The final state heats in the Telstra Business Awards were held in Sydney last night and the founders of personal safety device Sonder came up trumps with the NSW Business of the Year award.
Sonder aims to make safety and support services accessible to everyone by using cutting-edge tech to connect users with ex and off-duty emergency services personnel when and where needed.
If Sonder members feel their safety is at risk, they can use the Sonder mobile app to obtain geo-localised, multilingual, in-person assistance anytime, anywhere, from vetted and trained professionals.
“Our vision is to create a global responder network to address personal safety, putting help by a member’s side anywhere in the world within 20 minutes through our dedicated app,” said co-founder and CEO Craig Cowdrey.
Sonder is just one of many businesses that have been honoured at award ceremonies around the nation over the past few months. The winners from each category in each state will now compete for the People’s Choice award and the National Telstra Business Awards.
Learn all about the national finalists below.
Sonder – 2019 Telstra New South Wales Business of the Year
Sonder is a personal safety monitoring and response company, founded and led by proven performers from across the military, government and top-tier technology companies. The business uses cutting-edge technology to mobilise spare capacity among ex and off-duty emergency services personnel to make safety and support services accessible to everyone.
Shine Drink – 2019 Telstra New South Wales Small & Succeeding Award winner
Shine Drink offers a range of nootropic beverages – healthy, low-sugar drinks aimed at helping people think brighter, and feel more productive. Nootropics are ingredients to fuel the mind, in a similar way that probiotics (found in Kombucha) are good for the gut.
Modibodi – 2019 Telstra New South Wales Medium & Making Waves Award winner
Eliminating the need for costly and uncomfortable single-use hygiene products, Modibodi is a protective apparel brand for menstruation and incontinence leaks, sweat, odour and more. Modibodi’s patented fibre technology hopes to put an end to embarrassing mishaps and provide an eco-conscious alternative to disposable hygiene.
Dignity – 2019 Telstra New South Wales Social Change Maker Award winner
Frustrated with the increasing rate of homelessness, Suzanne Hopman knew there must be a way to stop the problem from the outset. Her idea was Dignity, a charity focused on supporting people at risk of, or experiencing, homelessness by providing shelter, food, clothing, advocacy and education, to empower people to regain control of their lives.
Coordinate Group – 2019 Telstra Australian Capital Territory Business of the Year
A full-service marketing and communications consultancy, Coordinate Group delivers strategy, creative and media to brands. With a mission to provide clients with confidence, capability and insights, their clients include McDonald’s, Australian National University and the Canberra Institute of Technology.
Understanding the power of community, Coordinate invests a minimum of 20 per cent of agency time and resources to provide pro-bono support to sporting teams, not-for-profits, start-ups and the wider community.
New Level Landscapes – 2019 Telstra Australian Capital Territory Emerging & Energised Award winner
New Level Landscapes prides itself on creating outdoor spaces tailored to clients’ requirements, using the highest quality products so the job only needs to be done once in a lifetime. The team focuses on both the current and planned use of the space to increase the value of the property and the client’s time spent in the garden. Most of the processes involved in New Level Landscapes’ work is about planning for the future, including maintenance requirements, how large certain plants will grow and how best to utilise the garden space for the client.
Water Tight Canberra – 2019 Telstra Australian Capital Territory Small & Succeeding Award winner
Owner Tom Martin sought to defy the lazy tradesperson stereotype and frequent second-rate work standard within the industry through his customer-first plumbing, drainage and gas-fitting company, Water Tight Canberra. Constant communication with clients as well as team training and collaboration form the backbone of this small yet successful business.
OzHelp Foundation – 2019 Telstra Australian Capital Territory Social Change Maker Award winner
Established in 2001, OzHelp Foundation is a national not-for-profit provider of mental health and wellbeing programs targeting hard-to-reach people working in industries that have a heightened risk of suicide, including the building, construction and mining sectors. Their vision is to see every Australian workplace contribute to enhancing workforce wellbeing.
Mollydooker Wines – 2019 Telstra South Australian Business of the Year
In the heart of South Australia’s McLaren Vale, Mollydooker Wines is making waves in the industry by bringing innovative techniques and an uncompromising commitment to providing exceptional quality wine at an affordable price. This family-owned winery, led by Sarah Marquis as Chief Winemaker, produces 70,000 to 100,000 cases annually and exports 80 per cent of it.
Society Marketing Communications – 2019 Telstra South Australian Emerging & Energised Award winner
Society Marketing Communications was born out of a need to change the future of public relations and marketing agencies from being profit and awards focused to becoming more human-centric. Founder Dena Vassallo created the marketing and PR business in 2017 with the promise of delivering business impact for its clients.
