Ben Birchall
Industry Expert

Ben Birchall is a writer, broadcaster and content specialist

Ben Birchall
Industry Expert

Ben Birchall is a writer, broadcaster and content specialist

The Telstra Business Women’s Awards have capped off their 21st year by honouring a trailblazing member of the Royal Australian Navy.

In a glittering ceremony hosted by broadcaster and commentator Jane Caro, the Telstra Business Women’s Awards turned 21 in style. As in previous years, the Awards brought together the state level winners to crown national winners in several categories across the corporate world, government and academia and small to medium enterprise.

But this year had a slightly different shape, with the introduction of For Purpose and Social Enterprise, Start-Up and Entrepreneur categories. 

The winner of the TBWA accepts her award.

And the winner is…

This year’s Telstra Australian Business Woman of the Year is Captain Mona Shindy, Director Littoral Warfare and Maritime Support in the Australian Navy. With a career spanning 26 years, Captain Shindy has led teams in operational roles and in technical support organisations and served as the Fast Frigate System Program Office Director. In 2013, she became the Chief of Navy’s Strategic Adviser on Islamic Cultural Affairs, a role that creates a better understanding between the Defence Force and the wider Islamic community.

In her Telstra Business Women’s Awards acceptance speech, Captain Shindy noted that much of her success has been about pushing boundaries. She also extolled the value of strong leadership:A strong advocate for diversity within the workplace, Captain Shindy was awarded the Conspicuous Service Cross for her commitment to cultural change in this year’s Australia Day honours.

“Effecting necessary change, in business practice or community attitudes, requires strong leadership by example. It requires creating environments where people are encouraged to collaborate and innovate, where all contributions are respected and valued, where there is a strong sense of belonging and personal responsibility, then people and organisations are empowered to be their best and to give their best.”

Starting on start-ups

To reflect the change in the business landscape, 2015 saw the addition of a Start-Up Award. The inaugural award went to Jessica May of Enabled Employment in Canberra. Established in 2014, Enabled Employment is an online portal that offers flexible employment for people with disability or Australian Defence Force members with post-traumatic stress and other injuries. It was Jessica’s diagnosis with a panic disorder after the birth of her first child that prompted her to start the business.

Up and coming

Also higlighted in the 2015 Awards was the Young Business Woman’s Award, which was awarded to Kim Tran of La Belle Peau Skincare Clinic in Perth. Tran’s acceptance speech proved inspirational, with her quote “Having a dream gives you strength and motivation that you never thought possible" proving the most inspirational moment of Smarter’s live-tweeting of the event, garnering attention from businesswomen’s groups across the country.

Congratulations to the winners of the 2015 Telstra Business Women's Awards
 

2015 Telstra Australian Business Woman of the Year

Captain Mona Shindy, Royal Australian Navy, Maroubra

Start-Up Award

Jessica May, Enabled Employment, Canberra

Entrepreneur Award

Marie Piccone, Manbulloo, Horseshoe Lagoon

For Purpose and Social Enterprise Award

Kate Thiele, Guide Dogs SA/NT, Adelaide

Government and Academia Award

Captain Mona Shindy, Royal Australian Navy, Maroubra

Katarina Carroll, Queensland Fire & Emergency Services, Brisbane

Corporate and Private Award

Dr Catherine Ball,  Brisbane

Young Business Women’s Award

Kim Tran, La Belle Peau Skincare Clinic, Perth

Looking to read more about the event and the winners?

Read more about the Telstra Business Women’s Awards.

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