2021 NSW/ACT Women’s Business School – Student of the Year award finalists

Sheena Polese – FitMind Coaching

Sheena is a leadership and development coach who works with clients to help them make psychological shifts so they can achieve their goals and live their best life possible. Sheena enables clients to address the gap between their current situation and their idealised one, to act and accelerate progress, professionally as well as personally. With an MBA from Macquarie Graduate School and a Master of Science, Psychology of Coaching, from Sydney University, as well as extensive life experience, Sheena believes everyone has access to choice and the power to create a richly rewarding life, and thus works closely with her clients to develop their thinking and behaviour in order to thrive and flourish.

Sheena writes, develops and delivers results oriented coaching programs for individuals, leaders and teams. Through her experience in athletics and many adventure events including ultra-marathons, high altitude trekking and an expedition to the Antarctic in a hurricane, Sheena helps people develop a mindful approach and healthy mindset, to achieve their professional and personal goals. At FitMind, Sheena enables access to evidence-based approaches to personal and professional growth.

Emma Heuston – The Remote Expert

Emma is a Lawyer, author, entrepreneur and owner of The Remote Expert, based in Ballina, NSW. Assisting female-led business owners across Australia by offering virtual legal advice, business support, legal services and legal information. With a wealth of expertise from 21yrs practising law, Emma is also known as a ‘professional headache remover’. 

Emma empowers women in business to establish their online and virtual businesses and achieve financial freedom and flexible workplace practices. Emma supports them through every growth stage, offering three tiers of service and product offerings to suit every budget, such as free information and guides, customisable legal templates, video series and bespoke legal services tailored to client’s needs.  ` Emma’s Supercharge series of online courses provide women across Australia access to specialist legal and business advice and proven strategies to set up their own virtual professional service businesses, including business coaching, online courses or online memberships.

Yemi Penn – Yemi Penn Ventures

Yemi is a fearless business woman and thought leader on creating your own memo, meaning ‘she’ gets to write the script of her life and she encourages others to do the same.

She is a serial entrepreneur with a common thread of transformation, whether it be transforming Sydney’s rail network as an engineer, transforming physical health in her F45 gym or shifting the perspective of our minds as she supports people in creating a life that they not only want and deserve. More recently Yemi has added documentary producer to her repertoire as she shifts her core life’s purpose to raising the vibration on acknowledging and healing our individual and therefore collective trauma.

Leanne Murner – 5 Little Bears

Leanne is a wife and mum of 5 boys, ranging in age from 3 to 9, she loves camping with her family and getting back to nature. Leanne’s business 5 Little Bears makes Timber Educational Resources based on Australian Themes. After research info Australian flora and fauna, she was bursting with information and with her passion for nature and Australia she decided to put this information into children’s books to help educate not only her children but children all around the world about Australian native flora and fauna, what they need and who needs them to survive. Leanne is busy working on another series of books teaching kids about Australian animals and their habitat, threats and how we can help. Leanne is passionate about the need for children to be educated on Australian wildlife and the prevention of extinction.

Davina Borrow-Jones – The Mumpreneur Lawyer

Davina is the founder, and sole practitioner at The Mumpreneur Lawyer. Davina helps Mum start-ups protect their businesses from legal risk with personalised online legal packages. She offers fixed prices and flexible appointment times for women in business and is known for constantly improving customer service. She specialises in e-commerce and contract drafting, intellectual property and trademarks.

Davina has been in the legal industry for 20 years. She started working for big corporate law firms in outsourcing and intellectual property, and then developed a broader focus on commercial matters. For the last 10 years she has worked predominantly with small businesses. Davina is an advocate for gender equality and women’s empowerment, or more particularly a Mum’s economic empowerment. She has performed international human rights pro bono work, and pro bono work for organisations set up to deal with various crisis situations such as Covid-19.

Amy Tasker – Groove Nation

Amy’s journey as the owner of Groove Nation has taken her from very humble beginnings as a sole trader to directing a company of 7 staff (with two babies thrown in along the way!). Groove Nation was established to provide all Australian students (regardless of background, ability or location) access to quality dance programs in their primary school. These programs align with the curriculum, foster diversity , support school teachers and inspire creativity. Amy is a qualified primary teacher and has created comprehensive programs that allow teachers to ‘tick off’ the curriculum whilst giving schools and students dance performances that they can be proud of. She currently works with students all over Sydney in both mainstream and special needs units/schools to support students, teachers, Principals and schools in covering all things dance. Groove Nation is now a ‘gold’ supplier of the Department of Education and they are excited to continue their ventures throughout Australia in the future.

Georgie Donaghey – Creative Kids Tales

At eight years old, Georgie was bitten by a redback spider. That same year, she won her first writing competition.

As a grown-up, (do children’s authors ever grow up?) Georgie is an internationally published award-winning author, wife and mother of three.

Never knowing where inspiration will strike next, Georgie carries a notepad wherever she goes. She even has a waterproof notepad and pencil stuck to her shower wall.

Georgie is terrible at keeping secrets. Just ask the thousands of school children around the country she’s shared writing secrets with.

Georgie believes all emerging authors and illustrators should have a voice. In 2011, she founded Creative Kids Tales. Through this unique industry recognised resource Georgie has helped over a hundred authors and illustrators realise their publication dream. In 2019, Georgie launched the CKT Speakers Agency and 2021 CKT Publishing.

Jodie Freeman – Jodie Freeman Artist

Jodie is a creative individual who has shown great resilience during the difficulties of this past year. She has pivoted her business from creating Aboriginal Art, to providing Art therapy services for NDIS participants. Jodie has found a way to combine her love for art, with being of service to people who are neurodiverse or have disabilities, and helping them to improve their day to day lives. Jodie works on the Central Coast NSW and provides an outlet for people to be able to express their emotions in a safe, fun and meaningful way. Jodie is neurodiverse herself, which helps her to connect with her clients, as she understands them on a deeper level. Jodie thrives on helping her clients overcome challenges, find their inner strengths and help to grow these strengths.

Cheree Stokes – Original Art by Cheree

Cheree Stokes is a self-taught Contemporary Aboriginal Artist whose original works depict a moving story of her journey to find her way back home.  Cheree was born during the era of the “Stolen Generation” and is the child and grandchild of a “Stolen One”, born to a father who was removed from his family and who himself was born to a mother removed from her ancestral Gubbi Gubbi land. 

Cheree has painted all her life, but in 2016 as if channelling her ancestors, she soon realised that her works were becoming part of a cathartic healing process, with each painting reconnecting her with her long-forgotten past.  

Today Cheree’s Original Artworks are called “Healing Works” which incorporate her unique style of bold bright colours and gold crosshatching on black, and 3-dimensional “Healing Dots®” with each dot created singularly and with painstaking detail. Unlike most original artworks, Cheree’s works are meant to be touched.