2019 Business Excellence Award finalists (with Expressions Australia)


Jeanette Lees, Barberoo

Jeanette is the founder and CEO of Barberoo. She is a mother of two daughters and determined to challenge the perception of women in the barbering industry.

Barberoo is an award winning barbering brand reflecting and celebrating the Australian cultural DNA of mateship and authentic service. Barberoo are pioneers in championing local producers, including sourcing materials from drought-hit farming areas and aboriginal suppliers for their flagship barber shop based in the prestigious Barangaroo district in Sydney’s CBD. What sets them apart is their Aussie take on international standards of techniques and service. Barberoo’s customers love the attention to detail and the quality of the services, from the hot towels infused with native essential oils to their innovative 100% local Haircare range.



Victoria Coster, Credit Fix Solutions

Australians face rising unemployment rates and a steadily increasing cost of living that has 1 in 3 residents spending more than they make. This often leads to credit issues that only worsen with the occasional credit profile inaccuracy.

Credit Fix Solutions is a top choice for Australians who are looking to improve their credit scores by removing inaccurate data from their credit reports. The firm has a unique no-result, no-fee policy that helps it achieve a 80% success rate for its clients. They are a customer-driven company, being focused on high customer-service levels to their referral partners and their customers, which is also different from the norm. Many other credit repair companies are only focused on making as much money as possible in the short-term, whereas the vision for Credit Fix Solutions is for the business to be a long-term advocacy service provider for Australia.



Laura Klein, Snotty Noses Australia

snottynoses.com.au is an online store, selling gadgets for good health and good sleep for babies, children and families. The Brisbane-based business began in 2013 as a part-time venture while Laura was on maternity leave from teaching and now delivers parcels all over Australia.

After using a brilliant product called the Snotty Nasal Aspirator to clear her sick baby’s nose, she decided every family in Australia needed one of these clever devices. She got in contact with the Australian distributor to become a work from home rep, and her business was born with that 1 product. In the last 6 years, the business has become the go-to destination for health and sleep solutions, with a range of health and wellness products, 1000s of monthly transactions, and a loyal customer base (20% repeat customers).

Laura left her job as a primary school teacher in 2016, and works in the business full-time, and has 9 part-time and contract staff.



Shanti Wiwatowski, Little Wiwa

Launched by Shanti Wiwatowski in January 2018, Mum of 2 and former marketing services manager, decided to fill the gap in the market when she couldn’t find a baby play mat that’s safe but wasn’t loud in a myriad of colours or family-friendly.

Little Wiwa is an Aussie-based label that specialises in baby play mats made of 100% sustainable and non toxic Polyurethane foam and free from PVC and BPA, making it a safe choice for your little ones. They boast refined Scandi-inspired geometric patterns and exquisite, timeless aesthetics in only the most premium quality – so the enjoyment extends to the whole family.



Ush Dhanak, Ush Dhanak EQ

Ush began her career in London as a Barrister, and moved to Sydney 14 years ago. After working in the corporate world for a number of years, Ush took the leap of faith to start her first business, Collaborate HR which supports businesses with HR strategy. Following this, Ush started her second business, Ush Dhanak EQ, which is a coaching and training business based around Emotional Intelligence, coaching and training individuals and businesses. In addition, a subsidiary of Ush Dhanak EQ launched this month (June 2019)  – EQKids, in which Emotional Intelligence is being shared in schools, and parent/child workshops. Ush is also a global key note speaker on all things EQ.



MaryAnn Hossack, A Montessori Educational Child Care and Kindergarten

Mary Ann Hossack is a 47 year old, Mum of 2, married to a supportive man, who is always on a diet, loves to laugh, always wants a vacation and enjoys a glass of wine. Mary Ann is recognised as disabled because she suffers from a condition that at times renders her unable to participate in day to day activities.

Montessori, as an organisation is dedicated to providing high quality service and care. For the past 13 years the team led by Mary Ann, who are passionate about children’s Montessori Education and their future have remained dedicated to this objective. The service strives to foster a love of learning and an embracing of curiosity, by encouraging the self-motivation and self-discipline that will lead to a life-long pursuit of knowledge. To spark in our children imagination, wonder, humour and joy. As part of the ongoing commitment to this the business insists upon continued excellence in teaching, advocating for children and exceeding all expectations in service and delivery.



