Entrepreneur Of The Year

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Meet the 2018 regional judges:

  • Vanessa Garrand

    EY - Vanessa Garrand Vanessa is an Australian entrepreneur, mother to four young children and a leader in the consumer products industry. Vanessa is the founder and Global CEO of SourceHub Group which recently acquired OZtrail, Australia’s #1 Camping & Outdoor Leisure Products Brand.

    Products designed by her team can be found in over 5,000 retail stores covering more than 30 product categories including consumer electronics, outdoor furniture, tents and gazebos.

    Her passion for business and developing products with proven appeal to consumers has seen Vanessa ranked in Australia’s Top 30 Female Entrepreneurs list, BRW Fast 100 lists, and in 2013 she was named the Australian EY Entrepreneur Of The Year for Industry. More recently Vanessa was named in the Australian Financial Review 100 Women of Influence.

    With over 25 years of experience in building businesses across Australia, China, UK, Europe & US, Vanessa understands what it takes to build and grow a global business.

  • John George

    EY - John George John has 30 years’ experience providing corporate advisory services to a broad range of domestic and international clients developed from his experience with KPMG, Australian Securities & Investments Commission and Standard Edge. John was CEO of an international loss adjusting firm with offices in Florida, Chicago, New Zealand and Australia and former CFO of an ASX 300 company.

    John has also worked with global consumer advocates such as Erin Brockovich on matters relating to strategic and operational affairs in Australia and New Zealand.

    John is a Non-Executive Director of Yellow Brick Road Holdings Limited (ASX), Chairman of Wolff Mining and former Non-Executive Director (and Company Secretary) of Shine Lawyers and Gladstone Airport Corporation.

    John was the former Deputy President of The Governance Institute (Qld) and is a member of Public Companies Discussion Group.

    John is a member of the EWM Advisory Board, a leading Family Office firm in Queensland as well as an advisory member to other Family Offices in Australia.

  • Dr Kirstin Ferguson

    EY - Dr Kirstin Ferguson Kirstin is one of Australia’s leading company directors, as well as an award-winning expert on leadership and corporate culture, diversity and inclusion. Kirstin’s current board appointments include the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, SCA Property Group Ltd, EML Ltd, Hyne and The Layne Beachley Foundation. She also sits on the Advisory Panel of SheStarts, an incubator for female led technology start-ups and is the Chairman of the Women’s Agenda Leadership Awards. Previous board appointments include CIMIC Ltd, Dart Energy Ltd, SunWater Ltd, Thiess, Queensland Rugby Union and the Queensland Theatre Company.

    After joining the military aged 17, Kirstin graduated as Dux of her Air Force graduating class at the Australian Defence Force Academy. After studying law and becoming admitted as a solicitor, she went on to become a highly successful CEO of a global consulting business before completing a PhD in leadership and culture, for which she has received numerous awards. As well as a PhD, Kirstin also has Honours degrees in both Law and History.

    Kirstin has been named as one of the Australian Financial Review’s 100 Women of Influence and has been awarded a Sir Winston Churchill Fellowship. She is a sought-after keynote speaker and will have a book published by Allen & Unwin in September 2018.

    Kirstin is also the creator of the Walkley Award nominated social media campaign called #CelebratingWomen after having committed to celebrate two women, from all walks of life and from anywhere in the world, every single day for a year. Her widely acclaimed efforts saw her celebrate 757 women from 37 countries and led to her creating a social media movement that has had an impact around the world.