2018 The Women’s Business School Excellence Award finalists


Caitlin Devidas – Hustle & Thrive

Caitlin Devidas, a mum of three, decided to take a leap of faith in 2018 and follow her life-long desire to start a fitness business: Hustle & Thrive (H&T).

Another fitness business you say? The difference with H&T is the goal of building a community of people – young and old, with children or without – that value the benefits of a healthy lifestyle as much as the owner, Caitlin, does. Why a community? A healthy lifestyle is made up of more than just exercise. It’s what you eat and how you live your life that makes the difference. A community approach lets people have a feeling of belonging which plays a major role in improving mental health.

Many gyms and fitness centres are focused on transactional outcomes, leading to workout environments where people don’t talk and are insular. H&T is a community, a place where people go, sure to work out, but to catch up and develop lifelong friendships.



Elizabeth te Kloot – Kaurila + Co

Elizabeth is the creator, designer and founder of Kaurila + Co Dolls, a business which brings together the idea of a classic children’s toy with a powerful tool to empower and nurture young girls in Australia.

Kaurila + Co Dolls create beautiful ethically made cloth dolls and are all about promoting the beauty of child’s play. To be enveloped in the wonderful world of the imagination whilst growing and learning is a priceless gift to a child. Every purchase of a Kaurila + Co Doll, or Kaurila + Co Doll Club subscription provides a financial contribution to further the efforts of amazing charities and community groups that work to create meaningful impact on, and improve the lives of young Australian girls who need it the most.



Jo Marx – it’s about us

A mum of two, Jo Marx, along with her husband and a close friend established ‘it’s about us – a not for profit charity. it’s about us was created to help anyone affected by cancer. This support tool provides patients with a free digital scrapbook to document their experience. Writing is very cathartic and has been shown to have a therapeutic benefit.

Everyone’s experience is different, this tool allows the individual to customise his or her story and create a book that is unique to them. They partner with hospitals, charities, healthcare professionals and other organisations in the cancer community. Jo also runs complementary writing as therapy workshops for patients and carers.



Kathy Poppeliers – Impact Property Design

Since starting Impact Property Design I have worked on nearly 900 projects throughout Australia working for various corporates, property developers, speculators as well as mum and dad investors and renovators. Some of my favourite clients are the growing number of women property developers that are now becoming a force to be reckoned with.

I love to help my clients increase their wealth by obtaining difficult permits and adding value to their properties. I am driven to produce something special for every client. I aim is to design spaces that enrich the soul and extend a comfortable feel for the end user. Well designed environments inspire the user to think more creatively at work and in life and make you more content.



Kylie Browne – Sydney Flower School

Shimmy forward to Monday 11 February 2013, with 3 kids between 3 – 6, her partner recovering from a battle with Lymphoma and the realisation that the 5 year plan to go back to work full-time is now a delusion Kylie & her Mum, Judith – a Florist and recently retired floral TAFE teacher – find themselves at the kitchen table conceiving flower classes for ‘ladies who lunch’. They Google ‘Sydney Flower School’, discover it isn’t registered, do so immediately, hold their first class that Saturday and never look back!

Sydney Flower School has since grown into a purposeful, industry-focussed business and Kylie’s ongoing aspiration is to continue to build the school’s influence by offering an inspiring, shared learning hub accessible to the entire Sydney floral, creative community.



Michelle Worthington – Share Your Story

Founded in 2016 by Madame President, Michelle Worthington, Share Your Story was created when it took ten years to get her first picture book published. Her private mentor clients have gone on to receive traditional publishing contracts, start their own independent publishing companies, create their own educational programs and followed Michelle’s example to start making a living doing what they love. Michelle is an international guest speaker and a dynamic storyteller.

Share Your Story provides a step by step personalised process that gives creatives an entry point into the publishing industry and to limit the amount of effort between them and success. The workshops, online seminars and specialist masterclass sessions are designed to be practical and hands on, giving authors, screenwriters and illustrators the knowledge they need to write, submit, publish and promote their work.



Skye London – Y Executive

Skye London has a 6-year-old son, an old west highland terrier and has just celebrated her 11th wedding anniversary. She is also the lead career coach and Mumpreneur at Y Executive.

Y Executive helps professionals land a great new career. Inspired by a lack of experienced career coaches dedicated to the needs of job seekers Skye set about bringing career coaching and her unique, relaxed and supportive coaching style to the Melbourne and Sydney market.  When asked “what do you do?” Skye simply says “I’m like a personal trainer for your career.  Instead of giving you toned abs I give you the skills to land a new job in todays very competitive market”.