2019 New South Wales Business Excellence Award finalists


Rebecca Harrison & Kristie Manning – B&K Industries

Rebecca Harrison is a wife, and mum to 2 beautiful, strong willed girls, aged 2 and 41/2 years. Rebecca has been working in the retail sector for 25+ years and had always dreamed of having her own business.

Kristie Manning is wife and mum to 2 amazing girls aged 6months and 41/2 years. Kristie has been working in the scientific fields for years but has always has a natural flair for fashion and a wonderfully creative side.

Together, Rebecca and Kristie created B&K Industries, a small business focussed solely on bringing unique, quality products for babies, toddlers and adults to our regional market and beyond.



Bernadette O’Connor – Emotional Energy Exchange 

Bernadette O’Connor is an international best-selling author. She writes to create change and grow the spirit. Golden threads of wisdom are woven richly and profoundly throughout her publications connecting her to a prodigious audience. Her 2018 debut novel Let’s Go Home: Finding There While Staying Here has inspired readers to look within and find the truth of who they really are. Reviewed in the media as “Eat, Pray, Love, meets The Alchemist,” it was included in the 2019 Oscar’s Gift Bag and saw Bernadette appear live on Today Extra.

Bernadette’s second publication Beneath The Veil explores abuse by the patriarch. In the era of #metoo her work powerfully lifts the veil to encourage all women to rise to the new era of #weareone. Beneath The Veil has received 5-star international reviews and caught the eye of international film producers.

Renowned worldwide as an Energy Practitioner, Bernadette helps others to clear emotional blocks and limiting beliefs, healing the pain of the past, reclaiming their power and tuning into their inner wisdom. Bernadette has been honoured to witness hundreds of people come home to their truth—a return to love, which in turn is shared with the world.



Jenni Eaton – Eaton Cakes & Catering

Eaton Cakes & Caterings goal is to create the WOW factor for each of our customers through our custom designed cakes, cupcakes and cookies. Owner and cake decorator Jenni Eaton is a wife of nearly 10years to Brett, a mum of cheeky toddler Lucas, with another baby due in July 2019.

Jenni has been creating absolutely delicious and beautifully designed cakes, baked fresh using quality ingredients since late 2014. Not only does Eaton Cakes strive to present visibly pleasing products, but endeavour that it will taste as good as it looks.  Paired with excellent customer service skills, Jenni works with customers to ensure that every event becomes one to remember. Eaton Cakes regularly donate baked goods or gift vouchers to local charities and fundraising events, as they are strong believers that they could not ask the local community to support the business if they don’t support the community first!



Natalie Gaul – Natalie Gaul

Natalie is a true introvert and enjoys the quieter side of life with her husband Damien and beautiful children, Lili and Charli. Natalie is an Advanced Breathwork Practitioner and Transformation Coach who is committed to supporting people with their emotional health. With her unique set of skills and down to earth approach, Natalie provides a sacred space for emotional health and wellbeing. Through the gentle unpacking of beliefs and conditioning, she provides the safety and challenge needed to step out of fear and into the driver’s seat of your life. Natalie leads her clients to a place of personal freedom, actualising a whole new level of self-acceptance, worth and comfort in their own skin.



Keira Kulupach – getBARE Australia

Keira is a single mum to a beautiful daughter diagnosed with Autism. While this has been a challenge in itself, it was the inspiration to emerge into founding a sustainable, chemical free 100% natural perfume range that speaks to the wearers personality. Carefully formulated in NSW with quality all natural, non-toxic, vegan ingredients getBARE perfumes are in a class of their own.

GetBARE has aligned their range with Inner Origin, a global curated online wellness platform, and has fast made its way to their bestselling products. Here along with Inner Origin, getBARE Australia can build a vision to make more people aware of the benefits of switching to a natural perfume and to live a more chemical free sustainable life.



Jade Little – itravel with Jade

Jade was bitten by the travel bug when she first started her first contract on a cruise ship back in 2006. Since then she has been to over 85 countries and still has a few more to tick off! Jade worked as an entertainer onboard Princess and travel is what she know’s!

After having kids, she started working for the Big Red travel company with Cruiseabout. Became Top Novice in Australia for Cruiseabout and made Global (Berlin) that year. After working for the Big Red, Jade could see a need for more personalised service and better discounts and 1-1 time with clients. She took the leap and changed companies to work as her own boss for itravel with Jade under itravel. The business as a mobile travel agent, gives clients flexibility and really personalised service. Jade can spend up to one week on one person’s holiday, making sure that each and every part of it is customised to their needs and wants. No set store times, available when they are, having a wine and discussing the family holiday with the ENTIRE family (so not so much back and forth) making it a great travel experience.



