Telstra Best of Business Awards 2024: state finalists in all categories to head to Sydney in February


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Australian companies at the forefront of driving the nation’s progress have been recognised in Telstra’s annual Best of Business Awards.

Selected from more than 22,000 nominations of small businesses nationwide, state winners have been lauded for their significant contributions to the Australian economy and society.


Telstra’s business group executive Amanda Hutton said the state winners represented the “brilliant business minds our country has to offer” and were inspiring the next generation of entrepreneurs.

“The calibre of small and medium-sized businesses in Australia is nothing short of exceptional,” she said.

“We couldn’t be prouder to celebrate the winning businesses and the people behind them, recognising their relentless efforts and incredible potential while inspiring the next generation of small businesses in Australia.”

The winners were evaluated on multiple criteria, including economic sustainability, operational effectiveness, technology adoption, progressive leadership, culture, and social and community contribution.

The program features seven distinct categories, each highlighting the specific achievements and contributions of the businesses.

State winners will head to Sydney on February 7, with national winners announced the following day.


In the Sunshine State of Queensland, seven companies were recognised as trailblazers in their respective categories.

These businesses shaping the state’s economic landscape and contributing to its growth are:

Accelerating Women: The Audacious Agency

The Audacious Agency, founded by Annette Densham and Lauren Clemett, elevates businesses through compelling storytelling.

Building Communities: Accessible Homes Australia

Accessible Homes Australia AHA, an NDIS-registered Specialist Disability Accommodation provider, was founded by Perry Cross AM, a ventilated quadriplegic with personal insight into the significance of accessible housing. AHA is committed to creating high-quality accessible homes.

Championing Health: ConnectedLE

ConnectedLE is an innovative online platform that combines storytelling and science to enhance mental fitness.

Their team empowers frontline service professionals to improve mental health in communities and workplaces, promoting proactive wellbeing in Australia.

Embracing Innovation: Chirpyplus

Chirpyplus employs modern technology and in-person meet-ups to combat loneliness in Australians aged 50 and over.

Indigenous Excellence: Australian Training Works Group

Founded by Gunggandji men, Tony and Ashley Martens, the business provides meaningful skills development and employment opportunities for First Nations Peoples, focusing on tailored solutions for Indigenous training and employment outcomes.

Outstanding Growth: LSKD

LSKD is an Australian brand known for crafting top-tier sportswear with a street-style flair.

Through their direct-to-consumer app and eCommerce platform, LSKD offers a convenient way for Australians to shop for high-quality apparel, including options for women, men, and unisex styles.

Promoting Sustainability: Sunshine Hydro

Sunshine Hydro is a carbon-neutral energy company using extended-duration energy storage via pumped hydro systems.


In New South Wales, seven companies are leading the charge in driving progress and making a difference in their communities. The state winners are:

Accelerating Women: Women Rising

Megan Dalla-Camina founded Women Rising to empower women in their careers, fostering authentic leadership, confidence, and wellbeing.

Their program offers holistic personal and professional development, guided by an evidence-based curriculum, expert coaching, and a supportive community.

Building Communities: Evolve Communities

Evolve Communities, led by Co-Directors Carla Rogers and Aunty Munya Andrews, is a trusted provider of cultural awareness training and allyship accreditation.

Their core programs, led by a diverse Indigenous and non-Indigenous team, model allyship, whether in-person or online.

Championing Health: Mercy Connect

Mercy Connect, a non-profit Catholic organisation, offers innovative services and programs.

Their goal is to enable individuals of all ages with disabilities to live independently and actively engage in their community.

Embracing Innovation: Dental Boutique Sydney

Founded in 2013 by Dr Reuben Sim and Dr May Chan, Dental Boutique aims to redefine the dental experience.

With a team of acclaimed dentists, dental surgeons, and master ceramists, they specialise in crafting personalised, naturally beautiful smile makeovers.

Indigenous Excellence: Eather Group

Eather Group, an Indigenous family business, provides sustainable solutions in civil construction and waste-to-resource industries.

Their vision is to establish a circular economy in infrastructure by sourcing, transporting, and repurposing materials for projects while promoting workforce equity and diversity, all with a focus on caring for the environment.

Outstanding Growth: SAPHI

SAPHI delivers tech-agnostic solutions, specialising in emerging technologies.

Serving mining, utilities, government, and heavy industry sectors, SAPHI offers tailored, impartial solutions aligned with each client’s specific needs.

Promoting Sustainability: Lyka Pet Food

Lyka Pet Food is reshaping the pet food industry by delivering fresh, human-grade wholefood meals directly to customers across Australia.

Their mission is to enhance the health of Australian dogs through high-quality nutrition.


In the state of Victoria, seven businesses have taken centre stage. The winners are:

Accelerating Women: Empowered Women in Trades

Empowered Women in Trades, a social enterprise, is at the forefront of advocating for tradeswomen and promoting diversity and gender equality.

Through partnerships with educational institutions and industry leaders, their mission is to empower women and non-binary individuals, supporting them in pursuing and excelling in trade sector careers.

Building Communities: The Conversation

The Conversation is a global knowledge initiative, harnessing technology, academic knowledge, and journalistic expertise.

Across Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia, and beyond, they unite universities and journalists in a mission to create and share free, independent, fact-based journalism.

Championing Health: Mums Matter Psychology

Founded by Clinical Psychologist and Frances Bilbao, Mums Matter Psychology is a top perinatal psychology practice.

They offer specialised, affordable, and accessible psychological therapy to support women’s mental health during the transition to parenthood.