Physio Fit Adelaide – 2019 Telstra South Australian Small & Succeeding Award winner
Physio Fit Adelaide strives to give customers the best experience by creating an environment that is changing health care experiences for the better. The business decided to move away from traditional healthcare practices and deliver unique hospitality and comfort facilities such as complimentary herbal tea, premium coffee and massage chairs for its customers while they wait.
Determined2 – 2019 Telstra South Australian Social Change Maker Award winner
Determined2 provides innovative immersion therapy services for people living with disabilities and injuries. As a service conducted underwater, it provides a near-weightless, low-impact environment giving participants the chance to experience movements that may otherwise be impossible. As each participant requires a specific and tailored service for their individual needs, every session is unique.
Northern Trade Solutions – 2019 Telstra Northern Territory Business of the Year
Formed in September 2010, Northern Trade Solutions started with four tradies and a dream to reshape the local construction industry by providing an integrated, solutions-focused, multi-trade company to all-size projects in the Northern Territory. Their vision was to create a company where every project brings value to clients. As multi-disciplinary subcontractors, the team at Northern Trade Solutions provides a wide range of services from partition and ceiling systems, external wall facades and cladding, glazing, doors and windows, as well as carpentry, asbestos removal, demolition, mould remediation and waste management services.
Dermo Direct – 2019 Telstra Northern Territory Emerging & Energised Award winner
Darwin born-and-raised Dr Dev Tilakaratne, established his clinic, Darwin Dermatology, in 2016 at a time when such services were limited in the area. The service provides comprehensive care for patients who travel from as far as Northern Western Australia and Timor-Leste for consultations. On-site treatments include phototherapy, radiofrequency scar therapy and skin cancer surgery. Together with dermatologist Dr Chris Ross, the service has extended its reach nationwide to those who struggle to access care, by introducing Dermo Direct, an innovative video consultation website.
Universal Site Monitoring – 2019 Telstra Northern Territory Small & Succeeding Award winner
Darwin-based start-up, Universal Site Monitoring produces Australian designed and manufactured safety monitoring devices through Internet of Things technology for industrial businesses. USM aims to disrupt the market by building the next generation of safety devices and transforming worker protection on a global scale. Working across the oil, gas, mining and heavy industrial markets, USM monitors workers in real time, giving powerful communication tools to track, advise and rescue if necessary.
Bush Medijina – 2019 Telstra Northern Territory Social Change Maker Award winner
An all-women, Indigenous-owned social enterprise based on Groote Eylandt, Bush Medijina is making a difference to the livelihoods of local indigenous women of the Archipelago. Within its walls, knowledge is passed down from older to younger generations to harvest bush produce and make bush remedies for sale around Australia. Bush Medijina started with an empty shed and a big dream inspired by the female elders of the Archipelago.
Orbitz Elevators – 2019 Telstra Queensland Business of the Year
Orbitz Elevators are experts in the supply, installation, maintenance, repair and modernisation of elevators and escalators. Proudly 100 percent Australian owned and operated, Orbitz Elevators aims to provide the highest quality products and services across Australia and Papua New Guinea. The company has grown to a multi-million dollar business within four years, now employing more than 85 staff and working with some of Australia’s largest companies.
STEM Punks Ventures – 2019 Telstra Queensland Emerging & Energised Award winner
STEM Punks provides world-leading STEM education programs for students and teachers in primary and secondary schools with learning outcomes linked to the curriculum. Its programs are developed to enable a mindset of innovation, creativity, and entrepreneurship to inspire tomorrow’s innovators. STEM Punks also provides innovative STEM education products to use within their programs including drone platforms, autonomous vehicles, and the ‘Internet of Things’ – all developed in Australia.
Street Science – 2019 Telstra Queensland Small & Succeeding Award winner
Born out of a need to change the traditional way of teaching science, Steve Liddell founded Street Science in 2012. The team creates a range of powerful demonstrations, workshops and stage shows with a focus on engaging and inspiring students to study the senior sciences. With innovation at the cornerstone of its program, Street Science is continually implementing change and delivering styles to provide student-centred, interactive science experiences.
Community Information Support Service – 2019 Telstra Queensland Social Change Maker Award winner
Community Information Support Services is a not-for-profit online platform established to support the health and wellbeing of Australians through connecting individuals to health information and services. The organisation supports the coordination of health and wellness activities in local communities and provide ways the public and service providers can work together.
Southern Wild Distillery – 2019 Telstra Tasmanian Business of the Year
Based in Devonport, Southern Wild Distillery produces spirits, primarily gins, using locally grown and produced ingredients wherever possible. The business’ vision is to create alcoholic spirits with a ‘Tasmanian spirit’. Sold under the brand Dasher + Fisher, the products celebrate small local growers and the beautiful seasonal imperfections of real, local ingredients. Co-founder and Master Distiller George Burgess studied the art of perfumery in France and spent years in the distilling industry.
