Four Women with Altitude win national business awards

Michael Weaver 24 November 2020
Hannah Taylor and the Tutor Canberra team celebrate their win at the 2020 Altitude Awards in Sydney.

Hannah Taylor and the Tutor Canberra team celebrate their win at the 2020 Altitude Awards in Sydney. Photo: Sharon Trejbal Photography.

Being brave in business has paid off for a Canberra tutor who was one of four winners at the nationally recognised Altitude Awards in Sydney on Saturday, 7 November.

Hannah Taylor began tutoring students as a side project to her public service job, but soon found the real learnings came from one-on-one tutoring.

“Even if I’d have a rubbish day at my nine-to-five work, I’d always feel invigorated after doing three hours of tutoring,” Hannah tells Region Media about the joys of her new career path.

“I really love being able to go one-on-one with my students. I don’t envy teachers because a class is a very different dynamic to what we do.”

Hannah now employs six tutors in her business, Tutor Canberra, that only began less than 18 months ago. It won the Brave Rising Star Award at the Altitude Awards, given to up and coming business owners who stood out in their application.

Canberra's finalists and three of the four award winners at the 2020 Altitude Awards in Sydney.

Canberra’s finalists and three of the four award winners at the 2020 Altitude Awards in Sydney. Back row, left to right): Kristine Hewett, Keron Beath, Kaylene Dore, Adele Haussmann, Kirsten Smith, Lisa LaMaitre, Kerry Howard and Abby Rees. Front row, left to right: Bonnie Weston and Hannah Taylor. Photo: Sharon Trejbal Photography.

Having completed a degree in earth sciences such as biology, chemistry and physics at ANU, Hannah says the award validates her teaching methods of creating a learning environment.

“It was very exciting to get the award to know that what we’re doing is seen as a courageous step,” she says. “I find courage to be an inspiring trait and I want that to transfer to our students.

“We now have 45 students and the youngest is four years old and the oldest is 37. We get to sit with them and see them build confidence and self-esteem and learn what a positive relationship with learning looks like.

“I’ve been teaching one of my kids for almost four years now and to see his comprehension improve, as well as his soft skills as a human being develop, gives me an understanding of the student on an individual basis that I love.”

Another of Hannah’s initiatives will be launching the Tutor Canberra study bus in February 2021 that will be a mobile learning environment that allows students to study away from their homes.


READ ALSO: From sardines to science: Bonython teacher wins national award


Canberra businesswomen won four of the 16 categories at the Altitude Awards during a gala dinner at the LCC Event Centre in Sydney, held in accordance with COVID-19 regulations.

Since the Altitude Awards began seven years ago, they have recognised more than 250 business and social enterprises in Australia for their contributions as business owners, entrepreneurs, creative thinkers and leaders.

Rebecca MacFarland won the Through the Woods Award for her two businesses, Pop Your Career and Pop Your Business. The award was for business owners who have been in business for more than five years. Rebecca marked her fifth year in business during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in May.

These past 12 months I’ve worked so hard and my business has really taken off so it was wonderful to have that recognised by Women With Altitude,” says Rebecca. Unfortunately she was hospitalised the night before the awards ceremony and was unable to attend, but says it is great to be aligned with so many women in business.

Bonnie Weston won the Soaring Micro Award for her business, The Avid Organiser, which supports other people who own small businesses or manage projects.

Knowing that a group of experienced business people see value in what I do and how I do it gives me confidence that I’m forging ahead on the right path,” she says. “Small business is hard work and acknowledgements such as this on the back of a difficult year are so appreciated.”

Abby Rees and her partner, Stuart, at the 2020 Altitude Awards.

PunkPD owner Abby Rees and her partner, Stuart, with her Changemaker Award. Photo: Supplied.

Having dedicated her life to what she calls ‘the ministry of change’, PunkPD owner Abby Rees won the Changemaker Award and says she is honoured and grateful to be recognised for being different.

I’ve always been the kind of person who makes waves,” she says.

“I’ve always been ‘too’ something – too enthusiastic, too progressive, too loud, too much. But I know that is what makes PunkPD stand out. That’s behind how we’ve leveraged the change we have and how we will continue to do this. I’m honestly overwhelmed.”


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