CBWC HQ has been buzzing for the past few months in the lead up to our biggest event of the year, the 2019 CBWC Business Women of the Year awards.
For the past 33 years, the Club has shone a spotlight on the outstanding achievements of women in business and volunteer roles across our region.
We were delighted to have the Founder of the Club, Margaret Gill, present at the awards to commemorate her wonderful concept, and celebrate just how far we’ve come since 1986.
The nomination process for the CBWC Awards is not for the faint hearted. The process commenced in October 2018 and along the way our nominees and finalists have contributed significantly, including attending a nominee’s information evening, at which point they decided if they would proceed with the extensive submission kit they must complete. The best of the best were then judged on their submission during a 60 minute interview conducted by an independent panel of judges. The nominees also attended a professional development workshop which provided them with valuable skills to further progress their career.
The CBWC received almost 130 nominations for this year’s awards, and the most resilient and enthusiastic 33 finalists were honoured at the Gala Ball on May 4th.
These finalists were recognised for inspiring others and contributing to our diverse and dynamic regional economy. It’s one of the highlights of my role with the CBWC to meet with these women who inspire us to always lift the bar a little higher.
The awards celebrate women across seven categories.
Michelle Commins Legacy Award recognises women who volunteer their time and commitment to the community, NFP organisations and charity and is named in honour of former CBWC Board Member who always gave so much to the community. We are always very honoured to have Michelle’s daughter Taylor present this award. The winner of this award for 2019 is Ocean Warrior Rachael MacLeod.
Manager in Business Award, is an accolade bestowed upon women in the public, private or Not for Profit sector for their outstanding skills, their achievements in business and contribution to their employer as a manager. Emma Takai from Vocational Partnerships Group is the much deserved winner of this category for 2019.
Sole Entrepreneur Award, for self-motivated, creative and incredibly inspirational women who are smashing expectations as a sole operator of a business. Rachel Hinze of Oh Baby Ultrasound is the worthy winner of this category.
Young Entrepreneur Award, for the inspiring women who are running successful businesses with a strong business ethic and a community focus, all whist under the age of 30. We were proud to announce Michelle Champion from Champions in Real Estate as the winner for this category.
Indigenous Business Woman of the Year, acknowledges exceptional women from an indigenous background, who have achieved above and beyond in the business world. They are self-motivated, innovative and outstanding in their field.
Donna Corrie from Dee’s Deportment and Grooming has been awarded this title for 2019.
Small Business Owner Award, focusing on the amazing talents of female small business owners acknowledges the outstanding achievements of business women with less than five employees who inspire and influence others to achieve and stand out from the crowd. It was heartwarming to see this honour awarded to Jo Piggott from Cairns A/C and Refrigeration, who was also a finalist in 2018.
Business Woman of the Year Award, the ultimate honour for business women in our region. It distinguishes those business women who, not only operate a successful business, but demonstrate superb management and exceptional leadership skills. They excel in their industry, and contribute time and energy towards supporting, encouraging and motivating the people around them to achieve. It’s a complete pleasure to see Tarlia Rajeswaren from FNQHealth awarded this title for 2019.
These awards wouldn’t be possible without the tireless efforts of so many people who selflessly contribute their time to the organisation of the awards. To the awards committee, the judges, the sponsors and the fabulous finalists, please accept my heartfelt gratitude.
It won’t be long before we start planning the 2020 Awards, so if you know of any amazing local women who excel in any of the above categories, please consider nominating them for the 2020 awards.