Independent and FREE - 2021 Best Online Publication

Year of resilience and strength for businesswomen

Independent and FREE – 2021 Best Online Publication (Qld Country Press)

Year of resilience and strength for businesswomen


'Life-changing': awards nominations shine a light on our outstanding women in business

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The hard work and dedication of 31 inspiring local businesswomen will be celebrated at an upcoming awards presentation.

Sunshine Coast News is proud to be the media partner for the 22nd annual Sunshine Coast Business Women’s Network Awards, which recognise the success of the region’s women in business.

The awards have attracted the best of the best across categories that include Young, Corporate, Micro Small, Professional and Sustainability.

In addition, one awardee will be named the 2021 Outstanding Business Woman of the Year from the full list of finalists.

This year, the awards attracted almost 200 nominations, with 60 submissions then narrowed down to 31 finalists. These finalists faced a panel of judges who examined entrants’ written submissions and conducted face-to-face interviews.

Originally scheduled to be held on August 7, the awards have been postponed due to the current COVID-19 lockdown, with a new date to be announced in coming weeks.

SCBWN president Min Swan (pictured) said the network was excited to hold its long-standing awards in 2021 and celebrate women in business.

“I love that we celebrate the highs and lows of business and celebrate the courage of the entrants to come forward and recognise their dedication and commitment to their careers and businesses,” Ms Swan said.

“Each year, we discover new people that we shine a light on and often hear of how life-changing the experience is for them.”

In 2020, SCBWN was unable to run its usual awards process, instead reflecting on previous award winners from across the past 21 years.

“What we did achieve in 2020 was a celebration of our past 21 years of award recipients through a ‘where are they now’ style of reunion,” Ms Swan said.

“Overwhelmingly, what we heard throughout this celebration was how the SCBWN Business Woman of the Year Awards changed their life, their career and their business trajectory.

“We were honoured that so many participated in the celebration and remained so connected to the network.  It was a truly special celebration.”

Ms Swan said the events of the past 18 months made the 2021 awards even more important for the nominees, who had been forced to adapt and grow in difficult circumstances.

“From my perspective, times like this make the awards even more important as entrants realise they are not alone and are able to reflect on their incredible resilience, growth and how they have adapted to factors out of their control and yet still succeeded.”

The 2019 SCBWN award winners. The 2021 finalists have been named.

As judging chair for 2021, Michelle Hamer said this year’s entrants presented a common theme.

“While finalists acknowledged crazy times, many found the time has allowed them to refine their business delivery service model and their processes,” Ms Hamer said.

“Another emerging theme has been the link of businesses to BCORP certification which balances purpose and profit.

“The Micro Small category is always our largest category. However, this year we have seen an increase in the number of submissions for the Professional and Corporate categories.

“This, I believe, shows the growth and maturity of Sunshine Coast businesses.”

Keep following Sunshine Coast News and our sister publication My Weekly Preview as we feature the winners and their outstanding achievements.



Candice Gillies, Code Property Group

Emma Baxter, YOUtax

Jennifer McIntyre, Coasteel Engineering

Kate Langford, Kate Langford Career Consulting

Kristine Young, Bella Venezia Group

Lisa Holland, CBI Financial Planning

Liz Catton, Catton and Tondelstrand Lawyers

Paula Gowland, Sunshine Coast Art and Framing Gallery

Sally Doran, Infectious Clothing Company


Ami Bateman, Pleasant State

Cass Connolly, Your Mortgage Coach

Ellie Degraeve, Go For Zero

Jenny Lawson, Successful Grants

Jordyn Clancy, Burlesque L’Amour

Kym Cousins, Sprout Business Growth

Melinda Uys, Melinda Uys Words

Renee Jarrett, Daisy Cakes and Bakes

Roxanne McCarty-O’Kane, Roxanne McCarty-O’Kane Writer

Tamara Skok, Italia Pizza and Pasta


Ayllie White, Sunshine Coast Airport

Christine Garsden, Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Service

Emma Greenhatch, Food and Agribusiness Network

Naomi Elliott, Concept Labs

Ruth Luscombe, Fireball International

Susan Dwyer, Lutheran Services – Graceville Centre

Vannessa Hennessy, Open Insurance

Zoey Canhao, Youi Insurance


Elise Jione, Thompson Institute, University of the Sunshine Coast

Grace Harold, Amazing Oils

Jessica Bos, Meraki Thread Co

Katie Johnston, EATS


*Finalists in this category have been chosen from the full list of finalists

Ami Bateman, Pleasant State

Candice Gillies, Code Property Group

Christine Garsden, Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Service

Elise Jione, Thompson Institute

Naomi Elliott, Concept Laboratories

Sally Doran, Infectious Clothing Company

Tamara Skok, Italia Pizza and Pasta