Winning entrepreneurs judged best in the west

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Friday 10 August 2012 — The top entrepreneurs from across Western Australia were announced last night at the 2012 EY Entrepreneur Of The Year Western region awards ceremony in Perth.

Winners of the 2012 EY Entrepreneur Of The Year Western region awards, by category, were:

  • Emerging – Sasha de Bretton, Million Dollar Makeovers
  • Industry – Dale Alcock, ABN Group
  • Services – Daniel Tucker, Carey Mining Pty Ltd
  • Technology – Damione Wright, Performance On Hand

Also recognised in the non-competitive regional award categories were:

  • Social entrepreneur – Professor Peter Klinken, Western Australian Institute for Medical Research
  • Champion of Entrepreneurship – Janet Holmes à Court AC, Janet Holmes à Court Collection

EY Perth Managing Partner, Michael Anghie said this year’s Western region winners were well-deserving of the awards, demonstrating vision, passion and determination to succeed.

“Entrepreneurs inspire others with their innovative approach. By challenging the status quo they create significant economic benefit and social change,” Mr Anghie said.

“The EY Entrepreneur Of The Year awards are a celebration of the successes of these individuals, each of whom play a vital role in creating jobs, boosting economies and improving communities, both locally and on a national and global stage.

“EY congratulates all of our 2012 Western region award winners and nominees and commend them for their innovation, determination and entrepreneurial spirit,” Mr Anghie said.

“Our Western region winners and award recipients will travel to Sydney in November to contend for the title of 2012 Australian EY Entrepreneur Of The Year at the national awards.

“The overall Australian winner will then go on to compete in the EY World Entrepreneur Of The Year awards in Monte Carlo next year.

“Western Australians have taken out the top award four times – Michael Malone from iiNet in 2011, John Spence from The Karma Royal Group in 2010, Rod Jones from Navitas Limited in 2008 and John Rothwell AO from Austal Ships in 2002 – and have gone on to represent Australia in Monte Carlo.

“With our strong group of 2012 Western region winners, we hope to see that success repeated again this year,” Mr Anghie said.

EY Entrepreneur Of The Year is considered the world’s most prestigious business award and the only truly global program of its kind, with entrepreneurs participating in 140 cities in more than 50 countries.

Over 1,000 outstanding entrepreneurs have been recognised through the Entrepreneur Of The Year program in Australia since 2001.

For more information on the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year program go to

2012 EY Entrepreneur Of The Year category winners, Western region

Category: Emerging
Sasha de Bretton – Million Dollar Makeovers

Sasha de Bretton spent 15 years renovating an average of three homes per year. Juggling her hobby with her job, she had created an exceptionally fast renovation system to get everything done during her annual leave. She realised that the concept of rapid renovations creating immense profit was something the market needed. Million Dollar Makeovers carries out complete renovations of houses and mansions in record times. Sasha says this creates “instant wealth” and ”instant lifestyles” for clients by substantially increasing the value of their homes. Sasha plans to increase the company’s income streams through franchising and expanding to the eastern states.
What the judges said: In a very short space of time, Sasha has developed a remarkable business with enormous growth potential. Her business model makes an innovative connection between personal brand and business services. Sasha’s energy and enthusiasm are remarkably high, even by entrepreneurial standards, and the way she builds brand equity gives the business every chance of being highly successful in many markets.

Category: Industry
Dale Alcock – ABN Group

Dale Alcock started his career as an apprentice bricklayer in 1979 and launched Dale Alcock Homes with business partner Garry Brown-Neaves in 1987. Today, the Alcock Brown-Neaves Group (ABN) is a financial, property and construction services group of twenty companies. Turnover has grown by 250% since 2004. ABN Group employs 1,450 people and over 3,000 individual contractors in Western Australia and Victoria. ABN Training was launched in 2004 in recognition of the increasing skills shortage. Today, it is the largest private apprentice training program in the building industry in Australia. Dale was nominated for Australian of the Year in 2012.
What the judges said: Dale is a strong industry leader who, with success and integrity, has become the default spokesperson for his industry. Under his leadership, Dale’s business has undoubtedly outperformed many others, due in part to the strength of an enduring partnership and a sheer determination to succeed. An admired entrepreneur who invests in the community as well as his own workforce, Dale’s innovation provides a new outlook into affordability for all.

