Former front-line social worker and champion of the not-for-profit sector, Anne Cross, has been named the 20th Telstra Australian Business Woman of the Year at a black-tie event in Melbourne on Wednesday night. It is the second year in a row that a Queensland woman has taken out the prestigious national award.
As CEO of of UnitingCare Queensland, Anne Cross oversees 16,000 employees and 9,000 volunteers across 400 locations. Anne was awarded for her efforts to reshape the way healthcare, community and aged-care services are delivered to hundreds of communities and the thousands of people UnitingCare helps every day.
In her acceptance speech, Anne Cross said the win, while being a great personal accolade, would hopefully help to profile the important role the not-for-profit sector plays and help attract even more high-achieving people to offer their skills and talent to valuable community based organisations.
“The health and community services sector is a significant contributor to Australia’s social and economic fabric. UnitingCare Queensland is a significant business. As one of Queensland’s largest employers, much of what we do is world class. Hopefully this award will highlight our role and importance in society,” she said.
Within a year of her appointment as CEO in 2003, Anne Cross consolidating more than 100 separate organisations into four service groups: Blue Care, UnitingCare Health, UnitingCare Community and Australian Regional and Remote Community Services. In 2012, she cemented a partnership with the Commonwealth Government to construct Australia’s first fully integrated digital hospital at Hervey Bay, along the way extensively redesigning how clinicians and staff go about their work to deliver quality treatment for its patients.
In addition to winning the national award and the title as 2014 Telstra Business Woman of the Year, Anne Cross received the Community and Government Award
Australian Women Online would like to congratulate Anne Cross and the other award recipients at the 2014 Telstra Australian Business Women’s Awards ceremony in Melbourne on 26 November.
Business Owner Award
Kate Weiss, the owner of Victorian food company Table of Plenty
Following the birth of her daughter with a disability, Kate Weiss commenced researching food, nutrition and wellbeing. This led her to create her food company, Table of Plenty, which seven years on has products stocked in major local and international supermarkets. Her business also provides tens of thousands of hours of work for people with disabilities, which is a key part of the business mission and motivation. Telstra Awards judges said she had remained competitive through innovation and is at the forefront of the healthy eating trend that is now being adopted by major brands in the same category.
Private and Corporate Sector Award
Susan Lloyd-Hurwitz, the CEO and Managing Director of ASX50 property company Mirvac
In a career spanning 25 years, Susan Lloyd-Hurwitz has scaled to great heights in the traditionally male dominated property industry. She led complex businesses and strategies for global property players, before being appointed CEO and Managing Director of ASX top 50 company, Mirvac. Since joining Mirvac, Ms Lloyd-Hurwitz has driven a growth strategy across its portfolio of residential, office, retail and industrial assets. Telstra Awards judges said she was an articulate, highly competent executive who had turned around the culture at Mirvac and won the support of initially sceptical fund managers with her strategy and financial improvement.
Business Innovation Award (Two Winners)
Andrea Galloway, CEO of the NSW not-for-profit organisation Evolve Housing
Drawing on her skills as a highly-ranked tennis player and corporate high-flyer, Andrea Galloway has helped not-for-profit Evolve Housing move away from total reliance on government funding, by creating new revenue streams and partnerships. As CEO, Ms Galloway also drove the design, construction and management model for providing much needed disability housing. Telstra Awards judges praised Ms Galloway for her resilience, demonstrated throughout her life since she was homeless at the age of 16, and vision and skill in managing the complex issues around getting people with extreme disabilities into private housing.
Assistant Commissioner Donna Adams, Tasmania’s highest ranked female police officer
Starting with the police service at 19, Donna Adams progressed through the ranks to become the first woman to be appointed as an Assistant Commissioner in the 114-year history of the Tasmania Police. Highly decorated, she has received an Australian Police Medal for Distinguished Service, Commissioner’s Commendation for her work on the Port Arthur massacre and has been recognised by the Australasian Council of Women in Policing. Telstra Awards judges praised her technology leadership in introducing tablets for front line police that have had a huge impact on their operational efficiency and ability to provide services.
Young Business Women’s Award
Tina Tower, the owner of franchise tutoring business Begin Bright
In her second year of studying teaching, after switching from business studies, Tina Tower combined the two disciplines to start a tutoring centre. But she soon felt that the one centre was not enough to reach all the children she wanted to help. In 2008 she started licensing her school readiness and tutoring programs before establishing Begin Bright as a franchise, which is now in 17 locations across three states. Telstra Awards judges said Ms Tower was a courageous and determined business leader, prepared to put everything into backing her business, overcoming critics and setbacks as she licensed and then franchised her programs.
For finalists and winners across Australia, the Telstra Business Women Awards offer a share in $650,000 in cash and prizes. More information on the Awards can be found at www.womensawards.com
No Fear of Heights – Inspiring Stories of Business Success, a documentary about six Australian business women and Telstra Awards Alumni, screens on 7TWO at 6pm on Sunday 30 November 2014.