Telstra Women’s Business Awards

B2B Editor7 November 2013

Telstra Women’s Business Awards


10 October, 2013 – A woman who grew up in war-torn Zimbabwe witnessing poverty and discrimination, and who is now shaping the direction of a global aid organisation, has been named the 2013 Telstra ACT Business Woman of the Year.

Making a difference to the lives of millions is what CARE Australia does best and CEO Dr Julia Newton-Howes is at the helm leading its reform agenda.

Her vision for CARE Australia was to have gender equality and women’s empowerment recognised as an organisational commitment because she believed removing barriers for women and girls was the best way to bring lasting change to poor communities. In 2009 the CARE International Board agreed to commit to fight global poverty by empowering women and girls.

Since Dr Newton-Howes joined CARE Australia in 2007 – an organisation of 1000 people – government funding has doubled, private fundraising has increased by 30 per cent and non-program specific funds are up 54 per cent.

On her watch, the Walk In Her Shoes challenge was born where participants take 10,000 steps a day for a week to raise money for global poverty. The campaign draws a parallel with the burden experienced by women and girls in developing countries, who often spend hours every day walking to collect food, water and firewood. She has also partnered with corporates such as The Body Shop, realising $400,000 in funding in just two years, and community groups such as Girl Guides Victoria.

In a push for greater transparency, the former AusAID and World Bank executive upgraded CARE Australia’s website and annual report. Consequently her organisation has been a finalist for two years running in PwC’s Transparency Awards. She also introduced a landmark report on CARE Australia’s impact in Asia over a five year period providing invaluable benchmarking to drive improvement.

Dr Newton-Howes says passion, putting her hand up for new challenges and compelling people to join her journey are central to her career progression.

“I have learned throughout my career that being right or sure about a direction you need to take isn’t enough; you also have to persuade other people. I feel lucky to work on issues I am deeply committed to,” she said.

Dr Newton-Howes is a member of the CARE International Board and Vice President of the Australian Council for International Development, the peak body for non-profits working in international development.

Kate McKenzie, Group Managing Director Telstra Innovation, Products and Marketing and Telstra Business Women’s Awards Ambassador, said: “The ACT winners are inspirational business women with extraordinary achievements.

“Judges were impressed by Dr Newton-Howe’s passion for CARE Australia’s agenda and her high competencies across the organisation, including effective fundraising. They said her business strategy, which focused on reducing poverty by targeting discrimination, particularly of women and girls, was inspirational and added that she enjoyed high respect and engagement from all her staff in Australia,” Ms McKenzie said.



Louise Curtis

Lollypotz | Canberra

After the success of her hamper company, Hamperesque, Louise Curtis launched Lollypotz in 2009. A ‘chocolate florist’, Lollypotz now has 27 franchises across Australia and New Zealand as well as company owned outlets, home-based operations and pop-up stores. In 2012, Lollypotz provided 250,000 gifts across Australia and 3,500 in New Zealand. Ms Curtis developed a customised web-based ordering service for corporate customers enabling them to set up their own branded gift range. Judges were impressed with Ms Curtis’ strong business achievements, her leadership, drive and communications skills.


Anita Borella

GHD Pty Ltd | Canberra

In a male dominated engineering profession, Anita Borella has achieved a great deal in a short time. Ms Borella, a Senior Project Manager and Defence Infrastructure Panel Manager, graduated with a double degree in Engineering (Honours) and Commerce in 2006. Her work for clients to realise projects with capital expenditure of about $700 million requires a focus on vision and the bottom line, and her Defence Infrastructure Panel role receives high-level national attention. She was named Council of Australia’s ACT Future Leader of the Year in 2010. Ms Borella’s collaborative leadership on the many high profile projects she manages and her success as an engineer in a traditionally male dominated industry was applauded by the judges.


Dr Julia Newton-Howes

CARE Australia | Canberra


Lisa Roberts

Provincial Plants and Landscapes | Pialligo

Co-founder of Provincial Plants and Landscapes, Lisa Roberts has developed a holistic business model incorporating plants, produce, aquaponics, animals, revegetation, landscape design, sustainable agriculture, eco-living and philanthropy. Her business operates on renewable energy, its nurseries specialise in plants grown without chemicals using harvested rainwater, and a polyculture farm produces organic food including fish, eggs and honey. The company donates composting toilets, creates wells, and provides education programs for the community. Judges recognised the innovation in Ms Roberts’ integrated business model, saying while the various parts of her business were inter-related, they could operate independently.


Anita Borella

GHD Pty Ltd | Canberra


Dr Julia Newton-Howes

CARE Australia | Canberra

The ACT winners proceed to the national finals in Melbourne on 14 November.

CommBank’s Women in Focus program, which opens doors to opportunity for women across Australia, is an Official Partner of the Telstra Business Women’s Awards. The Bank is proud to present each of the category winners with $4,000 prize money. Telstra recognises the ACT Business Woman of the Year with a major prize of $10,000.




Finalist Business Owner Award

Finalist Business Innovation Award

SAGE Thinking is a thought leader in the field of human learning and leadership development. SAGE Thinking goes beyond the normal leadership approach to focus on the science of learning, thinking and optimizing human potential to develop leaders and organisations.

