Congratulations to Carolyn Creswell from Victoria who was awarded the top prize at the 2012 Telstra Australian Business Women’s Awards in Sydney last night.
A mother of four young children, Carolyn also won the Commonwealth Bank Business Owner Award.
We would also like to congratulate the other category award winners Cynthia Whelan, Sandy Pitcher, Maureen Clifford, and Chandra Clements.
Carolyn Creswell was an 18-year-old first-year university student in Melbourne in 1992 when she bought half the muesli business which was renamed Carman’s Fine Foods. Two years later she became sole owner and managing director of the Cheltenham healthy food manufacturer which has grown into a multi-national brand offering 22 muesli, porridge and muesli bar products.
Carolyn employs about 130 staff and uses ingredients from Australian farmers and packaging suppliers to stock domestic and international retailers and airlines.
Kate McKenzie, Telstra Group Managing Director for Innovation, Products and Marketing and Telstra Business Women’s Awards Ambassador, said the judging this year was more difficult than ever given the calibre of exceptional, courageous and innovative women many of whom were shaping Australia’s business landscape and the nation’s future.
“Carolyn Creswell has a great business model and work ethic. The Awards judges described her as a hands-on leader with strong business skills in a competitive sector. She’s an articulate communicator, an inspiration to women of all ages and she’s also passionate about being a great mum,” Ms McKenzie said.
Also recognised at the awards was Maureen Clifford, a widow with two young children who struggled her way out of poverty, worked for Fisher & Paykel in New Zealand and later Australia, rising to General Manager Finance before establishing her IT consultancy Ndevr Pty Ltd in Melbourne in 1998.
Maureen, who says innovation helped her company succeed through the Global Financial Crisis, won the Nokia Business Innovation Award for developing an automated environmental accounting and auditing system that was bought by US software giant Oracle Corporation.
The Telstra Awards judges described Maureen Clifford as the epitome of the ‘quiet achiever.’ She displayed deep business acumen, self-belief and was highly innovative and inventive in a contentious field.
Winner of the Hudson Private and Corporate Sector Award, Cynthia Whelan from NSW worked with industry giants Merrill Lynch and UBS before joining her current employer Barclays Bank PLC in 2004 where she established the institution’s debt capital market business in Australia before heading up the regional division in Hong Kong. The aspiring ballet student turned finance expert returned from Asia in 2009 and was appointed CEO for Australia and NZ in 2011. Judges said Cynthia possessed a high level of poise and self awareness and demonstrated both a willingness and ability to break from the pack. She was described as a high achiever in the male-dominated field of equity banking.
Sandy Pitcher from the Department of the Premier and Cabinet, South Australia, received the White Pages® Community & Government Award. Following senior public sector roles in Australian, UK and South Australian governments, Sandy Pitcher was appointed Deputy Chief Executive for the SA Department of the Premier and Cabinet in 2010. She provides high-level advice to the Premier and Cabinet about community well-being and economic prosperity and leads national reform work on behalf of SA. Judges said Sandy demonstrated extraordinary vision in translating ideas of diverse stakeholders into real actions. They commended her ability to address the heart of major community issues.
The marie claire Young Business Women’s Award went to Chandra Clements from Sentis, Queensland. Accountant turned psychologist, Chandra Clements has been CEO of Sentis since 2010. An Australian-owned business, Sentis applies psychology to safety, wellbeing, organisational and leadership performance for clients in 22 countries. Now 34, Chandra leads 90 staff in three Australian offices and one in the US with clients in mining, construction, oil and gas. Judges were impressed with her outstanding people management skills, intuition, insight and the level of strategic thinking required in her business.
Winners of the Awards received a share of more than $200,000 in cash and prizes and become part of an exclusive national business alumni.
More information on the Telstra Business Women’s Awards can be found at www.telstrabusinesswomensawards.com
WATCH & LISTEN to Carolyn Creswell and many other successful business women on the Innovative Women Video Series.