutrients, a world-first innovation.

“I believe the best things in life are free, and everything else should be fairly traded. In launching Eloments, we’ve created a for-purpose, for-profit business, where ethical decision making is the norm,” said Ms Hirsch.

Hirsch also took home the Emerging Leader Award, which recognises the up-and-coming talent of tomorrow. Entrants in this category may only just be starting out, but they have the capability, commitment and vision to become our future leaders.

For 25 years, the Telstra Business Women’s Awards have recognised more than 3,000 exceptional women in leadership, who are transforming the way we lead businesses from all corners of Australia and across all industries.

Alex Badenoch, Telstra’s Group Executive of Transformation, Communications & People and Telstra Business Women’s Awards Ambassador, congratulated the Victorian winners, who are all inspiring examples of leaders challenging the status quo within and beyond their industries.

“We commend Ms Hirsch for her strong moral compass and leadership posture. She has made an astonishing impact already, and has the potential to change the world. She may very well disrupt a whole category, and has demonstrated true innovation in a product,” said Ms Badenoch.

Also recognised at the 2020 Telstra Victorian Business Women’s Awards were:

·       Small Business Award: Hannah Spilva, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, LVLY

Hannah Spilva is the Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of LVLY, an online flower gifting company. The all-female team has grown significantly since 2015 and gives back by supporting community initiatives.

·       Medium & Large Business Award: Leanne Healey, Founder and Director, Everyday Independence

Occupational therapist Leanne Healey founded Everyday Independence in 1997, aiming to help people with disabilities live everyday lives.

·       Public Sector & Academia Award: Professor Belinda Tynan, Deputy Vice-Chancellor Education and Vice-President, RMIT University

Professor Belinda Tynan leads a team responsible for implementing strategies that impact more than 90,000 students.

·       For Purpose & Social Enterprise Award: Kate Fazio, Head of Innovation and Engagement, Justice Connect

Through her work at Justice Connect, Kate Fazio has been pivotal to designing and implementing radically new and successful approaches to delivering free legal services.

“For a quarter of a century, the Telstra Business Women’s Awards have advocated for women in business, helping to promote gender equality in the workplace and recognising the women who are paving the way for future generations,” Ms Badenoch said.

“These women are setting new benchmarks for what it means to be a successful business person, championing inclusion and innovation as they do so.”


Telstra Media contact:

Matt Smithson – Telstra State Media Manager (VIC/TAS) – E:
Media reference number: 038/2020