Madlen Veitch, Ivory Rose Botanicals

Maddie opened Ivory Rose Botanicals in 2016 as a way to juggle a newborn and create a source of income so she didn’t have to send her son to daycare too soon. Offering bespoke floral arrangements and floral art, Maddie has grown a business into something that works for her lifestyle and the community without compromise.

As part of her business model it was important to create a workplace that could support others in the community with disabilities and working mums. In three years the business now has a team of 8 individuals with 6 of these having a form of disability and 3 being working mums trying to find balance. With an average of 140 weddings a year in regional NSW Ivory Rose Botanicals is fast becoming a well known floral name in the wedding industry.



Stella Guest, All About Business

Stella has created a flexible working environment within her business, allowing her employees who are also working mothers to tailor their work around their family’s needs.  She has a strong client base and continues to grow her business through referrals. Stella understands that dealing with Accountants can be fairly daunting, so she has adopted a down to earth approach with her clients, her aim is to pass on information so that they have a clear understanding of what needs to be done to manage their affairs. The reason clients come to Stella and All About Business is because she is good at what she does and is competitively priced.



Elouise Connor, Oakville Preschool Learning Centre 

Elouise is 30 years old, a mother of 2 young children and a business owner of a very well-known and unique child care service in the Hawkesbury area,NSW. When Elouise was in School she always knew what career path she wanted to take, when she left School she started her studies in Early childhood Education and by the age of 18 was fully qualified. She always knew what a great reputation Oakville Preschool had and in 2005 she completed her study practicum there. During this time she set a goal, a goal to one day own and operate that service. When Elouise completed her study there were no jobs available at Oakville, she put her interest forward yet took another job at another service. In 2011 Elouise was employed at Oakville Preschool, after only 6 months of employment Elouise was promoted to Director and Nominated Supervisor of the service and in 2019 Elouise purchased the business that she at a young age of 17 dreamt of doing.



Danielle Lennon, The Studio of Performing Arts – Springfield

The Studio provides over 92 classes each week to more than 310 students during their School Term Program. Students also have the opportunity to participate in Dance exams with The Australian Teachers of Dancing (ATOD), as well as joining Performance Teams that compete in local eisteddfods. The inclusion of the only approved Vacation Care within a dance school setting is another first for the proud city of Springfield, Queensland. Nationally recognised as Meeting National Quality Standards this assists more students have a greater connectedness to the Arts. Being the only dance school in Australia with an approval to conduct Vacation Care through the CCS system,  speaks wonders about the quality of programming and educators at The Studio – Springfield.



Mirjana Boznovska, Live Gratefully

Visionary, thought leader, adventurer, nurturer, game changer and future shaper. Mirjana Boznovska is shifting consciousness; empowering people to think differently about themselves and others. She is also the author, motivational speaker and inspirational woman behind the highly engaged Facebook community, Live Gratefully.

As a creative strategist, she has a deep knowing and innate ability to encourage people to challenge the status quo, specific to what they believe about themselves and what they have been taught to believe as their truth. As a leadership expert, Mirjana works within the corporate sector to “empower the leaders of today”, and the education industry to “empower leaders of tomorrow”.

The mum-of-four has personally found profound blessings and gratitude in hardships. She inspires others to do the same through her introspective discoveries, thought provoking blogs, articles, seminars and workshops and lead-by-example journey. Her second book will be published in early 2020.



Kylie Drew, Follow Your Dreams Competitions 

Kylie Drew is the Director of Follow Your Dreams National Dance competitions in Australia, NZ, England, Scotland and Wales. The largest National dance competition in Australia. She started this business 24 years ago while teaching kindergarten and running her own dance studio. After her business exploded Nationally 3 years ago she was able to bring her husband on board with her and they now run this large business together while parenting their 4 children. Follow Your Dreams provides dancers of all ages with the opportunity for Personal growth, increased self-esteem and character building through a positive professional dance competition experience like no other.