Billie Robinson – The International Academy of Wealth

Billie is a speaker, author, presenter and mentor. She is a wife and mother of two daughters. Her passion is to empower people to take action and live life on purpose, through education and wealth creation. Together with her husband, and business partner, she educates people to learn, grow and accelerate their wealth through the program set out in their business. She understands it is a confusing world when it comes to investing and creating wealth, which is why she is so passionate about education, from the very basics to the advanced. The community she has helped build is a very giving, safe environment to learn and grow.



Simmi Wadhwa – Forealproperty

Simmi is the Director of Foreal Property and a mother of two young children. She specialises in residential sales and rental properties. With over 10 years experience in the property industry, her success is no surprise with her abundance of energy, expertise, and commitment to ensuring that each of her clients achieves the best possible results.

Simmi’s work ethic and approach to real estate are based on transparency and sincerity. She holds her professional relationships in high esteem and works closely with her clients to understand their needs and goals. Not only will Simmi guide you when making decisions, she will empower you to make informed and confident choices. Simmi’s marketing campaigns are thoughtfully planned so that each one is individualised and strategically planned to maximise every opportunity. Simmi is extremely organised and she has an eye for detail. Her background in interior design perfectly compliments her expertise in real estate and enables her to assist in providing you with sound advice regarding the presentation of your property.



Louise Lugg – Goddess Isis Health & Wellness Day Spa

Louise is the owner of the Goddess Isis Health & Wellness Day Spa and also travel’s the world as an international spa trainer at the luxurious high end resorts, such as Mandarin Oriental, Four Seasons, Ritz Carlton and Six senses. Louise established the Spa on the 1 st June 2005 with a dream of opening a luxurious Egyptian style wellness spa. She has a husband and six children that is a high priority in her life. When Louise opened the spa her youngest child was eight years old and her oldest being 24years. All the children were living at home and the spa operates on the second side of the 1930’s country house on the shores of Burrill Lake NSW.

Louise continued with her studies in Ayurveda Aromatherapy as well as many other holistic therapies. She employees four passionate local woman to work in the spa.



Nikki McLennan – Lion & Cub Photography

Nikki is a consummate hat-wearer, wearing a different one for each slice of her life, and never more so in her work. As a busy photographer, she captures both the delicate minutiae and the great scope of people’s lives. The family focused orbit of her work, Lion + Cub Photography specialises in life – families, parties, pregnancies, weddings and kids, and all those moments that stop your heart, make you smile or take you by surprise. It’s about connection, and while the old adage suggests we should never work with children or animals, somehow this is where she excels, in drawing out the naturally emotive and playful side of humans, and capturing their moments in the most poignant of settings.



Viria Charitos – MEBEME

Viria Charitos is a busy Mum of three. In December 2017, Viria became aware that her eldest daughter needed to start using deodorant, and water alone was no longer enough for washing her face. Fun, dirty days playing needed to be cleansed off gently. Viria went through her many beauty products (a lot as she is a Beauty Therapist), researched ingredients (got quite a shock) and searched stores for products she thought would be suitable for her tween daughter. Although there were a lot of great womens products, she couldn’t find something that ticked all her boxes for ingredients, that was tailored to tween boys and girls.

Over a year of research, formulating, testing, learning every aspect of starting a product business and finally in April 2019 MEBEME launched. MEBEME has a gentle range including a cleanser and moisturiser, MEBEME is a fresh, natural skincare brand for 7-12 year olds. All about positive attitudes, exciting tweens to get into good habits, and most importantly “me being me”.



Liesl Pyke-Nott – Rainbow Station Early Education Centre 

Liesl Pyke-Nott is the current Approved Provider ( Licensee) of Rainbow Station Early Education Centre In Casino NSW since 2013 and Sandcastles Early Education Centre in Evans Head NSW since 2015 . With over 30 staff Liesl not only mentors and encourages staff but families within her centres to further their studies. Liesl has established the Blue Tree Project around mental health in her communities and has reached out the the local council and aboriginal communities to launch a community project to raise awareness. The centre look after children 6 weeks to 6 years and within community input has establish a successful before an after school program as well as vacation care program for families.  Both centre have established a community library and food pantry. Liesl believes in literacy from an early age and donates books to children in her community. Both centres have a large indigenous community and Liesl has ensured that both centres are culturally safe by employing indigenous and Torres straight islander staff and consulting local elders.