Rewarding the small businesses driving Australia forward


Our judges have combed through the more than 24,000 small businesses that were nominated for this year’s Telstra Best of Business Awards. We’ve singled out a few incredible businesses that demonstrate the resilience and ingenuity of the Aussie small business community.

At a gala event in Sydney, we’ve just announced the national winners of our annual Telstra Best of Business Awards categories. Each winner is outstanding in their field and their recognition is well deserved. After over 25 years of rewarding exceptional leaders and small and medium businesses, this year’s cohort are among the best.

TBoBA Progressing Australia Winners - Pakko

Progressing Australia Award national winner: Pakko (QLD)

TBoBA Accelerating Womenw winner - She_s A Crowd

Accelerating Women Award national winner: She’s A Crowd (NSW)

TBoBA Building Communities - West Aus Shalom Group

Building Communities Award national winner: West Australian Shalom Group (WA)

TBoBA Sustainability and Innovation Winners - Sea Forest

Embracing Innovation Award and Promoting Sustainability Award national winner: Sea Forest (TAS)

TBoBA Indigenous Excellence Winner - Killara Services

Indigenous Excellence Award national winner: Killara Services (NSW)

TBoBA Championing Health - Ear Science Institute

Championing Health Award national winner: Ear Science Institute Australia (WA)

TBoBA Outstanding Growth Winner - Complete Home Filtration

Outstanding Growth Award national winner: Complete Home Filtration (WA)

This year’s theme was Local Leadership, highlighting the businesses that are building thriving communities and contributing to their local neighbourhoods – a massive 96 per cent of consumers consider small businesses an integral part of their communities. We’ve also increased our focus on diversity and inclusion in the Best of Business Awards, both in the entry process and in creating new awards categories.

The national winners of the 2022 Telstra Best of Business Awards are:

2022 Telstra Best of Business Awards Progressing Australia Award national winner: Pakko (QLD)

Pakko creates out of the box packaging. Since 2017, the dedicated team of designers and packaging specialists has produced custom solutions for businesses of all shapes and sizes. The judges said that Pakko recognised a lack of local manufacturing in its industry in Australia was making it difficult for businesses to grow.

2022 Telstra Best of Business Awards Accelerating Women Award national winner: She’s A Crowd (NSW)

She’s A Crowd makes cities safer for women. By collecting and mapping crowdsourced data about women’s unsafe experiences, She’s A Crowd aims to address unsafe areas in city planning and close the gender data gap. The judges said that strong social values and accelerating action against inequality was in She’s A Crowd’s DNA.

2022 Telstra Best of Business Awards Building Communities Award national winner: West Australian Shalom Group (WA)

The West Australian Shalom Group runs Shalom House, a residential rehabilitation centre. The program focuses on restoration and reintegration, and everyone leaves 100% debt free, with a current drivers’ license, a car, and full-time work. The judges noted that Shalom House was a successful business that has grown through truly building and supporting the community it works with. The model that the team has developed has the potential to be scaled nationally and internationally and has a reach that ripples far wider than just the participants of its program.

2022 Telstra Best of Business Awards Championing Health Award national winner: Ear Science Institute Australia (WA)

With 1 in 6 Australians having some form of hearing loss, Ear Science Institute Australia works to raise awareness and enhance the lives of those living with ear and hearing disorders through innovative treatments. The judges said they were blown away by the huge impact this business was having, both in Australia and internationally.

2022 Telstra Best of Business Awards Embracing Innovation Award national winner: Sea Forest (TAS)

Sea Forest cultivates a natural solution to climate change. The eco-tech company is among the first to commercially grow Asparagopsis, a native red seaweed with the ability to significantly reduce livestock methane emissions. In selecting Sea Forest, the judges highlighted the business’ world class innovation in science, manufacturing and supply-chain management making direct and measurable impact on a globally significant problem – climate change.

2022 Telstra Best of Business Awards Indigenous Excellence Award national winner: Killara Services (NSW)

Killara (formerly GJK Indigenous Solutions) is an Aboriginal owned and operated cleaning company. Killara is Supply Nation certified and creates real pathways for Indigenous Australians to gain access to sustainable employment. Founded by Jasmine Newman, great granddaughter of Aboriginal activist Bert Groves, Killara aims to engage, employ and empower.

2022 Telstra Best of Business Awards Outstanding Growth Award national winner: Complete Home Filtration (WA)

Complete Home Filtration designs, manufactures, and installs water filtration solutions to deliver premium in-home water. One hundred percent Australian, the company prides itself on helping fellow Australians access the best water possible. The judges noted that Complete Home Filtration has demonstrated that a clear vision and ingenuity can drive tremendous growth for Australian small businesses.

2022 Telstra Best of Business Awards Promoting Sustainability Award national winner: Sea Forest

The judges said that Sea Forest was a remarkable business creating a new industry, delivering productivity benefit for the farming industry, in addition to making a significant, global impact on climate change through the reduction of methane gas.

Winners making change in their communities

These winners have made a meaningful and positive impact in the communities and industries that they operate in, and they should celebrate their success. 2021 was every bit as disruptive to normal business operations as the year before it, so we commend them for their resilience and their ability to survive, grow and thrive in difficult conditions.

The judging process included in-depth interviews with a range of senior business leaders, including Small Business Australia Director, Bill Lang, Thankyou’s co-founder and Managing Director, Daniel Flynn, SWIISH co-founder and media personality, Sally Obermeder and Qantas’ Group Executive Strategy, People and Technology, Rob Marcolina, among others.

We had an incredible inaugural year for the Telstra Best of Business Awards, and we’re looking forward to continuing to support small businesses around the country in the year ahead. Nominations for 2023 are now open.

Michael Ackland

By

Michael Ackland

Group Executive, Consumer & Small Business –
Telstra

Michael is responsible for all our Consumer & Small Business sales and service channels. He joined Telstra in 2016 as Executive Director of Telstra Country Wide, with responsibility for over 350 retail stores and over 16,000 partners nationally.

Michael joined Telstra from GE, where held the role of CEO GE Healthcare, Australia and New Zealand. In his 12 years at GE, Michael held various executive leadership roles across GE’s Australia and New Zealand business, including financial services, corporate and healthcare divisions. Prior to GE, Michael was Principal at The Boston Consulting Group, where he worked for eight years.


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