8 November 2023

From dog day-care to sustainability - ACT businesses vie for national Telstra awards

| Sally Hopman
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Woman with dog

Founder of Pups for Fun Rhiannon Beach, with one of her clients. Rhiannon started the business as a high school assignment. Photo: Supplied.

Canberra businesses ranging from cybersecurity to connecting people through art to providing the best care for dogs have been honoured in the 2024 Telstra ACT Business awards. They’ll now vie for the national titles.

The categories and the six Canberra businesses going to the 2024 national titles are Pups4Fun, NatureArt Lab, Leading Health Solutions, Learn2Fly, Informatech and Diversity Arrays Technology (DArT).

  • Pups for Fun, established by Rhiannon Beach in 2016, was originally a high school project as a dog daycare business and adventure centre for dogs. Its goal is to provide exceptional care for dogs, including training and behavioural work. Pups for Fun was nominated in the Accelerating Women category.
  • Nature Art Lab, established in 2017 by wildlife and botanical artist Julia Landford, is an art school and environmental education centre designed to connect people with nature through art. It was nominated in the Building Communities category.
  • Leading Health Solutions, founded by Andrew Mifsud, is a Canberra-owned and operated NDIS, aged care and private practice occupational therapy company. It was nominated in the Championing Health category.
  • Learn2Fly was established to deliver quality flight training to produce job-ready commercial pilots, as well as skilled private pilots. It was nominated in the Embracing Innovation category.
  • Informatech is an information and communications technology consultancy company serving defence and national security agencies and government and private enterprises. It was nominated in the Outstanding Growth category.
  • Diversity Arrays Technology is a biotech research company founded in 2001 focusing on food security, social equity and ecological sustainability. It was nominated in the Promoting Sustainability category.
Group of 10 people

The team behind Nature Lab, which was set up by artist Julia Landford in 2017 to connect people with nature through art. Photo: Supplied.

Telstra business group executive Amanda Hutton said the Best of Business Awards had, for the past 30 years, provided an opportunity for entrants to learn from Australia’s best business minds and be celebrated on the national stage.

“The calibre of small and medium-sized businesses in Australia is nothing short of exceptional. The state winners of the 2024 Telstra Best of Business Awards program are a testament to this and represent the brilliant business minds our country has to offer.

“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.”

READ ALSO ACT scoops the pool at national Telstra Best of Business awards

The judges based their decision on economic sustainability, operational effectiveness and technology adoption, progressive leadership and culture, and social and community contribution.

Region Group, which owns and operates media sites, including Riotact in Canberra and About Regional across southern NSW, won the 2023 Telstra Best of Business award in the Building Communities category for its commitment to local news and community information.

The ACT winners of the 2024 Telstra Best of Business Awards will be announced early next year.

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