Embracing Innovation: MakerX

MakerX fuses technology, innovation, and business expertise to create thriving digital products for start-ups, corporates, and venture builders.

With decades of experience in developing mobile and web applications, cloud infrastructure, product strategies, and more, MakerX provides clients with comprehensive digital business development solutions.

Indigenous Excellence: Foundations Family Day Care

Foundations Family Day Care, a First Nations family-owned and operated service, focuses on nurturing children’s individuality, their connection to family and community, and their pursuit of dreams.

Outstanding Growth: iBuild Building Solutions

iBuild Building Solutions is a specialist in designing, manufacturing, and delivering high-quality flat pack homes and prefabricated buildings.

Their focus is on providing sustainable and affordable living solutions, including kit homes, granny flats, modular buildings, and steel structures.

Promoting Sustainability: Nationwide Waste Solutions

Nationwide Waste Solutions efficiently and professionally addresses waste management needs, striving to improve the profitability of Australian businesses by reducing waste and maximising material recovery.

They provide a range of facility services, including specialised options like liquid waste removal and medical waste disposal.


In South Australia, seven businesses have been recognised as leaders in their categories. The winners are:

Accelerating Women: mumamoo

mumamoo, a female-owned infant formula company, is Australian made, owned, and manufactured.

Starting in South Australia, the business has grown to distribute its products in over 800 stores nationwide.

Building Communities: Chat Well Allied Health

Chat Well Allied Health is a pediatric allied health clinic committed to delivering quality services that empower children and their families.

Their team embraces a neurodiversity-affirming approach to support children with various diagnoses, including autism, intellectual disability, developmental delay, and more.

Championing Health: Communication eXtra

Communication eXtra is an NDIS-registered provider devoted to offering assistance to the deaf and hard-of-hearing community.

Their team is dedicated to acknowledging each individual’s unique challenges and strengths, creating an inclusive and supportive environment where participants are heard, valued, and well-supported.

Embracing Innovation: Transmutation

Boutique recycling and manufacturing business Transmutation specialises in crafting and selling circular economy products.

They show customers that waste can be transformed into something remarkable, offering a range of items, from bags, belts, clothing, jewellery, homewares, and more.

Indigenous Excellence: Bungala Food Service

Bungala Food Service is a meal delivery initiative designed to offer employment prospects to the local Aboriginal women of Port Augusta.

The team provides these women with traineeships to earn their Certificate II in Kitchen Operation, ensuring stable employment and a supportive work environment.

Outstanding Growth: QMS NDT & NACE

A family-owned and operated business, QMS NDT & NACE provides specialised non-destructive testing, inspection, and production services to South Australia’s defence, mining, and manufacturing industries, ensuring safety and equipment reliability.

Promoting Sustainability: 2XE

With a focus on holistic return on investment and a commitment to respectful relationships, 2XE has partnered with over 1000 companies, industry associations, and government agencies in the past 12 years.

They offer ESG, net zero, circular economy, and sustainability consulting services to help organisations attain and maintain a net-zero carbon footprint.


In Tasmania, five businesses have taken a step forward, showcasing their excellence. The winners are:

Accelerating Women: Allison Davies, Music and The Brain

With a particular emphasis on neurodivergence and neuro-affirming practices, Allison Davies, Music and The Brain provides valuable education for parents, carers, teachers, and service providers.

Their guidance enables the use of therapeutic, music-based strategies to promote emotional wellbeing in themselves and the children they support.

Building Communities: Felicity Ryan Ballet

Founded in 2012, Felicity Ryan Ballet is an all-inclusive, non-competitive ballet studio that offers a wide range of classes for children and adults.

Their team combines technical training with a positive, nurturing environment, promoting self-discipline, kindness, self-awareness, and confidence in all students.

Championing Health: Earworx

Earworx, with clinics across Australia, specialises in removing impacted earwax using dry and efficient microsuction technology under direct observation.

Their approach effectively relieves the discomfort associated with excess earwax.

Embracing Innovation and Promoting Sustainability: Fulcrum Robotics

Providing innovative multidisciplinary services to the industrial, environmental, and technology sectors, Fulcrum Robotics uses cutting-edge robotics for secure remote access to hazardous environments.

Outstanding Growth: Devonport Tenpin Bowl

Devonport Tenpin Bowl offers entertaining bowling experiences for people of all ages and abilities.

In addition to casual play, their local leagues provide a competitive platform for skill development and statewide competition, ensuring fun for everyone.


In the Northern Territory, three businesses have been lauded for making waves and creating positive impacts. The winners are:

Building Communities: Indigenous Manapan Furniture

Indigenous-owned enterprise Manapan Furniture creates premium, custom furniture on the remote island of Milingimbi, near Australia’s north coast.

Their core mission is to empower the Yolngu nation of Milingimbi through job opportunities in the production of high-end giftware, furniture, and office furnishings.

Embracing Innovation: Florance Electrical

Florance Electrical, a family-owned and operated business, was founded by Alex Florance and Courtney Sim-Gully to address unmet needs in the electrical services industry.

Championing Health and Indigenous Excellence: Kings Narrative

Kings Narrative, an Indigenous-owned and operated social enterprise, offers culturally tailored counselling, coaching, and cultural immersion programs.

Their initiatives include bush medicine workshops, leadership programs, a mobile barber shop, and men’s wellbeing camps, all dedicated to healing and empowerment.


Originally published as Telstra Best of Business Awards 2024: state winners announced

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