The Telstra awards website states: “Only the best in business, become ‘that’ business.”
A celebration of 25 years of recognising ‘that business’ is a special event for sure, and the 25th Telstra Business Awards gala night, where this year’s winners were revealed was indeed a cracker of an event. The special guests, celebrity VIPs, Telstra officials, staff of the National Gallery and of course, those who were nominated for the annual Telstra Business of the Year awards in various categories, along with their supporters, joined a healthy sprinkling of the media to celebrate, Canberra style, in the warmth of the beautiful Gandel Hall.
The special guests, celebrity VIPs, Telstra officials, staff of the National Gallery and of course, those who were nominated for the annual Telstra Business of the Year awards in various categories, along with their supporters, joined a healthy sprinkling of the media to celebrate, Canberra style, in the warmth of the beautiful Gandel Hall.
The judging must have been tough, because it was plain to see that many seemed to be so worthy, and I can’t begin to imagine how they selected one winner for each category. I wrote about the nominated businesses in a previous article here, so you can see for yourselves how tough it was.
I will reveal the winners shortly, but I want to set the scene for you first so that you can capture the essence of this event as it happened.
There is something to be said about a black-tie event that makes you dress to the nines, and several couples made entrances worthy of Hollywood. The pre-dinner drinks were served upstairs where the champagne was flowing, the electricity of the sparkling conversations and nervous anticipation were palpable, and the strobe-like flashes from roaming photographers seeking out the most elegantly dressed, and anticipating they’d capture the possible winners as they took the shots.
Then came the dinner, the speeches, and a very special VIP speaker in Dr Jordan Nguyen who spoke about human technologies, AI, and specifically, wheelchair technology that is changing people’s lives dramatically. According to Dr Nguyen, 1.4 million Australians have a disability and many of these are trapped, prisoners in their own bodies. It was an inspirational presentation that pulled at the heartstrings, which was apt for the occasion, as indeed it was wonderful to see Telstra is including social enterprise in the mix of commercial entrepreneurship. Nowadays social responsibility is taken seriously by successful businesses who want to give back to their communities.
The highlight for me, during the presentations, was these community-minded entrepreneurs, who not only brought all their staff along and were obviously proud of their achievements thus far but also they are making a difference in our Canberra community.
We are seeing a new breed of business enterprise, which operates under the premise of profit for purpose, like many charities do. They have the greater good in mind within their business model and it was so refreshing to see Telstra reward them.
Then came the awards:
- New Business Award went to DEX, using technology to make a patient’s hospital experience more bearable.
- Small Business Award went to Capital Chemist Wanniassa, who we already know spend all their advertising dollars on community and education
- Medium Business Award went to ABS Facade, a young, partnership who were crowd favourites because of their youthful exuberance.
Then Red Robot gave an inspirational talk about the privilege of winning such an award (they had been previous winners) and gave an account of just how valuable such an experience can be in terms of growing your business to the next level.
Finally, the overall winners were announced and ABS Facade took out the top prize. They are building innovators in exterior design, leading the pack across the commercial building industry.
After 25 years of administering this award (the first was in 1992), Telstra understands what it takes to be ‘that business’ and if you are an entrepreneur you really should consider entering these awards next year!