Canberra’s Robert de Castella and Greg Boorer have won awards at the 2015 EY Entrepreneur of the Year Eastern Region awards ceremony in Sydney overnight.
Greg Boorer from Canberra Data Centres won the services award, while Rob de Castella took out the social entrepreneur award for his work with the Indigenous Marathon Project and SmartStart for kids.
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After working in and around data centres overseas, Greg Boorer (pictured above) saw an opportunity in the Australian market for a modern, highly secure data centre service for government and high-end users.
Today, Canberra Data Centres is the largest provider of outsourced co-location data centre services to the Federal Government and third-party IT service providers. Its unique modular pod system can accommodate customers’ evolving requirements over time without disrupting operations. Greg anticipates increased demand for storage space as the government digitises its service delivery.
He plans to build another two data centres in the ACT region and expand into Sydney, Melbourne and overseas.
The judges commended Greg for identifying a market opportunity and investing ahead of the curve.
“His story demonstrates the benefit of focus, as the business has secured a significant number of long-term contracts in the face of international competition,” they said.
In the 1980s, Robert de Castella AO MBE (pictured above) gained recognition as the Australian world champion marathon runner. Since then, he has worked tirelessly to promote children’s health and fitness, and created a culture of running in Indigenous Australia.
The Indigenous Marathon Project (IMP) selects young Indigenous men and women to run the New York City Marathon and complete a Certificate III in Fitness. Graduates become inspirational leaders of change. In 1999, Robert founded SmartStart for Kids!, a health promotion charity targeting child obesity.
Robert is the 1983 Australian of the Year and he was awarded Officer of the Order of Australia for distinguished service to the community last year.
Other award winners, by category, were:
- Emerging – Evan Clark, ClickView
- Industry – Nadia Taylor and Alf Taylor, TNA Australia Pty Ltd
- Services – Greg Boorer, Canberra Data Centres
- Technology – Timothy Power, 3P Learning Limited
- Listed award – James Spenceley, Vocus Communications Limited
- Social entrepreneur – Robert de Castella AO MBE, Indigenous Marathon Project and SmartStart for Kids
The Eastern Region winners, social entrepreneur and listed award recipient will go on to represent the state at the national awards in October, where they will compete for the title of 2015 Australian EY Entrepreneur Of The Year.
EY’s Sydney Managing Partner, Lynn Kraus congratulated the winners, saying they were well deserving of the awards, demonstrating vision, passion and determination.
“The high calibre of this year’s Eastern region winners demonstrates the strength of entrepreneurial spirit evident throughout NSW and the ACT,” Ms Kraus said.
EY’s Canberra Managing Partner, Todd Wills, said this year was a milestone for the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year awards in Australia as it celebrated its 15th anniversary.
“Entrepreneurs create enormous economic benefit and social change, by inspiring others with their innovative approach and by challenging the status quo,” Mr Wills said.
“This year’s list of nominees was incredibly impressive and the recognition for their efforts is well earned.”
The overall 2015 Australian winner will be named at a gala ceremony in Sydney on 15 October. The national winner will then go on to represent the country and compete in the EY World Entrepreneur Of The Year awards in Monte Carlo next June.
(Top photo – left to right: Greg Boorer, Canberra Data Centres; Timothy Power, 3P Learning Limited; Robert de Castella AO MBE, Indigenous Marathon Project and SmartStart for Kids; Alf Taylor and Nadia Taylor, TNA Australia Pty Ltd; Evan Clark, ClickView; James Spenceley, Vocus Communications Limited; Lynn Kraus, EY.)