Kingston Beach Dental – 2019 Telstra Tasmanian Small & Succeeding Award winner
Kingston Beach Dental is an independent, family-owned and operated practice that was founded in 2007 by Dr Martyn Sweet. The business provides a range of general, family and cosmetic dental services and is passionate about providing quality and caring dentistry and service with integrity.
Crusader Homes – 2019 Telstra Tasmanian Medium & Making Waves Award winner
Crusader Homes provides clients with beautifully designed and high-quality homes at a low cost for residents mainly located in the Derwent Valley. This family owned and operated business prides itself on its commitment to building houses on a given time frame and within budget. The company employs locals and continually seeks new and innovative ways to future proof the houses by incorporating new building technologies.
Bridgewater Police & Citizens Youth Club – 2019 Telstra Tasmanian Social Change Maker Award winner
Bridgewater Police & Citizens Youth Club is a not-for-profit community service organisation that provides a safe environment for youth and the community to enhance their future career and personal development. It offers social and recreational activities, ranging from mentoring and sports to driving lessons, giving an opportunity to socialise and build resilience.
Unios – 2019 Telstra Western Australian Business of the Year
Unios designs and manufactures architectural lighting. Founder Paley Ho had a vision to build an internationally recognised lighting brand from Perth that could challenge an industry traditionally dominated by a handful of players based on the east coast and globally. Bringing together design, performance and value, Paley has built a business that is breaking through the status quo.
Café Mojo Mundaring – 2019 Telstra Western Australian Emerging & Energised Award winner
Inspired by their travels exploring the diverse hospitality of many cultures, owners Jo and Ronald Colijn-Dew created the all-inclusive and adaptable Café Mojo Mundaring. More than just a café serving quality food and coffee, it is a welcoming space supporting community collaboration and growth.
Work Metrics – 2019 Telstra Western Australian Small & Succeeding Award winner
Work Metrics is a technology company that builds highly intelligent software tools and apps to help businesses engage and manage their employees, contractors and visitors. Working with 600 large organisations around the world, it is counting more than 1.1 million users to date, who use the platform for staff induction, supplier management, incident reports, and workers’ safety.
Warmun Art Centre – 2019 Telstra Western Australian Social Change Maker Award winner
Located in rural Western Australia, 200km south of Kununurra, Warmun Art Centre celebrates and encourages the expression of Gija culture through the arts, and supports the continued development of innovative, contemporary art by both established and emerging Warmun artists. One hundred percent of its income returns to the community enterprise and artists. The Centre creates sustainable employment opportunities for remote Indigenous arts workers, and is alleviating the global issues of poverty within their community.
Nutricare – 2019 Telstra Victorian Business of the Year
Nutricare creates organic, natural adhesive strips for wounds using the highest quality, sustainable ingredients available. Inspired by his son’s sensitivity to typical wound solutions, Founder James Dutton set out to create a natural product that is environmentally conscious and cost-effective. Nutricare developed PATCH – bandages made from 100 percent bamboo, enriched with the healing and detoxifying benefits of aloe vera, coconut oil and activated charcoal.
Future Golf – 2019 Telstra Victorian Small & Succeeding Award winner
Rather than traditional golf memberships where members are restricted to a single club, Future Golf is a community that has partnered with various golf clubs to give members affordable access to courses and golf events all over Australia. Its aim is to encourage more people to take up golf by providing a pathway for complete beginners to become regular golfers. Building partnerships with a growing number of golf courses, simulator companies, driving ranges and mini-golf courses, Future Golf aims to provide members with a variety of opportunities to engage with others and enjoy the sport.
TM Insight – 2019 Telstra Victorian Medium & Making Waves Award winner
TM Insight is a specialist consultancy firm bringing together industry experience in supply chain optimisation, property advisory and project management to help businesses adapt and thrive. Founded by Travis Erridge and Milan Andjelkovic in the wake of the global financial crisis in 2010, TM Insight quickly built a small but loyal customer base that included some of Australia’s best-known brands, such as Kmart, Coles, Woolworths and Bunnings. Nine years on, the team has expanded to become a team of 45 specialists spread over four offices in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Singapore. They have managed more than five million square metres of industrial space with varying complexities for multinational and international businesses.
Curve Tomorrow – 2019 Telstra Victorian Social Change Maker Award winner
Led by Executive Directors Mohinder Jaimangal, Sanji Kanagalingam and George Charalambous, Curve Tomorrow is a digital health technology company with an ambitious goal to impact the lives of one billion people. At the intersection of healthcare, commercialisation and digital product development, they work with organisations, clinicians and medical researchers to create life-changing health technology.
State winners will now compete for the glory of national titles at the Telstra Business Awards in Melbourne on November 21 2019. You can vote now for the People’s Choice Award