telstra business women's awardsThe Telstra Business Women’s Awards are highly prestigious employee recognition plaques and trophies that honour the work of the most innovative and courageous female workers from all organisations and businesses across the nation. The recipients of the awards are incredibly passionate and hard working women, whose achievements can inspire and educate each and every member of staff in the Australian workplace.

The very premise of the Telstra Business Women’s Awards demonstrates an acknowledgement of and appreciation for the hard work females conduct in this Australian marketplace. Telstra is honouring the work of Australian female personnel and encouraging all women to aspire to become an indispensable part of their business. However, regardless of gender, we can all learn from the qualities and accomplishments of the recipients of the Telstra Business Women’s Awards, which we can apply in out our own workplace and in our own lives.

Here are the winners of the Telstra Business Women’s Awards from each state, and an explanation of why they were granted such a prestigious and honourable award.

NSW – Jeannine Biviano, NSW Department of Trade and Investment

Biviano’s determination and perseverance allowed her to, despite much skepticism and doubt, consolidate 58 separate government entities onto one finance and payroll system in just eight months.

VIC – Sadhana Smiles, Harcourts Victoria

The esteemed recipient of corporate glass gifts and awards in Melbourne is a big believer in the importance of leadership in business coming from the ground up. Smiles adopted this belief to achieve a 26 per cent growth in settled sales for international property group, Harcourts Victoria while CEO in NSW. As CEO in Victoria she has also helped increase Victorian revenue growth by 11 per cent, all of which she achieved in under two years.

ACT –  Dr Julia Newtown-Howes, CARE Australia

Dr Julia Newtown-Howes has dedicated the last two decades of her life to helping the world’s poorest and most marginalised communities. Her major accomplishment in recent years has been to introduce a landmark report on CARE Australia’s impact in Asia over a five year period.

QLD – Rosemary Vilgin, QSuper, Brisbane

Vilgan is the proud leader of a major transformation of QSuper by taking it into the federally regulated arena and helping it become names Pension Fund of the Year.

TAS – Laura Mcbain, Bellamy’s Organic

McBain is the worthy recipient of one of these Noble Awards, on account of her role as CEO for Australia’s only 100% locally made and certified organic formula and toddler milk range.

WA – Sonja Cox, Department of Corrective Services

As Director Operational Performance, Policy and Planning at the Department of Corrective Services in Western Australia, Cox is responsible for the launch of a GPS tracking system for dangerous sex offenders that has over $6 million in funding and which vastly improves community safety.

SA – Cheryl Shigrov, Precious Cargo Education Pty Ltd

Cheryl’s passion for caring for children and her strong principles of trust and transparency led her to open her own education centre in 2006. Shigrov now runs four centres in metropolitan Adelaide.

NT – Helen Summers, Helen Summers Optometrist, Fannie Bay

Summers’ lack of funds and second-hand equipment didn’t stop her from achieving her dream of opening an optometrist dedicated to providing services to under-serviced regional and remote indigenous communities around Northern Territory in 1998. Her dedication to reducing preventable blindness combined with her entrepreneurial skill means that she now runs one of the most successful and high-quality optometry businesses in the area.

What Can We Learn

One of the key factors we can learn from each of the stories of the winners of the Telstra Business Women’s Award is the importance of both passion and compassion. In order to be successful in any area, regardless of how innovative you are or how much money you have (although they certainly help) you have to be incredibly passionate about pursuing a business venture to allow your aspirations to come true. Similarly, all of these women have helped others in some way or another, highlighting the importance of being compassionate rather than selfish.

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