Nominees announced for 2012 Australian Entrepreneur Of The Year awards

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Tuesday, 15 May 2012 — Australia’s best and brightest entrepreneurs are in the spotlight today with the announcement of the nominees for the 2012 Australian EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ awards.

An outstanding group of more than 60 talented entrepreneurs have been nominated for this year’s awards, from a diverse range of fields including clothing, fitness, construction, food and beverage, medical research and financial services.

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

Bryan Zekulich, EY Oceania Entrepreneur Of The Year Leader, said this year’s nominees represented some of the most dynamic and successful entrepreneurs in Australia today.

“EY Entrepreneur Of The Year is a celebration of the successes of these nominees, each of whom play a vital role in creating jobs, boosting economies, improving communities and inspiring others to reach their potential,” Zekulich said.

“Inclusion in these awards is well-deserved recognition of the significant contribution these passionate and innovative individuals make to the Australian business community, and we congratulate all of our 2012 nominees.”

Matt Comyn, Executive General Manager of Local Business Banking, Commonwealth Bank, congratulated the nominees on reaching the next round of these prestigious awards.

“It’s great to see such impressive candidates coming through these awards, something which reinforces the high quality of entrepreneurialism Australia has to offer,” Comyn said.

“The kind of innovative thinking we are witnessing amongst this group is so important. As both domestic and global markets continue to undergo rapid change, it’s those individuals who can adapt and devise new solutions that will ultimately enjoy future success. We are lucky to have so many great nominees that are doing that right now.”

Regional judging will be held during May and June, with winners announced at award ceremonies across the country in July and August. Regional finalists will go on to compete at the national awards in November. The overall national winner will then travel on to Monte Carlo to represent Australia at the World Entrepreneur Of The Year awards.

The nominees for the 2012 Australian EY Entrepreneur Of The Year awards, by region, are:

Southern region (VIC & TAS)

  • Rakesh Aggarwal – Longwarry Food Park
  • Nicholas Beames –
  • Professor Subhash Challa – SenSen Networks
  • Simon Crowe – Grill'd
  • Will Deague – Asian Pacific Group
  • Abigail Forsyth – KeepCup
  • Anil Gammampila – Attra
  • Tony Lattouf and Joseph Lattouf – The Hairhouse Warehouse
  • Peter Law – Australian Independent Rural Retailers
  • Luke Marget – NutrientWater
  • Greg O'Neill – La Trobe Financial
  • Dean Ramler – Milan Direct
  • Sachin Rathi – Smart Business Telecom
  • Listed award – Anthony Podesta – McMillan Shakespeare
  • Social entrepreneur – Daniel Almagor – Engineers without borders
  • Champion of Entrepreneurship – Craig Kimberley

The Southern region awards ceremony will be held in Melbourne on Thursday, 19 July 2012.

Central region (SA & NT)

  • Kelly Baker-Jamieson – Edible Blooms
  • Tanya Cole – nannySA
  • David Fennessy – VersaDev
  • Stephan Knoll – Barossa Fine Foods
  • Colin Kuchel - Australian Outdoor Living
  • Mark Laucke – Laucke Flour Mills
  • Ben Lucas – Lucas Earthmovers
  • Steve Maras – Maras Group
  • Patrick Power – PowerHealth Solutions
  • Kevin Renfrey – Renfrey Plant Hire Services
  • Social entrepreneur – Geraldine Cox AM – Sunrise Children’s Villages, Cambodia
  • Champions of Entrepreneurship – Dr Tim Cooper AM and Glenn Cooper AM – Coopers Brewery Ltd

The Central region awards ceremony will be held in Adelaide on Thursday, 26 July 2012.

Western region (WA)

  • Dale Alcock – ABN Group
  • Geoff Backshall – Rusty
  • Sasha de Bretton – Million Dollar Makeovers
  • Paul Deuchar – Argon
  • Emanuel Dillon – Complete Hire & Sales
  • Andrea Horwood-Bux & Adil Bux – Invisible Zinc
  • Justin Miller – Sensear
  • Paul Newbound – APTS
  • Daniel Tucker – Carey Mining Pty Ltd
  • Steve Versteegen – Pit N Portal Group
  • Damione Wright – Performance On Hand
  • Alan Yeo – A.M.S. Tugs & Barges
  • Social entrepreneur – Professor Peter Klinken – Western Australian Institute for Medical Research
  • Champion of Entrepreneurship – Janet Holmes à Court AC – Janet Holmes à Court Collection

The Western region awards ceremony will be held in Perth on Thursday, 9 August 2012.

Eastern region (NSW & ACT)

  • Jo Burston – Job Capital
  • Dan Collins – Genesis Care
  • Paris Cutler – Planet Cake
  • Glenn Fordham – TRN Group
  • Jamie Jackson – Ozsale
  • Luke Janssen – Tigerspike
  • Daniel Jarosch – brandsExclusive
  • Dr Andrew Kuper – LeapFrog Investments
  • Kishore Matta – Jewel of India
  • Michael McGoogan – UberGlobal
  • Paul Rouse – Pybar Mining Services
  • David Solsky – CarbonSystems
  • Mark van Weelde – Invisalign Australia
  • Sheng Yeo – OrionVM
  • Alex Snead, Darin Walters, Benjamin Chong and Paul Shepanski – Jetabroad
  • Adam Rigby, Colin Fabig and James Gilbert – Jump On It
  • Listed award – James Myatt – Australian Power & Gas
  • Social entrepreneur – Ronni Kahn – OzHarvest
  • Champion of Entrepreneurship – Imelda Roche AO – Roche Group

The Eastern region awards ceremony will be held in Sydney on Thursday, 16 August 2012.

Northern region (QLD)

  • John Cotter – Flinders Group
  • Phillip Di Bella – Di Bella Coffee
  • Jon Eaves – Indigo
  • Gary Gardner – FK Gardner & Sons
  • Janine Garrett – charmHealth
  • Susie Henderson – Balance Resources
  • Brendon Levenson – Jetts
  • Fleur Madden – Red PR
  • Paul Pettigrew – Mach Technology
  • Chris Rolls – Rental Express
  • Brian Springer – Springers Solar
  • Colin Walz – Walz Construction
  • Francesca Webster – Brazilian Beauty
  • Chris Winter – RedFlow
  • Listed award – Don Meij – Domino’s Pizza Enterprises
  • Social entrepreneur – Graeme Wood – Artology and Wild Mob
  • Champion of Entrepreneurship - Thérèse Rein – Ingeus and Assure Programs

The Northern region awards ceremony will be held in Brisbane on Thursday, 23 August 2012.

Biographies for the 2012 Australian EY Entrepreneur Of The Year nominees are available online at


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Contact details:

Rebecca Aley
EY Australia
Tel: + 61 2 9276 9305 or +61 418 835 849