Natasha Chadwick, CEO of Queensland aged care facility, NewDirection Care Bellmere, impressed the judges by pioneering a new approach to aged care for the past seven years. She has created a first of its kind new microtown™ residential community for the elderly, as well as those living with younger onset dementia and complex care needs.
Replacing the typical institutional design of aged and nursing care facilities with a village of homes, her model works as a community where residents share houses, supported by staff as needed, and have access to a full list of services including shops, cafes, cinema, beauty salons, and more.
Ms Chadwick also took home the Medium & Large Business Award. Back in March this year, she was named the 2019 Telstra Queensland Business Woman of the Year.
Now in its 24th year, the Telstra Business Women’s Awards shine a light on women who have challenged the status quo, done things their own way, and achieved success in business. The program empowers Australia’s most successful women from small, medium and large businesses, for-purpose organisations and social enterprises, academia and the public sector.
The national winners were awarded following a thorough judging process, which involved in-depth interviews with a panel of high-profile judges, including Melanie Silva, Managing Director of Google Australia & New Zealand, Stevan Premutico, Founder of Dimmi, and Tracey Spicer, Journalist, Author and Founder of Outspoken Women.
The national winners of the 2019 Telstra Business Women’s Awards are:
Natasha Chadwick, NewDirection Care Bellmere
2019 Telstra Australian Business Woman of the Year
2019 Telstra Australian Business Women’s Medium and Large Business Award winner
As Founder and CEO of NewDirection Care Bellmere, Natasha Chadwick has been pioneering a new approach to aged care for the past seven years. She has created a new microtown residential community for the elderly and those living with younger onset dementia and complex care needs. This state-of-the-art residential care community is just like any small suburban town. It has 17 homes, plenty of outdoor space, BBQ areas, a retail precinct with shops, a cafe, cinema, wellness centre, barbers, beauty salon and much more. Chadwick’s aim is to see her model replicated worldwide. With a client-first approach, she measures her success not by revenue and profitability, but by the changes she has made to the lives of residents and their families. More broadly, through altering the way aged care is delivered, Chadwick is reversing the marginalisation of the elderly community.
Jodie Silvester, KAS Accounting Solutions
2019 Telstra Australian Business Women’s Small Business Award winner
Driven by her passion to empower those around her, Jodie Silvester founded her accounting firm, KAS Accounting Solutions, in the township of Kununurra in the East Kimberley region of Western Australia. Jodie provides individuals, businesses and non-for-profit organisations with the best possible financial guidance, which would have otherwise been unavailable within a remote area. Her goal is to deliver financial stability and worth to her clients, to empower them to achieve their business and financial goals with freedom. Jodie actively donates her time to many local non-for-profit organisations, serving as Treasurer at the Ewin Early Learning Centre, Rotary International Kununurra and Kununurra Race Club over the past ten years.
Dushyanthi Thangiah, Yumba-Meta Housing Association
2019 Telstra Australian Business Women’s For Purpose and Social Enterprise Award winner
Dushyanthi Thangiah spends much of her time giving back to the community. As the CEO of Yumba-Meta Housing Association Limited, an organisation that provides access to housing and support services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, she helps the most marginalised people of the Townsville region. Dushyanthi has worked for YMHAL since 1995. In her time, she has seen the organisation receive government accreditation, which has helped it grow five times in revenue, staffing and operations, and has established it as an equal player in the sector. Dushyanthi also volunteers for other services such as Meals on Wheels, the Cleveland Youth Detention Centre and Cowboys House. She has been a committee member of the North Queensland Hindu Community, while also annually participating in the annual Clean up Australia Day and other local fundraisers.
Debbie Platz, Australian Federal Police
2019 Telstra Australian Business Women’s Public Sector and Academia Award winner
As the Assistant Commissioner to the Australian Federal Police, Debbie Platz is dedicated to policing and protecting Australian communities. Specialising in Crime Operations, Debbie leads, manages and cares for the resourcing for this area across Australia and offshore. Debbie is known for creating a shift in her policing area, moving it from a culture of dependence to a culture of capability. She has created a workplace culture that balances a sense of belonging and uniqueness for all team members. Having a passion for the self-development of women, Debbie has also led a Senior Women’s Forum and two development forums for policing jurisdictions.
Genevieve Clay-Smith, Bus Stop Films
2019 Telstra Australian Business Women’s Emerging Leader Award winner
Genevieve Clay-Smith is seeking to transform the film industry and society at large. As Co-Founder and CEO of Bus Stop Films, she has created a pathway for people with intellectual disability and other marginalised community members to be involved in professional filmmaking. Using her 12 years of experience as a filmmaker and director, Genevieve offers accessible film study courses for people with an intellectual disability or mental health issues, which includes guaranteed work experience on professional film sets. Through events and film screenings, she advocates for the inclusion of people with a disability and other marginalised groups in the film and media industry.