2019 Regional Business Award finalists


Emma Bowdler – Bowdler Tax and Accounting

Bowdler Tax and Accounting is a family owned accounting practice located in Dalby, QLD. As a small business ourselves, we understand the challenges and rewards of this growing industry and pride ourselves on our significant number of return clientele every year. As the only senior female accountant I have a strong passion for, and proven success in, assisting women in business, small business and business mentoring.



Sally Andrew – Radiance Academy Toowoomba

Sally Andrew bought a dying business in 2015 and has turned it around. Radiance Academy Toowoomba is now the industry leader in our town for all things related to dance. The studio is a multi-award-winning service and retail business that provides excellence in tuition and dancewear for our community. Priding themselves on doing things differently, Radiance Academy is inclusive and diverse. The studio is very different to the others in the area. Radiance is following the global trends, diversifying their services and continuing to grow and expand at a rapid rate. The teachers, location, studio, dancewear, syllabus, communication, and classes are all of an excellent standard. In 2020 Radiance Academy plans to open their first interstate branch.



Kylie Ellison – Centre for Play Therapy

Kylie is a registered counsellor and play therapist who started her career in child protection work, and never left. Having worked for government and non- government sectors early in her career, her career trajectory took a very different turn when she had her beautiful children Chelsea and Jake. Faced with the option of going back into an office job, Kylie took the road less travelled and ventured into contracting work before completing her Masters and clinical studies in play therapy. With only blind faith and a little courage, Kylie established Centre for Play Therapy in February 2016 from her home office at Thorneside, and over the last 3 years has expanded to five offices across Queensland, 7 staff, established a clinical training program and professional association in play therapy. Kylie is passionate about providing play therapy services to children and families across Australia, especially children who have experienced trauma.



Cara Clews – Country Chiropractic

Dr Cara Clews (Chiropractor) created Country Chiropractic in 2008 who recognised a need for allied health services in the remote regions of WA. Country Chiropractic was opened in Newman in the mining boom, under challenging conditions. Newman grew fast and she noticed there was a similar need for care in other areas and opened South Hedland in 2014. Cara moved to Perth in 2018 and opened the third clinic to primarily service patients from the Pilbara, along with the local community. She’s the lucky mum of two gorgeous boys, who are 5 and 2 years old. She now has a team of chiropractors, physiotherapists and massage therapists with incredible clinic managers and support staff who help service these remote clinics. They strive to give and maintain a high level of service, all which would not have been possible without the passion and drive of Dr Cara.



Johanna Constable – Happy Jo Designs

Johanna Constable’s passion for sewing began at the age of 5, and at age 10 her parents had a T-shirt factory, and this is when she learnt the art of production.

Fast forward 28 years, Johanna had her daughter and got her sewing machine out and after her nickname HAPPY JO, her business Happy Jo Designs was born in 2009. Happy Jo Designs is celebrating 10 years in business after inventing the PILANKY which is an All-In-One Kids bed for kids aged 1-6. She invented this product to help Parents with a practical sleep/rest solution for Daycare, Pre-School, Travelling, Camping and Sleepovers. It is a comfortable roll out bed with mattress and pillow attached and comes with a double width sheet and blanket. It is 100% machine washable and the child’s name can be embroidered on it. After selling the PILANKY at various markets for 9 years, Happy Jo Designs is now proudly 100% online with sales across Australia.



Joanne Walters – Croc Candy

Joanne Walters from Darwin is the Mumpreneur behind the brand Croc Candy who’s executive head is her 9 year old son.
In a most unusual business model, Joanne is the ‘faceless’ strength, support and drive behind this business which supplies premium candy for events, functions, promotions and fundraising. More importantly, through business she mentors her son
with learning difficulties and supports some of Australia’s leading charities.



Danielle Mowett – DM Aromas

Danielle has been practicing Reiki and reading Tarot within her family since she was a child. As a Reiki Master, she helps clients overcome many mental, emotional, spiritual and physical blocks by movement of energy within the body’s energetic system so the body can begin to heal itself. Danielle specialises in emotional triggering with essential oils, which she blends intuitively, to help clients overcome emotional blocks and transform their mindset into a more positive, free flowing space.

Danielle started DM Aromas as an ecommerce store to sell products which compliments the Reiki and Tarot services she offers. As her client base grew, as did the love for her Crystals and hand crafted Home Fragrance and Bath & Body products. In October 2018, Danielle opened her first retail store in Toowoomba, which combines all of her hand crafted products with her love for Aromatherapy, Crystals and her Reiki and Tarot services.



Michelle Weitering – Michelle Weitering

Michelle Weitering writes to make a difference. Her writing is raw, emotional, confronting and compelling. Through her writing, Michelle becomes a voice for those living and dealing with issues such as mental illness, bullying and discrimination and invites the reader to question what more they can do to make our world a better place.

Michelle has taken on the challenging task of unpacking the silent predator that is mental illness in her new book, ‘Thirteen and Underwater,’ launched May 2019. Michelle exposes the struggle of anxiety through her family’s journey with this increasingly prevalent disease that wreaks havoc on millions of individuals worldwide. With brutal honesty and good dose of humour Michelle shows us how to approach mental illness with grace, patience, empathy and care, removing the stigmas and replacing it with real world solutions and dialogues away from mental illness and towards mental health.



Abbie Catterall – Recharged Air & Electrical

Abbie together with her Partner Ben is the owner of Recharged Air & Electrical a business servicing the Cairns area providing Air conditioning and Refrigeration services. Abbie and Ben have been in business since February 2017 and have grown their business from 0 employees to 4 with a notable increase in turnover. Abbie is a Mum to 5 children ranging in ages from 2 to 14 years old, 4 boys and 1 girl. Abbie loves yoga, fitness and baking, is a real foodie and is very passionate about making a difference in the world whether it be through the children we raise or the service we offer others. Abbie manages all aspects of the office and has taken an active role in growing the business through networking and social media marketing.



Debbie Demooy – Rad Bookkeeping & Business Solutions

Debbie is an amazing women, made of persistence, passion and spirit.  She is a family woman that has risen to great heights through hard work and determination.  She believes in SME in Australia and loves supporting and helping local businesses thrive and succeed.  Debbie and her partner believe in a work life balance and enjoy chasing their 4 children around over the weekends with all sporting activities.  Deb is regularly involved on a higher level with her children’s activities, giving her time freely for any voluntary position that requires filling in order for her children to be able to play the sport they chose.  Deb enjoys travelling, live music, reading and spending time with her family and friends.



Debbie Fowler – The Summer House Torquay

Debbie started late as a Business Owner, after many years of defining her skills. She is 56 years young and as an older mum, Debbie understands the pressures of young working mums who try to juggle business, their careers and their self care. Debbie started her Retreat Business to design mums weekends away and retreat care to help them manage the life stresses and give them skills to return home and continue their amazing work of raising their children.



Lisa Hughes – GTK Consulting

Lisa Hughes in an award-winning Environmental Health Professional with over 15 years’ experience.  Lisa began her career in Local Government in 2002 as a Trainee Environmental Health Officer and worked at various Sydney Council’s reaching Management level.  In 2016, Lisa decided to make the change and join the family consulting business.  Working for herself has allowed her to focus on educating people on infection control and food safety as well as volunteering her time mentoring young women wanting the start their career in Environmental Health through Western Sydney University’s Women in Science and Engineering (WiSE) Program.  Since starting her arm of the family business, Lisa has written legislation for the Department of Health and Human Services Tasmania, and an Environmental Health Plan for a Sydney Council. Lisa is also the Vice President of Environmental Health Australia (NSW) Inc.