As a boutique training company, SAGE Thinking provides lcutting edge innovation in education, executive coaching, consulting and facilitation for leaders, executives and organisations to achieve tangible results and create their preferred futures. “While there are lots of organisations providing leadership education, SAGE is at the forefront of education and research into global leadership competencies so we can keep our clients at the forefront of their fields”.

SAGE Thinking specialises in transformational change and renewal. Our central ideas focus on blending intuitive problem solving and generative decision making processes, based in a deep understanding of how the brain works, to achieve new and more encompassing ways of operating within a global market of increasing complexity and uncertainty.

We do this by working closely with our clients, deeply understanding their needs and facilitating a journey of generative discovery through challenging their assumptions and mental models of the world, harnessing their strengths, presenting strategies to innovate CARON EGLE SAGE THINKING quickly and aligning strategy with their organisational vision and purpose. This results in enhanced human performance, operational excellence, knowledge creation and increased economic return.

Caron Egle, the Managing Director of SAGE Thinking, was thrilled to be a finalist in the 2013 Telstra Business Women’s Awards in two categories – Business Owner Category and the Innovation Category. Caron said it was wonderful to be part of such a prestigious award and to meet such extraordinary women doing amazing things in business. She was particularly pleased to be recognized for her innovative leadership development programs. She said that the needs of our global economy today has changed enormously and we need to develop new levels of thinking to better lead and create our preferred and sustainable futures. Caron can be contacted at [email protected]


Finalist Community and Government Award

Margaret Beerworth, ACT Branch Director of the Pharmacy Guild of Australia, has a long-standing passion for representing the interests of members of organisations and her current role with the Pharmacy Guild is no exception. As the Guild’s representative for pharmacies in the ACT, her main focus is to advocate to government and strengthen relationships with industry stakeholders. In addition, she champions pharmacy health programs which are conducted in pharmacies. One of her most successful health programs involved securing an ACT Government grant to promote cardiovascular health to the community.

Margaret says, “the ‘warning signs of heart attack’ project not only significantly contributed to the health and wellbeing of hundreds of people in the ACT, but saved the lives of many pharmacy attendees who were referred to hospitals after staff recognised heart attack symptoms”.

Community pharmacists are the most accessible of all health professionals – available for advice and assistance, without charge and almost always without an appointment. Pharmacies are therefore playing an increasingly important role as health care hubs, providing PBS medicines, medication advice, a wide range of health screening services and related advice and appropriate referrals.

The old days of putting a label on a bottle of pills and leaving at that are long gone. For example, almost all of the 5,200 pharmacies in Australia provide enhanced medication management assistance through Dose Administration Aids, which are vital in helping some patients, particularly the elderly, take their medicines as and when directed by their doctors.

Community pharmacies are among the most frequently visited small businesses in Australia with the average Australian visiting a community pharmacy about 14 times a year. For some Australians, these visits are more frequent. For the many patients, such as the elderly or chronically ill who are unable to visit the pharmacy, there are numerous home deliveries to these patients by pharmacy staff at all hours of the day and night, including weekends. For pharmacists and their dedicated staff, the health and wellbeing of their community is paramount.



Finalist Young Business Women’s Award

Government relations and strategic communications specialist Tara Taubenschlag has been honoured at the recent Telstra Women’s Business Awards. A Young Business Women’s Award Finalist, Ms Taubenschlag believes that her passion for politics coupled with a strong work ethic and entrepreneurial spirit has been a catalyst for her success in the industry.

Based in Canberra, Ms Taubenschlag is the Managing Director of CMAX Communications, a consultancy which represents clients in the public and private sector. CMAX advises clients from a range of industries including defence, national security, agriculture, mining and resources, health, education and the arts.

“We assist clients achieve their corporate objectives through strategy development and implementation, stakeholder identification and engagement, media engagement, lobbying, policy analysis and advice, public relations, issue management and events and conferences.”

Established in 2004, Ms Taubenschlag says the change in the political environment over the past decade has helped her shape the direction of her business.

“My vision was to develop a truly bipartisan government relations and strategic communications agency that could help clients navigate through the often complex political and legislative environment.”

Ms Taubenschlag has worked with Prime Ministers from both sides of the political spectrum, managing media communications for the Australia 2020 Summit under [former] Prime Minister Rudd and media training for the Prime Minister’s Business Community Partnerships Programs under [former] Prime Minister Howard.

Ms Taubenschlag says as a Young Business Women Award finalist, she wants to inspire and encourage other young women to play an active role in the political landscape.

“We need greater representation on the Hill whether it is around the Cabinet table, or on the other side in government relations, influencing and advocating on behalf of others.”

As a business leader, Tara feels a strong sense of commitment and responsibility to her community. She assists a number of non-profit and community organisations with their PR and communication needs on a pro- bono basis.

Tara has received an Australian Government Award for volunteer work in East Timor and sits on the board of the charity Send Hope Not Flowers which aims to reduce maternal mortality in developing countries.

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