Category: Services
Daniel Tucker – Carey Mining Pty Ltd

In the 1990s, Daniel Tucker established something unheard of at the time in Western Australia – an Aboriginal owned-and-managed mining company, focused on providing real opportunity for Aboriginal people. Carey Mining Pty Ltd began trading in 1995 and is now the largest 100% indigenous, privately-owned-and-managed contracting company in Australia. Daniel believes that long-term contracts with blue-chip mining companies, knowing what you are doing and measuring your progress, make the company sustainable. Daniel draws on his experience to advise other indigenous business start-ups and is regularly invited to speak at international conferences on the concept of indigenous participation in large mining companies.
What the judges said: Daniel is an entrepreneur who deserves to be recognised for his business success. His level of influence and impact is inspirational. Taking a real issue, mining relationships with communities and native titles, Daniel has been able to help address labour issues for indigenous communities. With a real ability to scale up, the impact this will have nationally will extend far beyond his own personal success.

Category: Technology
Damione Wright – Performance On Hand

While working for a New South Wales energy utility, Damione Wright noticed the extent of hand injuries caused by inappropriate occupational glovewear. He established Performance On Hand to “better the productivity and health of working hands”. Performance On Hand manufactures and distributes high-performance work gloves to enhance productivity and safety. It has created initiatives such as the Join the Revolution program, which reviews and provides solutions for workplace safety needs, and the Glove Academy, which educates distributors and users about the product. Performance On Hand has seen 200% growth in the last two years, with an EBIT margin of 20%-30%.
What the judges said: Damione is an Australian standout in a niche market. Through his innovative entrepreneurialism, he is successfully addressing both productivity and workplace safety issues. Daminone’s business is scalable and is already receiving large orders.

2012 EY Entrepreneur Of The Year non-competitive award recipients, Western region
The Social entrepreneur will go on to compete at the National awards against their regional counterparts.

Category: Social entrepreneur
Professor Peter Klinken – Western Australian Institute for Medical Research

Professor Peter Klinken was appointed Director of the Western Australian Institute for Medical Research (WAIMR) in 2002. He has been the driving force behind the recruitment of outstanding national and international medical researchers to Western Australia, with research staff numbers rising from 35 in 2002 to over 200 in 2012. Professor Klinken was instrumental in securing $200 million in funding from the Federal and State governments, and the University of Western Australia, to fund the construction of new WAIMR research facilities. Under Professor Klinken’s leadership, WAIMR continues to make internationally important discoveries with the potential to deliver better treatments for serious diseases to the global community.

Category: Champion of Entrepreneurship
The Champion of Entrepreneurship award is a lifetime achievement award that recognises individuals who: have a long-term record of outstanding entrepreneurial achievement; have driven the growth of an Australian company, or companies, over a sustained period of time; and have made a significant contribution to their community.

Janet Holmes à Court AC – Janet Holmes à Court Collection
Janet Holmes à Court is the owner of the Janet Holmes à Court Collection. She is also Chairman of the John Holland Group, the West Australian Symphony Orchestra, the Australian Children's Television Foundation and the Australian Urban Design Research Centre of WA. She is a Board Member of Vision 2020 Australia, Rio Tinto WA Future Fund, Australian National Academy of Music, Australian Chamber Orchestra, Australian Major Performing Arts Group and Chamber of Arts & Culture WA. She is a science graduate from the University of Western Australia and taught science for a number of years before working more closely with family business matters. She has won numerous awards recognising her contribution to the community and to business. In 2007 she was made a Companion of the Order of Australia.


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