Mrs Black, who is also the winner of the 2016 Telstra Tasmanian Business Women’s For Purpose and Social Enterprise Award, set up the Brave Foundation charity in 2009 in order to build a community of support and acceptance around anyone facing teenage pregnancy and parenthood. There are approximately 24,000 teenage pregnancies in Australia every year and when Bernadette Black was 16 years old, she was one of them. Brave Foundation is the first and only national charity in Australia that exists to provide access to support and education opportunities to pregnant and parenting teens and their loved ones who find themselves in this situation. The foundation provides flexible educational opportunities and pathways, which helps to reduce lower socio-economic outcomes, as well as alleviate government economic burden.
As a result of Bernadette’s hard work, more pregnant and parent teenagers are finishing secondary school, remaining in employment, establishing a happy and healthy family and having a positive impact on the community.
“It is my mission to reduce stigma, build families and strengthen communities by building up the village of support and acceptance around anyone facing teen pregnancy and parenthood, turning the trajectory of generations,” she said.
Bernadette will join other state and territory finalists in Melbourne for the National Awards judging, culminating in a glittering Gala Dinner on the night of Wednesday 16 November 2016. To purchase tickets to the Awards Dinners, please call 1800 817 536 between 9am and 7pm AEST Monday to Friday.
Other business women recognised at the 2016 Telstra Tasmanian Business Women’s Awards are: Dr Kirsten Connan from TasOGS – Tasmanian Obstetrics & Gynaecology Specialists (Entrepreneur Award), Penny Terry from the ABC (Public Sector and Academia Award), Alicia Leis from WLF Accounting & Advisory (Corporate and Private Award), and Melody Towns from Be Hers (Young Business Woman of the Year).
Dr Kirsten Connan
2016 Telstra Tasmanian Business Women’s Entrepreneur Award winner
Kirsten co-founded TasOGS – Tasmanian Obstetrics and Gynaecology Specialists – in January 2015, as the state’s first all-female specialist obstetrics and gynaecology practice, in answer to an unmet need for local women. TasOGS provides women’s health, pregnancy, birthing and surgical care in an environment that is respectful, inclusive, non-judgemental, and conveys clinical and business excellence. The practice assures women have access to not just a female obstetrician/gynaecologist, but an entire team of female specialists, midwives and allied health staff. As a medical specialist, Kirsten shares clinical responsibilities with her co-founder, Dr Tania Hingston. She takes the lead in business matters, including strategic planning, recruitment, processes, and finances. In less than 18 months, the practice has grown from two doctors and a receptionist to seven staff, three allied health professionals, and a third doctor.
2016 Telstra Tasmanian Business Women’s Public Sector and Academia Award winner
As a public broadcaster, the ABC’s programs should “contribute to a sense of national identity and inform, entertain and reflect the cultural diversity of the Australian community” (ABC Charter). Penny says she feels privileged to deliver the ABC’s strategy to help Australians better understand the place they live in and how changes in policy affect them, to empower them to be a part of the national conversation and to help connect people with similar interests. Penny’s main role is to present a two-hour, live radio program daily. She is responsible for researching stories, sourcing talent and finding innovative, creative and relevant ways to connect with her audience on air, online and on social media.
2016 Telstra Tasmanian Business Women’s Corporate and Private Award winner
Since securing her first contract in 2012, Alicia has established a large portfolio of clients and secured revenue in excess of $2M in under five years. This new offering has positioned WLF as a leader in the Tasmanian market, and has contributed to WLF successfully navigating disruptive shifts in the accounting industry. Alicia is lead partner for marketing and spearheaded a full rebrand for the firm delivering a contemporary new identity and brand purpose. Alicia is Vice Chair of the Institute of Internal Auditors Tasmanian Chapter and is currently leading an initiative to embed a staff development framework across the business. Using her professional skills, Alicia delivers governance and risk training to not-for-profit organisations at reduced rates or pro bono.
2016 Telstra Tasmanian Young Business Woman of the Year
Melody founded Be Hers on the premise that ‘She Matters’. She, being every woman and child that has had their basic human right of freedom stolen from them. She could be your daughter, sister or friend. She is the local woman, living in freedom that thinks to herself ‘How could I help’? She may be the victim of domestic violence, rape, or just caught in her own insecurities. Be Hers exists to place value on every woman and empowers her to fight for those who cannot fight for themselves, those who are enslaved by the horrific sex slavery industry. Melody works in partnership with The A21 Campaign, a global anti-human trafficking organisation, to develop strategies and discuss how to best use their fundraising. All of Be Hers’ fundraising initiatives are donated to The A21 Campaign.
Now in their 22nd year, the Telstra Business Women’s Awards are Australia’s longest running and most esteemed women’s awards program in Australia. They recognise and reward the courage, leadership and creativity of brilliant business women.
Nominations for the Telstra Business Women’s Awards are open year-round. If you, or a brilliant business woman you know, deserve recognition, nominate today: https://www.telstrabusinesswomensawards.com/nominate/